New PSA Features Diverse Religious Leaders Calling for Common-Sense Gun Law Reforms;
Ad Precedes Upcoming Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend; www.DemandAction.org
NEW YORK, March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Catholic leaders gather in Rome to select a new pope and as the Senate Judiciary Committee resumes its markup of gun bills, leaders of diverse faiths in the U.S. are taking action today to demand that Congress pass common-sense gun law reforms to prevent the gun violence that claims the lives of 33 Americans every day. Mayors Against Illegal Guns today released a new PSA featuring religious leaders demanding that Congress take action. The ad can be viewed here: www.DemandAction.org/Faith
It is being released ahead of the upcoming Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend on March 15-17, organized by Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, the National Cathedral and PICO. Congregations throughout the nation will gather to reflect and act on preventing gun violence including requiring background checks for all gun sales, removing assault weapons and high-capacity magazines from our communities and making gun trafficking a federal crime.
The PSA also follows an open letter from senior clergy in Newtown, Connecticut and more than 4,000 religious leaders from all major faith groups and all 50 states to U.S. senators urging them to pass gun violence prevention legislation. The letter was published in The Des Moines Register and in Politico and can be viewed here.
Faith leaders in the new PSA are (in order of appearance):
- Very Rev. Gary Hall, Dean, Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC
- Rabbi Esther Lederman, Temple Micah, Washington, DC
- Imam Makhdoom Zia, Mustafa Center, Annandale, VA
- Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director, NETWORK
- Sher J.B. Singh, Special Advisor, Sikh Counsel of Religion and Education
- Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Director of the Office of Public Witness, Presbyterian Church USA
- Rev. Janet Vincent, Rector, St. Columba's Episcopal Church, Washington, DC
- Rev. Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners
- Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC
- Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action of Reform Judaism
- Rev. Jennifer Butler, Executive Director, Faith in Public Life
- Rev. Samuel W. Whitaker, Pastor, Contee AME Zion Church, Washington, DC
- Rev. Edgar Palacios, Associate Pastor for Christian Education, Calvary Baptist Church, Washington DC
- Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, National Director, Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances, Islamic Society of North America
- Bishop Donald Williams, Bread for the World
- Sister Carol Keehan, President and CEO, Catholic Health Association of the USA
- Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Adas Israel Congregation, Washington, DC
- Rev. Doctor David Cooney, Assistant to the Bishop, Baltimore Washington Conference
Statements from Participating Religious Leaders:
Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, DC
"After the Newtown shootings, the thought of adding my voice to a chorus of public remorse that would subside into apathy was more than I could bear. In that moment, I pledged to God that I would not only grieve; I would also act. The energy coalescing around the country convinces me that we are living in one of those rare, opportune moments when we, as a people, can act in concert to end the scourge of violence across our land."
Very Rev. Gary Hall, Dean, Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC
"Washington National Cathedral is proud to collaborate with so many faith leaders in calling our nation to act now to stem the epidemic of gun violence in America. All of our faith traditions agree that innocent suffering requires the compassionate response of all faithful people. As we stand together in shared witness we can serve as a counterweight to violence and suffering on our streets, in our classrooms, and in our nation."
Sister Carol Keehan, President and CEO, Catholic Health Association of the USA
"The faith community broadly agrees that simple, sensible steps can reduce gun violence and protect our communities. As a member of the Faiths United Against Gun Violence coalition, CHA supports efforts to promote dialogue on this issue and enact laws that safeguard both the public and responsible gun owners."
Rev. Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners
"For too long, our political leaders have failed to act on enacting common sense gun laws. Faith leaders must speak out and raise their voices on behalf of the grieving families who have lost loved ones in terrible tragedies like Newtown but also for those who live with the reality of gun violence in their streets every day. The lobbyists for gun manufacturers are powerful but their influence can be overcome if people of faith have the courage to ask the moral questions at stake in this debate and are willing to hold their political leaders accountable. Congress must pass common sense gun laws for the sake of all our communities and children."
Contact: Mayor Bloomberg's Press Office (212) 788-2958
Mayor Menino's Press Office (617) 635-4461
Erika Soto Lamb: firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-580-5281
SOURCE Mayors Against Illegal Guns