More Than 3000 Sign Interfaith Response to Terrorism

Dear Folks,

I am enclosing an inter-religious statement that has very quickly gained hundreds of signatures.

If you wish to join, please write Duane Shank, outreach director for Sojourners magazine.

His address is

Please note that it was initiated by The Rev. Jim Wallis, Call to Renewal and Sojourners; Dr. Robert W. Edgar, National Council of Churches; The Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, Reformed Church of America; Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; and Dr. Ron Sider, Evangelicals for Social Action.

Among other signers are Rabbi Lawrence Edwards, Associate National Director of Interreligious Affairs, American Jewish Committee; Mark Seal, Executive Vice President, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation; Rabbi David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs, The American Jewish Committee; and myself, Rabbi Arthur Waskow of The Shalom Center.

Since this release, another 200 have signed and the numbers are climbing. The statement will probably appear as an ad in major American newspapers.

Shalom, Arthur

More Than 3000 Sign "Interfaith Response to Terrorism"


September 14, 2001 — Now numbering more than 200, a broad spectrum of the U.S. religious community, including Evangelical, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christians — as well as Muslim and Jewish leaders — have joined their signatures to the interfaith statement "Deny Them Their Victory: A Religious Response to Terrorism." The breadth of participation has made the document one of the most inclusive religious statements ever released.

Signers, who gave their personal endorsement, include the heads of denominations, national and regional religious organizations and parachurch groups; local pastors and rabbis; and theologians and professors from all parts of the nation.

The statement offers words of consolation to the families of the victims, and an appeal for "sober restraint" to citizens reeling in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC; and the related crash of a hijacked jetliner in Pennsylvania.

"Let us deny them (the terrorists) their victory by refusing to submit to a world created in their image," the signers argue, adding: "We must not allow this terror to drive us away from being the people God has called us to be." The message also warns that innocent Americans who share the terrorists' ethnicity, national origin or religion should be protected from indiscriminate reprisal or acts of violence.

Terming the aftermath of the attacks a "test of national character," the statement calls for citizens to rededicate themselves to the vision of "community, tolerance, compassion, justice, and the sacredness of human life, which lies at the heart of all our religious traditions."

The document was developed in consultation with Jewish, Muslim and Christian clergy, and circulated for signature by The Rev. Jim Wallis, Call to Renewal and Sojourners; Dr. Robert W. Edgar, National Council of Churches; The Rev.Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, Reformed Church of America; Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; and Dr. Ron Sider, Evangelicals for Social Action. They invited others to join them in personally endorsing the document, and more than 100 responded within the first 24 hours. By 4 p.m. Friday, September 14, more than 200 had signed.

The full text and updated list of signers follows:


We, American religious leaders, share the broken hearts of our fellow citizens. The worst terrorist attack in history that assaulted New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, has been felt in every American community. Each life lost was of unique and sacred value in the eyes of God, and the connections Americans feel to those lives run very deep. In the face of such a cruel catastrophe, it is a time to look to God and to each other for the strength we need and the response we will make. We must dig deep to the roots of our faith for sustenance, solace, and wisdom.

First, we must find a word of consolation for the untold pain and suffering of our people. Our congregations will offer their practical and pastoral resources to bind up the wounds of the nation. We can become safe places to weep and secure places to begin rebuilding our shattered lives and communities. Our houses of worship should become public arenas for common prayer, community discussion, eventual healing, and forgiveness.

Second, we offer a word of sober restraint as our nation discerns what its response will be. We share the deep anger toward those who so callously and massively destroy innocent lives, no matter what the grievances or injustices invoked. In the name of God, we too demand that those responsible for these utterly evil acts be found and brought to justice. Those culpable must not escape accountability. But we must not, out of anger and vengeance, indiscriminately retaliate in ways that bring on even more loss of innocent life. We pray that President Bush and members of Congress will seek the wisdom of God as they decide upon the appropriate response.

Third, we face deep and profound questions of what this attack on America will do to us as a nation. The terrorists have offered us a stark view of the world they would create, where the remedy to every human grievance and injustice is a resort to the random and cowardly violence of revenge — even against the most innocent. Having taken thousands of our lives, attacked our national symbols, forced our political leaders to flee their chambers of governance, disrupted our work and families, and struck fear into the hearts of our children, the terrorists must feel victorious.

