Standing against hate and violence

Standing against hate and violence

May 2nd, 2019 in Opinion Letters

As faith leaders from a number of traditions — Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Universalist, secular humanist, Buddhist — we have grown too accustomed to writing about acts of hate and terrorism.

And yet here we are again.

Just this year,

» We have stood in prayer and solidarity following the shootings perpetrated by a white nationalist at Linwood Islamic Centre and Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

» We have mourned as the sanctuaries of St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church were burned by a white nationalist in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.

» We have awakened to the shocking news of the Easter bombings, perpetrated by Islamic extremist groups in Sri Lanka: the Shrine of St. Anthony in Kotahena, Colombo, the Catholic Church of St. Sebastian in Negombo, the Zion Church of Batticaloa, as well as restaurants and hotels across the country.

And now, we find ourselves praying and mourning again, following another act of terror by a white nationalist who opened fire at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in San Diego.

Outraged by these horrific acts, we join with one voice:

» We condemn these acts of terror and violence.

» We condemn the violent, twisted ideologies that mistake our wisdom traditions for vehicles of hate.

» We condemn violent fundamentalism and violence motivated by religious bigotry.

» We condemn the sin of white nationalism.

Tethered close together by our care for all people, we raise our shared voice:

» We affirm that we as humans are equally created in the image of the Divine, and that supremacy belongs only to the Divine, not to any ideological perspective, racial or ethnic group.

» We call upon people of all faiths to consider how they, even unknowingly, participate in the spread of prejudice, or passively allow baseless hate to endure.

» We acknowledge that we do not have to be guilty to be responsible, and so we embrace the challenge of stemming the growing tide of fear which has too often led to violence, especially against religious, ethnic and racial minority groups.

Peace will only come when all of God's children learn to live side by side, better understanding and celebrating our differences with gratitude and loving acceptance of one another.

We commit to building that peace, salam, shalom.

And so we are here.

We hope you will join us.


Rev. Dr. Thomas O. Bagley

Rev. Laura Becker

Rev. Jocelyn Bell

Rev. April Berends

Pastor Troy Brand

Rev. Claire Brown

Rev. Suzanne Burch

Rev. Margaret M. Caldwell

Rev. Alaina Cobb

Rt. Rev. Brian L. Cole

Pastor Jeff P. Crim

Iris DeLaPaz

Rev. Jason Emerson

Rev. Gary England

Rev. Brandon Gilvin

Rev. Anna Golladay

Rev. David R. Hackett

Rev. Derrick C. Hill

Rev. Kim A. Hobby

Jonathan Hyde

Bassam Issa

Rev. Leyla K. King

Rev. Betty Latham

Rabbi Craig Lewis

Rev. Carol Howard Merritt

Rev. Charles Neal

Rev. Janice Robbins

Rev. Fayann M. Schmidt

Rev. Perry Scruggs

Rev. Judd Shaw

Josh R. Singh

Rev. Christopher A. Smith

Rev. Kate Stulce

Rev. John D. Talbird Jr.

Rabbi Susan Tendler

Rev. Dr. Clay Thomas

Rev. Dr. E. Jonathan Thomas

Rev. Tricia Dillon Thomas

Rev. Katharine Howe Toledano

Rev. Martha Louisa Tucker

Rev. James Wallace

Rev. Joshua Weaver

Rev. Ann G. Weeks

Rev. Brad Whitaker

Rev. Dr. Christal L. Williams

Rev. Scott Williamson

Rev. Joe Woodfin

Rev. Candace A. Worth

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