In the sacred season of Passover and Easter and the blessed season of Spring, the Brattleboro interfaith community is feeling deep sadness at the news of the tragic shooting of Dr. William Lewis Corporon, his grandson, 14-year-old Reat Griffin Underwood, and Terri LeManno, in Kansas City. Although the killer was a white supremacist known to the Southern Poverty Law Center as "a raging anti-Semite," who believed he was killing Jews, Corporon and his grandson were Methodists, and LeManno was Catholic.
As members of the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Clergy Association we ask ourselves, where can hope and meaning be found in a landscape where hate crimes and gun violence threaten the very fabric of community? We despair at the power of hatred, as well as our country’s easy access to guns. We affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all people. We pray that during this sacred time we can open our hearts and be respectful, kind and compassionate toward one another. We each must do what we can to create beloved communities and build a better world.
On April 27, at 4 p.m., after the conclusion of the eight days of Passover and the Holy Week of Christians, BAICA and the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community are offering an interfaith commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Carl H. Rosner, a survivor of Buchenwald, will speak. We will read the writings and sing the songs of people who were in Hitler’s extermination camps. We will light memorial candles for the eleven million -- six million Jews, and five million individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ people, political resisters, Roma, and many others killed by the Nazi regime.
The tragic outrage in Kansas City serves to remind us that when we remember the Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda and atrocities of the past, we must never cease our work for education and an end to senseless prejudice. We renew our commitment to confront antisemitism, hatred, and bigotry, so that we may some day achieve "Tikkun Olam," a healing of the world. We reaffirm that it is through love and compassion that we will transform this world and our communities to embrace all peoples and all beings.
Rupa Cousins, Rev. Sandy Daly, Rev. Susanna Griefen, Rev. Robert Hamm, Rev. Barbro Hansson, Kate Judd, Rev. Mary Lindquist, Manny Mansbach, Rev. Carra McFadden, Rev. Cheryl Meachen, Marie Procter, Pastor Lise Sparrow and Rev. Peggy Yingst.