Local Faith Leaders Pen Letters to Elected Officials

After the events at the U.S. Capitol last week, several local faith leaders joined together to craft letters to Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

The letter to Abbott, Paxton, and Patrick took the state officials to task for not objecting to a border visit by President Donald Trump. The letter to Cruz objected to his actions before and after the riot that resulted in the death of six, including Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries sustained after being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.

“The Jan. 6th events at the Capitol building were a shocking display of violence and sedition,” the letter to Cruz reads. “We, the faith leaders of Dallas, condemn these acts and rightfully regard them as un-American, and we hold you partially responsible for what happened and call you to account.”

“There can be no doubt that violent rhetoric leads to violent action and your actions and words offered in such a reckless way clearly stimulated the mobs to gather in protest of a legal election that has been proven, over and over again to have integrity. That kind of evil we will not easily let stand.”

The letter to Cruz, which was shared on Jan. 8, can be read on the Facebook page for Faith Forward Dallas. Among the faith leaders who signed the letter include Rev. Dr. Daniel Kanter of the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, Rev. Victoria Robb Powers of University Park United Methodist Church, Rev. Andria Davis of the Cathedral of Hope, Rev. Dr. Jeff Hall, Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church, Rev. Jonathan Grace of Grace United Methodist Church, Rev. Holly Bandel of First United Methodist Church Dallas, Rev. Rachel Griffin Baughman of Oak Lawn United Methodist Church, and Rabbi Daniel Utley and Cantor Vicky Glikin of Temple Emanu-El.

The letter to Abbott, Paxton, and Patrick was dated Jan. 11, and signed by Bandel, Baughman, Kanter, and Utley also signed this letter, as well as Rev. Laurie Anderson of Midway Hills Christian Church, Rev. Dr. Mike Gregg of Royal Lane Baptist, Rev. Bill “JW” Matthews of University Park United Methodist Church, Father Tim Gollob of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, and Marti Soper of Northaven United Methodist Church.

It reads:

“As faith leaders in Texas, we are dismayed by your failure to object to President Donald Trump’s visit this week, where he will speak in public for the first time since he incited the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. 

The border wall that he is coming to brag about was built with over 10.5 billion dollars, dollars he extracted from the budget of our military. He took that money when the democratically elected Congress did not agree that building a wall was a responsible way to spend government funds.

We now know that the current President is not a defender of Democracy, he is not a patriot, and he has no regard for the health or wellbeing of Americans. Last week he called for action that led to the death of at least 6 Americans and serious injuries sustained by dozens more, including over 50 police officers. His very presence has become a symbol of insurrection and lawlessness.

Yet you, State leaders who are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of all those who live in Texas, have not condemned President Trump, nor have you opposed his appearance in our state, an appearance that can easily lead to more violence, injury and loss of life. Worse, you are acquiescing to his contentious visit at a time when our state health care system is overwhelmed by the tragic spread of COVID-19 and should not be further stressed.

We urge you to go on record to oppose this visit as guardians of health and safety for your electorate. Your most important task right now is to protect life at this tumultuous time in our nation’s history.”


