CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle: "Making Rochester White Again in Pittsford and Brighton"

CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle addressed the distribution of racist literature in two affluent Rochester, NY suburbs in his most recent Democrat and Chronicle Unite Rochester blog post. Read the post here:

"It has been two weeks since a group of white supremacists began passing out leaflets in the middle of the night in Pittsford and then in Brighton announcing their desire to make Rochester great again. When you go to their web site you find out how they plan to make their wish come true; they will make Rochester great again by making Rochester white again. There can be little doubt that this group is a local expression of the sentiments unleashed in the broader American society by Donald Trump’s announced intention to Make America Great Again. I will leave until another time the absolutely unfocused nature of what Trump means by make America great again. The assumption is that the greatness he has in mind resides somewhere in a past where women and minorities had not yet achieved the opportunities they now enjoy.. It is amazing how some people’s glorious past was somebody else’s terrible memory of oppression, exploitation, and suffering. I don’t want to make America great again as much as I hope to see America finally become the land of equal opportunity that has been its promise since its founding in 1776. Meanwhile, here in Rochester I am intrigued by the fact that the leaflets about making Rochester white again are being passed out in two predominantly white suburban communities. One would think that if there was some concern about making Rochester white again that those leaflets would be passed out somewhere in Rochester where most of the African Americans reside. Of course, that is the problem isn’t it? If those midnight messengers came into Rochester they might actually run into some Acrican Americans who might take great offense at the message on those leaflets. To the credit of the people of Pittsford and Brighton, they have expressed outrage over someone targeting their communities for this kind of message. I wonder why those who advocate this idea of making Rochester white again are only willing to spread their message in the middle of the night when there is less chance of them being identified? That was the practice of such hate groups as the KKK who did most of their hate-mongering in the dead of night. It is probably because, like most bigots, their ignorance is exceeded only by their cowardice. My address is 1100 S. Goodman Street in Rochester. Let’s see if the people behind these leaflets has the nerve to come to Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School at any time of day with their message of hate and intolerance. I will let the whole community know about it if they do."

Click here to view the blog online:



Kitty Van Bortel and Deborah Hughes receive the CRCDS "Women of Vision" Award

Kitty Van Bortel, President of Van Bortel Auto Group and Deborah Hughes (CRCDS '87), Executive Director of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House, received the Helen Barrett Montgomery Women of Vision Award at CRCDS on October 6, 2016. This award, given to women in leadership who embrace and promote the empowerment of other women, was presented during a luncheon as part of the school's Fall Lectures.

Kitty, a well-recognized role model for businesswomen in the greater Rochester area and throughout the nation, was selected as TIME Dealer of the Year in 2016. Committed to giving back to the community, The Van Bortel dealerships sponsor Camp Good Days and Special Times, the Susan B. Anthony Museum and House, Rochester Women's Foundation, the local chapter of the National Liver Foundation, AIDS of Rochester, Quad A for Kids, American Heart Association, Pluta Cancer Center, local Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, Pet Pride of New York, and Mercy Flight. A board member of the Susan B. Anthony Museum and House, Kitty has worked closely with Deborah in their shared passion to empower and inspire women.

Deborah leads the effort of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House to interpret the legacy of the great reformer to inspire and challenge individuals to make a positive difference in their lives and communities. She works to preserve and share the National Historic Landmark that was Susan B. Anthony's home and headquarters. As such, she oversees programs to collect and exhibit artifacts related to Susan B. Anthony's life and work, offers tours and develops interpretive programs for individuals and groups.

An ordained minister, Deborah has provided leadership for hurricane relief teams in New Orleans, flood relief in Iowa, and participated in peacemaking trips to El Salvador and the Middle East. She is a strong advocate for human rights and equal opportunities for all, especially those who suffer discrimination based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or economic circumstances.

Dr. Barbara A. Moore, Director of the Program for the Study of Women and Gender in Church and Society and Professor of Preaching and Practical Theology at CRCDS presented the awards.










Local news reporter interviews CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle regarding distribution of racist flyers

Rochester, NY WHEC-10TV reporter Rachel Spotts interviewed CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle last week after the discovery of racist fliers in a nearby neighborhood. The flyers utilized the tagline, "Make (Rochester) Great Again" and directed people to a white supremacy website.

Dr. McMickle was asked about the movement's motives and possible outcome. He said,  "We're not going back to anything. We're not going back to the 50s. We're not going back to the 60s. We're not going back anywhere. So, you'll just have to get used to the fact that the world has changed and neither Donald Trump nor [the racist website] can turn back the clock."

See the televised interview here:

"Using the Good Book for Bad Thoughts" by Dr. Marvin A. McMickle

On September 7, 2016, CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle published a "Unite Rochester" blog in the Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle entitled, "Using the Good Book for Bad Thoughts." Read the full text of Dr. McMickle's blog here:

As the LGBTQ community in this country continues to seek and oft times receive full acceptance in all areas of our society, I am shocked and ashamed of the fact that many people within the Christian church remain closed-minded and unwelcoming of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

What is especially troubling to me as a long-time pastor and now as a theological educator is how some people attempt to use the Bible to justify their bigotry on this topic. I repeatedly hear such persons quoting from Leviticus 18:22 that refers to same-gender sexual contact as an abomination.

There are two things about this approach that trouble me. First, there is the simple fact that Leviticus is a 10th century BCE document that reflects a culture and a communal life that has largely disappeared in the modern world; even in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv! More importantly, there is so much more in Leviticus that these Bible quoters seem free to ignore. In Leviticus 19 it says we should not place tattoos on our bodies. I have heard no preacher condemn tattoos. It says that men should not cut the hair at the side of their heads or trim their beards, but I hear no preaching against going to the barber shop.

That same chapter also forbids wearing clothing made of two different types of fabric; hence silk and wool, or polyester clothing should be condemned. Leviticus 19 states that we should be kind to any foreigners living among us (immigrants and refugees). Yet, the anti-immigrant rhetoric in our society is harsh and visceral. Leviticus 19 also urges us not to hold grudges against one another.  Why are the people who are so quick to quote Leviticus 18:22 and the evils of homosexuality so mute about what is found in the very next chapter, let alone the rest of the entire book?

Some Christians want to be able to embrace one favorite verse while ignoring all the rest. It does not and it cannot work that way. If there is one verse that all Christians should embrace perhaps it should be Leviticus 19: 18 that says, "love your neighbor as yourself." I would encourage every preacher to make this one verse the center of their theology.

You're invited to worship with us!

Did you know that CRCDS offers regular worship services each semester? Services are open to the public and reflect a variety of faith traditions and denominations. Services are held in the Samuel Colgate Memorial Chapel on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 4:15 pm.

Please note: On Tuesday, October 25, 2016 and Tuesday, December 6, 2016, services will be held at 11:20 a.m. in the Chapel instead of 4:15.

Please come and join us as we gather and worship together!