• Sign the Faith Community Letter to President Obama on the Addiction Crisis
    Addiction to alcohol and other drugs is an insidious public health crisis, impacting more than 85 million Americans. For too long, too many people have remained silent. The time is now to end that silence, and we urge the Obama Administration to join with our movement on October 4, 2015 when the UNITE To Face Addiction Rally will take place in Washington, DC. As faith community leaders, we support this effort because: WE WITNESS daily how the lack of understanding about recovery and addiction prevents individuals from living fulfilling lives. WE RECOGNIZE that urging individuals to speak out publicly about their recovery – and to encouraging families to share about their loss – will remove the shame of addiction. WE COMMIT to expanding the range of recovery ministries, programs, and resources that allow people seeking help to set their own goals and build on their strengths as individuals. WE SPEAK with a unified voice in a movement dedicated to developing comprehensive, long-term solutions to the devastation of addiction. WE VIEW the inclusion of a diverse representation of faith traditions as a key to solving our nation’s addition crisis. The groundswell for change requires hands on involvement at the basic unit of all faith traditions: the congregation. As faith community leaders, we are ready to make a difference. With the help of you and your Administration, we can ignite a growing movement to solve our nation’s addiction crisis.
    999 of 1,000 Signatures
    Created by Bradley Reichard Picture
  • Say No to Hate! Sign a letter of support to Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer in Georgia
    Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer was desecrated by a spray painted hate message that quoted Leviticus 18:22 and threatened the church with burning. “We are clear this is not just vandalism; this is life-threatening hatred. When people who cite chapter and verse to send others to hell, they are usually prepared to personally send you there,” said Global Moderator Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson. “It is sad that we have to remind people that hate is not a Christian value.” “As an African American woman, I know that hate is hate. Whether it is the shooting of the Charleston nine, burning of churches, or spray painted threats on church doors, the intent is to silence us with fear for our lives,” said the Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, MCC Director of the Office of Emerging Ministries. “We will not be silent! Silence will not protect us. It will only embolden those who use guns, torches, and spray paint because they have not opened themselves to the power of love.” Send your love by adding your name, and if you can go the extra mile, make a donation for the repairs and the security system at: http://www.gofundme.com/mccofourredeemer
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    Created by Elder Nancy Wilson Picture
  • Tell Congress Religious Liberty Doesn't Mean LGBT Discrimination
    The religious liberty upon which our nation was founded has allowed our country’s diverse religious landscape to flourish. Recently, however, what we have seen promoted as defending religious liberty too often reflects one particular religious perspective that does not at all respect that diversity of faith and belief, or the intent of our Founders. We believe that the First Amendment Defense Act does not respect the spirit of religious liberty—nor does it reflect fundamental values of treating all people with fairness and equality—and we therefore strongly oppose this legislation. Further, though people of faith are not a monolith and all are not in agreement on whether their faith sanctions LGBT relationships, we cannot in good conscience support legislation that favors one religious viewpoint over another and in the process discriminates against LGBT people, single mothers and unmarried couples. The religious freedom of individuals and organizations, including clergy and houses of worship, who object to same-sex marriage are already protected by the First Amendment and federal law—and we, as clergy and faith leaders, continue to stand by the right of others to hold beliefs that may differ from our own while recognizing that for many of us, supporting LGBT individuals and families is a principle of our faith. Rather than protecting the First Amendment, this legislation actually undermines true religious liberty. The religious liberty on which our nation was founded guarantees us the freedom to hold any belief we choose and the right to act on our religious beliefs — but it does not allow us to harm or discriminate against others or to infringe on the religious beliefs of others. By opening the door to unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people, single mothers and unmarried couples, this legislation does nothing to protect our rights as people of diverse faith traditions and it has the potential to do considerable harm in the name of religion. For example, were this bill to become law it would: • allow an organization to accept federal funds to run a homeless shelter or drug treatment program but then turn away from that program LGBT people or anyone who has a sexual relationship outside of marriage; • allow hospitals to refuse dying patients visitation from their spouse or designated support person; and • permit a government employee to deny services they have a duty to provide, including Veterans or Social Security benefits to a surviving member of a same-sex couple. We are also troubled that this bill is so broad it could even prevent the federal government from enforcing longstanding laws designed to combat discrimination and promote equality. For example, it would let commercial landlords violate fair housing laws by refusing housing to a single mother based on the landlord’s religious beliefs and allow businesses to violate family medical leave laws by refusing to let a gay or lesbian employee care for a sick spouse. As people of deep faith committed to a country that supports diverse, robust, and healthy religious expression and in the spirit of equality and justice, we urge you to oppose the First Amendment Defense Act.
