Dear Seminary Community,
Yesterday the world witnessed an attempted assault on our democracy as pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol. This was not a protest but an unhinged mob mounting insurrection against the democratic process that is the bedrock of our system of government. This movement was incited by leaders who have propagated myths and propelled violence. It was horrific to watch mostly white rioters so easily take over the chambers of Congress.
These actions are not worthy of our society and run counter to the Constitution, which provides for the orderly and peaceful transition of power, honoring the will of the people to elect leaders to govern.
The Constitution is grounded in a vision of forming a more perfect union, to establish justice, and to secure the blessings of liberty. This is a project that is still underway and not yet complete, but it is a vision worthy of our aspirations and our actions. We must continue to call our nation and our neighbors to strive for this vision.
Leaders have a responsibility to bring people together across difference, to promote the health of the community, and to work actively towards justice, equality, and liberty for all. This charge comes not only from the Constitution but from the conviction that God endows each person with dignity and worth.
Psalm 46 reminds us “God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved.” Clearly, we are a long way from the City of God, but for thousands of years people of faith have continued to strive for approximations of it. Yesterday we were again reminded that our hope is that God is in our midst, and the dream of the gloriously diverse City of God cannot and will not be intimidated.
M. Craig Barnes
President, Princeton Theological Seminary