Our nation is in mourning following the tragic
deaths of 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. This act was quickly identified as a hate crime, committed by a gunman
shouting anti-Semitic vitriol. He carried an AR-15 and other weapons to take
the lives of people because of their Jewish faith. We were horrified when two
African American shoppers were gunned down by a white man in Kentucky, also
being investigated as a hate crime. In the wake of
more mass shooting tragedies, we must not become numb to such evil and must act
to oppose anti-Semitism, white supremacy and all form of hate through word and
We now must mourn the devastating loss of innocent lives
that too often accompany hate crimes in our country. And, when Congress returns
to work following the November elections, it is also imperative that we address
the gun violence in our nation.
already resolved as a church to work for the passage and strict enforcement of
laws that control the manufacture and sale of weapons not used for hunting and
sport, or for use other than law enforcement and military purposes. A
resolution on community violence was adopted by the 1993 ELCA Churchwide Assembly,
which called for
“passage and strict enforcement
of local, state, and national legislation that rigidly controls manufacture,
importation, exportation, sale, purchase, transfer, receipt, possession and
transportation of handguns, assault weapons and assault-like weapons and their
parts, excluding rifles and shotguns used for hunting and sporting purposes,
for use other than law enforcement and military purposes.”
complete ELCA social policy resolution, “Community Violence – Gun Control," here.
the 2016 Churchwide Assembly Memorial on Gun Violence Prevention here.
Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop, responded to the Pittsburgh synagogue
shooting in a letter shared 10/27/2018. (read here).
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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