Allies who support Reverend David Meredith and in protest of hate acts against him

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In late April, a thief—or thieves—broke into the office of Reverend David Meredith, pastor of Clifton United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Tellingly, they did not steal a laptop sitting in the open nor did they steal valuable pieces of antique silver belonging to the church.  Instead, they stole two pieces of paper. The stolen documents included the pastor’s diploma from Saint Paul School of Theology, and his ordination certificate.  
The thieves wanted to tell the pastor, his congregation, the United Methodist Church, and the rest of the world that a gay pastor, married to his beloved partner of 30 years, is not welcome.  By extension, neither are LGBTQ persons welcome.  

This was not just vandalism or theft.
This was a message of hate.
If we say nothing, do nothing, then we are complicit in the pain of the vulnerable. We know that we must do everything in our power, regardless of the price, to call out hate and lift up love. Therefore, we write these words in unity, though our backgrounds, faiths, and communities are diverse:
·      We emphatically decry the targeted hate act against Reverend Meredith and the Clifton United Methodist Church.
·      We cry out for justice, hoping that the thieves and those who have publicly denounced Reverend Meredith, will experience a change in heart and come forward in love.
·      We honor with loving affirmation that all humans are created equal.
·      We applaud the righteous strength of Reverend Meredith to pioneer the transformation of grace that our world so desperately needs.
·      We rejoice in the loving and legal marriage of David and Jim.
As allies of Reverend David Meredith, members and friends of Clifton United Methodist, and believers in the beauty of truly inclusive community, we sign our names below as a testimony that love is always stronger than hate.