  • Rev. Laurie Anderson, Senior Minister, Midway Hills Christian Church, Dallas
  • Dr. Zafar Anjum, Imam, Islamic Association of the Colony
  • Azhar Azeez, Past President, Islamic Society of North America and North Texas Islamic Council, Plano
  • Rev. Holly G. Bandel, Associate Minister, First United Methodist Church, Dallas
  • Rev. David B. Batchelder; West Plano Presbyterial Church, Plano
  • Rev. Mike Baughman, Union Coffee, Dallas
  • Rev. Rachel Baughman, Senior Pastor, Oak Lawn UMC, Dallas
  • Dr. Susan M. Baxley, Chair, Social Justice Committee, Kessler Park UMC, Dallas
  • Rev. Michael Boone, Senior Pastor, White Rock United Methodist Church, Dallas
  • Rev. Lora Brandis, Horizon United Universalist Church, Carrollton
  • Stacey Brown, Elev8 Movement, Dallas
  • Rev. Dr. Vanessee Burns, Christian Chapel CME Church, Dallas
  • Rev. Wally Butts, Pastor, United Methodist Church, Plano
  • Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles, Dallas
  • Mary Ann Climer, Social Justice Committee, Kessler Park UMC, Dallas
  • Julie Baugh Cloud, Vice President, Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation, Westlake
  • Rabbi Kimberly Herzog Cohen, Temple Emanu-El, Dallas
  • Rabbi Heidi Coretz, Shir Tikvah, Frisco
  • Armel Crocker, Lay Pastor, Grace Presbytery, Winnsboro
  • Rev. Carolyn Davis, PhD; Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Washington, D.C.
  • Rev. Phil Dieke, Pastor, White Rock UMC, Dallas
  • Rev. Benjamin Dueholm, Dallas
  • Rev. Andrew Fiser, North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, Dallas
  • Rev. Eric Folkerth, Kessler Park UMC, Dallas
  • Rev. Scott Gilliland, Senior Pastor, Arapaho United Methodist Church, Richardson
  • Fr. Tim Gollob, Retired Priest, Catholic Diocese of Dallas
  • Rev. Dr. Mike Gregg, Pastor, Royal Lane Baptist Church, Dallas
  • Bishop Erik Gronberg, NT-NL Synod, ELCA, Argyle
  • Rev. Dr. Sid Hall, III, Lead Minister, Trinity Church of Austin
  • Rev. Wes Helm, Rowlett
  • Rev. Page Hines, Associate Pastor, Arlington Heights UMC, Fort Worth
  • Rev. Dr. Don Holladay, Lubbock
  • Rev. Deanna Hollas, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, Dallas
  • Zulikha Hussain, Valley Ranch Mosque and Community Interfaith Activist, Irving
  • Rev. Charles Foster Johnson, Pastor, Bread Fellowship, Fort Worth
  • Rev. Dr. Daniel Kanter, Senior Minister, First Unitarian Church of Dallas
  • Rabbi Nancy Kasten, Chief Relationship Officer, Faith Commons
  • Rabbi Neal Katz, Congregation Beth El, Tyler
  • Marv Knox, Coordinator, Fellowship Southwest, Coppell
  • Rev. Dr. Dan De Leon, Senior Pastor, Friends Congregational Church, UCC, College Station
  • Dr. D. Stephan Long, Dallas
  • Rev. Dr. George A. Mason, Senior Pastor, Wilshire Baptist Church, Dallas, and President, Faith Commons
  • Rev. Bill (JW) Matthews, University Park UMC, Dallas
  • Rabbi Ralph Mecklenberger, Rabbi Emeritus, Beth-El Congregation, Fort Worth
  • Dr. Michael Miller, Dean, Bright Divinity School, Fort Worth
  • Rev. Amy W. Moore, Dallas
  • Jackie Baugh Moore, President, Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation, Boerne
  • Bee Moorhead, Executive Director, Texas Impact
  • Almas Muscatwalla, Executive Director, Faith Forward Dallas
  • Dana Norton, Pastor, Sunnyvale
  • Rabbi Andrew Paley, Temple Shalom, Dallas
  • Rev. Payton Parker, Pastor, First UMC, Lancaster
  • Robyn Reno, Social Justice Committee, Kessler Park UMC
  • Sister Patricia Ridgley, Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, Fort Worth
  • Rabbi Debra Robbins, Temple Emanu-El, Dallas
  • Rabbi Amy Ross, Temple Emanu-El, Dallas
  • Leslie Russell, Social Justice Committee, Kessler Park UMC, Dallas
  • Rev. Cathy Sweeney, Arapaho United Methodist Church, Richardson
  • Rev. Kerry Smith, United Methodist Church, Dallas
  • Rev. Robert O. Smith
  • Rev. Dr. Jeff Smith, Wellspring, Georgetown
  • Rev. Marti Soper, Senior Pastor, Northaven UMC, Dallas
  • Rabbi David Stern, Temple Emanu-El, Dallas
  • Rev. Dr. Meredith Stone, Fellowship Southwest, Abilene
  • Imam Azhar Subedar, Plano
  • Imam Dr. Omar Suleiman, Valley Ranch Islamic Center, Dallas
  • Rev. Neil Thomas, Cathedral of Hope, United Church of Christ, Dallas
  • Rabbi Dan Utley, Temple Emanu-El, Dallas
  • Minister Cameron Vickrey, Faith Commons
  • Garrett Vickrey, Senior Pastor, Woodland Baptist Church, San Antonio
  • Laura Westerlage, MDiv/MSSW, The Stewpot, Dallas
  • Rev. Marcus Womack, Plymouth Park United Methodist Church, Irving
  • Rev. Kevin Young, Senior Pastor, St. John’s UMC, Lubbock
  • Rabbi Elana Zelony, Richardson
  • Rabbi Brian Zimmerman, Beth-El Congregation, Fort Worth
  • Mimi Platt Zimmerman, Student, Bright Divinity School, Fort Worth
  • Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman, Plano
  • Faith Commons
  • Faith Forward Dallas at Thanksgiving Square
  • Faith In Texas
  • Texas Poor People’s Campaign

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