Responding to Tragedy

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For a week now the nation has been staggering under the weight of the mass shooting of 20 first graders and 6 adults in Newtown, Connecticut. Like you, I have wept and pondered this horror. On Monday I decided that I needed to do something.

On Wednesday evening, approximately 100 people of faith, representing Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Baha’i congregations, gathered on the West steps of Los Angeles City Hall to mourn the loss of our children and to demand action, from ourselves and from our elected representatives.*

Seventh-day Adventists have from our earliest days rejected violence and adhered strictly to the sixth commandment declaring, “Thou shalt not murder.” We have refused to bear arms of any kind, in war, much less as civilians. It is time to break our silence and speak prophetically about sensible gun laws and other violence prevention.

Ryan Bell, D.Min., is the pastor of the Hollywood Adventist church.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at