In sermons, Episcopal leaders in Washington call for gun control

The leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington will use their sermons this morning to call for stricter gun control legislation.

Both Bishop Mariann Budde, who is preaching at a confirmation service at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, and the Very Rev. Gary Hall, who is preaching at Washington National Cathedral, where he is dean, are calling for a ban on the sale of assault weapons and ammunition for such weapons in addition to other legislation.

The Cafe will publish both sermons after they are preached.

In his sermon, Hall will say:

Everyone seems to live in terror of the gun lobby. But I believe the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby. I don’t want to take away someone’s hunting rifle, but I can no longer justify a society that allows concealed handguns in schools and on the streets or that allows people other than military and police to buy assault weapons or that lets people get around existing gun laws by selling weapons to people without background checks at gun shows. As Christians, we are obligated to heal the wounded, protect the vulnerable, and stand for peace. The cross is the sign and the seal of that obligation. And we know both from faith and experience that the cross is mightier than the gun. The gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby.

In her sermon, Bishop Budde will say:

Dean Hall and I have decided to dedicate ourselves to the work of passing national legislation to ban the sale of assault weapons and ammunition in this country and I invite you, as a congregation, to join us and others for whom something snapped inside on Friday, as we collectively all awoke from a very bad dream. While there are legitimate reasons to own a gun, there is no reason for civilians to own weapons whose only purpose is to kill large numbers of people. And while there is far more to be done to reduce violence in our nation, and to care for the mentally ill, if we don’t begin with the most obvious first steps, how will we ever progress to more difficult challenges?

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