One week after the Newtown tragedy, Reform Jewish Leader calls for united religious response

This morning, Rabbi Saperstein and the Washington National Cathedral convened interfaith religious leaders to honor the lives of those lost one week ago in Newtown, CT but insisting that Congress and the President act swiftly to end the national epidemic of gun violence.

In his remarks, Rabbi Saperstein said:

“Is the need for sensible gun-control a religious issue?

You bet it is.

The indiscriminate distribution of guns is an offense against God and humanity.

Our gun-flooded, violence-prone society has turned weapons into idols. And the appropriate religious response to idolatry is sustained moral outrage.

What manner of nation are we that in the face of overwhelming support for stronger gun control, we can bring ourselves to legislate only the most anemic controls for the bloodiest problem we face? What manner of people are we that we can accept that we have lost more people to gun violence on our streets and in our homes than we have to all the wars in the history of our nation, more children every year than our brothers and sisters who perished on 9/11? The victims of violence overwhelm our emergency rooms, requiring the costliest of care, erode confidence in our communal institutions, and undermine our political, educational and civic institutions.

It doesn’t have to be that way.”

Read the rest of Rabbi Saperstein’s statement here.

The group of major national religious leaders included: Very Rev. Gary Hall, National Cathedral; Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, former Archbishop of Washington; Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Exec. Vice President, Rabbinical Assembly; Imam Mohamed Magid, Islamic Society of North America; Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr., President, Progressive National Baptist Convention; Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, National Cathedral; Rev. Gabriel Salguero and Rev. Joshua Rodriguez, National Latino Evangelical Coalition; Rev. Michael Livingston, Pas President, National Council of Churches; Rev. Richard Cizik, President, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good; Bishop Peter Weaver , Exec. Secretary, United Methodist Council of Bishops; Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman, Sikh Council on Religion and Education; Sandy Sorenson, Director of Washington Office, Justice and Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ; Nathan Diament, Director, Institute for Public Affairs, Orthodox Union; Diane Randall, Exec. Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation; Curtis Ramsey-Lucas, American Baptist Church.

Image courtesy of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.