The Interfaith Fellowship of Augusta comprises leaders from 10 faiths.
We come together around shared values. Among those is a belief in the worth and dignity of every person often expressed in some variation of the Golden Rule. We believe one purpose of religion is to help each person develop to his or her full rational, emotional and spiritual potential. That requires us to work together for a society that provides the resources and conditions for each person to realize that potential.
This shared commitment to human flourishing causes us to recognize President Trump’s derogatory comment about black-majority countries as a moral matter as well as a political one. It shows complete disrespect for dignity for a group of people whose only fault is they do not have financial or military power.
The inherent worth of each individual is shared by all world religions. This value is expressed through tolerance, inclusion and respect for every person. Statements that incite hatred, division and nationalism based on color of skin, place of birth, sexual orientation and gender are a particularly egregious offense against the universal religious values of the inherent worth of each life and living in peace.
We cannot respond to every outrageous statement coming from this administration, nor should we. It simply adds to the cacophony that distracts from more serious political actions. However, we must periodically affirm the values that are the basis of a just and decent society.
Remaining silent establishes a “new normal” in which open racism and bigotry are accepted and acceptable.
We stand for human equality and the respect for all people regardless of their religion, ethnic identity, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin or any other categorization.
We stand against stereotypes that paint entire groups of people with negative images. We stand for simple human decency based on our common sisterhood and brotherhood.
Interfaith Fellowship of Augusta