But we can deny them their victory by refusing to submit to a world created in their image. Terrorism inflicts not only death and destruction but also emotional oppression to further its aims. We must not allow this terror to drive us away from being the people God has called us to be. We assert the vision of community, tolerance, compassion, justice, and the sacredness of human life, which lies at the heart of all our religious traditions. America must be a safe place for all our citizens in all their diversity. It is especially important that our citizens who share national origins, ethnicity, or religion with whoever attacked us are, themselves, protected among us.

Our American illusion of invulnerability has been shattered. From now on, we will look at the world in a different way, and this attack on our life as a nation will become a test of our national character. Let us make the right choices in this crisis — to pray, act, and unite against the bitter fruits of division, hatred, and violence. Let us rededicate ourselves to global peace, human dignity, and the eradication of injustice that breeds rage and vengeance.

As we gather in our houses of worship, let us begin a process of seeking the healing and grace of God.

  • Rev. Alice Martin Adkins, Pastor of Washington City Church of the Bretheren, Washington, D.C.
  • Thomas J. Allio, Sr., Director, Diocesan Social Action Office, Cleveland, OH
  • David Alexander, Taiwan Church News, Reformed Church in America Missionary
  • Dr. Philip A. Amerson, President, The Claremont School of Theology
  • The Rev. Tom Andrews, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Bowie, MD
  • Rev. H. George Anderson, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Rev. Scott D. Anderson, Executive Director, California Council of Churches
  • Bishop Vinton R. Anderson, Presiding Bishop, Second Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church, former President, World Council of Churches
  • Alexis Aquaviva
  • Rev. A. David Argo, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Kensington, MD
  • Rev. Steven Baines, Senior Organizer for Religious Affairs, People For the American Way
  • Gary Baldridge, Co-coordinator, Global Missions, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Atlanta, GA
  • Rev. David A. Barber, Pastor, First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Fort Worth, TX
  • Bob Barnhart, Associate Director, CWSW/CROP, Lansing, MI
  • Rt. Rev. Allen Bartlett, Assisting Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Washington
  • Dr. Manfred T. Brauch, Maxwell Professor of Biblical Theology, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Sister Miriam Bauerlin, OSF
  • Dr. Maxine Clark Beach, Vice President and Dean, Drew Theological School
  • Dr. David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World
  • Bruce Birchard, General Secretary, Friends General Conference
  • Sandra Bly, Portland, OR
  • Joshua Boettiger, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
  • Rev. Peter Borgdorff, Executive Director of Ministries, Christian Reformed Church
  • Chuck Boyer, Church of the Brethren, LaVerne, CA
  • Rev. Jeffrey L. Brown, Pastor, Union Baptist Church, Cambridge MA, Co-Founder, Ten Point Coalition
  • Rev. Mary Lou Bowen, Executive Director, New York State Community of Churches
  • Commissioner John Busby, National Commander, Salvation Army
  • Rev. Geneva M. Butz, Old First Reformed Church, United Church of Christ, Philadelphia, PA
  • Sally Buxton
  • Rev. Sandra Cain, Downtown United Presbyterian Church, Rochester, NY
  • Dr. Mas'ood Cajee, Muslim Peace Fellowship USA
  • Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, Director, Department of Religion, Chautauqua Institution
  • Charles Cappleman, Sr. Vice President, West Coast Operations, CBS Corporation
  • The Rev. Eliezer Valentin-Castantilde;on, The United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
  • The Rev. Jonathan Chute, Rolling Hills United Methodist Church, California
  • Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, WCC Decade to Overcome Violence Reference Group Member
  • Rev. Canice Connors, OFMConv., President, Conference of Major Superiors of Men
  • The Rev. James W. Crawford, Senior Minister, The Old South Church in Boston
  • Janet Chisholm, Interim Co-Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation
  • Former Congressman Jon L. Christensen
  • Rev. Cynthia Crowner, Director of Kirkridge Retreat Center, Bangor, PA
  • Rev. Dennis M. Davidson, Unitarian Universalist Peace Fellowship
  • The Rev. Dr. Susan E. Davies, Faith and Order Commission, NCCCUSA; Bangor Theological Seminary
