Back-to-School Should Not Look Like This
Members of Congress have the power to end gun violence through common sense gun safety reforms. Assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and bump stocks serve no purpose other than to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. They need to be banned. We need a license to drive a car and to get married. It’s long past time for a federal gun licensing program that would require not only comprehensive universal background checks, but the legal requirement that all guns be sold through licensed dealers. Senate bill S.42, introduced back in January to strengthen background checks, is stalled by Republican leadership which refuses to bring it up for a vote. No matter our political affiliation, we must all insist this bill move through the process immediately. Gun violence ought not be a partisan issue. Rural and urban, conservative to progressive—we are all vulnerable to gun violence and we must all be part of a serious, sustained, comprehensive response to this public health crisis. We implore all people of faith and conscience to share the Sandy Hook PSA with your Senators and Representatives and compel Congress to support common sense gun reforms that make all of us, and our children, safer. Here's how: -Click here to find your Member of Congress (https://www.callmycongress.com) and tweet or email Sandy Hook's amazing PSA (https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/campaign) to your Member of Congress. -Sign on to add your voice to those who are standing up against gun violence! P.S. Read more in our op-ed in USA Today (https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/09/18/sandy-hook-psa-gun-violence-school-shootings-not-inevitable-column/2354471001/). Rabbi Sharon Brous, Founding Rabbi, IKAR; Auburn Senior Fellow @SharonBrous Reverend Dr. Jacqui J. Lewis, Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church; Auburn Senior Fellow @RevJacquiLewis
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.
In Solidarity with the Tree of Life Synagogue, We Pray and We Pledge!
Today, we stand together in solidarity and love, as people from different faiths, backgrounds, and states. We stand with Jewish people across our country, understanding that attacks on one community’s sacred spaces fray the ties that bind us all. And we recommit ourselves to work with all people targeted by hateful ideologies and every form of nationalist violence. Pray and Pledge Add your name to tell the congregations at the Tree of Life Synagogue that you stand with them. Tell them what you’re praying for, and what good work you pledge yourself to in your community! E.g. “I pray… that I remember the humanity of my neighbors each day because tragedy calls us to expand our hearts.” “I pledge... to speak up and step in when I see someone being attacked in public for who they are.” “I pray… that the entire Jewish community of Pittsburgh feel our love and support through the days ahead.” “I pledge… to press my representatives to pass comprehensive gun reform, take a public stand against White nationalism, and take my values to the polls.” “I pray… that I have the courage to continue to welcome and tend to those in need.” “I pledge… to bear witness to the children in Tornillo and support the families HIAS helps resettle across the country.”