• LGBTQI Catholics and Allies: We support the Equality Act!
    The Equality Act, a bill jointly introduced in the US House of Representatives (HR 5) and US Senate (S. 788), would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The US House of Representatives voted in favor of passing the Equality Act on May 17, 2019. The bill now moves to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. If passed, it would provide consistent nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQI people in all aspects of their lives, including employment, housing, education, and more. These protections would occur at the federal level, ending the patchwork of protections that vary from state to state. It’s time for full and equal protections for all! The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops strongly opposes the Equality Act, using questionable arguments that are counter to our understanding of the Catholic faith. DignityUSA and our members represent the significant majority of Catholics who believe in equal protections for all vulnerable groups in society. In January 2019, the Pew Research Center found that 69% of Catholic Republicans and 84% of Catholic Democrats believe homosexuality should be accepted by society. DignityUSA has 50 years of experience advocating for LGBTQI acceptance in the church and society – and we’re not stopping now. Are you with us? Add your name and join us in telling Congress to pass the Equality Act today! LGBTQI people live in every part of our country, as members of virtually every family and deserve the full protections of our nation’s laws. This means equal access to public services, including health care, housing, education, and employment regardless of gender or orientation. It is time to remove the many structural barriers faced by the LGBTQI community for too long. It is past time to pass the Equality Act. Sign the petition and raise your voice in support of the Equality Act. Stand with the majority of US Catholics in who believe in respect and justice for all! Learn more at www.DignityUSA.org
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  • Sign to Support Moral Witness Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
    We know God hears the cries of God’s people who are suffering increasingly under the vengeful leadership and harmful policies of our current administration. Policies that ignore the cries of poor and sick people, children, immigrants and refugees, women, and, even yet, the cries of the lands torn open and polluted. We, as a nation, have lost our way. In such moments, God’s call to action is made known through the voice of the prophets: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression.” (Isaiah 58:1) As President Trump and his administration let the nation suffer, we must lead with a unified proactive and creative response that is not confined by “Right” or “Left”, Democrat or Republican, but is rooted in the clear moral Center of right and wrong. It is time to warn the nation and call this administration to repent of their sins. Friends, it is time for us to go together to the palace gates with a clarion call: --Stop the weaponization of judicial appointments! Attend to the 14th Amendment, the bedrock of equal protection under the law. Uphold the constitution. --Stop mandating a census question designed to ensure millions are uncounted! Attend to the 140 million poor and low wealth. --Stop the abuse of executive power to pollute our communities with pipelines and privatizing public resources! Attend to our water and air. --Stop the assault on the Affordable Care Act and on health care for women and children in poverty! Attend to the health of your people. --Stop the brutal treatment of the stranger at the southern border! Stop warehousing children in detention camps! End child detention. Attend to compassionate and humane immigration policies that affirm the divinity within all human beings. Instead of covenantal leadership for justice, compassion, healing and the empowerment of all, these sinful acts of the current administration pursue subjugation: subjugation of racial, religious, ethnic, and gender minorities; of women; of children; of the suffocating middle class, workers, family farmers, the poor, and people who fall sick; of immigrants and refugees; of the free press; of the Constitution; even of Earth, our common home. This hate-filled subjugation violates the Covenant. It must not stand. Just after Ramadan, Shavuot and Pentecost, hundreds of faith leaders will journey to DC. Of those hundreds, some may hear the call upon their spirits to engage in nonviolent moral action. Some may be called there as witnesses. But all are needed to bear witness together in this moment. The Scriptures do not call us to ideological purity tests or to precisely worded positions on each aspect of sensitive topics. Instead, Jeremiah calls to us at the heart of our deepest religious convictions and the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution: love, justice and equal protection under the law. We cannot be divided. We cannot be complacent. We must act so that people are called to a moral awakening. In the wake of the new post- Mueller report reality, we must deliver a moral report. June 12th becomes a bridge between the sacred festivals of the Abrahamic communities. The Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Interbreathing that gives life to ALL