Clergy Letter Against Hate
December is a time of many religious celebrations. No matter the religious tradition to which we belong, our holidays share a common denominator: at this season of greatest darkness, we kindle light.We find a sense of urgency this year, after a very polarizing national election, to participate in that common human act of kindling light in the midst of darkness.
Our Shoreline has not been immune to the spike in hate crimes against minorities. We shout our defiant rejection of these acts and call on all our neighbors to stand up to hate and spread more light. We are liberals and conservatives, we are Democrats, we are Republicans, and we are unaffiliated. We have strong differences, but underneath those differences we are united in our desire to see every human being treated with dignity.
We profoundly reject actions that denigrate minority groups. We decry the anti-Semitic swastika-writing graffiti that has appeared in our towns. We deplore the hateful acts against Muslims and all acts that target and threaten minority populations.We on the Shoreline can and must do better. We embrace the fact that ours is a community of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Humanists, Buddhists, Secularists, Hindus and more. We affirm the words of George Washington that bear repeating: “The United Statesgives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requiring only that they who live under its protection should [conduct] themselves as good citizens.”
As religious leaders of Guilford and Madison, we ask for your vigilance. We ask you to kindle light. We ask you to embrace our collective human responsibility: to stand up to hatewhen we see it and to spread light and love throughout our nation.
May your holiday be bright and joyous.
The Rev. Dr. Ginger Brasher-Cunningham, First Congregational Church of Guilford
Judith Cooke, Pastor of North Guilford Congregational Church
Rev. Jeanette Cooper Hicks, The United Churches of Durham
Rev. James H. Latimer, Pastor, North Madison Congregational Church
Rev. Jeanne Lloyd, Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society, Madison
Hazzan Kevin Margolius, Temple Beth Tikvah, Madison
Shariya Molegoda, Rector, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Madison
Rabbi Stacy Offner, Temple Beth Tikvah, Madison
John Reichart, Pastor, Shoreline Vineyard Church
The Rev. Stephen M. Sledesky, St. George Roman Catholic Church, Guilford
The Rev. Sarah J. Verasco, First Congregational Church of Guilford
The Rev. R. Harrison West, Rector, Christ Episcopal Church, Guilford
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