A pledge of faith to build stronger relationships
"How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? (Psalm 13:2)
Our hearts are breaking. As leaders of different religious communities, we cannot remain silent after watching the video of a police officer keeping his knee on George Floyd's neck, who gasped for mercy until he stopped breathing. This is just one of many stories like this that we are confronted with too often. In Elgin, images of DeCynthia Clements' death come to mind for many as we see these events in the news. It is time to not only speak against single events, but also about the need for collective change.
Justice is fundamental to our respective religious traditions. We stand together to declare that life is sacred -- all people are equal before God and the law. We respect those who honor George Floyd's memory with peaceful protests against the sin of racism. We also support Floyd's family members who said, "We cannot endanger each other as we respond to the necessary urge to raise our voices in unison and in outrage. Looting and violence distract from the strength of our collective voice."
We need meaningful action as we work together to find that critical cure for human hatred. As leaders within our faith communities, we pledge to engage in conversation and action with people of different races, ethnicities and religious traditions to build a stronger appreciation and love of our neighbors. We commit our voices to this effort and pledge our hands and feet as well, so that we not only lament the needless loss of another life but commit to working toward a world where events like this no longer happen.
Signed by 21 leaders from the Coalition of Elgin Religious Leaders
Dave Daubert and Michael Montgomery, Co-chairs