We are gratified that people across the political divide are speaking out against the latest Tweets of Mr. Trump. The consistent demeaning of women by the President is a continuation of his verbal assault on women that we endured throughout the political campaign. This is not a matter of politics but basic human decency.
We as a people need to be aware that this type of behavior and speech endangers the lives and well-being of women in the World. Women do not enjoy full human rights in most of the World, including our own Nation. We call upon the Interfaith Communities to condemn this kind of behavior and recognize the danger it poses for women everywhere.
Fair minded people must learn to debate the issues of the day in ways that recognize and respect the dignity and humanity of all involved. We oppose all speech and behavior that would compromise the safety and security of others. We encourage everyone in this situation to treat one another with respect, including the President.
As “leader of the Free World,” the President of the United States has a serious obligation to act and speak on behalf of the human rights and dignity of all peoples. The American Experiment was founded upon and must be always based on the principles of human decency, respect and fair-play. Racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, etc. must be confronted and eliminated. Prejudicial attitudes based on false information and stereotypes must be pointed out and challenged. We must be conscious of the fact that the language, imagery and attitudes we use and project can either bless or harm others.
It is important for the Interfaith Communities of the World to remind those in governmental leadership, business enterprises, and religious service of their corporate and public responsibilities to transcend the destructive politics, false ideologies, or greed that often infects our public discourse and social interactions. Now more than ever, this World needs leaders of all types to model the values and behaviors that enhance human effort in the pursuit of justice and peace for all peoples.
We can no longer objectify people by making them targets of ridicule because of disagreements concerning politics or religion. We remind those in leadership of the dangers women face daily. Abuse is a too common an experience for many of our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. We have a deep responsibility to end this violence against women in every thought, deed, and word of our lives. The rights and dignity of women must be a priority for all those engaged in Interfaith work and outreach.
Since the values and perspectives enunciated in this brief letter are of utmost importance to The Interfaith Peace Project, we call upon all our governmental, civic, business and religious leaders to realize the responsibilities they have to ensure the rights of all people to live in peace with dignity.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P. with the Board of Directors
of The Interfaith Peace Project