traditions, all communities, all life-forms, is speaking through us. We must journey toward freedom and awaken this country once more. It is time. June 12th. Signees: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II Moral Monday Architect President and Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach Co-Chair of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Rev. Traci D. Blackmon Associate General Minister United Church of Christ Rabbi Mordechai Liebling Director of Social Justice Organizing Program, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid Ameer/President The Muslim Alliance in North America Mother Dr. Ruby Sales Director and Founder of Spirithouse Project Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis Director, Kairos Center Co-Chair of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Rabbi Dr. Arthur Ocean Waskow Director, The Shalom Center Minister Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove Director, School for Conversion Bishop W. Darin Moore, AME Zion Presiding Bishop Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer General Minister and President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association Pastor Michael McBride National Director, FIA’s LIVE FREE Campaign Lead Pastor, The Way Church Rev. William H. Lamar IV Pastor, Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church Washington, DC Rev. Dr. Jacqueline J. Lewis Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church New York, NY Aisha Hauser, MSW Director of Lifelong Learning, East Shore Unitarian Church Bellevue, WA Rev. Dr. Christopher L. Zacharias Pastor, John Wesley AME Zion Church Washington, DC Rabbi Elyse Wechterman Executive Director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association Sahar Alsahlani Executive Council Member, Religions for Peace, USA The Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins Director of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness Rabbi Justus Baird Dean, Auburn Seminary * By signing this petition, you agree to receive emails and updates from Repairers of the Breach.
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  • Sonoma County — United in Kindness
    Communities like ours around the country—and around the world—are gathering in solidarity to denounce acts of violence and hate. An urgency for peace and reason is bubbling up like a geyser ready to burst in a powerful show of force for change. The Interfaith Council of Sonoma County (ICSC) invites you to take part in a campaign titled “Sonoma County—United in Kindness.” The painfully tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand, the Pittsburgh synagogue shootings and other horrific incidents underscore how compelled we are to take a stand. It is time. Let’s stop the fast-moving fire of hatred with a stream of tangible and sustainable acts in our workplaces and communities. First action: ICSC with your help will gather thousands of signatures on the declaration, Sonoma County—United in Kindness (see below). We’ve done this before with the 2016 campaign rejecting Islamophobia. Please sign the declaration yourself and share it with others on social media. Encourage friends, neighbors and strangers to envision Sonoma County—United in Kindness. Unify our community in a desire to build good will, harmony and kindness. Together, not alone, we can change our world and positively impact our neighborhoods, our workplaces, and how we treat each other every day. Next action: Take sensible actions for a sustained campaign to ensure a Sonoma County—United in Kindness. We will call on county and city officials, school district administrators, faith congregations, business leaders, police agencies, courts, radio and TV stations and other news media to embrace our vision and to come up with a sustainable plan of action. Dozens of local groups are already making progress toward positive change. To succeed, this important campaign needs each one of us. Can you see downtown lamppost banners with “Sonoma County—United in Kindness”? How would a county united in kindness feel to you? As our campaign moves forward, be part of the groundswell. Offer your ideas and work on projects that empower your vision. Keep up with our meetings and activities by reading email updates and announcements. Step forward now to create a safer, more humane and joyful community for ourselves and our children, a Sonoma County united in kindness. Sign the declaration! Pass it on! (Read the declaration text, below.) In hope and faith, Mohammad K. Jabbari Founding member, Interfaith Council of Sonoma County Chair, Sonoma County—United in Kindness Campaign UnitedInKindness@interfaithsonoma.org _________________________________ A Declaration of Unity by Sonoma County Residents SONOMA COUNTY—UNITED IN KINDNESS We the undersigned believe that freedom from hateful speech, bullying, discrimination, and violence is a human right. We believe all of us benefit from living in a diverse community. Everyone, especially children and youth, requires a place to grow and learn in peace and safety, guided in kindness and caring. We are proud that our half-million Sonoma County neighbors come from so many of humankind’s backgrounds, beliefs, and traditions in pursuit of joyful and healthful living. To sustain these strengths, we affirm trust in a social fabric that does not permit harm to individuals and groups based on distinctions of