Bishop’s Statement

May 31, 2020

Statement of the Rt Rev’d John Bauerschmidt, Bishop of Tennessee, on the recent Nashville rally against police violence, and the confrontation that followed:

Episcopalians in Middle Tennessee join with many others in decrying the ongoing incidents of violence in our nation over the past few weeks, directed against individual African-Americans. The expectation of safety for all is a foundation of civil society. In its absence, we acknowledge the anger generated, in members of the community and members of the church. We share a passionate commitment to change in our society, and to racial reconciliation.

As Christians, we believe that Jesus gathers around him a community drawn from every “tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). In this community racism has no place. We commit ourselves anew to this vision, in our church and in our community. We commend to you the work of the Beloved Community in our diocese. We pledge ourselves to live further into the call to respect the dignity of every human being.

Peaceful assembly and protest are cherished rights of citizens, and can advance justice; but violence undermines them, and works against the safety of all. The acts of vandalism and violent confrontation that took place following the recent rally in Nashville have been condemned by the leaders of the protest. We share their concern. Please continue to pray and advocate for justice and peace in our city, in our region, and in the world.

  • Bishop John