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    Created by Stosh Cotler Picture
  • HALT Solitary Confinement! #together23
    New York State prisons and jails subject thousands of people every day to the torture of isolated confinement, often for minor rule infractions. People are held in their cells 22 to 24 hours a day, for months, years, and even decades at a time without any meaningful human contact or programming. People of color are disproportionately subjected to isolation, and particularly vulnerable groups, like young people and people with mental health needs, are disproportionately held in isolation. These conditions amount to torture and must stop! Want to learn more? Watch the National Religious Coalition Against Torture's doc, Breaking Down the Box. http://www.nrcat.org/torture-in-us-prisons/breaking-down-the-box https://player.vimeo.com/video/129764024
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    Created by CAIC Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement Picture
  • Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Take Down That Flag!
    On June 17, 2015 one young, white man filled with hate accepted the hospitality of nine African Americans and then massacred them. His descent into hatred is well-documented. He has provided a gallery of photos glorifying racist logos and images. We can do nothing to assuage the grief and shock of those who mourn the Charleston Nine. But we can make their slaughter stand for something. We can take action against the display of the flag that motivated the murderer of the Charleston Nine, the latest but certainly not the first, to put into violent action the message of a flag that represents hatred and bigotry.
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  • Stand in Solidarity with Families of Charleston Church Shooting
    On Wednesday night, a gunman opened fire in a historic African American church – at least 9 people were killed, including the pastor. The shooting is the largest attack on a faith community in recent US history. As people of many faiths and beliefs – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, Humanist, and others – our hands tremble with the horror and grief of this bloodshed in a sacred space. We must move quickly to show the community of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church our solidarity, and that we are equally horrified by this shooting. We stand with the Charleston community and reject the hateful actions of this shooter. And we pledge our love and support as the community mourns and begins to heal.
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    Created by Valarie Kaur Picture
  • Stop Darlin from being deported! Pare la deportacion de Darlin!
    Darlin's wife and children need him home in Philadelphia. His wife Juana has a severe heart problem that requires open heart surgery and cannot work. Darlin's emotional and economic support for his family - all of whom are citizens - is critical. Darlin is part of the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia community, and we all want him in Philadelphia where he belongs. Darlin is supported by New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia and the Congress of Day Laborers/New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice. If he is deported, Darlin's wife and children cannot return to Honduras to live with him because of his wife's severe health condition. The government support the family receives because of his wife's medical conditions is not enough to meet the financial needs of the family. Darlin was involved in a fight and served a 12-month sentence for a misdemeanor charge in a Philadelphia jail. We believe that Darlin already paid for his crime and to deport him back to Honduras not only is a double punishment, but further punishes his family. We believe in second chances for all people and that Darlin has already repented personally and through the criminal justice system. Further punishment goes against our faith values and will only cause more suffering. Darlin is a loving father and husband who has the support of the Philadelphia community. Please stop his deportation!
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    Created by Nicole Kligerman
  • Tell the Cleveland Indians it's time to change their racist name and mascot
    My name is Toni Buffalo, I am a Lakota person of faith and a member of the United Church of Christ. I started this petition because it is time for the Cleveland baseball team to change their racist mascot and inappropriate team name. To me, this is personal – as a Native American woman, a mother, a grandmother and an educator I see the impact of this harmful imagery on our Native youth and students. When our culture is boiled down to a stereotypical team name or a racist team mascot that falsely represent 2.9 million people and 566 federally recognized tribes, the result is our young people suffer and cannot reach their full potential as God’s children. For all youth to grow up in a world that is healed of prejudice, we must dismantle the racist imagery and names in our society. Our indigenous tradition teaches us that we are all relatives to one another through Mother Earth. Our faith tradition tells us that we are all created in God’s image. Holding on to racist images and inappropriate names only serves to injure our common humanity and to disfigure God’s image in all of us. For more than 100 years, the Cleveland baseball team has adopted the name “Indians” and perpetuated the myth of Indigenous peoples as savages in this continent. It's the same negative stereotype that was used to justify genocide and land theft from our communities. The racist caricature of Chief Wahoo is similar to the smiling face of Little Black Sambo and equally offensive. There is nothing funny or endearing about racism. Join me and people of faith around the country in calling on the Cleveland baseball team to change their racist mascot and inappropriate team name!