ability, age, appearance, ethnicity, gender identity, language, race, religion, sexual preference, and socio-economic position. We call on all Sonoma County residents to find ways to create this pluralistic social fabric. We call on our leaders in education, government, business, health, and faith to build, through education and initiatives in their areas of influence, a county that honors human rights. In recognition of these desires for unity, we jointly declare Sonoma County—United in Kindness. Sponsored by:the Interfaith Council of Sonoma County Endorsed by: Alternatives to Violence Project — North Bay Council • Appleseed Friends Meeting (Quakers) — Sebastopol • Comité VIDA • Commission on Human Rights of Sonoma County • Community Church of Sebastopol, United Church of Christ • Congregation Ner Shalom — Cotati, CA • Congregation Shomrei Torah • First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa • Homeless Action! • Indivisible Petaluma • Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative • Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California • Journey Center — Santa Rosa • Joyful Noise! Gospel Singers • LezResist! • Metropolitan Community Church of the Redwood Empire • Movimiento Cultural de la Union Indigena — Sonoma and Napa Counties • North Bay LGBTQI+ Families • North Bay Organizing Project — Santa Rosa • North Bay Organizing Project, Petaluma division • Of One Soul Project • Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County • The Peace Crane Project • Petaluma Community Relations Council • Presbyterian Church of the Roses — Santa Rosa • Racial Justice Allies of Sonoma County • Redwood Forest Friends Meeting (Quakers) — Santa Rosa • Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League • St. Patrick's Episcopal Church — Kenwood • St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church — Sebastopol • Unity Church of Santa Rosa
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  • Stand with Young People in Supporting LGBTQIA+ Inclusion in The United Methodist Church
    While the statement summarized here was originated by the youth and young adults of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, and originally presented for signatures during a young people’s ministry event in Sacramento, California on March 9, 2019, we believe it speaks for many others, both within and outside the conference and The United Methodist Church, who are disturbed by the church’s continued rejection of inclusive language toward LGBTQIA+ persons – and, in the case of the most recent action, the imposition of more punitive measures against non-compliant clergy. Our LGBTQIA+ siblings are beloved children of God, whose gifts are vital to the life of the church. We recognize that for many who identify as LGBTQIA+, church is a refuge. Consequences of rejection include (but are not limited to) mental health issues, homelessness, and suicide. We call for our beloved Church to act, and we will be ready to act alongside you, living out our founder John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules: “Do no harm. Do Good. Stay in love with God.”
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  • Remove the Deadline on the Equal Rights Amendment
    The Equal Rights Amendment is a U.S. Constitutional amendment that will empower women, reaffirm the rights of men, and allow for the U.S. Supreme Court Justices to provide protections for those persons in the LBGT Community as all people should be treated equally under the law.
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  • Actions, Not Words--Stand for What Is Morally Right
    We live in a nation where 250,000 people die every year from man-made conditions of poverty and suffering, where millions are denied access to affordable healthcare and a number of states are pushing systemic and surgical racism through voter suppression laws. And while the poor suffer across our nation, we see people—in our churches, statehouses and on Capitol Hill—hijack Dr. King and others leaders’ legacies, the Constitution and our moral and religious values to push an immoral agenda that suppresses our voters, restricts our healthcare, keeps the minimum wage down and calls for the funding of border wall. It is essential that our moral fusion movement of people of every race, color, creed, religion, class and sexuality challenges leaders in every state house across the country who preach hollow words then continue to oppress our poor and suffering.
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  • It is just to investigate allegations against Brett Kavanaugh before final vote
    Without a proper investigation, the Senate Judiciary Commiteeman and the full Senate can not possibly render a just and informed opinion on the standing of Kavanaugh as a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. Evidence could include witnesses accounts, medical records, and other sources that we can not possibly know of at this time. The Supreme Court renders decisions that impact every aspect of the day to day lives of all Americans. It is unfair to rush an appointment through without deference to collecting the facts that will allow a reasoned vote for or against a person being considered for such a position of power for decades to come. The American people deserve to know that any SCOTUS justice has the highest legal and moral integrity in serving the country in such an impactful way.
