Stop Senate Bill 26

The Missouri Senate is trying to pass Senate Bill 26, a bill that would virtually outlaw taking to streets, to pray with our feet. We are asking our faith and congregation leaders to review to letter below and click the link at the end. You can then sign on to the letter and it will be delivered to the Missouri Senate. It is our right as people of faith and conscience…and as Americans to march for our lives!

The letter reads as follows….

“As pastors and religious leaders living and serving in Missouri, we write to you in strong opposition to Senate Bill 26. Not only is this bill a direct attack on the cherished America traditions of assembly, petition, and direct action, it also criminalizes those whose conscience calls them to practice their faith by praying with their feet in the street. As Rabbi Abraham Heschel wrote in 1965, “For many of us the march from Selma to Montgomery was about protest and prayer. Legs are not lips and walking is not kneeling. And yet our legs uttered songs. Even without words, our march was worship. I felt my legs were praying.” We agree with Rabbi Heschel that protesting and marching with those struggling for justice is a sacred act of religious devotion. Protest is prayer, and as prayer, it is essential for our land’s healing. As scripture says,

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

We are grateful for the brave men and women in our nation’s history who prayerfully protested on buses, bridges, interstate highways, and city streets for voting rights, civil liberties, access to healthcare, fair pay for working families, and equal respect and dignity under the law. By blocking the flow of traffic, they made way for the flow of justice. Senate Bill 26 would criminalize each of them, including recognized American heroes like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Ida B. Wells. Senate Bill 26 would also criminalize Jesus Christ himself, because as the Gospels tell us, Jesus stopped the flow of traffic coming in and out of the Jerusalem Temple while part of an unlawful assembly.

We do not believe prayer should be criminalized, even if it stops traffic. We are pastors, preachers, and religious leaders. We pray with the sick at the hospital. We pray with the newlyweds at weddings. We pray with the children at baptisms, bar/bat mitzvahs, and rites of passage. We pray with the faithful at worship. We pray with the mourning at funerals. And we pray with the people in the street. Senate Bill 26 turns our prayer into a crime. It is not. Do not pass this bill.”

CLICK HERE …. add your name to the letter and it will be sent on to the Missouri Senate.

Susan Sneed