Joe Biden calls on religious leaders to support gun control with congregation and reframe from debate in moral terms
Vice President Joe Biden has a misssion for pastors, rabbis and nuns – Go and tell your congregations that enacting gun control is the moral thing to do.
Biden met for two-and-a-half hours Monday with more than a dozen leaders from various faith communities including Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh, to name a few.
Both Biden and the faith leaders encouraged each other not to give up on the effort by Biden and President Barack Obama to pass new gun laws in the wake of December’s schoolhouse shooting in Connecticut.
“The conversation presumed the vote would happen first on immigration,” said Rabbi David Saperstein, who directs the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. “That seemed to be the back-and-forth on both sides — that immigration was a key priority right now. When that vote took place, it would be an opportunity to refocus on this.”
“There were some very powerful evangelical leaders in the room who needed to be reassured,” said Pastor Michael McBride of the PICO National Network, a faith-based organizing network.
Citing what he described as misinformation from the National Rifle Association and others, Biden said the renewed push for gun control must correct misconceptions about what the proposals do and don’t do, participants said. He asked clergy to keep up the pressure and to reframe the debate for their followers in moral terms.
Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, said a diverse spectrum of denominations and religious orders were represented. She said they included evangelical leaders Richard Cizik and Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, as well as Sister Marge Clark of Network, a Catholic group.