Cultivate common ground regarding faith in public life

Religion News Service | 10/15/2019 | Staff
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(RNS) — “We make our own history,” Eleanor Roosevelt said. “The course of history is directed by the choices we make and our choices grow out of the ideas, the beliefs, the values, the dreams of the people. It is not so much the powerful leaders that determine our destiny as the much more powerful influence of the combined voice of the people themselves.”

The choices Americans make now about faith in public life will help to determine our course. With hate crimes and hostility toward certain faiths soaring, Americans have to decide whether we will tolerate this state of affairs or act to change it. If we truly believe all are created with equal dignity and worth, the answer is clear: Every human being deserves safety, security and religious liberty. And an attack on any faith must be treated as an attack against our own.

Circumstances - Tolerance - Rhetoric - Fearmongering - Candidates

Especially under current circumstances, there should be no more tolerance for violent rhetoric or fearmongering by candidates or government officials.

To be sure, government cannot stop every hate crime or heal all of our divisions. But leaders have a solemn obligation to do everything in their power to keep us safe and bring us together. Let us reaffirm George Washington’s words, written to the congregation of Touro Synagogue, that the United States of America should give “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

Values - First - Amendment - Religion - Clauses

These are among the values embodied in the First Amendment’s religion clauses, which serve as co-guarantors of religious liberty. In the face of efforts to dismantle or diminish it, Americans should register their support for a robust understanding of the establishment clause, one that applies to both the federal government and the governments of all 50 states.

In an America that is rapidly becoming more diverse, it is perhaps more important than ever that the...
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