Headlines from First Thoughts

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Open Letter to People of Faith

An Open Letter to the Community from People of Faith:
"Choosing Unity and Compassion; Rejecting Violence, Division and Hatred"
May 29, 2007 - Knoxville, Tennessee

I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, other-centered men (and women) can build up.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear people of faith and goodwill throughout our community:

As people of faith and goodwill, we are appalled that any group would attempt to use the tragedy of a murder, any murder, as the pretext for furthering its cause, especially when that cause is so obviously wrong.

We are also confident that the strong fabric of faith and goodwill in our community will serve as a barrier to the divisive and misguided rhetoric of those who seek to tear down rather than build-up understanding between people.

Our hearts go out to victims of violence and their families. We commit ourselves and invite others to join with us in working constructively to address all forms of violence in our city and society. We reject the notion that such violence can ever be attributed to any single race, class or group of people. Any act of violence, any practice of injustice and any expression of prejudice or racism in our community should concern everyone in our community. The answer is not the propagation of misinformation, division or hatred, but the cultivation of responsibility, unity and mutual compassion.

We call upon our fellow citizens to pray for all victims of violence and their families; to seek real solutions to the causes of violence; and to reach across the boundaries of race, faith, neighborhood, class and other differences among us to join hands in an effort to build up community, goodwill and trust in our city.

With deep faith in the transforming power of God's goodness and love,

Johnnie Skinner, Mt. Zion Baptist Church and Clergy Caucus of the Knoxville Interfaith Network (KIN)
Thea Peterson, St. John’s Lutheran Church & Knoxville Inner City Churches United for People (KICCUP)
Grant Standefer, Compassion Coalition
Julie Blakeley, First Baptist Church of Knoxville
Chris Buice, Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church
Joe Ciccone, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
John Bluth Gill, Church of the Savior, United Church of Christ
Jim Sessions, United Methodist Church, Children’s Defense Fund
William D. Shiell, First Baptist Church of Knoxville

No comments:

Google Search