[Pasadena CA] On Sunday, November 8th, All Saints Church observed the upcoming Veterans Day holiday with opportunities for parish members to celebrate all veterans.
At one set of tables on the quad lawn, parishioners signed Christmas cards to send to troops in Afghanistan. "The emotional health of our young men and women is extremely important as they work in surroundings that are challenging both physically and emotionally," said Susan Johnson, who helped coordinate the card signing effort. "These cards help us assure them that we care!"
At another set of tables, parishioners lined up to sign letters to their congressional representatives urging support for HR1283 to repeal the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.
"'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' is one of the most discriminatory practices of our times," said the Reverend Ed Bacon, All Saints' rector. "It empowers the U.S. military to fire thousands of dedicated, highly trained service members on the basis of their sexual orientation. President Obama has promised to overturn this policy, and we need to be sure that our representatives in Congress are co-sponsors of this important legislation."
The letter being sent by All Saints Church members to their representatives read:
As a person of faith, I am appalled at the injustice of the United States’ military policy: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and I urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 1283 immediately. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell must be repealed and eliminated in this session of Congress, it has destroyed the hopes and careers of too many dedicated service personnel and it must end.
President Obama has promised to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, based on its blatant discriminatory practices. Every study commissioned by the US military has concluded that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell weakens morale, and even national security itself, by requiring that dedicated, well trained and educated service personnel are required to violate codes of honor by not admitting to their full identities.
Thousands of Americans have been denied their admirable life goals and sincerely respectable desires: to serve the United States military, as they have been called and trained to do. Dismissing service members based on their sexual orientation is an injustice which can no longer be tolerated.
I urge you to join your colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives today, and add your voice to those who are calling for justice in the U.S. military. Co-sponsor H.R.1283.
"Core values for All Saints Church are making God's love tangible and putting our faith into action," said the Reverend Susan Russell, an All Saints Senior Associate and the mother of a son on active duty with the U.S. Army. "What we saw on Sunday were both of those values in action, as parish members reached out in love to those serving our country and spoke out in advocacy for those wishing to serve but kept from doing so because of their sexual orientation."
"I'm very proud to serve a parish that celebrates ALL veterans in such an outward and visible way on Veterans Day."