Interfaith Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty
TCADP invites all religious leaders who reside in Texas to sign the Interfaith Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty: http://tcadp.org/interfaith-sign-on-letter/.
We invite Jewish faith leaders to sign both the Interfaith Statement and this statement from Texas Rabbis and Cantors: http://tcadp.org/texas-rabbis-statement-on-the-death-penalty/.
TCADP’s first-ever “Faith Leader Advocacy Day on the Death Penalty” took place on Monday, March 9, 2015 at the State Capitol, in partnership with Texas Impact, the oldest and largest statewide interfaith network in Texas. TCADP and Texas Impact released an Interfaith Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty, which has been endorsed by more than 550 faith leaders across Texas, as well as a Texas Rabbis’ and Cantors’ Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty, signed by more than 20 Jewish leaders in Texas. Participating clergy met with legislators to voice their support for House Bill 1527.
We welcome and encourage all ordained clergy, retired clergy, deacons, nuns, rabbis, cantors, monks, imams, and leaders of peace or humanist churches who reside in Texas to continue adding their signatures to the Interfaith Statement of Opposition to the Death Penalty.
Click here to see if your faith leader has signed. The signatures are organized by first region then alphabetically.
Clergy Meetings? Do you participate in a regularly scheduled clergy meeting in your community? Would you be interested in partnering with TCADP to host a clergy breakfast? Contact us at email@example.com to learn more and discuss opportunities for collaboration.
TCADP will work with you to organize one of the following activities (complete the sign up form below):
- Publicize your faith tradition’s position/statements on the death penalty.
- Collect signatures of support on the “Count Me In” form and request your faith leader sign the Interfaith Sign-on Letter.
- Toll your bells on the days of executions in Texas in order to encourage reflection and prayer (see People of Faith Against the Death Penalty for more information about this program)
- Hear testimony from a murder victim’s family member, exonerated death row inmate, or other speaker
- Show a film on the death penalty and hold a follow-up discussion. Consider some of the films listed below, all available from TCADP.
“The Death Penalty in Texas: A study guide for Texas faith communities” This guide developed by the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy provides a broad overview of the death penalty in the United States and Texas, including major faith traditions’ stances on the death penalty. Available online.
Pope Francis’ message on the death penalty from VI World Congress Against the Death Penalty On June 21, 2016, Pope Francis spoke to the World Congress Against the death penalty. In his speech, Pope Francis again stated the need for worldwide abolition. More information about this speech can be found here. Video and full text of the speech in Spanish are available here.
At the Death House Door This film presents the journey of Reverend Carroll Pickett, the former Texas death house chaplain who accompanied 95 men – including Carlos DeLuna, likely an innocent man – to their executions. 2007. 1 hour, 37 minutes.
70X7 the Forgiveness Equation This short film thrusts viewers into the turmoil between two sisters, Sue Norton and Maudie Hills, whose responses in the aftermath of their parents’ murder varied widely. The film also relives the horrific Oklahoma City terrorist attack in which Bud Welch’s young daughter was killed. His story reveals an unorthodox relationship with the father of the convicted killer, Timothy Mcveigh. These are the stories and their struggles speaking for themselves, these individuals shared how they coped with unforeseen bereavement, profound feelings of helplessness, rage and revenge, and, for some a move towards reconciliation and forgiveness. 2008. 36 minutes.
The Empty Chair In this balanced and compelling portrayal, four families that have lost loved ones to murder confront their notions of revenge, forgiveness, and healing. This film works well with audiences that hold mixed views on the death penalty or groups that are addressing the issue for the first time. It includes commentary from Sister Helen Prejean. 2003. 52 minutes.
Executing the Insane: The Case of Scott Panetti Scott Panetti was sentenced to death in Texas despite a long, documented history of paranoid schizophrenia. The film is a powerful portrait of the impact that Panetti’s mental illness – and his death sentence – has had on his family. 2007. 27 minutes. Available online.
A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death Based on the U.S. Bishops’ 2005 statement of the same name, this film explores the Church’s stand on the use, effectiveness, and necessity of the death penalty and offers guidance to parishes that wish to address the issue. 2006. 15 minutes. Available on loan from TCADP or from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for $9.95: www.ccedp.org.
Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Use of the Death Penalty
Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN) proclaims the Roman Catholic Church’s unconditional pro-life teaching and its application to capital punishment and restorative justice. This work is carried out in many ways in the organization through the work of a focused coordinating committee, and the implementation work of a small but diverse staff, both in Washington, DC, and Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD. http://catholicsmobilizing.org
People of Faith Against the Death Penalty
People of Faith Against the Death Penalty is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, interfaith organization whose mission is to educate and mobilize faith communities to act to abolish the death penalty in the United States. Founded in 1994 in North Carolina, PFADP focuses its programs on organizing among faith communities. Members include Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and people from other faith traditions. PFADP works every day with faith communities across the South and the nation, helping to empower people to stand and be heard for repeal and helping groups across the country to develop their capacities for organizing for repeal of the death penalty. http://www.pfadp.org
TCADP can provide you with speakers, fact sheets, brochures, films, discussion guides, petitions, or whatever else you might need to make your event/activity a success! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note when working in a faith community:
- Always be respectful
- Respect their process
- Feeling Safe is important
- Progress can be slow and incremental
- Be creative, if talking about the bigger issue of the death penalty is not working try something else.
- Compelling storytellers are always more convincing than an activist (a murder victim family member or a family member of an executed inmate) People seem to more easily change their minds when they meet someone touched by the process. Activists are important in setting the scene with statistical information and the facts.
For more information about past Religious Outreach events, please visit the archive page.