B.I.G. Statement: On the Desecration of our Nation’s Capitol Building

B.I.G. Statement: On the Desecration of our Nation’s Capitol Building
January 14, 2021

B.I.G. was formed in 2017 when local faith leaders recognized the importance of providing a different kind of vision, where people of diverse faith backgrounds could foster dialogue and seek common ground. The group’s focus is on education, justice and friendship.

As the Bethlehem Interfaith Group (B.I.G.), we are faith leaders who have come together to build the beloved community.

In light of the desecration of our nation’s Capitol Building, B.I.G. grieves with all for the tragic loss of life, the destruction in the building and the violation of personal space. What occurred was shocking and despicable but is symptomatic of a larger issue in the world: our addiction to toxic culture (toxic politics, toxic masculinity, toxic religion, toxic social media and a toxic culture of white supremacy), inflamed by the rhetoric of President Trump.

We acknowledge that our society is sick and civility is under attack. We know there is a better way and B.I.G. commits to actively:

  • Extend love, hope, prayer and care to all who are experiencing fear, anger, hopelessness and despair
  • Bring a renewed energy to work for social change
  • Encourage healing through the rich traditions and wisdom of our many faith traditions
  • Reaffirm our commitment to the bedrock values of truth, justice, and peace
  • Practice holy listening with respect for the dignity and value of each human being
  • Lead a process of soul searching, repentance, and accountability

Therefore, the Bethlehem Interfaith Group invites all people of goodwill to embrace a vision of education, social justice, and friendship. We believe that by learning with one another, serving and advocating with one another, and building relationships with another, we may help to bring about a better reality — God’s intended reality — for this world.

Signed by UUCLV Pastor Madelyn Campbell and 17 other faith leaders.


The Bethlehem Interfaith Group includes:
Rev. J.C. Austin, First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem
Rev. Goudy, Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley
Rev. Madelyn Campbell, Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley
Rick Dow, Friends Meeting of the Lehigh Valley
Rev. Emmajane Finney
Rev. Canon Dale Grandfield, The Cathedral Church of the Nativity
Rev. Melissa Johnson, Advent Moravian Church
Sister Bonnie Kleinschuster
Student Rabbi Armin Langer, Congregation Am Haskalah
Rev. Dan Miller, Edgeboro Moravian Church
Sister Virginelle Makos
Rabbi Steve Nathan, Lehigh University
Rev. Dr. Pamela Payne, Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church
Rev. Tammie Rinker, West Side Moravian Church
Rev. Dr. Stephen Simmons, Honorably Retired, Presbyterian Church USA
Rev. Cynthia Leslie Simmons, Honorably Retired, Presbyterian Church USA
Rabbi Michael Singer, Congregation Brith Sholom
Rev. Lloyd Steffen, University Chaplain, Lehigh University