Clergy leaders from Faith in Texas and their national organization, Faith in Action, responded to the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, that has so far left 21 people dead, including 19 elementary school students. The Rev. Dr. Jaime Kowlesser and the Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews are available for interviews. Their sentiments are below.
The Rev. Dr. Jaime Kowlesser, Executive Director, Faith in Texas
“Homegrown terrorism is one of the biggest threats to our humanity. Texas’ elected officials continue to fail us. Our country continues to fail us, especially our children. We cannot depend solely on thoughts and prayers. We need action and legislation that will protect us from gun violence. If we want to support the families in Uvalde, we must implement policies that protect our children. We’ve had Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland, Uvalde, and many more loom over our nation.
We must use our authentic faith voices to denounce this inhumane savage behavior as believers. We must do everything to protect the least of these from terrorists. Domestic terrorism revealed itself here in Texas today. This is a reflection of a country that refuses to take a stand. When New Zealand was faced with the same crisis, they immediately banned the purchase of assault rifles.”
The Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews, Deputy Director & Chief Faith Officer, Faith in Action
“In tragic moments like these, our faith calls us to pray, but it also calls us to act and demand action from our elected officials. We must call on faith leaders and those with true moral courage to stand in sacred solidarity with communities devastated by mass shootings. We are exhausted by these repeated tragedies. Nevertheless, we must continue to engage in the deep spiritual practices and faithful organizing that will lead us toward healing and transformation. Since Columbine in 1999, we’ve offered prayer, but as people of faith, we know that faith without work is dead. It is time to continue the work.”
Eliana Fernandez, LA RED Immigration Director, Faith in Action
“Yesterday, 21 lives were lost. Children lost their lives on what many would consider a regular day. Parents left their children yesterday morning thinking they would see them that same afternoon. As a parent, my heart is shattered. I am also horrified by the fact that in an 80% Latino community, where many may be undocumented, Border Patrol was at the scene. On a parent’s most vulnerable disheartening day, they not only had to worry about whether their children were alive, but also whether their immigration status would be questioned. A parent should not have to debate whether to show up to find their child after a school shooting or not show up because they may face deportation. And a child should not be scared to go to school. This is sickening. This is wrong.”
Alex Gonzalez, LA RED Immigration Campaign Manager, Faith in Action
“Our hearts mourn with the families in Uvalde. Our community is certainly praying for them. And we also know we have to take action, because faith without works is dead. We must demand that the people in power, our representatives, take on the moral responsibility to put a stop to these fully preventable killings.”
For Immediate Release: May 25, 2022
Contact: Heather Cabral, 202-550-6880, [email protected]
Mayra Castro, [email protected], 562-841-4377