At our January 5th meeting, the Tri-City Interfaith Council unanimously approved the following “Anti-Hate Statement:”
As a grassroots collection of people from many spiritual traditions, we want to clearly state that our faith traditions call us to recognize all people as equal and sacred. We reject racism, bigotry, and hatred.
When expressions of white supremacy, Antisemitism, neo-Nazi ideology, Islamophobia, hatred against ethnic minorities, and other forms of oppression make headlines, we must stand firmly against these exhibitions of hate. The Nazi swastika, the Ku Klux Klan hood, and the Confederate flag are symbols that have no place in American society.
While we denounce violence in any form by any group, we reject suggestions of the moral equivalency of groups that promote white supremacy and hatred of all kinds with those who oppose such values and protest against them.
We praise the many groups that are working in our community and across our country to overcome division and build understanding, whether it is among people of different races, faiths, sexual orientations, gender identities, or gender expressions; between police officers and community members; or within our schools.
All our faiths are grounded in the common value of compassion. We affirm fair treatment for all and the centrality of “loving our neighbors as ourselves.” Prejudice, animosity, or violence against any group of people is completely antithetical to our religious principles. We promote our national values which declare that we are one nation with “liberty and justice for all.”
We call on all people of good will to work together for the common good and honor the contributions of all individuals. Rather than be divided by our differences, let us be enriched by our diversity.
We also voted to return to monthly themes for each fourth Thursday Vigil/Rally rather than a single “We Are One” theme. The themes are determined by the council in response to particular areas of social concern. This month’s theme is, “United Against Hate,” and the vigil/rally will be held on Thursday, January 25, from 5:00 – 6:00 pm at the corner of Walnut and Paseo Padre.
I am honored to be the parish representative to such an active and effective group.
~The Rev. Anna Horen