National Interfaith Clergy Witness at the NRA

National Interfaith Clergy Witness at the NRA

Crowdfunding Completed: December 4, 2017

Amount Funded: $1220

Project Owner: UU Fairfax

Short Description of Project

On Thu., Dec. 14, 2017, leaders from many faith traditions will gather to bear witness at National Rifle Association headquarters.

How was this project connected to UU?

As far back as UUA General Assembly in 1972, and for many more GAs since then, the the Unitarian Universalist Association has taken a strong stand against gun violence and the unfettered proliferation of guns in the U.S. A 2016 Action of Immediate Witness called for immediate action to ensure "laws that keep some guns out of the hands of all people, and all guns out of the hands of some people." The organizing principles for this National Interfaith Clergy Witness at the NRA are consistent with the Unitarian Universalist First and Sixth Principles. We seek to hold up the inherent worth of human beings and the goals of peace and justice above the money and power now driving our country's policies on guns.

The organizers' intent for this event is to be an interfaith worship service bringing together hundreds of faith leaders from all traditions. For five years since the Sandy Hook massacre, there have been direct actions, protests, chanting, politicians, speeches, protest signs and more in front of the NRA headquarters, but there has never been is an interfaith worship service bringing a moral voice of clarity and solidarity.

This event is being modeled after the call of Rev. Dr. William Barber to provide voices of moral clarity from the religious community on the issues of our day. Our hope for this event is to create a place of sacred and holy ground as we remember the victims of the murders at Sandy Hook and the 1,500+ mass shooting victims taken from us since December 2012. Once again, a time of worship, from different traditions, to bring forth the messages of our faith traditions regarding the sanctity of human life, love of neighbor and our mutual responsibility to each other to pass laws that will limit the possibilities of destruction of lives, families and communities through the use of a firearm.

Because this event is being led by Unitarian Universalists from the UU Congregation of Fairfax, with support from other UU congregations around Washington, D.C., we believe this event will demonstrate UU moral leadership around the issue of gun violence.

Our event organizers are currently working with leaders from the UUA, UUSC, United Church of Christ and Union for Reform Judaism to seek their co-sponsorship for this event with more outreach in process.

Full Description of Project

“All the people of the Abrahamic faiths share the same duty – to protect the innocent. The Jewish bystander is to rescue a person in peril. Islam requires the protection of all innocent lives. I fear if we fail in this, bulldoze our churches [as announced re: the church in Sutherland Springs, TX] and let the machines of war and profit win over faith, then God will never forgive us. For that would be the worst sin of all.” – Richard Parker, New York Times OP/ED, 11/11/2017
“When we fight for peace and when we resist the proliferation of military-style weapons on our street, and when we stand against the anti-democratic stronghold of the NRA, we are reviving the heart of our democracy. We must shock this nation with the power of love. We must shock this nation with the power of mercy. We must shock this nation and fight for justice for all. We can’t give up on the heart of our democracy, not now, not ever!” – Reverend William Barber II, 7/28/2017
Most individual National Rifle Association members own rifles and handguns for sport and self-protection. These are not the issues that are plaguing this country. The NRA leadership’s main focus is helping gun manufacturers escalate profits regardless of the human cost and the spiritual welfare of the country and its citizens. To advance this agenda of greed, the NRA uses its money to wield political influence to control the current Congress.

As people of faith focused on the sanctity and safety of all human life, we cannot let this agenda stand.

Therefore, on December 14, 2017, the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre, hundreds of us will come together in front of NRA headquarters and call on the NRA and Congress to:

Stop advancing a legislative agenda that promotes virtually unfettered access to guns.
Pass comprehensive, universal background checks.
Ensure systems that keep guns out of the hands of people who should not legally have them.
Ensure semiautomatic and automatic weapons and large-capacity magazines are not available for sale to the general public.
The intent of this event is to gather for an interfaith worship service of faithful witness to mourn together and to call for moral clarity around the tragedy of pervasive gun violence in our communities. For 5 years since the Sandy Hook massacre, there have been direct actions, protests, chants, politicians, speeches, protest signs and more in front of the NRA headquarters. But there has never been is an interfaith worship service bringing moral voices of clarity and solidarity.

​Our hope is to create a sacred and holy space as we remember those at Sandy Hook and thousands more taken from us through gun violence. We will bring forth the messages of our faith traditions regarding the sanctity of human life, love of neighbor and our mutual responsibility to each other to pass laws that will limit the destruction of lives, families and communities through the use of firearms.