It always seems to take us by surprise, yet it happens all too regularly. With an explosion, a fusillade of bullets, or the crash of vehicles of destruction, our breath catches in our throats again. Tears slide down our faces, bewilderment overtakes us, and again we find ourselves staring incredulously at a screen, straining to hear a radio, or shocked by the images and news feeds of our electronic media.
And the questions asked before, are asked again:
How can this be happening again?
How can human beings do such awful things to each other?
Is there any place that is safe?
Where does this hatred come from?
When will this stop?
What can we do?
Violence in all its forms is a human tragedy. The taking of unsuspecting, innocent lives is especially troubling. And the perpetration of mass killings by a radical few who invoke the name of God and use religion as a cover for their anger, fear, and hatred, should appall all people of good will everywhere.
We, the member Faith Communities represented by the Killingly-Brooklyn Interfaith Council (KBIC), stand united with all those who have lost so much in this recent onslaught of violence and death in Paris – just as we stand with peoples in so many other nations and cities who have endured bombings, murderous rampages, rapes, and terror in all of its manifestations.
Your grief is our grief; your loss is a loss for us all.
We call upon governments and world leaders to respond in ways that bring justice, yet break the cycle of destruction and death; and to not wall ourselves behind national boundaries, to speak in terms of Us and Them, nor to wave our flags and send out our war machines.
These terror strikes are against all citizens of the world. We are all God’s people, and God’s people know no boundaries of religion or Nation State.
As a world, we must stand together for peace and justice, and not retreat to our baser instincts.
We call upon civic leaders and politicians to lead our communities with wisdom, not jingoistic vitriol; to promote responses that unite instead of divide, while offering a reassuring vision of hope in the face of fear.
We call upon the people of all faiths to remember the words of their prophets and Holy Writings that call for peace over violence; love as a response to hate; justice instead of retribution; courage in the face of fear; and a wisdom that banishes ignorance.
We call on the citizens of our towns and communities to embody and promote the ideals of freedom for all and bravery, that are woven into the fabric of our national identity.
We, the signing faith communities, pledge to do all that we can to encourage, enable, and sustain these ideals, and work together toward a day when peace and justice are the norm, and violence and hatred are banished.
Member Faith Communities of the Killingly/Brooklyn Interfaith Council
Members indorsing this statement:
Brooklyn Federated Church - Brooklyn
St John Lutheran Church – Brooklyn/Moosup
Westfield Congregational Church - Danielson
Temple Beth Israel Preservation Society - Danielson
United Methodist Church of Danielson