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Washington, D.C. -On Friday, December 13th, in observance of the December 14th one-year anniversary of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, Americans from a diverse array of religious backgrounds will again sound the moral drumbeat for gun violence prevention.
Together, as part of Faiths Calling, these faithful Americans from nearly 45 participating religious denominations and organizations will call their Senators to ask for their support of the Manchin-Toomey background check compromise. Participants include the National Council of Churches representing 37 Christian denominations, the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Jewish movements, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, the Hindu American Foundation, the Islamic Society of North America, the Sikh Council on Religion and Education and Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter's House megachurch in Dallas, Texas, among many others.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, with a history of bringing together unique coalitions of religious, moral and civil leaders in the pursuit of social justice, is again leading the religious community to mobilize for action against gun violence. Last February and April, moral activists participating in Faiths Calling (faithscalling.org) organized by the Religious Action Center placed 10,000 calls on each day to Senators. On the one year anniversary of the tragedy in Newtown, moral activists from coast to coast will come together again and say: enough pain, enough despair, enough injustice, enough inaction.
Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said:
"When 30,000 Americans are killed each year by gun violence, we recognize our moral obligation to speak out. Over the course of the past year, Americans from a vast array of faiths and traditions have joined together in calling on the Senate to pass gun violence prevention measures. As we approach the one year anniversary of the tragic shooting in Newtown, we are committed to addressing the epidemic of violence that plagues our communities."
Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman, Sikh Council on Religion and Education, said:
"The Sikh community supports any measures to stop the proliferation of deadly weapons in the American society. Too many innocent people have become victims of these senseless killings. Nobody should die and no one should have to suffer from this indiscriminate violence. We appeal to Congress to step in and show real leadership in this hour of need. It is a moral obligation to create safety for all, particularly our young ones."
Bishop TD Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter's House of Dallas, said:
"We have a moral responsibility to protect our society from the kind of violence that rocked Sandy Hook elementary school one year ago and that continues to devastate communities across the nation on a daily basis. We must take active and assertive steps now to close the gap between responsible gun ownership and senseless acts of violence."
Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby:
"People of faith believe in the sacredness of every human life, which makes curbing scandalous levels of gun violence a critical issue for our country. I find it incomprehensible that last years tragic Newtown shootings and the many hundreds of deaths since then have not led to responsible gun legislation. In fact, the U.S. has moved backwards in recent years when it comes to public safety laws. Stopping gun violence is a profoundly moral issue that demands immediate congressional action."
We cannot stand idly by while gun violence continues to affect our communities. Our religious teachings call on us to raise our voices to advance gun violence prevention measures in the Senate. Religious leaders from coast to coast will urge their congregants and communities to participate in this interfaith call-in day to demonstrate the faith community's continued commitment to preventing gun violence in America.