Joe Roos: ‘A Pledge of Resistance: My Letter to Donald Trump’

screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-4-10-04-amJoe Roos, Sojourners co-founder and Mennonite pastor, sent this letter below to Mr. Trump. I recommend that all individuals who are deeply disturbed by Mr. Trump’s white nationalist policies do the same. And that all houses of worship set up letter-writing campaigns with a similar letter tailored to their faith tradition.

Today I mailed the following letter to Donald Trump. I also sent similar letters to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. I share it with any of my friends on FB who want to read it, but not with pride or self-indulgence. I share it with you with some genuine fear and trembling and with the desire for you to hold me accountable to what I here say. This is my pledge of resistance to the principalities and powers of American Empire:

November 11, 2016

President-Elect Donald J. Trump
Trump Tower
725 – 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Dear President-Elect Trump,

I am a white, 70 year old pastor from California. As a follower of Jesus, I seek the path of inclusion, justice, peacemaking and love. Your campaign was dominantly about exclusion, inequality, the use of violence and hatred of the other. I will follow Jesus and not you.

Jesus spent his entire life living with and caring for the poor and the marginalized. He was once himself an immigrant and a refugee. And he strongly opposed and repeatedly confronted the political, economic and religious elite of his day, people like you.

If you pursue the policies you embodied during your campaign, the supremacy of white people over people of color, the literal and figurative creation of walls of division and hostility between people and nations, your misogynistic attitude and practice toward women, your disdain for the poor, disabled and marginalized, your disregard for and ignorance about the environment and your encouragement of the use of violence toward those who disagree with you, if your policies as President continue down that path, I make this pledge of resistance to you today:

I will oppose you and stand against you every day of your presidency following the example of Jesus of Nazareth, seeking peace, pursuing justice and living nonviolently, including actions of nonviolent civil disobedience against you. That is my promise to you and I keep my promises.


Joe Roos


  1. Hi, I am trying to locate an address or preferably an e-mail address for Joe Roos to see if he will give permission for me to share his letter on my Facebook account. Can you help me with this please?


  2. Joe,
    Just saw your article in the November “The Mennonite”, and now I see this letter to then President-Elect Trump. Aha! I think you must be the Joe Roos I knew when I was an InterVarsity staff member in Missouri in the late 1960s-early 1970’s and you (presumably) were President of the Inter-Varsity chapter at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Three cheers for your life trajectory to Sojourners and the Mennonite pastorate. Glad to see you still have prophetic fire and stay engaged in our country’s agony. After years in Brazil with InterVarsity’s equivalent there, then more years at InterVarsity’s national office in Madison, WI, I have retired. Beth and I are members of Peace Mennonite in Denver.


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