The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), issued this statement following the news of police officers murdered in Dallas, Texas:

“On Thursday evening during a peaceful protest for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, police officers were targeted, gunned down, and murdered in the streets of Dallas, Texas. These police officers were doing their job and keeping people safe. No one who opposes systemic racism in America can condone or excuse acts of violence like these murders of police officers. My heart aches for their families and loved ones.

This past week we have been shocked by news of interracial killings. In another violent time in our nation, Dr. Martin Luther King reminded us that, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.’ We must come together in mutual compassion and respect. We are all in this together.

As we come together, we must also recommit ourselves to addressing the deep divisions and injustices in our world that give rise to violence. Hatred and violence spring from fear, pain and anger. Let us first come together in peace to stop the killings. That, however, is just the beginning. We must build a world where violence and hatred cannot take root. Only love can guide us on that journey.”