• Protect Children, Not Guns
    We are deeply shaken by the horror at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. The 20 children and 6 educators slain there are the latest victims of America’s gun violence plague. Each week, 350 children and teens are killed or injured by guns—enough to fill 14 more classrooms of 25 students. Today, one child or teen will experience gun violence every 30 minutes and a child will die every 3 hours. What have we become as a people when even in the face of such sin and suffering, we continue to protect guns before children?
    8,849 of 9,000 Signatures
    Created by Children's Defense Fund
  • Montana Congressional Delegation: Protect Our Families & 2nd Amendment
    As we grieve the loss of 28 lives, including 20 children, in Newtown, CT, Montana shares the feeling of loss and sense of urgency this moment presents. As people of faith and clergy, we have mourned alongside families all too often. It’s time to call for an end to the violence that lands us in their living rooms year in and year out. Among us are hunters and sportsmen who abhor gun violence, are members of the NRA, understand they don't need assault weapons to hunt, and want to be a voice of reason within the organization. God bless them. All across Montana and the nation, people of faith and conscience are saying that this is the best opportunity in a generation to do something about mass shootings and gun violence in this country. There is no single solution to this problem, and a concerted effort to improve the provision of mental health care in this country must accompany any effort to restrict military weapons. Senator Baucus, Senator Tester, and Rep. Daines, we offer you our support. As Washington takes up this issue in the coming weeks, we will stand by your side as you attempt to tackle this difficult and pressing issue. Though no policy proposal can single-handedly reverse a culture of violence, we think there are three places we can start: 1. Only allow the military and police to buy and own military assault weapons. The weapon used in Newtown was originally designed by NATO to fight Soviet soldiers in Eastern Europe. The Cold War has long since ended, and though our military commitments continue abroad, shopping malls, houses of worship, and elementary schools are no place for assault weapons. 2. Limit access to high-capacity magazines useful only for mass violence. No competent sportsman needs 30 or 100 rounds to do the job. Large capacity magazines were designed by the military for use in combat. There is no applicable civilian use. This technology was used with horrific effectiveness at Newtown and should end. 3. Make mental health care as easy to access as guns. There will always be guns in America - it’s part of our heritage. There will always be those among us who struggle with mental illness. It is our duty as countrymen and women, and as children of God, to care for them. Any effort to reduce violence must start with a serious effort to destigmatize, identify, and treat mental illness in our midst. As you take up these issues in Washington, we offer you our support. Next year, when another horrifying mass shooting happens, which community will be forced to bear unspeakable tragedy? Will we have done all we can to protect our children? We pray that community will not be in our home state of Montana. We pray that no community will suffer the tragedy of a mass shooting. *** ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN CREATOR The Rev. Jessica Crist is Bishop of the Montana Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. **** Issue Background: http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News/Releases.aspx?a=5167 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/18/gun-control-debate_n_2321552.html http://www.jontester.com/issues/protecting-gun-rights/
    542 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Jessica Crist
  • Bloomberg: Don't Let Hurricane Sandy Victims Go Cold This Holiday Season
    For thousands of New Yorkers this winter, the unwanted and uninvited guest is Sandy. Three months after the storm devastated New York, 8,600 New Yorkers living in the Rockaway Peninsula still don’t have power, heat, or help to fix mold so severe it’s causing health problems in children and adults. Clergy in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Lower Manhattan are supporting congregations reeling from Sandy, and families are trying to maintain their holiday spirit in spite of the hardship. Join faith and community leaders from across New York City as we stand with families in the Rockaways who will be forced to spend their winter in the dark and cold.
    1,525 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Joseph McKellar
    My home State of Connecticut, where I serve as one of the Bishops of Episcopal Diocese, is only the latest venue of terrible, unspeakable violence. And it has marked us forever. But if we do not demand action now from our leaders, which state or community will be next to know our pain and grief? I ask your prayers for the victims of the shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School and their families, for the perpetrator and his family, for our churches, our towns and cities. And I call for our action. President Obama is right. We can no longer be silent about gun violence in our society. We have been timid for too long. Nineteen years ago, Marcelina Delgado, a 7 year old, was shot and killed as she sat in the back seat of her father's car on the way to see her grandmother in Hartford, CT. The car had been mis-identified by the shooters as belonging to a member of a rival gang. The tragedy of her death soon was dropped from our community's collective memory. Perhaps that was because she was a person of color or maybe it is just because life moves on. All of us know such stories. By God's grace, Marcelina's face and story have been seared into my soul - a reminder of the claim our children make on us, and the work that still needs to be done. Since Marcelina's death, thousands of children and teens have become victims of gun violence in this nation. And now, 20 more children, 6 and 7 year olds, and 6 adults, who sought to protect them, are dead, in large part because of easy access to assault weapons and our lack of organizing and advocacy for change. It is time for us to demand the reinstatement of the ban on assault weapons as a first step. We need to build on the momentum in Congress that this horrific tragedy has set into motion. We are accountable and we need to hold our lawmakers accountable. Please join me in calling on Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban as a first step to ending mass shootings in America. The struggle for significant gun legislation reform will be long term. But now is the moment for direct and immediate action. Our voices need to be heard now. Advent is the season when we hold terror and hope in our two hands at the same time. The church community is being held together by the love of Christ and the love we have for one another. Let us take that love and pursue action NOW to prevent another horrific tragedy. ***** The Rt. Rev. James E. Curry was consecrated bishop in October 2000. Bishop Curry oversees Hispanic and multicultural ministries, Christian formation ministries, Camp Washington, international and domestic mission, and liturgy & music. He is very active locally and nationally in advocacy work, and has been particularly involved in speaking about the Church's opposition to capital punishment and its support of immigration reform. He has an ongoing mission partnership with the Bishop and Diocese of Lebombo in Mozambique and serves on community and church-wide committees involved with mission and advocacy.
    1,375 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Jim Curry
  • Take The Pledge: 5 Things to do to stop gun violence in America
    After the 28 deaths, including 20 children, in Newtown, it is time that we immediately turn the tide of gun violence around us before the next tragedy strikes. Here are five things we can pledge to do: (1.) Reach out to young people – especially those who express feelings of being alienated, isolated, or disenfranchised – and those who need mentoring, encouragement, and opportunities to break out of cycles of despair, hate, rage and frustration. Provide that guidance – a “hand up” for success. (2.) Help parents – particularly single parents who need practical support in responding to challenges with older children and teenagers, including those in need of mental healthcare. Determine and achieve what is needed to strengthen those lives, one family at a time – and work to support the availability of services to all people regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds. (3.) Make sure there is a moral compass firmly in the hand of every person. Start with the Golden Rule, build to the 10 commandments, and teach and model peacemaking and non-violence at every opportunity. Demonstrate alternatives to behavior fueled by anger, or by violence seen in media. Parents, teachers and clergy must not neglect these responsibilities. (4.) Support federal policy changes while securing weapons. Write an email or call public officials locally, regionally and nationally to insist on reinstatement of the federal assault weapon ban and increased mental healthcare resources. Every first-grader’s right to learn safely in his or her classroom far outweighs any claim I might invoke to own or operate an assault weapon. Meanwhile, make certain that any firearms in homes are fully locked down, or better yet – surrender those weapons to any local police station. (5.) Express your support for local police officers and first responders who stand in harm’s way on a daily basis. More than ever, these professionals need our care and encouragement to meet the challenges of protecting and serving our communities. If we paid more attention to meeting societal needs in the way of education and mental healthcare, we would not have to depend solely on the expertise of our police and fire safety personnel. ****** The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno is Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and founder of Hands in Healing, a non-profit initiative dedicated to advocacy and education for stopping violence and increasing peace. Prior to his 35 years of ordained ministry, he was for six years an officer in Southern California’s Burbank Police Department.
    652 of 800 Signatures
    Created by J. Jon Bruno
  • Point Loma Should Charter an Official LGBTQ Club
    Point Loma Nazarene University has no institutionalized club that creates a safe space for current students who identify as LGBTQ. Without the explicit support of the university, these students often suffer greatly with feelings of isolation and depression. Knowing that they are supported and celebrated as full members of the community is integral to their health and success. We understand that the chartering of a club is complex because of the institution's ties to the Church of the Nazarene, a Christian denomination that does not recognize the right of LGBTQ people to be in relationship with one another. However, despite the denominational policy, many of us remain compelled to advocate for LGBTQ rights and find it difficult to remain associated with an institution that so blatantly makes LGBTQ students feel unwelcome and unloved. Institutional complexity does not absolve moral imperative to stand for justice even if that stand comes at great cost. Because of this, we--as students, staff, faculty, and alumni of Point Loma Nazarene University--cannot offer financial support in the form of alumni giving until the club is chartered.
    1,315 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Todd Clayton
  • Gov. Cuomo: Get Money out of Politics in NY
    We believe dramatic change is needed so that our proud democracy lives up to the values of being “of, by, and for the people.” As faith leaders, we stand for honoring the voices of each person created in God’s image and for protecting the integrity of those voices in our democratic process. Together, we have worked to sound the alarm over a flood of special interest money into our political system from a privileged few and call upon our leaders to pursue bold solutions to this crisis of democracy. Candidates are spending so much time courting donors that they have less and less time to speak with voters or craft solutions to our biggest problems. Voters, especially younger Americans, tune out because they view our elections as un-democratic and potentially corrupt. The rich and the poor grow further and further apart, a trend reinforced by a path to electoral victory studded with high-dollar fundraisers and special interest backroom deals. Attack ads blanket the airwaves, dividing us when we need to come together to solve our country’s enormous challenges. New York’s national prominence ensures that a strong message will be sent to Washington, D.C., that real, serious change is possible, especially now as we have just witnessed, from coast to coast, an election awash in unprecedented amounts of money. We appreciate that you recognize that the heart of such change must include the establishment of a citizen-led, small donor-driven campaign fundraising system. This paradigm, already in place in New York City and in several states, would encourage candidates to rely on everyday voters for their campaign funds, instead of spending extensive energy and precious time courting a handful of affluent campaign donors or turning to an army of professional influence-seekers and deep-pocket vested interests. It would broaden civic participation, invite citizens back into our democracy and strengthen the ties between officeholders and their constituents. Importantly, it would send a signal that New Yorkers could trust that their election officials were working for them. Just as the prophets and saints from our faith traditions railed against economic wealth and power that resulted in injustice for the people, we follow in their footsteps and cry out against a system that tears at the fabric of our democracy. Your leadership will not only benefit New Yorkers, but give great hope to all of us who treasure, and depend upon, a robust American democracy. ______________ The Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson is President of Auburn Theological Seminary, and an international leader in theological education for excellence in religious leadership and progressive moral leadership in the public square. Auburn Seminary equips bold and resilient leaders with the tools and resources they need to bridge religious divides, build community, pursue justice, and heal our complex, multifaith world. For more on this campaign http://bit.ly/VklbXY
    35 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson
  • Reject Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda
    Our various faiths teach that every person is made in the image of God, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Whatever our biblical interpretation and religious tradition, we know that God calls us to love each other, not persecute each other. We condemn the criminalization of homosexuality, especially state-sponsored violence against LGBT people, their friends and families. Passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would rip the very fabric of communities, turning Ugandan families against themselves. Our faith demands we stand with Uganda’s sexual minority community rather than use our religion to justify their persecution. Silencing and criminalizing any group based on who they love or how they express their gender chafes against our very moral fiber. It breaks a core teaching of our many traditions: that we treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. "Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?" -Job 31:15 “Those who say, 'I love God,' and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen." -1 John 4:20 LINKS TO DETAILS OF THE BILL: -Description and full text of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill: http://bit.ly/2denrG -Info on renewed push to pass Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill: http://bit.ly/TulT60 -Rachel Maddow 2010 interview with David Bahati, who formerly introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill: http://bit.ly/TdNOIW
    4,548 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Joseph Tolton
  • Raise New York's Minimum Wage
    At $7.25 per hour, New York’s minimum wage remains decades out of date. With growing numbers of New York State residents relying on low-wage jobs to survive, too many workers do not earn enough to afford basic expenses. Governor Cuomo proposed raising New York's minimum wage to $8.75 per hour during his State of the State address this year. Key leaders in the Assembly and Senate have promised action on raising the minimum wage during this session. Now it's time for the legislature to deliver. New York’s lowest-paid workers cannot wait any longer. The Senate and Assembly should pass legislation raising the minimum wage to $8.75 per hour and indexing it to rise automatically with the cost of living each year. Raising the minimum wage is politically popular and morally right. Eighty percent of New York voters support raising the minimum wage.
    1,007 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Andres Kwon
  • Tell the FBI: Track hate crimes against Sikh Americans
    The FBI currently doesn't track hate crimes against Sikhs, as it does for many other groups. The Sikh identity of the 6 Sikh Americans killed in Oak Creek will not appear as a statistic in the FBI’s reports. How can we effectively respond to a problem we're not measuring? This is our chance to advocate for real policy changes to combat hate in America. The FBI is finally meeting June 5th to decide whether or not to track hate crimes against Sikh Americans. To make sure they do the right thing, they need to hear from us. The alternative? After Oak Creek, I met with the local Police Chief Edwards, who showed me the FBI Hate Crime Incident Report sitting on his desk, still blank. "There is no box for me to record the 6 homicides at the Sikh gurdwara," he said. "How can we combat a problem we're not measuring?" Because of our action together in the wake of Oak Creek, and the work of our partners all over the country, the Justice Department promised to explore whether the FBI should track anti-Sikh hate crimes in mid-October. This is living proof: when we the people find bold new ways to call for love and respect, not just in the halls of power but in our schools, houses of worship, and communities, we can be heard. And when our government responds, we can build an America fully committed to civil liberties. Because I dream of a day when we see a turbaned Sikh on the street and think – not "foreigner" or "terrorist" but "American." That will be the day that all people, in all our diversity, are truly embraced in America. We long for that day. We fight for that day. And I believe working together in the Sikh spirit of Chardi Kala, everlasting hope and optimism, we will see that day. *We are proud to work with the Sikh Coalition and the Sikh American Legal Defense Fund on this important effort.*
    3,143 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Valarie Kaur
  • Richard Mourdock: Apologize for your comments on rape and God
    Associating pregnancy resulting from rape with God’s Will violates the respect for human dignity required by all faith traditions. Such language has no place in political campaign rhetoric. Rather, we must strive to change the conversation surrounding the reproductive rights of women. We must address related physical and mental health issues and the role religious congregations can play in supporting women who have been victims of sexual abuse.
    146 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Prof. George Wolfe
  • Operation A More Perfect Union
    We, the United States Trust for A More Perfect Union, wish to champion and celebrate Domestic Tranquility through we the people being kinder and more respectful to all.
    2 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Toby Warren