HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - It’s planned to be a night of faith-based responsibility.
On Sunday, Aug. 11, the First Presbyterian Church of Huntsville is hosting a panel on combating white nationalism in the Huntsville area.
Organizer Dexter Strong said the panel comes in response to the El Paso shooting, where the alleged shooter posted a white nationalist and racist manifesto before the attack.
“Exhaustion. I am tired of seeing this play out in our streets in America. No person should be scapegoated, no person should feel as though they cannot walk our streets, participate in our society without being the victim of violence,” he said.
“We cannot sit idly by and allow ideas which embolden white nationalism or any ideology of hate to become normalized in our society. That is a call we must take seriously.”
Strong said the panel will feature both traditionally progressive and conservative pastors coming together to spread a message of peace.
"No matter how you self-identify theologically, politically, no matter how you self identify denominationally, you have a vested interest in the eradication of hate."
The Rev. Travis Collins of First Baptist Church answered the call, and will be speaking at the panel.
“We are a patriotic city, and I love that about Huntsville. All good things though have this negative place, this shadow side, and the shadow side of patriotism is nationalism,” he said.
Collins also said Christians across the city should spread the idea that value does not come from being part of a group, but with ones relationship with God.
The panel is currently scheduled from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Panelists currently include:
- The Rev. John Bush (formerly of Grace Presbyterian in Madison)
- The Rev. Dr. Ellin Jimmerson
- Yalitza LaFontaine (immigrant justice activist)
- The Rev. Travis Collins (First Baptist in Huntsville)
- The Rev. Gregory Bentley (Fellowship Presbyterian Church)