US bishops urge Americans to refrain from hate-filled speech

A poster encouraging love instead of hatred

The American Catholic Bishops came together to issue a statement saying that the anti-imigrant, anti-refugee, anti-Muslim and anti-Semetic sentiments that have been fueled and proclaimed publicly in the American society in recent years, have incited hatred in the US community.

According to Vatican News the statement was issued following recent hate-motivated violence in the country and appeals to all to refrain from using racist and xenophobic language.

Bishops Joe Vásquez of Austin, Frank Dewane of Venice, and Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux head up committees at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in their statement, urge Americans to “stop using hate-filled language that demeans and divides us and motivates some to such horrific violence.”

Motivating violence

The bishops recall this past week’s raft of gun violence in various parts of the country.

In Texas, 22 people died on Saturday in a mass shooting in El Paso. The perpetrator had posted a manifesto online saying his actions were a response to “the Hispanic invasion of Texas”.

The three US bishops also cite the 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, in which an anti-Semitist killed 11 people.

Another related incident was the 2015 Charleston shooting at the Mother Emanuel AME Church, in which a white supremacist killed 9 people at a Bible study.

Racism and xenophobia

Bishops Vásquez, Dewane, and Fabre express their deep concern over the racism that motivated these deadly attacks.

They also call on elected officials to heal the wounds caused by these shootings and to deal with the xenophobia and religious bigotry found at their root.

Specifically, the bishops ask US leaders to refrain from using dehumanizing language that polarizes people based on race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin.

Finally, the three US bishops call on all Americans to come together “as a great, diverse, and welcoming people.”