We are a movement of Christians who believe that our faith compels us to take action on social and political issues. Our activism is rooted in the belief that every person is made in the image of God and deserves dignity, justice, and compassion.
THE OCUC STATEMENT
We, the Ottawa Coalition of Unifying Christians (OCUC), a coalition of congregations, clergy, and Christians in Ottawa County, believe God calls us to take a public stand on issues that impact the common good of all residents of this County. Our churches do not endorse or reject individual candidates for public office, but do strive to support policies and programs which benefit all of our neighbors and speak out against those which do not. Furthermore, as individuals, either clergy or laity, we are distressed by the continued actions and statements made by members of the Ottawa Impact organization in their elected positions on the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners.
In our commitment to enhance, protect, and serve a greater common good, together we now say:
We affirm the sacred dignity of every human being, no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, economic status, religion, background or ability. We reject any policies or programs that would undermine the dignity or inhibit the well-being of any resident of Ottawa County.
We believe that the rights of each individual are intended for the personal and common good. We reject interpretations of “freedom” which encourage potentially harmful actions endangering other residents of Ottawa County.
We support the proper separation between church and state as one of the constitutional foundations of our country. We reject claims that individual views can supersede established municipal, state, and federal laws outside of the governmental and civic due process on which our residents depend.
We believe that our nation’s founding was predicated upon freedom of religion and celebrate the way that founders of a variety of faith traditions (and those with secular worldviews) sought to create a more perfect union. We reject the notion that our identity as a nation is solely Christian or privileged by God above others. We acknowledge historic injustices done to Indigenous peoples and people of color as we strive to actively address the sins of Christian nationalism, racism, sexism, and other systemic issues which perpetuate harmful divisions and inequalities among us today.
We celebrate that households take many shapes and forms in Ottawa County and we support parents as they seek to navigate the world for those in their care. We reject the claim that any parent has the right to either limit the educational opportunities of others’ children in a public school setting or set aside health requirements meant to protect all children and those who work with them.
We support the healing and reconciling work previously performed by Ottawa County’s Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We grieve the manner in which this Office was eliminated, its employees treated, and residents of our County deprived of its services.
We value good stewardship of resources, financial and human, and reject personnel decisions and other actions which have brought unnecessary legal, organizational, and other costs onto all the residents of Ottawa County.
We give thanks for the achievements of our Ottawa County Health Department and the work of organizations that provide needed health services. We affirm the role of physicians, mental health practitioners, and educators in determining public health and educational policies. We reject the devaluing of such professionals as they seek to care for all residents of our County.
Healing and reconciliation are deeply needed in Ottawa County, a place which has been and can continue to be a place where all belong. We call on elected leaders to support the common good of all residents. We encourage all residents to be active and informed participants in local governance and to support candidates and policies that will advance the common good.
We also value the rights and perspectives of those of other faith communities and all people of goodwill who may share our concerns. We stand with them and will support them in their own advocacy and action.