URI Condemns Violence at US Capitol

8 January 2021, 10:51 AM
Jan 2021 Capitol Riot - Wikimedia

PHOTO CREDIT: Tyler Merbler, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons - The storming of the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6th, 2021

We, at the United Religions Initiative, share concern and grief following the violence that took place at the United States Capitol on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021. During a Joint Session of Congress to certify the Electoral College's results for President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, hundreds of rioters stormed the chambers and offices of the US Capitol, resulting in the injuries of dozens, the death of five people, and a nation whose framework for democracy hangs in the balance. We unequivocally condemn these attacks and any attempt to undermine the voice and integrity of a united and free people.

The politicized and conspiratorial intention of this insurrection speaks to the larger moral urgency that calls each of us to seek equity and justice for all.

This event overlaps with the unanswered calls for racial justice, a rampant epidemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, and a toxic political divide that has changed the nature of how we communicate with one another. This future offers so much uncertainty that we have no way of knowing what might happen next.

We cannot ignore the feelings of despair and anger that consume us when our livelihoods, our families, and our communities are at risk. These emotions are valid and invite us to look deeper into our purpose and our interconnectedness with the world around us.

When we fight for what's right, we do not do it just for ourselves; the ripple effect of this work reaches far and wide to help all those that need it.

This is why we must listen to each other's pain and deepen our understanding and trust in one another. This is why we must speak truth to power, even if those truths make us uncomfortable. This is why we come to reconcile and resolve the issues and systems that harm us so the healing can truly begin.

A new presidential administration will be inaugurated on January 20th and with it comes the outstanding question posed by Dr. Martin Luther King's final book - Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community?

We unapologetically choose the latter. As always, we remain to uplift, strengthen, and serve for the greater good.

May we upend audacity with courage.

May we heal the wounds of ignorance with the balm of compassion.

And may we extinguish the flames of anger and hatred with revolutionary love.

Chief Standing Bear at the US Capitol

Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca Tribe, whose statue is under the Dome of the Capitol Building, shared an important statement that claimed the humanity of Indigenous people that he won in a Supreme Court case: "My hand is not the color of yours, but if I pierce it, I shall feel pain. If you pierce your hand, you also feel pain. The blood that will flow from mine will be the same color as yours. The same God made us both. I am a man." (Artist: Benjamin Victor, 2019)