We Commit to Physical Distancing and Social Solidarity
As leaders of faith and moral courage, we often call people together for worship, connection, service, and action. We now have an obligation to act to mitigate the worst impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This obligation includes canceling large group gatherings and encouraging community members to stop unnecessary travel and stay at home. As leaders, we're also called to help our congregations and communities stay connected. We know that while physical isolation can save lives, emotional isolation can be deadly. We call on every moral leader to lead now. Let's find new ways to deepen our faith, strengthen our fellowships, and support our communities while we're 6-feet or more apart! Sign on and share to promote #FaithfulDistance!
Poor People's Campaign Calls on United Nations to Hold Trump/U.S. Accountable for War Crimes
Dear Commissioner Bachelet, We write gravely disturbed, indeed outraged, by the death that is occurring because of our President’s rogue actions in the Middle East. His willingness to bypass congressional approval, violate international law, pardon convicted war criminals, implement harsher sanctions and abandon existing peace deals, sets a dangerous precedent that can have continued lethal and destabilizing results. The U.S. President's order to carry out a lethal drone strike violated the UN Charter's prohibition on the use of force. The assassination of General Qassim Suleimani represented an act of war against a country with whom the United States was not at war. Trump’s claim of imminent danger from Suleimani is unfounded and must be investigated. The threat to add new sanctions to Iran, and to involve the NATO military alliance, all indicate that the threat of war remains very real. Furthermore, we know that the majority of impact from these sanctions will be on the poor. We will not be silent as our president publicly announces willingness to commit a minimum of 52 violations of international law and war crimes — attacking civilian and cultural centers, including churches, museums, mosques and libraries in Iran. Further, Trump has said he would do it once again without authorization from Congress. Indeed, these are disturbing, world-altering actions which, if allowed, will bring war that could escalate to world-wide proportions. As U.S. moral advocates and faith leaders who understand our collective accountability to human rights for all around the world, we are requesting your immediate intervention in the present moral crisis. The United States, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, threatens international peace and security. The United Nations, beginning with its human rights system, must respond to its violations of human rights, its violations of international law and the UN Charter, and its violations of the laws of war. The lives of people in the Middle East and around the globe hang in the balance. The lives of those we represent — among the 140 million poor and low wealth in the United States, 43% of the U.S. population — also hang in the balance as the world teeters on the precipice of a devastating war. Dr. Martin Luther King taught us that “war is the enemy of the poor.” War is a crime against the poor civilians of Iran, Iraq, and the whole Middle East region, who pay for U.S. wars with the destruction of their lives, their health, their homes and their country’s environment. It’s a crime against the poor of the U.S. as well who pay with their tax dollars going to the Pentagon instead of to jobs, health care and a green new deal. And who pay with their lives and health through disproportionate service in the military. As a nation, we cannot seek goodness and peace while at the same time pursuing the evils of war. We cannot uproot systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the false moral narrative while embracing militarism and the war economy. We believe that the international community, through the United Nations, alongside mobilized social movements of poor and marginalized and committed people, must respond to these violations of human rights, the violations of international law, the threats of more war crimes to come. It is with profound humility and careful moral discernment that we are urging you to help hold our government accountable for making war on the Middle East and on its own people. Respectfully submitted, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II President, Repairers of the Breach Co-Chair Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis Executive Director, Kairos Center Co-Chair Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival [Following in alphabetical order] Joyce Ajlouny General Secretary, American Friends Service Committee Sr. Dottie Almoney ELCA Deaconess Community Rev. Traci D. Blackmon Associate General Minister Justice & Local Church Ministries The United Church of Christ Phyllis Bennis Institute for Policy Studies Bishop Yvette Flunder The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries Imam Khalid Griggs Vice President Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Roshi Joan Jiko Halifax Abbot, Upaya Zen Center Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins Director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness Rev. Teresa Hord Owens General Minister and President Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Reverend Dr. Alvin O’Neal Jackson Executive Director Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington Valarie Kaur Sikh activist Founder of the Revolutionary Love Project The Rev. Cindy Kohlmann Co-Moderator, 223rd General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Rev. Dr. John Mendez Pastor Emeritus of Emmanuel Baptist Church Progressive National Baptist Convention Rev. Mary Katherine Morn President/CEO Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Wendsler Nosie Sr. Former Chairman and Former Councilman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe Vanessa Nosie San Carlos Apache Tribal Member Sister Noreen Stevens ELCA Deaconess Community Rev. Dr. Robin Tanner National Director for Religious Affairs, Repairers of the Breach Minister, Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit, New Jersey Rabbi Arthur Waskow, PhD The Shalom Center Rabbi Elyse Wechterman Executive Director Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association Min. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove School for Conversion
Send Love & Solidarity to the Muslim Families of New Zealand: Pledge to Fight White Nationalism
On Friday afternoon, March 15th, a white supremacist opened fire in multiple mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. At least 50 people were killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in an act of "extremist rightwing violent terrorism." As people of many faiths and beliefs – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, Humanist, and others – our hands tremble with the horror at this bloodshed in a sacred space. This massacre was fueled by the same white nationalist hate that led to mass shootings against other communities of color in their houses of worship -- Sikhs in the gurdwara of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Black Americans in Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina, and Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We move swiftly to show the Muslim community of New Zealand worldwide solidarity. Prayers mean nothing without action. This act of mass violence was the result of white nationalist ideologies that we all have the power to eradicate. In signing, we express our shared grief and moral outrage, and we pledge to call out hate in all its forms -- in our schools, workplaces, houses of worship, and homes. We recognize that white nationalism is a global epidemic. We pledge to take action to dismantle white supremacy in our institutions and cultures. And when we grow tired, we will remember the faces of those who have been killed and take one another's hands and continue our labors for love and justice in their name.