FDR once said, "We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization."
I do not need to remind anyone that this country seems to be in a time of great rifts and schisms. There are forces at work among us that seem to encourage hatred and divisions among us - issues of racism, sexism, ageism, and homophobia - just to name a few. Even among people of various faith traditions and at a time when connectivity and community seem warranted, there simply seem too many efforts to divide and exacerbate differences.
Whether in Orlando last weekend or in Pawtucket and Cranston a few weeks back now, we seem to be experiencing too many outrageous acts that harken back to ancient and historic hatreds, fears, and biases. I believe we are all concerned about these threats and actions carried out by a few, yet impacting us all. In the face of examples of religious hatred and intolerance we pray for civility and tolerance... In the face of acts of violence toward racial groups and folks of differing sexual orientations we pray for unity and harmony... In the face of fear mongering we pray for good hearts and minds to prevail.... May we continue to find ways to reach out to one another... May we continue to find common ground... May we seek to affirm one another's traditions, backgrounds, differences, and work to respect and honor one another. Jesus invited us to love one another. May we continue to learn how to do that in today's world...
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