"As a network of religious, labor, education and community leaders from all walks of life and all political persuasions, we condemn the acts of insurrection and violence in Washington, D.C."
We the leaders of Together Baton Rouge are shocked and appalled by what happened at the Capitol Wednesday, January 6. The Capitol was disrespected and demeaned by violent actors who threatened the rights of every citizen who peaceably engages in the democratic process in our country.
Deliberation, debate, argument, compromise, deal-making: these are the means to advance interests in a democracy. Working with our sister organizations of the West/Southwest IAF, we teach and practice these political skills every day; fighting in a non-violent manner on behalf of the issues that impact families and traveling regularly to state Capitols, City Halls and decision-making chambers to advance these issues. That the buildings and halls of power belong to these organized citizens is made self-evident by their consistent and persistent presence throughout years of effort. Their work is carried out through hundreds of conversations full of respectful dissent, concession, and, sometimes, victory. In other words, democratically.
What happened at the U.S. Capitol not only endangered the officials, staff members and public safety officers who were present, but endangered our democratic institutions by introducing violence to what has, until now, been a tradition of peaceful transfer of power in national leadership. To arrive at the point of raising arms is the weakest form of power in our national leadership and our nation was weakened on January 6 by the use of violence in a place of political debate. We mourn the unnecessary loss of life that occurred as a result of this attack.
As a network of religious, labor, education and community leaders from all walks of life and all political persuasions, we condemn these acts of insurrection and violence in Washington, D.C., and recall the words of Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address at the conclusion of the Civil War: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”