Seattle-area clergy demand action on guns

Dec 21, 2012

Seattle-area clergy from many faiths are presenting a united front against gun violence, demanding specific measures from elected leaders. Representing churches and synagogues, seminaries, mosques and Sikh temples, the religious leaders say it’s time to move beyond simply mourning the slaughter of 26 people in Newtown Connecticut. They say now it’s time for action.

Evoking a string of mass killings, including one in Seattle last spring, the clergy made the case for changing laws and changing attitudes. Imam Abdullah Polovina is with the Islamic Center of Shoreline.

“Islamic holy book states God will not change your conditions until you change yourselves. Let’s don’t do God’s part. Do our part,” Polovina said.

Reverend Leslie Braxton of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship said unrestricted access to guns no longer makes sense.

“To say things like ‘guns don’t kill’ is like saying bats don’t hit homeruns. But no one’s ever seen a baseball player hit a homerun without a bat. It does matter,” Braxton said.

About two dozen clergy appeared together at Temple de Hirsch Sinai in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood, and presented a statement calling for specific gun control measures, including universal background checks and a ban on assault-style weapons. They say they’ll be collecting signatures from clergy all over Washington and will present the statement to public officials.