This past year, we’ve seen political leaders use fear and anger to divide communities and undermine our shared values, both of people of faith and those who do not claim any faith community.
Shared values are not beliefs, dogmas, doctrines, theology, traditions, customs or religious practices. I believe almost all of us share basic human values of love, compassion, kindness, justice, truth and beauty. We might add also to this list of those “life-enhancing values” noted by Gretta Vosper in her book With or Without God: hope, peace, joy, innocence, delight, forgiveness, caring, respect, wisdom, honor, creativity, tranquility, imagination, humor, awe, purity, courage, fun, challenge, knowledge, daring, artistry, wonder, strength and trustworthiness.
This video from Faith in Public Life introduces their #Be The Balm Campaign.
Faith in Public Life is a progressive, Washington DC based “strategy center for the faith community, advancing faith in the public square as a powerful force for justice, compassion and the common good.”
“Throughout the country, hate crimes have risen as people are targeted because of their religion, country of origin, gender or the person they love. Enough is enough. As communities of faith, we must push ourselves to #BeTheBalm the prophet Jeremiah spoke of to heal the wounds of our country. At this moment of darkness, we must be the light.”
“Faith in Public Life is building a deep infrastructure of moral leaders that will protect the most vulnerable and stand up to the rise of bigotry, racism and hatred in 2017. Across the country leaders are already working hard to reform our criminal justice systems, address gun violence, protect our planet for future generations, and ensure equal treatment of our LGBT brothers and sisters.”
A prominent group of religious leaders (Protestant Christians, Catholics, Mormons, Jews, Muslims and other faith traditions) recently “issued a call to arms asking members of Congress not to accommodate appointments to President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet that threaten minorities in America. The group described Trump’s proposed administration as a “cabinet of bigotry” and expressed their concerns about the potential impact of a White House filled with individuals who seem to oppose people from diverse backgrounds.”
Faith in Public Life is led by Rev. Jennifer Butler, chair of the White House Council on Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships. She is “passionate about the need to counter religious extremism with a strong religious argument for human rights” and in 2006 wrote the book Born Again: The Christian Right Globalized, which calls for a progressive religious response to the religious right efforts to take the culture wars global within the United Nations.
New Ground, a Muslim-Jewish partnership for change is “an organization that empowers Jewish and Muslim community leaders with the skills, resources, and relationships needed to improve Muslim-Jewish relations, is one of those change-makers.