Statement from the Executive Director and Board of Directors regarding recent events in Lewiston’s mayoral race

MCC Board member Bill Barter, Board President Richard Berman, and Executive Director Jane Field each wrote to Maine’s major newspapers today condemning the recent racist attack on a mayoral candidate in Lewiston, unequivocally denouncing the racism and calling for civil discourse in the elections process:

While the Maine Council of Churches neither endorses nor opposes any candidate for elected office, we must speak out when a line is crossed that violates the spirit of civil discourse in elections. That line was crossed yesterday in Lewiston with the display of racist signs attacking a mayoral candidate. Such racism and incivility have no place in Maine’s civic life. The Maine Council Of Churches believes and practices the principle of Civil Discourse: keeping our dialogues and disagreements respectful and dignified, and refraining from personal attacks even when we vigorously disagree. Our faith tradition, along with the other great faith traditions of the world, urges us to speak the truth in love, treating others as they would want to be treated. We believe these principles apply not only to personal relationships, but also to behavior in the public arena. Thus, we decry incivility in our democratic process, and we most certainly decry any attack that is motivated by or infused with racism. So we join the voices of those people in Lewiston and beyond who seek an end to this sort of attack on a candidate for office. We call upon all people of goodwill to hold one another to the highest standards of civility and respect. We pray that despite our differences, we may all come to see one another as beloved children of God, made in the image of our Creator.