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  • Tell Congress to Stop Violence Against Children and Families
    Dear Senate Leader McConnell, Speaker Ryan, Senate Minority Leader Schumer and Minority Leader Pelosi, We are religious and moral leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. This summer, the Campaign launched the most expansive wave of nonviolent civil disobedience in the 21st century. In more than 40 states and Washington, D.C., thousands of people participated in this season of moral resistance, calling attention to the ongoing War on the Poor. This war, fueled by policies passed and endorsed from the state house to the congress to the White House, is especially violent towards our children. To address this pressing moral failure, we invite you to convene a hearing in September to focus on the policy violence against our children. We refuse to let our faith be used as a justification for policies that harm the most vulnerable in our society. We cannot tear families apart, nor can we jail them together. Children must be released to their families and families must be allowed to proceed through the asylum process outside of a jail cell. We must preserve foundational programs to children’s health and well-being such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). And all children deserve a quality public education free from fear of being pushed out and locked up. Anything less is a modern day form of violence and abuse against children. Our Campaign is made up of mothers in Flint whose children still cannot drink or bathe in clean water; fathers who fear police violence against their young boys; undocumented parents whose children have been taken away from them; indigenous communities whose next generations live and play in contaminated lands; youth who have lived in homes where their heat was turned off during the winter; low-wage workers who have skipped meals to feed their children; homeless teenagers abused by the juvenile justice system; veterans sent off to war that perpetuates violence against school children in countries halfway around the world, while their own families struggle to make ends meet; parents who have lost custody of their children because they could not afford to pay their water bills. These are not just isolated communities and individual stories, according to our research, there are 140 million poor and low-income individuals in this country; 43% of all American children live below the minimum income level necessary to meet basic family needs. There are nearly 14 million families who cannot afford water and at least 4 million families with children who are exposed to high levels of lead. LGBTQ youth represent up to 40% of the homeless youth population. At the US/Mexico border, there are 550 children who are still not reunited with their families. In states across the country, children are being starved and abandoned by pervasive policy decisions that cut vital programs. And around the world, women and children account for 68% of the rising civilian deaths from our wars. The Talmud reminds us “By the breath of children God sustains the world” (Talmud Bavli, Shabbat 119b). “Suffer the little children to come unto me,” Jesus said, warning elsewhere that “if anyone causes one of these little ones who trust me to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Like the prophets before him, Jesus insisted that children matter because they bear the image of God. For far too long, cynical political operatives have exploited our faith communities’ concern for children by claiming to be “pro-life” while supporting policies that harm children. From the border to the dining room table, children are being harmed by policies that put them last, placing boulders in their path. The violence perpetrated against children in these times is a moral emergency. We implore Congress to convene a hearing about this violence against our children. Somebody has been hurting our children and it has gone on far too long and we won’t be silent anymore. Sincerely, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II Co-Chair, Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis Co-Chair, Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Rev. Traci D Blackmon Executive Minister, Justice & Local Church Ministries The United Church of Christ Colin Christopher Director, Office for Interfaith & Community Alliances Islamic Society of North America Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray President, Unitarian Universalist Association Imam Khalid Griggs Imam, Community Mosque of Winston-Salem Vice President, ICNA Civic Engagement and Social Justice Islamic Circle of North America Rev. Jimmie Hawkins Director, Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness Rev. Teresa Hord Owens General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Bishop W. Darin Moore Chair of the National Council of Churches President of the Board of Bishops of the AME Zion Church Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Rabbi Elyse Wechterman Executive Director, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins National Council of Churches, Truth and Racial Justice Initiative Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove Red Letter Christians Rev. Dr. Anika T. Whitfield Arkansas, Tri-Chair Rev. Eddie Anderson Kait Ziegler California, Tri-Chairs Dr. Chanda Jackson-Short Delaware, Tri-Chair David Borger Germann Iowa, Tri-Chair Rabbi Alana Suskin Maryland, Tri-Chair Krystal Rose Michigan, Tri-Chair Borja Gutiérrez Rev. Ann Keeler Evans Nijmie Zakkiyyah Dzurinko Pennsylvania, Tri-Chairs Rev. Charles H. Rhodes Kerry Taylor South Carolina, Tri-Chairs Martin Hurley Tennessee, Tri-Chair Sherilyn Samuel Texas, Tri-Chair
