Progressive church advocacy group issues correction after spreading misinformation about Rittenhouse

A liberal mainline advocacy organization issued a correction to a previous statement spreading misinformation about Kyle Rittenhouse.

United Methodist Women, a faith organization affiliated with the United Methodist Church, released a correction to a Nov. 22 statement issued in response to the Rittenhouse trial containing inaccuracies of how 18-year-old Rittenhouse acquired his firearm.

"The original version of this statement said that Rittenhouse illegally purchased a weapon and crossed state lines," the Tuesday update states. "In fact, Rittenhouse gave a friend money to purchase the weapon for him because, at 17, he was too young to purchase it himself."


Dominick David Black, 19, was charged with two felony counts of intentionally selling a gun to a minor. Black entered a not guilty plea in May.

Despite the correction, UMW was critical of the Rittenhouse trial outcome.

"United Methodist Women is deeply troubled by the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse in the fatal shooting trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the dangerous nod to vigilantism it protends," UMW General Secretary and CEO Harriett Jane Olson added in Tuesday's statement.

Olson expressed concerns that "self-defense" arguments in court are not fairly applied based on how the courts have treated others, such as Trayvon Martin.

"The verdict also demonstrates that 'self-defense' is a legal right of the privileged and is not evenly applied, particularly in cases involving women domestic violence survivors, Black people, and other communities of color," the group continued.

Olson also affirmed a statement from decarceration advocacy group The Sentencing Project saying, "[Rittenhouse's] age didn't protect him from entering the adult system, but his Whiteness protected him from its consequences."

The 18-year-old's trial has been a political lightning rod, attracting controversy across the political spectrum. It has also led to media figures and activists spreading false claims about the trial and Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse was acquitted on Nov. 19 of all charges connected to him fatally shooting two men and injuring a third with a firearm.


United Methodist Women describes itself as "the largest denominational organization for women." The organization says it has 800,000 members and regularly promotes the "empowerment of women, children, and youth," "anti-racism and multiculturalism," and "economic and environmental stewardship and sustainability."

The United Methodist Church is a mainline denomination with an estimated 12.5 million members worldwide, with 6.67 million members in the United States, according to a 2018 survey. The denomination has dealt with tensions internally over a number of political and social issues, including a schism over homosexuality.

Original Location: Progressive church advocacy group issues correction after spreading misinformation about Rittenhouse


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