Friday, January 05, 2007

A Call for Interfaith Reconciliation

A Call for Interfaith Reconciliation
Sign the petition

Let Rep. Virgill Goode know that his attacks on Muslims are not acceptable. Please add your name to this petition, which will be hand-delivered to Rep. Goode's office.

A Call for Interfaith Reconciliation

As religious people from diverse traditions, we call upon Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode to re-examine his opposition to newly-elected Representative Keith Ellison, a Muslim, taking his unofficial oath of office using the Qur'an, and to apologize for his statement that, without punitive immigration reform, "there will be many more Muslims elected to office demanding the use of the Quran."

Mr. Goode insinuates that having more Muslims in the United States would be a danger to our country. As people of faith, we reject such ill-considered words.

An attack against one religion is an attack against them all. Next week, it could be Jews. Next month, it could be Christian fundamentalists or evangelicals. Right now, it is Muslims. It is they who feel targeted by repression and abuse, and they who live among us in a growing climate of fear.

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once implored us: "No religion is an island! We are all involved with one another. Spiritual betrayal on the part of one of us affects the faith of all of us."

We hold it to be self-evident that all Americans have the right to practice their faith, whatever it may be, and that any Americans - regardless of race, color or creed - may be elected and sworn into office holding whatever book they consider sacred.

We would point out that there are some five million Muslims in the US. Many have been here for generations. They are every bit as American as Rep. Goode. Some Americans have also converted to Islam, including Rep. Ellison. We call for a renewed unity among people of conscience and of faith.

We would further point out that just as it was appropriate for the late President Ford to be honored by a profoundly Christian memorial service, so it is equally appropriate for Rep. Ellison to be sworn into office, in a private ceremony, holding the book representing his deepest religious convictions.

Above all, we urge all Americans to stand up for religious freedom and to deplore the hurtful words of any public figure who would disparage a particular religion.

In a spirit of reconciliation and peace, we invite Rep. Goode to join with us in an inter-religious delegation to visit a mosque in his district, in order that the healing may begin.


George Hunsinger
Princeton Theological Seminary

David A. Robinson, Executive Director
Pax Christi USA: National Catholic Peace Movement

Rev. Robert Edgar
National Council of Churches

Stephen Rockwell, Director
Institute for Progressive Christianity

Jeffrey Boldt
Wisconsin Christian Alliance for Progress

Katie Barge, Director of Communications
Faith in Public Life

Rev. Debra Hafner
Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing

Rev. Peter Laarman, Executive Director
Progressive Christians Uniting

Rev. Dr. Rick Schlosser, Executive Director
California Council of Churches

Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs
The Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs Progressive Faith Foundation

Elizabeth Sholes, Director of Public Policy
California Council of Churches

Rev. Rita Nakashima Brock, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Faith Voices for the Common Good

Jesse Lava, Co-founder and Executive Director

Rev. Dr. Larry L. Greenfield, Executive Minister
American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago

Rev. Cedric A. Harmon
Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Rev. Chuck Currie
Parkrose Community United Church of Christ, Portland, OR

Joseph C. Hough, Jr., President
Union Theological Seminary, New York

Mary E. Hunt, Ph.D., Co-director
Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual

Rev. Harry Knox, Director of Religion and Faith Program
Human Rights Campaign Foundation

Rabbi Rebecca Alpert, Chair
Department of Religion, Temple University

Vincent Isner, Executive Director
Faithful America

Rev. Timothy F. Simpson
Christian Alliance for Progress

Sign the petition


Larry said...

Would Virgil Goode be making the same racist comments if it were a newly elected Republican?

I think not.

Faithful Progressive said...

No--he has aid nothing about Zalmay Khalilzad, the outgoing ambassador to Iraq, who will become UN ambassador. A great imrovement over Bolton by the way...


TomCat said...

I was happy to siugn that one.

I'm not sure about Khalilzad. I checked his background and he appears to be a neocon ideologue with strong ties to Big Oil, the Carlyle Group and the Bush family.

Barbara said...

Done... and I will pass on.