Local pastors decrying Ottawa Impact to host 'Confronting Christian Nationalism' event
Below is an article from today's edition of the Grand Haven Tribune that touches on the ministry of our church.
The Ottawa Coalition of Unified Christians has announced they are hosting a speaker, Pastor Doug Pagitt, to talk about “Confronting Christian Nationalism,” in the wake of the organization’s public stance disfavoring the Ottawa Impact political group.
The speaking engagement will take place Thursday, Nov. 30, from 6:30-8 p.m., at the Holland Armory, 16 W. 19th St.
In a press release earlier this week, committee members stated that more than 400 individuals have signed a statement written by Ottawa County pastors “decrying the actions of the Ottawa Impact-led Board of Commissioners and insisting that the Christian faith calls us all to much more than what that organization represents.”
“We truly believe that it is essential for an alternative Christian voice to be heard at this moment in Ottawa County,” said the Rev. Dr. Jared Cramer, of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven. “Because there are many people in Ottawa County who follow Christ and do not support the harmful actions taken by Ottawa Impact and their supporters.”
Cramer, separate from the coalition, currently has a lawsuit pending in federal court against the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners, alleging they have shut out progressive Christian voices like his from giving the invocation, a violation of First Amendment protections against religious discrimination, the press release said.
“Ottawa County should be a place where all people belong,” Cramer said. “And we invite all Christians – and people who may not have a faith commitment, but believe in justice, peace and good will – to share this work.”
The coalition is working with Vote Common Good West Michigan to bring Pagitt for the event.
According to the coalition’s website, “Doug will help us understand what Christian Nationalism is and how we can respond when we are faced with it. This is an important and timely topic. The cost of the event is being covered by congregations associated with the Ottawa Coalition of Unifying Christians. Ticket sales will support the ongoing work of Vote Common Good West Michigan, a nonpartisan group working to re-examine and create deeper narratives at the intersection of love and politics by bringing together candidates, faith leaders, volunteers, activists and artists involved in local politics and aligned with The Common Good Commitments.”
Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in advance online at unifyingchristians.com/nationalism.
Cramer said the organization lists these reasons as their disagreements with Ottawa Impact: “The statements of the commissioners on local Pride festivals (calling them child grooming) are offensive and massively untrue. The views of commissioners on questions like masking (and their failed lawsuit to prevent it at schools) is an example of their belief that their individual rights are more important than the common good. They have given platform to known Christian nationalist viewpoints (such as the doctrine of the lesser magistrates).”