Not Terrorists; Not Tourists: Refugees are Human Beings
I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,* you did it to me.”—Matthew 25:36-40
In the past few days, we have shared in the public and global outpouring of sympathy and support for the victims, their families, and the people of France, Lebanon, and Russia. We reiterate that expression of solidarity, and our condemnation of these acts of violence, all of which have been claimed by the “Islamic State.”
The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), shares this pastoral message:
The horrific terrorist attacks in France fill all good people with the deepest sadness. May we all rededicate ourselves to waging peace based on compassion and respect. Hatred must not triumph.
I share the following prayer written by the Rev. Eric Cherry, director of the UUA’s International Office:
Holy One, our hearts are torn, broken, and battered.
I solemnly swear to take a stand against violence and
Click here to sign the Campaign Nonviolence pledge, and join the movement to build a peaceful world for all!
On December 8, at a conference in Vienna, Pope Francis issued a new statement on nuclear weapons titled "Nuclear Disarmament: Time for Abolition" that indicates a major change in Roman Catholic policy. "Nuclear deterrence and the threat of nuclear assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states," the Pope said. While the Roman Catholic Church has long declared the use of nuclear weapons to be immoral, it has, up until now, articulated a "conditional acceptance" of nuclear deterrence as a necessary evil. This changes with the Pope's message, which was read on the first day of the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons conference in Austria.
The Vatican's statement declares, "The youth of today and tomorrow deserve far more.... Peace must be built on justice, socio-economic development, freedom, respect for fundamental human rights, ... and the building of trust between people."
As you may be aware, the City of Palo Alto has been dealing with complaints from some neighbors of the First Baptist Church in Palo Alto about the impact their renters are having on the neighborhood, zone R-1 (Residential). First Baptist Church, as many congregations in Palo Alto, operates in an R-1 neighborhood under a “Conditional Use Permit.” At this point, First Baptist’s renters have been told to move out by September 30, 2017. Other First Baptist tenants have less time.
Click here to read a San Jose Mercury News article with more information.
Palo Alto City Councilman Greg Tanaka has scheduled a public meeting this Sunday afternoon, to gather input. You are invited to attend.
Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice wants to help spread the word about local events promoting peace, justice, compassion, human rights and environmental sustainability. Just go to our Events page and click on "Submit an Event." Faith-based events are specifically encouraged, but other events are always welcome and will be considered. Please be sure the description of the event is clear and accurate.
And now you can check our calendar to learn about local events worth considering. We hope this will help build stronger networks as we work together for justice and peace.
From the Friends Committee on National Legislation: The president’s budget will hurt people throughout our country and the world and make our communities less safe. Instead, this budget favors militaristic foreign and domestic policies that feed insecurity and fear. ...
This budget prioritizes military might over safe, secure, and healthy communities and people. But the president doesn’t have the final say. Congress makes the ultimate decisions about where the federal government spends its money. Your members of Congress need to hear from you.
Since its founding in 2003, Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice has consisted of a small circle of clergy and laypeople who comprise its steering committee and plan peace events attended by a much larger audience. Over time, members of the committee have felt the press of other obligations and reluctantly left the committee, and members of the audience have expressed interest in greater participation without serving on the steering committee. So there exists a hitherto unrecognized circle of MVPJ supporters who feel themselves to be part of MVPJ despite no formal connection.
If you are one of these supporters, MVPJ invites you to acknowledge your relationship with us by joining The MVPJ Affiliates Circle. Learn more by clicking here.