After two instances of racist propaganda appearing in Gaithersburg and Germantown, where Ku Klux Klan recruitment fliers using subverted biblical passages to spread hate landed in driveways, clergy members from around Montgomery County have released a statement condemning the use of scripture and the spread of hate.
“Following recent events in Germantown and Gaithersburg we, the clergy of Montgomery County speak with one voice to decry the Ku Klux Klan and any other organizations or individuals that purport to use Holy Scripture to justify hate and violence. To incite violence, discrimination or harm based on race, multiculturalism, or for any reason, is evil and to suggest that ‘God Commands Radical Segregation’ is blasphemous,” reads the statement.
“Our Holy Texts teach us about a God of Love who created all nations and races in the Divine Image and that diversity is to be celebrated. The Divine One calls each of us to live in peace with all of creation, to act with justice, kindness and compassion and to respect the dignity and worth of every human being,” the statement continued.
Rev. Terri M. Murphy, a Germantown resident, said, "Germantown is not isolated, so what happens here will soon happen in other towns nearby. If indeed, the Klan was just testing the waters to see if we are fertile ground for recruitment, we want to make it very clear that neither Germantown nor the county will tolerate this kind of activity." Rev. Murphy is a minister serving with an Episcopal church who was instrumental in creating the statement.
The statement is in response to fliers that placed inside plastic bags filled with birdseed to stop them from flying away with the wind after being dropped on 50 properties in Germantown last week. The flier begins, “God commands racial segregation,” and it goes on to list a number of misconstrued and subverted biblical passages while attributing racial overtones to the quotes. It concluded with “This message from the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan” and a phone number to call in North Carolina.
“All persons of good will, regardless of faith practice, will not tolerate the hate fliers distributed in Germantown in recent weeks,” said the statement from Montgomery County clergy members.