On Wednesday, June 29th All Saints was honored to serve as the venue for Congresswoman Judy Chu’s National Day of Action on Gun Violence Event. It was an evening of both education and inspiration with presentations from community and faith leaders — including All Saintsers Jack Scott, Julianne Hines, Sandy Padgett and Susan Russell.
And here are Susan Russell’s remarks:
#WeAreOrlando is trending on Twitter and will be until it isn’t anymore – until the hashtag joins the archive of outrage that has so far inexplicably failed to rouse our nation to address the scourge of gun violence that bloodies our streets, our homes, our schools, our churches, our movie theaters and now our nightclubs.
In the vortex of the longest election season in the history of voting, the June 12th shooting in Orlando has brought into sharp relief the choice in front of us: Will we be a nation that lives in fear or a nation that overcomes fear?
If children slaughtered at their desks, college students murdered in their classrooms and church members massacred in their Bible Study class hasn’t been enough to overcome the gun legislation impasse then what makes us think this latest attack on an LGBT nightclub will be the tipping point?
I am daring to hope that it will.
I am daring to hope that the Good Trouble that John Lewis and Judy Chu and other prophetic leaders sat down to stir up last week will continue to call us all into action.
I am daring to believe that the solidarity we are building between coalitions and across intersectional divides will bind us together into a great ground swell of commitment to turn Enough Is Enough from a hashtag to a reality.
As a priest and pastor I am WAY too familiar with those who take Biblical texts out of context and turn them into weapons of mass discrimination against LGBT people, women and people of color. And so it’s not hard to recognize when the exact same thing – and some of the exact same people – are taking the Second Amendment of our Constitution out of context and misusing it as an excuse to feed, water and fertilize the gun manufacturers who put profits over sensible gun laws protecting the safety of American citizens.
I am also a mother: the mother of an Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran – still in the Army Reserve and in graduate school on the GI Bill. And what my son said to me was that when he took the oath to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic” it never occurred to him that some of those enemies would turn out to be members of Congress refusing to do their job,
In the Army they call that “desertion” – and we need to hold the congressional leaders who have the power to send our sons and daughters into combat to the same standard we hold those who put their lives on the line to defend this country. We need them to do their jobs. And we need to challenge them when they don’t – just like those who sat down to stir up Good Trouble on Capitol Hill last week.
So let’s keep getting into Good Trouble until together we turn the tide – together we tip the tipping point — together we become the change we want to see – together we end gun violence in our nation.
To learn more about how to get involved, visit the Gun Prevention Task Force page on our website, or contact Ada Ramirez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 26.583.2734