NYC Clergy Deliver Strong Rebuttal Against Bombastic Political Speech in First Presidential Debate


September 26, 2016

Clergy Deliver Strong Rebuttal Against Bombastic Political Rhetoric in First Presidential Debate


New York, NY -- After a controversial presidential debate, a prominent group of New York clergy held a press conference at the Marriott Marquis to denounce the divisive and deceptive rhetoric that seeks to divide our country instead of addressing the issues that matter the most. Faith leaders urged candidates for higher office to serve as moral role models and exhibit respect in their campaigns, governing, and speech. To watch the full video, click here

Rev. Derrick Harkins, Senior Vice-President for Innovations in Public Programming, Union Theological Seminary; past board member of National Association of Evangelicals:


Donald Trump had the opportunity to disavow the racist and foul birther conspiracy lie that he has led. He did not. When asked, “What do you say to African Americans?” His response, “I say nothing.” When asked about stop-and-frisk, a divisive and unconstitutional act that singles out young black and Latino men, he saw it as an immediate remedy for what he considered to be some of the maladies and racial ills of our society.



Rev. Ryan Phipps, Lead Pastor of the Forefront Church and National Director of Marketing and Communications for the Convergence Network:


The outcome of this election has so much to do with how the one we call president will treat those in our country who are different. The possibilities for our nation are endless if we will open our minds and our hearts to the possibility that different people coming together can fashion our schools, our businesses, our institutions, even our nation into a place that it was always intended to be.



Rev. Chloe Breyer, Executive Director of Interfaith Center and Associate Priest at St. Philips Episcopal Church:

By their fruits, you will know them. And surely we saw different sorts of fruits on display on last night. On the one hand, we had a leader whose work has produced the fruit of health care insurance for 8 million children who might not otherwise have had it. On the other hand, we had a trail of swindled contractors and a trail of dubious business deals. A portion of the American populous has become so terrified by the doom and gloom that candidate has been spreading, it’s a wonder they feel there is a future at all.


Rev. Freeman Palmer, Associate Conference Minister, New York Conference, United Church of Christ:

When we elect a president, we are merely choosing our next leader or head-of-state or commander-in-chief, we are choosing the face of this nation. We are choosing a role model for our children, for our adults and indeed, for the the world. It is for this reason that we are in need of leaders who are slow to anger, who demonstrate humility and because they are human acknowledge that they’ve missed the mark, sinned and need repentance. We need leaders who respect all persons as part of God’s good creation.