The Interfaith Leaders of Greater Lafayette are horrified and heartbroken over the mass shootings in Gilroy California, El Paso Texas, and Dayton Ohio. We, and our partner organizations and congregations, send strength to the mourners and peace to the cities once again broken by the plague of gun violence in our society.
As a coalition of religious leaders, we look to the Bible for guidance, and remember that we are commanded to pursue justice and peace on behalf of humanity. We hear the words of the Prophets Isaiah and Micah, who tell the people of the world to “beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks.” (Isaiah 2:4/Micah 4:3) We are commanded by the Divine, not only to mourn the victims of violence, not only to offer our prayers, but to transform weapons of destruction into tools for the greater good of society, and we must work together to do so. Additionally, we read in the creation story of Genesis: “And God created human beings in the divine image, in the image of the Divine, God created them…”(Genesis 1:27)
The taking of any human life, therefore, is an attack on the Divine image itself and upon God. Every life is sacred, regardless of race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, or citizenship status. All of us carry within us the spark of the Divine and when a light goes out, a part of all of us is chipped away.
We urge those with power to not look away at these senseless, preventable acts of hatred, violence, and evil; we ask them to not only offer thoughts and prayers, but to provide action to curb this pandemic of gun violence and the loss of innocents on our streets, in our city squares, and in every corner of our country.
May the memories of the lives lost be a blessing, and may the One who makes peace in the high places, make peace over us and over all of humanity, as we say, Amen.