  • Rev. Clarence W. Davis, Pastor, Martin Luther King, Jr. Christian Church, Reston VA
  • The Rev. Dr. Tim Dearborn, Seattle Pacific University
  • Richard Deats, Interim Co-Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation
  • Murray W. Dempster, President and Professor of Social Ethics, Vanguard University of Southern California
  • Mary Ellen Denio, Church Women United, Rochester
  • Marie Dennis, Director, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns; Vice-president, Pax Christi International
  • Rev. N. Adiel A. DePano, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Oxnard, CA
  • Rev. Dr. Walter C. Dilg, Jr., Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Ventura, CA
  • Rev. Dan Dixson, Coordinator of Pastoral Care, Community Medical Center, Missoula, MT
  • John Taroanui Doom, former World Council of Churches Secretary for the Pacific
  • Rev. Boyd Drake, United Church of Canada, Rapid City and Area Pastoral Charge
  • Marj and Jorie Dugan, Philadelphia
  • Christian and Ralph Dull, National Council Fellowship of Reconciliation, Englewood, OH
  • Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
  • Patricia Taylor Edmisten, Pensacola, FL
  • Rabbi Lawrence Edwards, Associate National Director of Interreligious Affairs, American Jewish Committee
  • Rev. Bruce Epperly, Ph.D., Director, Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health
  • Rev. Kate Epperly, D. Min., Pastor, Palisades Community Church, Washington, DC; International Council of Community of Churches
  • Bishop Christopher Epting, Deputy for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, The Episcopal Church
  • Linda M. Ervin, Japan North America Commission on Cooperative Mission
  • Rev. John Fanestil, Senior Pastor, Anaheim United Methodist Church, Anaheim, CA
  • Rev. Patricia Adams Farmer, Pastor, Orangethorpe Christian Church, Fullerton, CA
  • Mary Jo Fernandez
  • Rev. Diane R. Fleming, Community of Faith Church, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Rev. Thomas A. Fleming, Community of Faith Church, Saline, MI
  • Pam Folkers, Church World Service, Michigan
  • Rabbi Steven Foster, Congregation Emanuel, Denver, CO
  • Dr. Robert Franklin, President, Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, GA
  • Joe Franko, American Friends Service Committee, Pacific Southwest Region, Pasadena, CA
  • Rev. John L. Freesemann, Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church, San Jose, CA
  • Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, Executive Director, The Interfaith Alliance
  • The Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Gallen, Executive Director, Preacher's Aid Society of New England
  • Rev. Canon Charles P. Gibbs, Executive Director, United Religions Initiative, San Francisco
  • Beth Glick-Rieman, Director, Human Empowerment in Religion and Society, Spring Valley, CA
  • Paul Gorman, National Religious Partnership for the Environment
  • Rev. Carolyn N. Graham, Deputy Mayor for Children, Youth & Families, District of Columbia, Washington, DC
  • The Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, Reformed Church of America
  • Rev. C. Franklin Granger, Minister of Education, First Baptist Church, Athens, GA
  • Gloria Guard, People's Emergency Center, Philadelphia
  • Dr. David P. Gushee, Graves Associate Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University
  • Christine J. Guth
  • Rev. Dr. Maria Davis Hanlin, Light of Christ United Methodist Church, Charlotte, NC
  • Rev. Patrick Cabello Hansel, New Creation Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, PA
  • David Hartsough, San Francisco Friends Meeting and Director of Peaceworkers
  • Rev. Gary L. Harke, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Council of Churches
  • Herman Harmelink III, Ecumenical Officer, International Council of Community Churches
  • Rev. Mark Henderson, United Methodist Church
  • Dr. David A. Highfield, Westminster United Methodist Church, Westminster, MD
  • Rev. Daphne Hoff, Associate Pastor, Calvary Lutheran Church, Mora MN
  • Marvin D. Hoff, Executive Director, Foundation for Theological Education
  • Robert N. Hosack, Senior Acquisitions Editor, Baker Book House
  • Rev. L. Steve Horswill-Johnston, Associate General Secretary, United Methodist Communications
  • Dr. Joseph C. Hough, Jr., President, Union Theological Seminary, New York
  • Debbie Hubbard, Stewardship Network from the Alberta and Northwest Conference, United Church of Canada
  • Rev. Colleen Hurley-Bates
  • Elenie Huszagh, Esq., Incoming President, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
  • Rev. William C. Imes, President, Bangor Theological Seminary
  • Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs, Temple Kol Tikvah, Woodland Hills, CA
  • Thomas H. Jeavons, General Secretary of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
  • The Very Rev. Arthur M. Johnson, SA, Minister General, Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, Graymoor, NY
  • Rev. Alan Jones, President, San Francisco Interfaith Council, Executive Director, San Francisco United Methodist Mission
  • Rev. Donna Lawrence Jones, Pastor, Cookman United Methodist Church
  • Henry and Vi Jones, Trustees, Claremont School of Theology, Fullerton, CA
  • Rev. Dr. Afrie Songco Joye, Innovative Short-Term Missionary, Faculty, Harris Memorial College
  • Scott Kennedy, Chair, Fellowship of Reconciliation National Council
  • The Rev. Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky, Ecumenical Officer of the Orthodox Church in America, Moderator of the U.S. Conference of Religions for Peace
  • Minister E. Terri LaVelle, Liscensed Evangelist, Church of God in Christ, Program Director, The Faith & Politics Institute, Member of Metropolitan Baptist Church, Washington, DC
  • Kathryn A. Lee, Ph.D., J.D., Chair, Department of History and Political Science, Eastern College
  • Paul D. Leichty, The Goldenrod Community, Middlebury, IN
  • Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, TIKKUN Magazine
  • Sr. Beth LeValley, President, The Greater Rochester Community of Churches
  • Rev. Dr. Eileen W. Lindner, Deputy General Secretary for Research and Planning, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
  • Rev. James H. Littrell, Episcopal Chaplain, The University of Pennsylvania, Rector, The Campus Episcopal Church of St. Mary, Philadelphia
  • Michael E. Livingston, International Council of Community Churches
  • The Rev. Ted Loder, former Pastor, Germantown United Methodist Church, Philadelphia, PA
  • Rev. Clark Lobenstine, Executive Director, Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington
  • Dr. JoAnne Lyon, Executive Director, World Hope International, Inc.
  • Jim Mannoia, President, Greenville College
  • The Rev. Dr. Kevin W. Mannoia, Former President, National Association of Evangelicals
  • The Rev. Michael A. Mata, Professor of Urban Ministry and Director of the Urban Leadership Institute at Claremont School of Theology
  • Dennis A. McAndrew, President/CEO, Lutheran Service Society of Western Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Kendall K McCabe, Academic Dean, United Theological Seminary
  • Rev. John L. McCullough, Executive Director, Church World Service
  • Retha McCutchen, General Secretary, Friends United Meeting
  • Rev. James L. McDonald, Vice President of Policy and Programs, Bread for the World
  • Christie McElhinney, Senior Communications Officer, The Colorado Trust
  • Most Rev. Finian McGinn, OFM, Provincial Minister, Franciscan Friars St. Barbara Province
  • Bishop George D. McKinney, Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America
  • Rev. William McKinney, President, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA
  • W. Grant McMurray, President, Community of Christ
  • Jim R., Jr. and Lois McQuaide and their children, Kelley, Danielle, Stacy, Allen and Katie
  • Pamela Meidell, Chair, Disarmament Task Force, National Council Member, Fellowship of Reconciliation
  • Mary Mikhael, Near East School of Theology
  • Bishop Freeman J. Miller, Mennonite Churches of Philadelphia
  • Marilyn Miller, Director of Outreach Ministries, Commission on Home Ministries, General Conference Mennonite Church
  • Rev. Crystal Minugh-Brutscher, Ministry of Peace and Justice, Riverside United Methodist Church, Elmira, NY
  • Stephen V. Monsma, Professor of Political Science, Pepperdine University
  • Bishop Susan M. Morrison, Albany Episcopal Area, United Methodist Church
  • David Neff, Executive Editor, Christianity Today Magazine
  • Rev. Sandra Olewine, United Methodist Liaison, Jerusalem
  • Rev. Phil Olson, Evangelicals for Social Action, Vice President of Church Relations and Director of Network 9:35
  • Marilyn O'Rourke, RN, MSN, Rush University College of Nursing
  • Glenn R. Palmberg, President, The Evangelical Covenant Church
  • Dr. Robert Parham, Executive Director, Baptist Center for Ethics, Nashville, TN
  • Minister Zina C. Pierre, Washington Linkage Group, Inc.
  • Dr. Peter J. Pizor, Churchwright Institute
  • Bishop Peter Price, Church of England
  • Kathleen Pruitt, CSJP, President, Leadership Conference of Women Religious
  • Janet E. Raffel, J. E. Raffel & Associates, Baltimore, MD
  • The Rev. James Foster Reese, Executive Presbyter of the New York City Presbytery, Presbyterian Church USA
