December 18, 2012
The Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia Mourns with Newtown Connecticut and Calls for Action
The news of the horrific tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut has filled our hearts with shock and profound sadness. We are religious leaders of many faith traditions, and we hold in common the sanctity of human life proclaimed by God. We believe violence between individuals is an offense against God and a rejection of God’s will. We are dismayed by the violence that devastates so many individuals, families, and neighborhoods throughout the Philadelphia area and beyond. Many of our religious and civic institutions have made powerful statements in the past decrying the level of gun violence and calling for legislative and cultural changes to reduce it. Yet our nation continues to suffer from unacceptable levels of gun violence. Becoming desensitized to the intolerable numbers injured and killed regularly by illegally owned guns is a spiritual problem. Even one is too many. It is time to act. We call on houses of worship, schools, and other organizations to recognize and become Zones of Peace, carrying out projects designed to reduce the root causes of violence in their own neighborhoods. We call on all of our elected officials to act now to work to end the senseless violence that permeates our society. We invite people to join us, the members of the Religious Leaders Council, in pledging to be an instrument of God’s peace, to make their homes and neighborhoods zones of peace, free from fear, filled with respect, and marked by deeds of kindness. We solemnly commit to these undertakings in the name of the One we worship, and pledge ourselves to prayer and action to protect the lives of all.
The Contact: Rev. Nicole Diroff, firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-222-1012 3723 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19104, www.interfaithcenterpa.org