UUA President Peter Morales Issues Statement on Shootings in Tucson

Memorial at University Medical Center in Tuscon, AZ.

Outside of the University Medical Center in Tucson, where Giffords is receiving treatment. Photo by Susan Scrimshaw.

Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), issued the following statement on Saturday, January 8, 2011, in response to the day's tragic events in Tucson, Arizona:

I am shocked and profoundly saddened by the news of the shootings in Tucson. Our first response must be one of reaching out in love to the victims, their families, and friends. This is a time for embracing one another and helping each other find strength and solace.

I am also deeply disturbed and, frankly, angered that these acts of wanton violence occur repeatedly in America. These murders in Tucson should cause all Americans to reflect humbly, to look into our souls. Ours is a society in which such acts occur far too often. Sorrow and compassion when people are murdered are not enough. We must rededicate ourselves to creating a culture where differences are resolved without violence, where the mentally unstable do not have ready access to lethal force.

First, we must respond with acts of tenderness. Then we must join hands to create a culture where violence has no place.

The UUA is a faith community of more than 1,000 self-governing congregations that bring to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance, and social justice. For more information on the UUA, including recent press releases and news articles, please visit our online press room.

On January 13, 2011, Morales joined other national faith leaders in signing an open letter to Congress in response to the shooting. The letter was published as a full-page advertisement in Roll Call.