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In response to yesterday’s events at the U.S. Capitol, CCCU President Shirley V. Hoogstra shared the following statement:
“Yesterday was a day of anger, grief, and disbelief. At the CCCU, we share with all Americans a deep sadness that comes from this painful disruption to the peaceful transfer of power, which we have come to take for granted in America and which has been a model for the rest of the world. The chaos that flowed from this disruption cast fear into the hearts of many and put countless lives in danger, including our senators and representatives, as well as those who put their lives on the line to protect citizens and protestors. We also witnessed painful reminders of systemic racism and racial disparities that are so prevalent in our country.
As Christian educators who are committed to training and preparing the future citizens and leaders of democracies all around the world, part of our deep sadness comes from having this type of behavior modeled for young people. This breakdown of our democratic process provides us with a new sense of urgency in our responsibility to nurture and educate our future citizens and leaders.
The stakes were and are high for the world and its future today. America must retain and advance its leadership role as a standard-bearer for the beauty that is democracy. Other countries who ridicule democracy are gleeful at the desecration of the Capitol by a mob that does not represent American ideals and values. While it did not last long, and the checks and balances to the anti-democratic forces were ultimately activated, violence exposed the reality that our democracy cannot be taken for granted or undercut by stoked polarization and lies.
The CCCU affirms the congressional action that occurred last night, where the electoral votes were certified, and we are thankful for a continuing operation of a democratic process, asserting the effective system of checks and balances that achieved a constitutional result. We cannot give up on our institutions or on the ‘better angels’ of people’s character that can emerge in a time of crisis. We must commit that out of this chaos will come clearer thinking, clearer convictions, and clearer action.
Here is what we believe: We must stay the course as individuals and organizations who know that character matters, and that anything other than rule of law is reprehensible and will not prevail. We must stay the course and be praying for our leaders while also being involved as citizens in our governmental affairs. We must stay the course by speaking the truth with humility about what we observe and believe. At the CCCU, we will use our platform to speak the truth in love and always seek to cultivate America at its best, which we believe is fostered, in part, through Christian higher education. Yesterday we had both grief and grace revealed. We must not lose hope, and we must commit to truth shaped by love for God and for others. We will strive to do our part and will join others seeking to promote this common good.”