As religious leaders of diverse traditions we understand life to be the greatest and most sacred gift endowed by our Creator. Inherent in that gift is the inalienable right to live freely and without fear. The May 25, 2020 abhorrent killing of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, at the knee of a law enforcement official, sworn and entrusted to protect the public and keep the peace, is yet another stark reminder of humanity’s blindness to the sacredness of that gift of life and society’s failure, if not refusal, to act to ensure equal rights for all created beings. We lament the murder and death of George Floyd and pray for him, his family, loved ones and all in need of strength and comfort in this fragile time of grief. The overwhelming national response to George Floyd’s death, manifested in peaceful protests, not only honors his life, but powerfully expresses that we, as Americans, will no loger tolerate injustice, systematic racism and discrimination against people of color. This powerful resurgence of a long overdue civil rights movement will not be silenced until structural change is realized. We lift our voices and stand in unity and solidarity with our sisters and brothers of color in proclaiming that BLACK LIVES MATTER.
This statement has been adopted and issued by the Franklin Interfaith Council. It is adapted from a statement by the San Francisco Interfaith Council. The active congregations of the Franklin Interfaith Council signing on to this statement include: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, First Universalist Society in Franklin, Franklin Federated Church, Franklin United Methodist Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Parish, and Temple Etz Chaim.
The picture used above was taken by Pastor Jacob at the “Kneel for Nine” demonstration on the Franklin Town Common on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.