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  • We Challenge Trump’s Evangelical Defenders To Live TV Debate About Faith & Public Policy
    As you can watch here (https://on.msnbc.com/2NX9ryx), MSNBC has offered to host this round table on faith in the public square. Please either respond to their producers who have reached out to you or let us know an alternate public venue in which you prefer to “give an answer for everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have,” as Scripture says we must always be prepared to do (I Peter 3:15). Sincerely, Bishop William J. Barber, II, Pres. & Sr. Lecturer, Repairers of the Breach Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis , Co-Director, Kairos Center for Religion, Rights & Social Justice Bishop Yvette Flunder, Presiding Bishop, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries Minister Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Director, School for Conversion
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  • The Open Internet is Under Attack. We Vow to Protect It.
    Two years ago, millions of us rose up in a movement to protect the open Internet, and we won. The open Internet is a space where all of us -- no matter the content of our beliefs, color of our skin, size of our wallets -- have an equal voice. We will not let President Trump's appointee overturn net neutrality protections. In this critical time, we need net neutrality now more than ever to fight and defend the future of our democracy. Our marches, vigils, petitions, and calls to action depend on organizing on an open Internet. So we vow to continue to champion faith and moral voices in the fight to protect the open Internet as a moral imperative. We, as people of many faiths and backgrounds, ask lawmakers to do the right thing as a moral imperative.
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  • Faith Leaders to President Trump: Don’t Use Religion to Discriminate
    The religious freedom upon which our nation was founded has allowed our country’s diverse religious landscape to flourish. The draft executive order flies in the face of that rich diversity by enshrining one religious perspective--on marriage, gender identity, health care, and the role of houses of worship in partisan politics--into law, above all others. This is neither what religious freedom means in the eyes of the law, nor what religion itself means to millions of Americans of faith. The religious freedom of individuals and organizations, including that of clergy and houses of worship, is already protected by the First Amendment and federal law. Additionally, we as clergy and faith leaders, stand by the right of anyone to hold beliefs that may differ from our own. But for many of us, supporting LGBTQ individuals and families is a principle of our faith, and that needs to be respected as well. Furthermore, freedom of religion guarantees us the right to hold any belief we choose and to act on our religious beliefs, but it does not allow us to harm others in the name of those beliefs. We are appalled by the widespread discrimination that this draft order would unleash across all areas of life--including in some cases with taxpayer dollars--on our congregants, our neighbors, our families, so many Americans we may never personally know, and indeed even many of us personally. As people of deep faith committed to a country that supports robust religious expression, and in the spirit of equality and justice, we urge you to return to the true meaning of religious freedom. We must never allow this precious freedom to be used to discriminate against broad swaths of our nation, including LGBTQ people, women, and children in foster care. We urge you to refrain from issuing this executive order or any substantively similar policies on their own, or as amendments to existing executive orders. Sincerely, Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life, Washington, D.C. Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Director, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, Washington, D.C.
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  • We Declare Revolutionary Love as the Call of Our Times
    We, people of faith and moral conscience, reclaim Valentine's Day as a Day of Revolutionary Love, Day of Rising. We resist all executive orders and policies that put people in harm’s way. We commit to fight for social justice through the ethic of love -- love for others, our opponents, and ourselves. On Valentine's Day, we will rise up across the U.S. and around the world in music, poetry, dance and action to declare that #RevolutionaryLove is the call of our times.
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