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Interfaith Leaders Implore Trump, McConnell and Pelosi to End Shutdown

Interfaith Leaders Implore Trump, McConnell and Pelosi to End Shutdown

From the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia:


January 15, 2019

Love your neighbor as yourself.” –  Leviticus 19:18

“Do to others what you would have them do to you.” – Matthew 7:12

Allah says in the Qur’an as translated: “Fulfill the measure and weight and do not deprive people of their due and cause not corruption upon the earth after its reformation.” – Al-A`raf 7:85

“God’s grace and love can be experienced when one cares for the poor and the destitute.” – Guru Nanak, Sikh scriptures

“The entire humanity is one family.” – Hindu Rig Veda – Vasudaiva Kutumbakam


Dear President Trump, Senator McConnell, and Speaker Pelosi, 

As the partial federal government shutdown enters its third week, we, the undersigned interfaith leaders of Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia, grieve the disproportionate burden the shutdown has placed on federal employees and contract workers. We are deeply concerned for all those whose lives have been thrust into economic uncertainty due to the halt in government services and agencies.

While the effects are felt nationwide, our region is especially impacted. Many in our faith communities are struggling, as are their co-workers and neighbors, and we are concerned for them and their families. Moreover, we are all vulnerable when those whose services we depend upon are under such duress. The long-term consequences of the shutdown are mounting, and we respectfully add our voices to those calling for it to end.

On the issues of border security and our immigration policy, we agree with President Trump that we face a crisis of heart and soul, though we differ dramatically in our understanding of it. Differences aside, we are clear that inventing a new crisis by closing the government and adversely affecting so many innocent people does not help to address border security.

The humanitarian crisis at the border is real. The reasons for this crisis are many and complex, and they require a multi-faceted response not only at the border itself, but with comprehensive immigration reform, and an approach to foreign policy that addresses the rampant corruption, gang violence, and economic desperation that is causing so many to flee their countries.

In the meantime, people are suffering and we cannot turn away. Our faith traditions call us to treat one another as we would want to be treated, to respond with compassion, for God’s compassion knows no borders. Justice requires that we act for the welfare of all. Today we speak with one voice urging our public leaders to meet the obligations of their office and reopen the federal government as they continue to seek just and merciful solutions to those seeking refuge in our land. 


Rev. Dr. David A. Anderson
Founding & Senior Pastor, Bridgeway Community Church 

Dr. E. Gail Anderson Holness
Senior Pastor, Christ Our Redeemer AME Church (DC) 

Imam Johari Abdulmalik
Muslim Society of Washington 

Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling
Washington Episcopal Area United Methodist Church 

The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington 

The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Virginia 

The Rev. Richard H. Graham, Bishop
Metropolitan Washington, D. C., Synod
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 

The Reverend Dr. Susan T. Henry-Crowe,
General Secretary, General Board of Church and Society
The United Methodist Church 

The Very Rev. Randy Hollerith
Dean, Washington National Cathedral 

Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
Richmond Episcopal Area, The United Methodist Church 

Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig
Sr. Rabbi, Washington Hebrew Congregation 

Rabbi Gerald Serotta
Executive Director, Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington 

Imam Dr. Talib M. Shareef, USAF-Retired
President, Masjid Muhammad, The Nation’s Mosque 

Dr. Siva Subramanian
United Hindu Jain Temples Association and Sri Siva Vishnu Temple 

The Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Maryland 

The Rev. Ed White
National Capital Presbytery 

Rev. Dr. Christopher L. Zacharias
John Wesley A.M.E. Zion Church, The National Church of Zion Methodism 

The Rt. Rev. David Colin Jones
Bishop Suffragan of Virginia, Retired 

The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, Retired
XIII Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Virginia 

The Rt. Rev. Robert W. Ihloff, Bishop Associate
Episcopal Diocese of Virginia 

The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. Gulick,
Visiting Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia


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B. D. Howes

“It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.” – Yogi Berra

Professor Christopher Reese SEITZ

Brilliant comment, B.D.

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