    3,379 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Toni Buffalo
  • Tell Senator Mark Kirk: Protect migrant child refugees fleeing violence and poverty
    Imagine you are a child seeking relief from violence and extreme poverty. You’ve left the only home you’ve ever known. You make it to America. You are tired, hungry, and disoriented. What happens next? Thank God you are covered by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), which says you must be transferred into the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within a period of 72 hours. It also protects your basic rights to due process and ensures that you have a day in court to share your story. For migrant children from Mexico, who have not been granted the same protections under TVPRA, their arrival marks the beginning of another series of traumas. In a short span of hours, these children are “screened” by inexperienced border patrol agents, who decide whether or not the child deserves to stay. Kids as young as 5 years old are expected to coherently describe the violence and abuse they have experienced to these agents, who look just like the corrupt and violent police authorities they saw at home. Studies [1,2] reveal that 96% of Mexican children are summarily deported to the countries they escaped, despite many of them having legitimate claims or basis for relief. If the TVPRA is rolled back, this could be the plight of ALL migrant child refugees looking for safety and relief at our borders. As the situation of Mexican children shows, we cannot afford to rollback the TVPRA! OUR VALUES We at the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN) are part of the Unaccompanied Children’s Interfaith Ministry of Chicago. We witness the children’s stories, prayers, and dreams, and are compelled to protect them. Our scriptures command us to care for widows and orphans and we are driven by the demands of our faith to protect our neighbors in need, especially the little ones. Our values are also backed by international policy: The U.S. is required to provide protections and due process to refugees who are arriving at our borders, especially when they are children. Our representatives need to be reminded: Without the TVPRA, the U.S. will be endangering the safety of refugee migrant children and will be in grave violation of international conventions. TAKE ACTION This year, fewer children are expected to arrive in search of refuge, but the TVPRA remains under attack. This is unacceptable. Senator Mark Kirk has shown tremendous leadership in human rights issues before. Most recently, he co-formed the Senate Human Rights Caucus. Ask Senator Mark Kirk to be a champion for unaccompanied children! Tell him: Stand by these children and oppose any efforts and provisions aimed at circumventing the TVPRA and the right of migrant refugee children to due process and safety. We must show compassion and love towards unaccompanied children. [1] https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/120214-expeditedremoval_0.pdf [2]http://americanimmigrationcouncil.org/sites/default/files/UNHCR_UAC_Monitoring_Report_Final_June_2014.pdf
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    Created by Lissette Castillo
  • Tell the NY Wage Board: Fast Food Workers Need $15
    A few weeks ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the appointment of a Wage Board, which could dramatically raise pay for hundreds of thousands of fast-food workers across New York state. Now the Wage Board is seeking input from New Yorkers, and as people of faith, we must speak out on behalf of low-wage workers and their families. The announcement of the Wage Board is a huge deal. And let's not forget how we got here: For two and a half years, our underpaid brothers, sisters, and allies have organized with a moral mandate for $15/hour. Leaders like Jacquie, a McDonalds worker supporting a family in Albany, have courageously told their stories and called out low pay and poor working conditions. Their courage and commitment has made this moment possible. The New York Times reported: "workers and labor organizers have made a compelling case for $15 an hour; Mr. Cuomo even cited their reasoning in calling for a Wage Board." We have Gov. Cuomo's attention. Now let's keep up the momentum and make sure the new Wage Board hears us as it makes its decision. The Wage Board will hear the economic argument from business leaders, and the legal perspective from lawyers. It's our job as people of faith to bring the moral fire – to demand that we honor the inherent worth of every person and the dignity of all work, to demand that we care for our neighbors, to demand that we protect the most vulnerable. Sign and share the petition and we'll deliver it to the Wage Board to show that $15 IS THE MORAL AND JUST THING TO DO – and that people of faith and moral values all across New York State stand with our fast-food workers for $15.
