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National Women of Faith Remember and Honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg


September 19, 2020


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202) 735-7123

Austin Schuler, aschuler@faithinpubliclife.org, (540) 280-3393

National Women of Faith Remember and Honor 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Washington, D.C. — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, cultural and feminist icon, died Friday at her home in Washington, D.C., surrounded by family. She was 87.

Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life:

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a sage, a fighter and a prophet who shone a light of justice in often dark chambers. Her passing on the first night of Rosh Hashanah leaves Jewish Americans and the whole faith community in a state of grief. In her memory, we raise a call of commitment to carry on her work for equal protection under the law, equal access to health care, the right to vote, and so many other moral issues.  

Voting in the 2020 election has already begun, and the leaders we are now in the process of choosing are the right people to select our next Supreme Court justice. Ramming through a lifetime appointment before then would be an unpatriotic attack on our democracy. The legitimacy of the court is at stake.

Majority Leader McConnell spat upon Justice Ginsburg’s legacy by announcing his intent to help fill her seat in the middle of an election. Every senator now faces a moral choice that will define their legacy. God is watching.

Though my vision is blurred by tears today, I still see that light of justice that God emitted through Justice Ginsburg’s work and witness. People of faith who believe in justice and equality will protect her legacy.”

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice:

“Justice Ginsburg was a pioneer for women and a champion for the equally sacred issues of civil rights, workers’ rights, immigrant rights, LGBTQ equality, and racial justice. She always found opportunities to work for the common good. Her sharp mind, keen wit, and forthright manner was a gift to the American people. She will be sorely missed. May we honor her by picking up her commitment to justice.”

Bishop Marianne Budde, Episcopal Diocese of Washington:

“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an icon of inclusion and a tireless advocate for those too long denied a voice in our nation and their rightful place in our laws.

Though small in stature, she was a giant for women’s rights, devoting her entire legal career to the notion that women should be included not only in the spirit of the law, but also in its application. That spirit extended to her defense of all those who — because of their race, gender or sexual orientation — were never granted full equality under the law.

Justice Ginsburg’s death comes at a fraught moment in our nation’s polarized politics. The next few months will test the strength of our institutions and the character of those called upon to choose her successor.

We are now called to embody that same faith in this grand experiment of democracy. When so much threatens to tear us apart, we must cling ever tighter to our highest ideals. May her memory be a blessing, may we draw strength from her example, and may we never lose sight of the America she knew we could be.”

Rev. Traci D. Blackmon, Associate General Minister, United Church of Christ:

“Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has earned her rest. Her fiery spirit and relentless pursuit of justice for those for whom justice is often denied means she has fought her own battles and more. May some rise among us, regardless of political party, with the moral courage to stop those who would seek to fill her vacancy with one not worthy of her legacy. That is the least we can do for one who has done so much.”

Linda Sarsour, Co-Founder of Women’s March, Activist, Community Organizer:

“May Ruth Bader Ginsburg rest in peace. May we, the people, the women of this country, not be in peace until we are able to save the Supreme Court and our democracy. Generations to come are counting on us to win.”

Lisa Sharon Harper, Author of The Very Good Gospel, President and Founder of Freedom Road, LLC:

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg is walking with the ancestors now. We honor her indomitable spirit and her courage to dream a world where the law sees women as fully human. She held on as long as she could and made good on her promise to fight till her last day. We bow deep.

As we turn to Election Day 2020, we are grateful to God for the gift of Notorious RBG and determined to meet this moment in a manner worthy of her decades of service to the Constitution of the United States of America. The stakes for BIPOC and women and LGBTQIA and disabled people and immigrants are now absolute and existential.

Everything is at stake: civil rights, voting rights, women’s rights, disabled people’s rights, indigenous rights, environmental rights and LGBTQIA rights. It’s okay to sit in the silence left by her passing for now. Listen for the voice of God in that space. There, we will find two things; overwhelming love and unbridled courage.”

Valarie Kaur, Activist, Author of See No Stranger, and Founder of Revolutionary Love Project:

“Justice Ginsburg, oh how we love you. You were our Wise Woman. Tender and truthful and wise — our lioness for justice. Now beloved Ruth, you are gone. Just when you did not wish to go. We did not want you to go. You said to your granddaughter, ‘My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.’ You knew what your passing would bring.

Today we grieve. Let the tears come. AND let the rage rise. Scream. Breathe through it. Know that you are not alone. But don’t for a second think that all is lost. It’s not over yet. They are counting on your despair. Don’t give it to them. We are going to need you, yes YOU. Your energy and voice. Tonight we breathe. Tomorrow we push for Ruth. Breathe and push.”


Faith in Public Life is a national movement of clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality and the common good. Together, we are leading the fight to advance just policies at the state and federal level. Our network of 50,000 leaders engage in bold moral action that affirms our values and the human dignity of all.

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