Shocking and Horrifying Statements
Sisters Home Visitors of Mary joined with sisters from other Michigan congregations in condemning the recent statements of Ron Weiser, Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and Regent of the University of Michigan. On Thursday March 25, Weiser referred to Michigan Governor Gretchen Witmer, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel as three “‘witches” to be burned at the stake. And he mentioned “assassination” as a possible action while discussing Republicans who had voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Leaders of Catholic Sisters congregations throughout Michigan issued this statement:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 29, 2021
STATEMENT OF LEADERS OF CONGREGATIONS OF MICHIGAN CATHOLIC SISTERS
CALLING FOR RON WEISER’S REMOVAL AS CHAIR OF THE MICHIGAN REPUBLICAN PARTY AND RESIGNATION AS REGENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
As women of faith whose congregations have served the people of Michigan – men and women, Republican and Democratic – for 1,084 collective years, we were deeply troubled and alarmed to hear University of Michigan Regent and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser refer to our state’s top three elected women officials as “witches” that the GOP’s “job now is to soften up” so that “when we have good candidates to run against them that they are ready for the burning at the stake.”
This language is not only abhorrent on its face, it poses a real and present danger to the three elected leaders and to all women in Michigan, giving bullies and abusers public license to vent their anger and vitriol on the bodies of real women in our cities, neighborhoods, and State Capitol. One in three Michigan families are already impacted by domestic violence and over 100 domestic violence-related murders occur in Michigan every year, according to Haven, a national nonprofit promoting violence-free homes and communities.
In our faith tradition, all people are made in the image of God. This kind of abusive language, displaying misogynistic contempt for women, is abominable. It has no place in our public discourse and is appalling coming from a Regent of one of our nation’s premier educational institutions. Chairman Weiser’s inflammatory aside about “other than assassination” as to how to deal with two Michigan Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump is both shocking and horrifying. No political party should associate itself with such deeply disturbing remarks, much less abide them in its own leader.
We call for Ron Weiser’s resignation as Regent of the University of Michigan and for his removal as Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, urging party leaders to clearly and unequivocally condemn these dangerous and alarming comments.
The Michigan Catholic Sisters issuing this call include the elected leaders of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids, Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Monroe), Home Visitors of Mary, Servants of Jesus, Marist Sisters, Mission Sisters of the Holy Spirit, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – West Midwest and Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph who comprise Region 7 of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).
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You can view a video of Weiser’s statements here. Watch the video here.
Public outcry over Weiser’s words continues to mount.
Late Saturday, one day before Palm Sunday when Jesus met with the Pharisees, Weiser issued a prepared statement in apology, saying “I apologize to those I offended for the flippant analogy about three women who are elected officials and for the off-hand comments about two other leaders. I pledge to be part of a respectful political dialogue going forward.” Earlier in the day the Michigan Republican Party issued a separate tweet, “Dana Nessel should spend less time on her manufactured outrage about an animated local political meeting and more time protecting victims of Larry Nassar.”