Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Faith Calls Us To Love, Not Hate

Rev. Tamara Gieselman, Chaplain of the University of Evansville, welcomes attendees to the Aug. 29 press conference in the narthex of UE's Neu Chapel. The Message photo by Tim Lilley

Editor’s note – Following is the complete text of the statement rejecting racism, bigotry and hatred, with the list of area faith-community members who signed it. They are listed in the order they appear on the statement.

As religious leaders we want to clearly state that our various faith traditions call us to recognize the sacred worth of all people. Therefore, we reject racism, bigotry, and hatred. Recent events in Charlottesville and elsewhere remind us that racism is part of the dark underside of our national history and still impacts the fabric of our society. When expressions of white supremacy, anti-Semitism, neo-Nazi ideology, and hatred against other religious and ethnic minorities make headlines, we must stand firmly against these exhibitions of hate.

All our faiths remind us in various ways that God is the God of all creation and all people, believers are called to fair treatment for all, and “loving our neighbors [of whatever background] as ourselves” fits alongside reverence for God.

Prejudice, unequal treatment, and animosity for any group of people are completely opposed not only to our religious principles but also to our national values that call us “one nation, under God” and affirm “liberty and justice for all.”

While we denounce violence in any form by any group, we reject suggestions of the moral equivalency of groups that promote white supremacy and hatred with those who oppose such values and protest against them. The Nazi swastika, the Ku Klux Klan hood, and the Confederate flag are symbols of hatred from another century that have no place in American Society today. We call on all people of good will to work together for the common good and to honor the contributions of individuals from all racial, ethnic, national, and religious groups. Let us be enriched by our diversity, rather than divided by our differences.

We praise the many groups that are working in our community to overcome division and build understanding, whether it is between people of different races or faiths, police officers and community members, or within our schools. Evansville is exemplary in its effort to accept and understand other people.As is eloquently said in our new city motto, “E is for Everyone.”

We challenge people of all faiths and those who consider themselves secular to reject racism, bigotry, and hatred in any form and join in standing for love and justice for all.

The Undersigned Evansville Area Faith Community Members


Rev. Joseph Easley, Pastor (retired), United Methodist Church

Father Stephen Lintzenich, retired priest of the Diocese of Evansville

Rabbi Gary Mazo, Rabbi, Temple Adath B’nai Israel

Rev. Tamara Gieselman, Chaplain, Neu Chapel, University of Evansville

Rev. Gerald Arnold, Pastor, Independence Missionary Baptist Church & President, NAACP Evansville Branch

Rev. Kevin Fleming, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church

Rev. Dennis Davenport, Pastor, Eastminster Presbyterian Church

Rev. Jim Prickett, Pastor (retired), United Church of Christ

Rev. Pat Jackson, Pastor, Albright United Methodist Church

Rev. Dr. Todd Gile, Pastor, Trinity United Methodist Church

Rev. Christopher Millay, Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Mt. Vernon

Greg Pimlott, Pastor, Main Street United Methodist Church, Boonville

Rev. Andy Payton, Senior Pastor, Methodist Temple, UMC

Rev. JillAnn Knonenborg, Associate Pastor, Methodist Temple, UMC

Father David Martin, retired priest of the Diocese of Evansville

Sister Jane Michele McClure, OSB

Father Gene Schroeder, Pastor, St. Joseph Parish, Vanderburgh County

Rev. Paul Seburg, Pastor (retired), United Church of Christ, Evansville Tri-State Association

Father Frank Renner, Pastor, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Oakland City, and Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Petersburg

Rev. Eric Robinson, Pastor, St. Peter's United Methodist Church

Father Jay Davidson, Pastor, All Saints Parish

Rev. Veltri V. Taylor, Pastor, First Ebenezer Baptist Church

Rev. Roberta Meyer, Pastor, Grace and Peace Lutheran Church

Rev. Shane O'Neill, Pastor (retired), Presbyterian Church

Rev. Dr. Amariah McIntosh, Pastor, Cleaves Memorial CME Church

Sister Darlene Boyd, SFCC

Vel Sitzman, Member, Holy Rosary Parish, & BRIDGE

Rev. Keith Turner, John Wesley Minister and Assistant Chaplain, Neu Chapel, University of Evansville

Dr. Mohammad Hussain, Member & Past President, Islamic Society or Evansville 

Omar Atia, Islamic Society or Evansville 

Rev Wendy McCormick, Ordained Minister, Presbyterian Church

Dr. Linda C. Parker, Pastor, East Side Christian Church (Disciple of Christ)

Father Joseph Ziliak, retirned priest of the Diocese of Evansville

Rev. Bernard T. Etienne, Pastor, Holy Rosary Parish and Diocese of Evansville Administrator

Father James Sauer, Administrator, St. Matthew Parish, Mt. Vernon

Rev. Michael Erwin, Pastor, Christ Church United Church of Christ

Rev. Brian Buschkill, Pastor at St. Peter’s (Highland) UCC

Steve & Faye Camp, Ministers (retired), Old North United Methodist Church

Rev. Jeff Long, Pastor, Zion Lippe United Church of Christ

Rev. Bill Wassner, Senior Pastor, St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Evansville

Steven J. Stanfill, President, Evansville Stake, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Bishop A. Lance Farr, Evansville Ward, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Father Edward Schnur, Pastor, Saint Francis Xavier Parish, Poseyville, and Saint Wendel Parish, Saint Wendel 

Father Eugene Schmitt, Pastor, St. Isidore the Farmer Parish, Celestine

Rev. Dennis C. Adams, Pastor, Simpson United Methodist Church

Rev. Chris D. Nunley, Lead Pastor, Newburgh United Methodist Church

Rev. Randy Jones, Pastor, Woodlawn UMC, Owensboro & President, Owensboro/Daviess Co. Ministerial Assoc.

Rev. Lynn Martin, Pastor, St. Lucas United Church of Christ

Rev. Fr. Daniel M. Hackney, Pastor, Saint Ananias Orthodox Church

Georgia Chambers, Chaplain, Ordained Minister, United Church of Christ

Tanya Schmitz, Minister in Discernment, United Church of Christ

Barb Gaisser, Ordained Minister, United Church of Christ

Rev. Kyle M. Hunter, Senior Pastor, Bethany Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. Dr. Thomas F. Webster, Ordained Minister, United Church of Christ

Rev. Mark Sirnic, Senior Minister, Bethlehem United Church of Christ

Rev. Emily Slade, Minister of Children and Youth, Bethlehem United Church of Christ

Rev. Larry C. Minter, Interim Rector, St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Rev. Dr. Robert Coons, Pastor, Zion United Church of Christ, Henderson, KY

Mitch Gieselman, Pastor, Aldersgate United Methodist Church & soon to be Southwest District Superintendent

Stephanie Weiner, Interim Lead Pastor, Bethel United Church of Christ

Pastor Ange Humphrey, Fresh Air Community Church

Rev. Michael Monahan, Pastor, Old North United Methodist Church

Rev. Bessie Adams, Pastor, Salem United Methodist Church

G Thomas Moor, Unitarian Universalist Church of Evansville

Rev. W. David Marshall, Pastor, St. Paul’s and St. Lucas United Church of Christ, Fort Branch

Rev. Don Bernhardt, Pastor (retired), United Church of Christ

Beth Folz, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Evansville

Dr. Saiyid Shah, Member, Islamic Society of Evansville