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    Created by Emily McNeill Picture
  • Tell Pennsylvania's State Legislature: Our Kids Deserve Full, Fair Funding for Schools
    In the biblical story of Exodus, Pharaoh tells his field hands to stop giving straw to the enslaved Hebrews as they make the bricks to build his pyramids. “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks,” Pharaoh says. “Let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before.” (Exodus 5:7-8) The same thing is happening in Pennsylvania today – more and more is being demanded of our children across the state, but there are fewer and fewer resources to educate them. Our schools are underfunded and Pennsylvania has the largest funding gap between rich and poor districts in the whole nation. Meanwhile, families are asked to shoulder more and more of the burden for school funding. To get the to promise land of fairness and justice, we call on the PA State Legislature to pass a new funding formula this year (we’re the only state in the whole country without a fair and consistent way to decide how much funding our schools get!). We also call on them to have the moral courage to transform our tax system so we will have enough revenue to provide a 21st century education for all of our kids. As people of faith in Pennsylvania, we believe every child is made in the divine image and deserves our full investment. As people of faith in Pennsylvania, we say Never Again to our children dying during the school day without full-time nurses present. As people of faith in Pennsylvania, we demand arts, music, small class sizes, and all the resources that will allow our children to thrive, not just survive. We have enough resources to educate every child, so why are our public schools so underfunded? The answer is a deep moral crisis. Governor Wolf has proposed an increase in state education spending for next year… but it’s only 15% of what is needed to fully fund schools and it doesn’t undo shameful racial bias in how funds are distributed. And, at the same time that we are being told there’s only enough to fund a fraction of our children’s education, the Governor’s plan also proposes a decrease in taxes to corporations. That’s like telling the enslaved Hebrews there isn’t enough straw, while letting wealthy supporters hoard it. We need the Legislature to take the lead on full, fair funding that doesn't come disproportionately on the backs of our families. Since March 23rd, clergy, parents, and whole faith communities across the state have been fasting for a day or more to call attention to the urgent need for corporations to pay their fair share so we’ll have full and fair school funding. We’ll keep fasting until June 30th, the deadline for the Legislature to pass a budget. Show your solidarity with our fast by signing this petition and tell the Legislature to pass a moral budget. Our children deserve the resources to thrive – not to do more with less.
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    Created by Sheila Armstrong
  • Tell Philadelphia Insurance: It's wrong to deny claims for life-saving addiction service providers
    When the only bridge to Boston’s Long Island was abruptly closed due to critical structural failures, hundreds of people who were in the middle of life-saving addiction recovery programs had to be evacuated in a matter of hours. They could not even bring their clothes or belongings along with them. It was an emergency, it was a disaster. As people of faith we did what we could. We opened the doors of our houses of worship to provide the displaced warm places to stay, we treated them with the dignity that they deserve as children of God. What was most desperately needed, however, was something that requires specialized training and facilities we cannot possibly provide. Victory Programs and Bay Cove Human Services—the two largest addiction recovery service providers on the island—needed to relocate their services off of the now inaccessible island. Luckily, they had insurance for just such a circumstance. Both had policies that covered the costs associated with an interruption of their operations as a result of an emergency. But when they filed claims to help relocate these life saving services, Philadelphia insurance denied their claims. The reason? Routine maintenance was not covered by their policy. An emergency bridge closure and the subsequent demolition of the bridge are not “routine maintenance”. Even more troubling is what came next. Philadelphia insurance canceled their policies entirely, forcing these life saving service providers to find new insurance policies at triple the cost. As people of faith, this cold-hearted response to a public health disaster would shock the conscience at any time. But the Long Island Bridge disaster is actually two disasters rolled into one. It was a major interruption of addiction recovery services that happened at the worst possible time: during an ongoing officially declared state of emergency because of opiate deaths. This officially declared state of emergency, though unprecedented, is no surprise. It is playing out every day in the headlines and on our sidewalks, in open air drug markets and in our medicine cabinets, in the inner city and in small towns. People are dying from opiate overdoses in previously unthinkable numbers. In December alone in Massachusetts, one hundred fourteen people died from opiate overdoses. Tragically, hundreds more have died in the months since. Like the fire department after an earthquake, Victory and Bay Cove are critical parts of public safety infrastructure. They are saving lives during an emergency and so the Commonwealth must extend them every protection and accommodation possible as long as this state of emergency continues. As people of faith, we believe in a God of second and third and fourth chances, a God who is always faithful and doesn’t abandon people in need. That is why we strongly support Victory and Bay Cove. Not only because they are critical to the public good but because Victory and Bay Cove are doing the work of God, saving lives one person at a time. We know, as they know, that children of God are always more than their addictions and that as long as there is life there is hope. You have the authority, Mr. Secretary, to oversee the operations of all insurance companies. Insurance companies exist as a way to pool risk. They exist so that when disasters occur, affected people and businesses can recover. The Long Island Bridge disaster is exactly the reason insurance companies exist, so that life saving services can continue even in the face of extraordinary events. For Philadelphia to put profits before people's lives during a state of emergency is irresponsible and morally outrageous. We believe in the new administration and we believe you can be a strong and tireless public servant who will stand up for the people of Massachusetts during this time of emergency. We call on you, Secretary Ash, to open an inquiry into this decision by Philadelphia Insurance. We implore you, meet with representatives of Religious Leaders for Long Island Refugees, we will support your efforts with the full weight of our moral voice.
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    Created by Rev. John Edgerton