The Common Good

Faith leaders try to help heal pain, sorrow after Tucson shootings

Date: January 11, 2011

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As Tucsonans continued to reel from the Jan. 8 shooting spree at a shopping center that left six dead and another 14 wounded, religious leaders around the country looked to help heal the emotional pain through prayer and memorial services.

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The Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, issued a plea for people to turn to Scripture and a civility pledge Sojourners is promoting as a starting point for civil discourse. He noted that he had been with Giffords over the New Year's weekend at a retreat in South Carolina, where some of the discussion was about the "poisonous and personal" tone political rhetoric has taken.

"This horrible tragedy must now become an important American moment," Rev. Wallis wrote. "We must honor this tragic event and Gabby's national service by reflecting deeply on how we speak to and about one another, and how we create environments that help peace grow -- or allow violence and hatred to enter."