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Statement against discrimination and injustice (opinion) (updated)

By ThisIsReno
Published: Last Updated on

Submitted by Nevada Interfaith Association

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, 
and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?”
(Micah 6:8)

“By love alone is hatred ended, this is an eternal law.“ (Dhammapada 1:5)

As people of faith we condemn in the strongest terms the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. We stand together and open our hearts to the suffering of our brothers and sisters. We want everyone who reads this to know, “Your life matters to us!” We work for justice through education, prayer, and reconciliation. We will not stop until there is justice for all people.

The deeper pain, however, is that this was not an isolated incident. Breonna Taylor, an EMT, was shot by Louisville Police officers serving a “no-knock warrant” (March 13, 2020). Dreasjon Reed, of Indianapolis was shot by an Indianapolis Police officer (May 6, 2020). And now George Floyd has been killed by police in Minneapolis while begging for his life (May 25, 2020). It is not just history, but it has sadly become a part of the fabric of American life.

We are people of faith. Commitment to racial justice and reconciliation is embedded in our identity as spiritual people. This good work is happening in communities of faith. Now more than ever, it is our duty to champion justice.

We also champion peace and support peaceful protest with its outpouring of accumulated frustration. For too long it has seemed that few cared when another black, brown, or poor life was snuffed out. We seek true and sustained justice.

This must be sustained even when racist violence and police brutality are no longer front-page news. Even when the work is not fashionable, ever difficult, and we are utterly alone. Putting our faith into action, despite color, class, or caste, is difficult. We pledge to continue until no one is degraded and disrespected by anybody. We will continue until this ultimate dream is realized. Violence against even one child of Earth cannot be condoned.

We follow another way … the way of love. Love is action as well as attitude. Love seeks the good, the well-being, and the welfare of others as well as one’s self. Out of love we listen and learn from marginalized communities, who are often suppressed. We call on all faith leaders to incorporate this grand vision of justice into personal and community prayer life, and to constructively engage in advocacy and public witness of our brothers and sisters who suffer.

Opening and changing hearts does not happen overnight. Our spiritual work is not a sprint, but a marathon. Our prayer and work for justice, healing and truth-telling must be unceasing. Let us all recommit ourselves to following the teachings and values of our faith communities and lead the way to healing, justice and love.

Nevada Interfaith Association

The Nevada Interfaith Association

Coordinating Council:

Rev. Sarah Johnson, President
Pastor, Lord of Mercy Lutheran Church
Sparks, NV

Pamela Kellerstrass, Secretary
Member, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Reno, NV

Patricia Meidell, Treasurer
Member, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Reno, NV

Chaplain Sherman Baker, Colonel (Ret.) US Army
VA Medical Center
Reno, NV

Rev. Dr. William L. Stomski
Dean, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Reno, NV

Fr. Chuck Durante
Rector, St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral
Reno, NV

Rev. Matthew Fisher
Resident Priest, Reno Buddhist Center,
Reno, NV

Dr. Sherif Elfass
President, Northern Nevada Muslim Community
Sparks, NV

Rajan Zed
President, Universal Society of Hinduism
Reno, NV

Dr. Bradley Corbin
Member, Baha’i Faith

Rabbi Benjamin Zober
Temple Sinai
Reno, NV

Members, Associates and Affiliates:

Rev. Gene Savoy Jr.
International Community of Christ
Reno, NV

Terri Domitrovich, Chaplain
The Chaplaincy Institute Interfaith Community
Reno, NV

Beth Beyer, Jewish Rabbi
Reno, NV

Leo McFarland, President & CEO
Volunteers of America NCNN
Sacramento, CA

Rev. Kathy Morris, Pastor
Holy Cross Lutheran Church
Reno, NV

Rev. Sean Savoy, Director,
NiCE Ministries
Reno, NV

Ellyn Darrah, Priestess
Children of Temple Earth
Reno NV

Laura Fitzpatrick, Priestess
Children of Temple Earth
Reno NV

Submitted opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of This Is Reno. Have something to say? Submit an opinion article here.

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