Hundreds of Washington clergy release joint statement deploring "Gun Appreciation" event at state Capitol on MLK Holiday - Faith Action Network

Jan 18, 2013, 07:30 ET from Faith Action Network

SEATTLE, Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of interfaith leaders from across Washington State say they deplore a "Guns Across America" gun appreciation rally to be held at the state Capitol on the same weekend the nation celebrates the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. These interfaith leaders have issued a joint statement and are sending a delegation to Olympia to provide an alternative voice to that gun rally on Saturday, January 19. (The statement, interview contacts, and list of signatures can be found online at:

"We deplore their celebration of the very instrument of MLK's assassination and see their actions as contemptuous of his legacy," said Rev. Dr. Sanford "Sandy" Brown, pastor at Seattle's First United Methodist Church. "We will be in Olympia, available to the press as an alternative voice before the event this Saturday."


Delegation of interfaith leaders


State Capitol, Legislative Building, North Steps


Saturday, January 19, 10:30 am

"As faith leaders, we revere the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.," said Rabbi Daniel Weiner of Temple De Hirsch Sinai, "and the national holiday in his honor recalls his prophetic leadership in the civil rights struggle as well as his outspoken devotion to non-violent confrontation of evil."

"The way to honor Dr. King's memory," said Rev. Aaron Williams, Senior Pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Seattle, "is to condemn gun violence and to oppose any and all racial hatred, and we call on gun rights activists to join us in doing this rather than in focusing on the very means of Dr. King's murder."

"Our faith traditions challenge our communities to live in peace. That's why we now take this prophetic and public stand," said Rev. Brown.

"If we are honest about whether or not we are doing enough to protect our children, the answer is no," said Bishop Greg Rickel of the Diocese of Olympia. "Since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School a month ago, more than 500 people have been killed by guns in America. Every day the number rises. We are getting used to it, and this is something we should never get used to."

"Faith communities care deeply about the legacy of Martin Luther King and about rooting out the violence in our society," said Fr. Michael G. Ryan, pastor of St. James Cathedral. "When an organized group promotes 'gun appreciation' in the wake of the unspeakable tragedy of Newtown, it's a rejection of everything Dr. King stood for."

Contact: Jackie O'Ryan, Faith Action Network C: (206) 300-5059 E:

SOURCE Faith Action Network