UNTHINKABLE – An Interfaith Word of Solidarity
It is more than heartbreaking that a place established to a safe place for LGBTQ people would turn into a killing field. The senseless murder of forty-nine people and wounding of fifty-three more by a lone shooter once more breaks the heart of our nation and brings unspeakable violence to a community that must always struggle for its rights and dignity. The assault against LGBTQ people must end. As we stand in solidarity with the victims, their families, and the Orlando community, we call upon all people of faith to reexamine their beliefs and teachings about LGBTQ people. Religious convictions cannot and should not be more important than the right of a people to live in peace, safety, and security. Expedient political rhetoric and religiously motivated intolerance have no place in a democratic society which honors life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all its citizens.
We are especially concerned about the attempt to blame Muslims as a people for the acts and violence of a particular person. It is more than irresponsible to fan the flames of fear and hatred under such tragic conditions.
The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ community and all the victims of the Orlando tragedy. We will continue to witness to the right of all peoples to live in a society where race, creed, gender, and sexual orientation do not determine a person’s worth or rights. We call upon the faith traditions to honor and respect the right of LGBTQ people to live in peace. No teaching or belief is more important than one’s right to live. Perhaps the time has come for our houses of worship to be safe places for all people.
We ask all our members to engage in honest dialogue and sincere prayer as we honor the victims both surviving and dead with the pledge to open our hearts to those who have and do suffer from prejudice, fear, stereotype, and hatred. O God, may the violence stop.
Signed by these members of the Governing Board:
Terry Clark, President
Fr. Tom Bonacci
Rev. Eileen Lindsay
Dr. Ejaz Naqvi
Rev. Will McGarvey, Executive Director