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Notice During the Covid-19 Outbreak
 
In solidarity, we at the Interfaith Peace Project stand together in these times of heart break and upset. Some of you may have lost friends or family members. Some of you may have lost your job and your income; some may be working overtime to help with the crisis. Some of you may be home and alone and some may be trying to figure out a new way to live. Please let us know how we can help. If you would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call.You may call or email Tom at:
 
Tom Bonacci
[email protected]
925-787- 9279
 
© Jacob Lund   stock.adobe.com 

June 26, 2020

 LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD 

              There is a dispute about the disputes going on in the streets.  Some think the protesters are too confrontational.  Some think they need to learn patience and accept reality for what it is.  Even high-powered politicians and governmental leaders have called the protesters “anarchists” and “thugs” out to destroy everything we hold dear.  Others, myself included, think the protesters are the “cry of the poor and oppressed” demanding justice and fairness in our basic institutions.  What are we to make of this situation?  How might we be open and honest even in this time of uncertainty?

              One thing governmental, political, civic, and religious leaders could do is foster an atmosphere of dialogue and honest engagement.  All to often we “take sides” without knowing the issues or the real-life experiences of other people.  Policing and media agencies must be alert to those who seize these situations for less than honorable reasons.  One thing is abundantly clear. We, as a Nation, must recognize and confess our sins.  For too long, we have enabled the marginalization of women, dehumanized asylum seekers, abused immigrants, robbed indigenous peoples, endangered LGBTQ people, hurt prisoners, fostered racism, and dismissed the poor.  It is difficult to recognize these sins if you have never been the object of the hatred and destruction they cause.  Now is the time to repair the damage and transform the World.

              Religious leaders of all Faiths are attempting to bring about reconciliation through mutual understanding and shared experience.  Interfaith organizations throughout the World are engaging in serious dialogue to bring about systemic change in all our institutions.  Nonetheless, spiritual leaders know that their most important obligation is to hear what some might call “the spirit” moving in our World today.  Most often, the “spirit is moving” when people stand up and speak out for what it, right, just, true, and beautiful.   Religious institutions, like all institutions, must confront any destructive way of living or thinking that compromises the well-being of others they perceive as different from themselves.  

              The time has come to be inspired by the protesters who walk in the ways of the prophets of old and now.   We must come together and cherish one another with mutual respect and love.  For which one of us is free if another is enslaved? Which one of us is loved if another is hated? Which one of us is truly alive, if another cannot breathe?

              Thank you for all the times you crossed the street to meet and cherish another person. Thank you for all the times you invited yourself to be disturbed so you might walk in the ways of justice and understanding.  Thank you for moving beyond name-calling and labeling others in demeaning and hurtful ways.  Thank you for caring.  We can do this together.     

75th Anniversary of the United Nations

              Internationally, we are observing the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations.  The UN Charter of June 26, 1945 states the following; 

Article 1

The Purposes of the United Nations are:

  1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
  2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
  3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
  4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

               We find in the stated purposes of the Un Charter a clear statement of what it means to be a practicing interspiritual person.  The Interfaith Peace Project encourages all people to read and explore the United Nations’ Charter and the Declaration on Human Rights.   It is time for us to let go of the politics of hate which invites people to fear one another.  Humanity forms but one human community with differences that are precious gifts meant for the inspiration and transformation of us all.

              The time has come for us to let go of the politics that defines human well-being in terms of wealth and profit.  The human dignity of each and every person must be cherished and upheld in our laws, religious organizations, and governmental institutions. 

              The time has come for us to realize that we are citizens of the Earth with a responsibility to care for one another.  Indeed, the time has come for us to work for global peace and understanding by meeting the people in our neighborhoods, places of worship and commerce with respect, understanding, compassion, and, perhaps even, love.

The Interfaith Peace Project