‘In Guns We Trust’
Members of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Hillsborough, NC, a congregation founded around the time of the Revolutionary War, relate with some embarrassment the story of the Anglican Rector at that time who was a known Tory. When anti-British sentiment began to take hold, he would begin Sunday morning services by preposterously laying upon the altar two loaded flintlock pistols in order to protect himself.
The image of this well-armed reverend came to mind when, after the recent shooting in Pittsburgh, President Trump asserted “this has nothing to do with guns,” and added that the tragedy might have been prevented had some in the congregation been armed. The president is wrong. What happened in that synagogue, and what is increasingly happening in schools and formerly safe meeting places around the country, has everything to do with guns. And to advocate bringing guns not just into our classrooms but now even into our places of worship is a sure sign that our culture – which proclaims: “In God We Trust” - is unraveling.
Politicians need to forswear the insanity of believing that having weapons everywhere makes us safer. They do not. And for them to deny that this has anything to do with guns, and to fail to enact reasonable gun laws, is to lay a course that brings us every day closer to societal suicide.
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Grateful for our Jewish neighbors and mayor
Durham Congregations In Action stands with our Jewish neighbors and congregations in solidarity against anti-Semitic threats and violence, following the brutal attack on Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The gunman in Pittsburgh cited the Jewish community’s support for immigrants and refugees as one source for his hate.
We are grateful for our Jewish neighbors here in Durham, for the spiritual life and work of their synagogues, and for their partnership as allies and advocates for our refugee neighbors and immigrant justice. We will not be intimidated in that work with devoted Jewish partners and other faith-partners, and we renew our call for the White House to raise the number of refugees to be admitted to the U.S. in 2019, and end hateful and dishonest rhetoric about immigrants and refugees.
We thank Mayor Schewel for sharing this message also in his public letter last week, calling on Durham to “love each other fiercely and gently. We must embrace with joy the diversity of our community. ... We must speak out against violence in all of its forms, and we must ourselves model the non-violence that our community cherishes.”
The Board of DCIA and our member congregations denounce all racist intimidation and hatred as evil. We affirm our Jewish neighbors and synagogues with gratitude, and we grieve with them the lives taken in Pittsburgh. May the memories of those lost be a blessing to those left behind, and for all our Jewish neighbors we pray safety and comfort from Above.
The Rev. Spencer Bradford
Durham Congregations In Action Address
Statue protesters heroes
Regarding the news story “Silent Sam should not return to UNC campus, faculty council says”:
The more you read about American slavery the more I consider the people who tore down the statue as heroes who were willing to stand up against this symbol of racism, bigotry and ignorance!
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