  • The Rev. Dr. Sharon Rhodes-Wickett, Westwood United Methodist Church
  • Rev. Schuyler Rhodes, Temple United Methodist Church, San Francisco, CA
  • Rev. Dr. Bruce Robbins, General Secretary, General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns of the United Methodist Church
  • Rev. Dr. Robert H. Roberts, Interim General Secretary, American Baptist Churches, USA
  • Rabbi David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs, The American Jewish Committee
  • Rev. Patrice Rosner, Director, Ministries in Christian Education, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
  • The Most Rev. Metropolitan Philip Saliba, Primate, Antiochian Orthodox Church Archdiocese of North America
  • Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
  • Fr. Stuart A. Schlegel, Calvary Episcopal Church, Santa Cruz, CA
  • Dr. Edward Schwartz, President, Institute for the Study of Civic Values, Philadelphia, PA
  • Mark Seal, Executive Vice President, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
  • Rev. Luke J. Shank, Lititz PA
  • William and Marina Shaw, Crosscurrents International Institute
  • Rabbi John M. Sherwood, Chair of the Oxnard-Port Hueneme and Ventura California Ministerial Associations
  • Rev. Frank Shields, Oregon State Senator
  • Amy Short, Executive Director, Brethren/Mennonite Council for Lesbian and Gay Concerns
  • Dr. Ron Sider, Evangelicals for Social Action
  • Jon Singletary, Pastor, Richmond Mennonite Fellowship
  • The Rev. Jennifer Slade, Senior Minister, The Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Greenville, SC
  • Max L. Stackhouse, Project on Public Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Mark Flory Steury, District Executive Minister, Southern Ohio District Church of the Brethren
  • Rev. Don R. Stevenson, Senior Minister, Christ's Reformed Church, United Church of Christ, Hagerstown, MD
  • Rev. Elwood Sturtevant, Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church, Louisville KY
  • Susan M. Swider, Ph.D., R.N., Rush University
  • Dr. Sayyid M Syeed, Secretary General, The Islamic Society of North America
  • Bishop Melvin G. Talbert, United Methodist Church
  • Rev. David Tatgenhorst, Pastor, St. Luke United Methodist Church, Bryn Mawr, PA
  • Rev. Candace D. Thomas, Zion United Church of Christ, Bellevue, OH
  • Dr. Ronald F. Thiemann, Professor of Theology, Harvard University
  • The Rev. John H. Thomas, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
  • Rev. Robert W. Tiller, Director of Government Relations, Bread for the World
  • Tim Tucker, Athens, Alabama
  • Rev. Leslie Copeland Tune, Associate Minister at Metropolitan Baptist Church, Washington, DC
  • Mr. Khalid Turaani, American Muslims for Jerusalem
  • Heidi Rolland Unruh, Associate Director, Congregations, Communities and Leadership Development Project
  • The Rev. Lydia Veliko, Minister for Ecumenical Relations, United Church of Christ
  • Rev. Robert Walk, Endorsed American Baptist Chaplain serving in Philadelphia, PA
  • Rev. Patrick B. Walker, Executive Director, York County Council of Churches
  • The Rev. Jim Wallis, Call to Renewal and Sojourners
  • Dr. Andrew D. Walsh, Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Culver-Stockton College, Canton, MO
  • Dr. Valora Washington, Executive Director, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  • Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director, The Shalom Center
  • David Waugh, Pastor and Director, Metro Baptist Church and Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries, New York
  • Dr. Denny Wayman, Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara
  • Rev. Dr. Robert Welsh, President, Council on Christian Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • The Rev. Doris Arnett Whitaker, Director of Admissions, United Theological Seminary
  • Rev. Faith Whitmore, Senior Pastor, St. Mark's United Methodist Church, Sacramento CA
  • Rev. Charles L. Wildman, Senior Pastor, Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ, Arlington, VA
  • The Rev. Nathan D. Wilson, Executive Director, West Virginia Council of Churches
  • The Rev. Dr. Walter Wink, Auburn Theological Seminary
  • Tobias Winright, Instructor of Religion, Simpson College
  • Loretta C. Witt, Philadelphia
  • Rev. Dr. Bertrice Wood, Vice President, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, United Church of Christ
  • Dr. Richard Wood, President, United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia
  • Ambassador Andrew Young, President, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
  • Bishop McKinley Young, Presiding Bishop, Tenth District, African Methodist Episcopal Church