Faith leaders urge US Congress on gun law reform in new ad [VIDEO]

Amber Brooke

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Tuesday, March 12 2013

Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral, is among the faith leaders urging Congress for action on gun violence prevention in a new PSA video.

A diverse group of faith leaders have joined the push for gun laws reform, appearing in a newly released PSA video by Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

In video posted Tuesday, Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C. along with 17 other religious leaders tell Congress that "it's time" for legislation on gun violence prevention.

Faith leaders in the PSA represented tradional Protestants, Catholics, Evangelicals, and Mormons, as well as Judaism, Hinduism and Islam.

The video release comes head of the Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend on March 15-17, led by Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, the National Cathedral and PICO National Network.

Groups organizing the event are calling on faith congregations across the nation to join in the push for new gun laws that would require background checks for all gun sales, ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and make gun-trafficking a federal crime.

"No more sermons from the pulpit. No more standing with parents over a grave. No more trying to find the words. No more blood of our children on our street corners," the faith leaders say in the video.

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Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington D.C. says, "No more blaming God for what only we can change."

"Our faith compels us to act," religious leaders continue. "It's time for our leaders to act. It's time for everyone to act."

The video ends with several faith leaders declaring: "Enough."

In a statement on the video, Hall said the National Cathedral was proud to collaborate with other faith leaders to call for an end to the gun violence epidemic.

"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," said Hall.

A package of gun laws backed by President Barack Obama is making its way through the U.S. Senate committees. Last week, the panel approved a bill aimed at cracking down on gun trafficking by making it illegal for a person to purchase a gun for someone who is restricted from carrying a firearm.

Some of the religious leaders in the video, including Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners, will be part of an interfaith discussion on public policy on gun violence on Saturday at the National Cathedral.

The full list of faith leaders in the video in order of appearance:

•Very Rev. Gary Hall, Dean, Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
•Rabbi Esther Lederman, Temple Micah, Washington, D.C.
•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, D.C.
•Rev. Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners
•Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C.
•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, D.C.
•Rev. Edgar Palacios, Associate Pastor for Christian Education, Calvary Baptist Church, Washington D.C.
•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, D.C.
•Rev. Doctor David Cooney, Assistant to the Bishop, Baltimore Washington Conference

View the "Faith Leaders Demand Action" video below:

Copyright © 2013 Ecumenical News

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