Belfast minister joins clergy for protest at Sen. Susan Collins’ Portland office

Posted:  Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 12:45pm

PORTLAND — On Thursday, December 7, at 11 a.m., Maine faith leaders held a ”moral witness,” calling on Sen. Susan Collins to reject the tax bill that gives massive tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and powerful corporations, funded by raising taxes on middle class families and slashing funding for Medicare, Medicaid and education.

They planned to renew a Moral Declaration they delivered to Sen. Collins last week, and calling on Sen. Collins to remember her commitment to the wellbeing of all Mainers, according to a news release from Moral Movement of Maine. Faith leaders said they would publicly pray, sing, and read Bible verses highlighting the commands to protect poor and vulnerable people.

Those participating clergy included:

Rev. Allen Ewing-Merrill, HopeGateWay United Methodist Church, Portland
Rabbi Joshua Chasan, Bend the Arc Greater Portland, Portland
Rev. Jim Gertmenian, United Church of Christ, Portland
Rev. Maria Anderson-Lippert, St. Ansgar Lutheran Church, Portland
Rev. Donald Rudalevige, United Methodist Church, Cape Elizabeth
Rev. Meg Queior, United Methodist Church, Belfast
Rev. Shantia Wright-Gray, United Church of Christ, Ocean Park
Rev. Jonathan Wright-Gray, American Baptist Church, Ocean Park
Rev. Tamara Torres, Woodfords Congregational Church UCC, Portland
Rev. Myke Johnson, Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church, Portland
Rev. Carie Johnsen, Unitarian Universalist Community Church, Augusta
Rob Levin, Esq., Portland Friends Meeting, Portland

"In the United States we are experiencing a massive redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top, from the poor to the rich. The tax bill currently before Congress, if passed, will simply exacerbate that problem,” said Rev. GertmeniaAs a person of faith, I believe that this is an affront to God. As an American, I believe that it will do profound damage to our country's social fabric. We are better than this, and we must regain our moral footing."

"Our faith calls us to take care of our neighbors,” said Rev. Allen Ewing-Merrill, in the release. “Our faith calls us to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God. We call on Senator Collins to do the right thing for her constituents and to listen to God's call at this pivotal moment by opposing this unjust, immoral, and harmful piece of legislation that prioritizes the 1% of wealthiest Americans and greedy corporations over nearly all Mainers."