"When Will We Ever Learn?" by CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle

In a recent "Unite Rochester" blog post regarding the recent attack on Syria by the United States, CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle wrote:

"I am a devoted follower of the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. At the heart of those teachings is his view that racism, poverty, and militarism are the greatest obstacles to a democratic society. I was reminded of this "tri-partite" system of evil in light of the recent bombings of a Syrian airbase ordered by President Trump. The President said he was moved by the death of persons as a result of the use of chemical weapons. Granted, the death of nearly 100 persons by chemical weapons was horrific. However, it was the same Donald Trump who, as a civilian critic of President Obama repeatedly said that the US should never intervene in Syria even though over 400,000 Syrian civilians had already been killed by their own government through the use of conventional weapons. Is it the policy of the United States that the death of 400,000 Syrians by conventional attack is acceptable, while the death of 100 Syrians by chemical attack is unacceptable? What makes the attack ordered by Trump even harder to understand is that it did not hamper the war making capacity of the Syrian government. Our attacks have not in any way deterred them from using that very same air field for waging war against their own  people. No runways were destroyed. No war planes were destroyed. In fact, just two days later, the Syrian government used that same airfield to launch a conventional bombing attack against the same town they had attacked with chemical weapons last week.  While the news media spent the last 72 hours focusing our attention on the launching of 59 tomahawk missiles at a cost of $59 million, they have now come to realize that the Trump-ordered attack has changed nothing in Syria. Indeed, it may have made matters worse. One attack will not drive Basheer Al Hasad out of power in Syria, but it may provoke some unanticipated counter- attacks by Syria, Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah. Now comes the inevitable question: If Trump cares so much about the victims of chemical attacks in Syria, will he change his travel ban and allow into the US those Syrian refugees who survived that chemical attack and who are now trying to flee from that terrible war zone? Dr. King was right when he warned that war alone does not solve our problems. It just creates new problems that demand our response, consume our money, and endanger the lives of our military personnel. The world has become a much more dangerous place since the attack ordered by Donald Trump. Does he have a strategy for peace, or just "an itchy trigger finger?"

CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle: "Not the Republican Party I Once Knew"

CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle recently submitted this opinion piece to the Rochester, New York Democrat and Chronicle:

All of my life I have known the values for which the Republican Party has stood. When I was growing up in Illinois my US Senators included Republicans like Everett Dirksen and Charles Percy. When I lived in New York City in the 1970s the mayor was John Lindsay, the Governor was Nelson Rockefeller, and one of the US Senators was Jacob Javits; all Republicans. When I was in New Jersey I was honored to offer the invocation at the inaugural of the new Republican Governor Thomas Kean. When I lived in Ohio I worked closely with George Voinovich, a Republican who served as Mayor of Cleveland, Governor of Ohio, and then as one of our US Senators.

As a lifelong Democrat myself, there were always areas of public policy with which I often disagreed with those Republican leaders; especially involving financing for services to the poor and marginalized. However, I never doubted their integrity, their intelligence, or their patriotism. I no longer see or hear from the Republican Party I once knew.

This change in the party cannot be blamed on Barry Goldwater in 1964 or the emergence of Ronald Reagan in 1976. I doubt that either of them could win a national election today if they ran as Republicans. This new Republican Party is xenophobic, anti-immigrant, unashamedly pro-Wall Street, and seems determined to use voter suppression and conspiracy theories to promote their political agenda.

No major Republican political leader has confronted Donald Trump on his attacks on traditional allies like Great Britain, Australia and Germany. They have been strangely silent about his repeated lies about the size of his electoral college win, or the size of his inaugural crowd, or the millions of illegal voters in the 2016 election, or his claim that thousands of people from Massachusetts voted illegally in New Hampshire, or his promise to prove that he was innocent of eleven sexual assault charges, or his recent outrage that the British Secret Service was somehow involved in wire-tapping Trump Tower at the direction of President Obama.

Instead, you hear Congressman Steve King of Iowa spewing venomous notions about “other people’s babies,” and Steve Bannon and Steve Miller directing Trump into an increasingly white nationalist agenda that is being regularly applauded by David Duke of the KKK. You hear Chris Collins of nearby Erie County supporting or defending every word that comes from the mouth of Donald Trump.

This is not the once proud GOP – the party of Abraham Lincoln. This is not the party of Dwight Eisenhower who warned against the military industrial complex. This is not the party of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush who appointed Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice to be US Secretary of State.

We need a strong two-party system in our country, but we do not have one. The Democratic Party is devoid of new ideas and younger leadership. The Republican Party, either by consent or by silence, has lost its soul. In their song “Mrs. Robinson”, Simon and Garfunkel ask the question, “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?…Jolting Joe has left and gone away.”

The same seems to be true of what I remember about the Republican Party.

To read or share the piece online, click here:


CRCDS Stands in Support of our Jewish Brothers and Sisters

Members of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, including faculty, students and alumni/ae attended a "Rally Against Anti-Semitism" yesterday in Brighton, NY, joining almost 150 people to decry hate crimes taking place locally and across the nation against the Jewish community. Coverage from this event is included here: http://www.twcnews.com/nys/rochester/top-stories/2017/03/12/brighton-jcc-closed-due-to-bomb-threat.html

CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle is attending a press conference this afternoon condemning racism, prejudice and intolerance and standing in support with members of the Interfaith community of the Greater Rochester area.

Dr. McMickle published a blog post today in the Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle entitled, ""No Time for Silence" calling all of us to action. Read his message here:




CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle: "Cal Thomas missed the point entirely"

In a recent Letter to the Editor (Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle), CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle wrote:

"Cal Thomas missed the point entirely when it comes to the Johnson Amendment and Donald Trump's boast about having it repealed. The main focus of the 1954 Johnson Amendment to the IRS code was to prevent religious leaders from endorsing political candidates from their pulpits. It does no in any way prohibit religious leaders from commenting on political issues in general. The tax exempt status of a religious group would not be endangered if the leader of that group spoke openly about the Affordable Care Act, the Iran nuclear treaty, or the current immigration ban issued by Trump and halted by the courts. If, however, a pastor, rabbi, imam, or priest were to openly endorse any political candidate then seeking office at any level of government that would be a violation of the Johnson Amendment, and that group's tax exempt status would be at risk. I was the leader of a local religious community for 34 years, and I regularly commented on political issues. Some in the congregation may not have agreed with me, but I was never at odds with the Johnson Amendment or the IRS codes. This information is not hard to find. Perhaps Cal Thomas should do some basic research before he starts offering the wrong interpretation on a current event."



CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle: "The Real Issue is Voter Suppression"

CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle addressed Donald Trump's claim of voter fraud in the November, 2016 Presidential election in a recent "Unite Rochester" blog.  "The real issue," says Dr. McMickle, "is voter suppression."

Read Dr. McMickle's post here: