February 4, 2013

Interfaith Groups Launch Call-In on Guns

No loaded guns

(Photo credit: Art Atlanta)

By Jeff Walton (@JeffreyHWalton)

An interfaith group initiated by Rabbi David Saperstein’s Religious Action Center of Reformed Judaism is launching a national call-in campaign today, asking congregants to contact their members of Congress and urge them to support additional restrictions on firearms. The Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and United Church of Christ each issued their own statements encouraging participation in the call-in.

According to a press release provided by the group, participants include the National Council of Churches, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, the Islamic Society of North America, Bishop T.D. Jakes and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Liberal standbys, including PICO National Network, Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK, the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society and Washington National Cathedral (Episcopal) are also listed.

In their statements, church officials cited instances of gun violence, and then listed four policy changes for churchgoers to advocate: limits on sales of “military-style” weapons and high-capacity magazines, background checks for all gun purchases, improved access to mental health services, and attention to gun trafficking.

“The Spirit is moving across this land to mobilize people of faith to act,” declared Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who personally authored her church’s own statement.

Quoting Zechariah’s prophecy of a repopulated and peaceful Jerusalem, the Episcopal Church prelate announced that “all God’s people should be able to live in peace” and reminded that “even if this seems impossible, with God it is not.”

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness was slightly less grandiose in their announcement, acknowledging that “there are differences in viewpoint and we ask you to convey whichever policies with which you are comfortable.”

The United Church of Christ also acknowledged that “the public dialogue about gun violence can quickly become divisive” and urged support for laws to prevent gun violence, outlining the same four points as the other church lobby groups.

“Tested by our grief, resolute in our faith we remain committed to continuing this drumbeat,” the UCC statement promised.

The National Council of Churches provided sample social media posts as well as pulpit and bulletin announcements as well as linking to their “Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath” materials developed for earlier in January.

The national call-in day follows a recent press conference at the Washington National Cathedral, in which officials touted their own history of gun control advocacy and rededicated their faith groups to further restricting firearms.

7 Responses to Interfaith Groups Launch Call-In on Guns

  1. Eric Lytle says:

    We can all sleep more securely at night knowing that the usually herd of Politically Correct “vestry rats” had another opportunity to do the Concerned’n’Compassionate dance in public. That really strikes a blow against violence.

    I wonder if the Episcopal Fuhreress ever stopped to consider that her brilliant statement “all God’s people should be able to live in peace” has nothing whatever to do with the right of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves. I don’t know what purpose God serves in her universe, except to rubberstamp everything she says.

  2. Roger says:

    A common name for these folks is “do gooders.” Our forefathers set up the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution to defend against tyranny, and secure freedom of religion, and etc. If these people really understood freedom and evil; the mainline denominations would not be losing membership. They posses a form of religion but deny the power of it.

  3. Jeremy Baines says:

    Bishop T. D. Jakes is filthy rich and is well-protected, so of course he has no need to carry a gun. It’s very considerate of him to try to keep guns from the hands of the riffraff who can’t afford bodyguards. There’s a distinctive snob element in the whole gun debate- Diane Feinstein and her filthy rich friends who pay someone else to watch over them. If you cant’ afford protection, too bad.

  4. […] Presiding Bishops’ testimony follows a national call-in day on February 4, in which Jefferts Schori urged Episcopalians to contact their members of Congress […]

  5. Don Ellenberger says:

    I wish the UMC would learn to separate religion from politics instead of trying to convince the world that they are one & the same. The gun issue, e.g., is pure politics. We don’t need still more gun law. If something is voluntary, it’s religion, if its mandatory, like laws, it’s politics. My politics are just as valid as UMC’s General Board.

  6. Walt Giesbrecht says:

    Excellent comments above. Having used firearms for sport for more than 55 years now, and owned them for almost half a century…..ALL WITHOUT EVER pointing one at another human being (except in the performance of my job as a peace officer) and all without feeling even the URGE to shoot anyone, and I take great exception to someone claiming to speak in the ‘Spirit’s’ Name while advocating my rights to be removed simply because of HER fear and hatred of firearms. I work in schools now, and IF I were ever in the position the educators were in in Connecticut, I’d much rather have a 9 MM close to hand, then these idiots’ ‘warm, fuzzy sentiments’, which would do nothing to either protect me, or allow me to protect my students.

    They want “limits on sales of ‘military-style’ weapons”? As in….”My, that’s a mean looking gun, we must ban it?” The so-called ‘style’….is mere esthetics….a semi-automatic firearm is a semi-automatic firearm, whether or not it has a vertical forend stock, a pistol grip stock, a thumb-hole stock, a carry handle/picanniny rail for scope or laser, or is a nasty black or camo in colour. It is no more deadly than my old semiauto remington .308 I used to have, or my old Browning .308 cal….both with nice, polished wood stocks.

    High capacity magazines? Do they have any idea just how swiftly a person can drop a 10 rnd mag and replace it twice….to equal a 30 round magazine’s capacity? I suppose, then, they want everyone to spend hundreds to buy new smaller magazines for their semiauto pistols too? Reduced to what? from 14 or 15 to….???

    No gun is dangerous in and of itself….as I’ve shown by my ownership over nearly half a century….it is only when utilized by a person with evil in his heart that it becomes dangerous. Seems to me that in almost all of the mass shootings in recent years, the one constant has been a history of mental illness and powerful, psychoactive drugs; perhaps they need to look in a different direction for a solution?

    It’s a little like the ‘Force’ in Star Wars….it’s a universal constant that can be used…for BOTH EVIL AND GOOD, depending on the person wielding the ‘power’. The solution is not to remove all those ‘good’ people with the ‘Force’…because then the only ones utilizing the ‘Force’ will be Darth Vader types, the evil ones.

  7. Norman Hatfield says:

    Quoting Zechariah’s prophecy of a repopulated and peaceful Jerusalem, the Episcopal Church prelate announced that “all God’s people should be able to live in peace” and reminded that “even if this seems impossible, with God it is not.”

    I wonder if they realize that, unlike the liberal church, conservative Christians do NOT believe that Barack Obama is God and Washington, D.C. is His throne!.

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