WATER Reaffirms Commitment to Democracy

January 7, 2021

The Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER) condemns attacks on democratic institutions and the people who work within them. We recognize that the strength and beauty of our political system is that all people are equal with rights and responsibilities under the law. No one is without rights; no one is exempt from responsibilities. We reaffirm our commitment to democracy.

On January 6, 2021, the United States of America suffered a body blow to our democracy at the hands of Trump-inspired insurrectionists. Indelible images document a violent effort to replace the rule of law with the rule of white supremacists bent on perpetuating their privilege and power despite clear election results. This event, the culmination of years of divisive tactics, is a stark reminder that a democracy is only as strong as its people. Fortunately, many people, including first responders, journalists, and congressional workers, showed their strength for which we are grateful.

Non-violent social change is part of our national heritage, bolstered by many religious traditions. What happened on January 6, 2021 was the opposite, the kind of malicious madness designed to upend social institutions, frighten the populace, and cement the status quo. It did not work. That this violence took place during the height of the ravaging Covid pandemic only heightens risk and renders the acts more sinister.

The U.S. Congress was back in action scant hours after law-breaking individuals invaded their chambers, forced members into hiding, put bullet holes in the walls, smashed windows, ransacked offices, and left four people dead. WATER applauds the resilience of elected officials and their staffs who finished their appointed task of certifying the results of a legitimate election. That is how democracy works. Americans will tolerate nothing less moving forward.

We thank our many friends and colleagues, especially those from around the world, who have expressed their solidarity and their good wishes for our well-being. WATER is more determined than ever to create spaces and ideas, relationships and projects emanating from feminist religious commitments that encourage intersectional justice and foster global peace. As we join our efforts with those of so many people of good will, we are deeply hopeful for brighter days ahead.

In solidarity,
Mary E. Hunt and Diann L. Neu
WATER Co-founders and Co-directors