Local Religious Leader’s Statement About Hate Pamphlets

August 16, 2022

HORNELL, NY – From The Rev. Griffis:

Representatives from several worship communities in Hornell and the surrounding area have been meeting since July 15 about the hate flyers distributed in town. People wishing to learn more about our meetings may contact Katherine Griffis: kgriffis@presbyhornell.org. Today we announce plans for a peaceful walk in Hornell on Saturday, September 24, details to follow. We also release the following signed statement:

“Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious…” Amos 5:15

We the undersigned condemn the actions of all that spread hate and fear. Recently, three people distributed neo-Nazi pamphlets to three houses of worship and elsewhere in Hornell. This was an indecent and intolerable assault on the fabric of our community. It violates every standard of decency according to which each of us in our community should treat one another.

We the undersigned representatives of local religious communities stand united in calling out this action for what it is: an act of intimidation and hatred. We also call for a time of reflection and repentance within our religious communities considering questions such as:

Ø How is it that the culture in which we live allows for such brazen actions of race-, ethnic-, and religious-based hatred?

Ø Have we been blind not to see what was growing among us?

Ø Have we been silent when we should have spoken up?

We call ourselves and our religious communities to account for our failures in shaping our own, and our neighbors’ hearts to love justice, peace, and mercy. We confess that we have been an inadequate voice for love, wisdom, and reconciliation.

Even as we pledge to work on what is broken in our own lives, we call on all our fellow citizens in the community of Hornell and the surrounding towns to be bold in a public repudiation of what has taken place. These actions are not okay. It is not okay for us to turn a blind eye or be silent when we encounter such things. We do not look away. Rather, we join together and take a stand against hatred, bigotry, bullying and intimidation.

(Signed) this 16th day of August 2022,
Rev. Stanley Kacprzak
Rev. Dena Stevens
Rev. Bruce Incze
The Rev. Katherine B. Griffis
Marcia Casterline
Marseena Harmonson
Barlow L. Hopson
Peg Gefell
Paul J. Frazier
Arthur L. Greil