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:
RESISTING THE POLITICS OF RESENTMENT
As the Nation copes with the continuing rise of gun violence, police brutality, and voter suppression attempts, there are now sophisticated attacks on the First Amendment, free speech, and the right to protest. Cynically, the same politicians fostering these regressive measures justify the violence and chaos of January 6, 2021, by falsely blaming the people they now seek to restrict. The racism is blatant.
We are comforted by the police officers and law enforcement officials who broke the “blue wall” of silence during the Derek Chauvin trial. They spoke up in the cause of what is right and just. They are profiles in courage. We must stand by them as we reform our law enforcement policies. The time has come for concerned citizens and those charged with leadership to recommit to the cause of racial justice.
The Faith Communities cannot be quiet at this time. Our fellow citizens are slaughtered in the streets without due process of law or basic human respect. The harsh legacy of slavery, Jim Crow Laws, and oppressive legislation continues in the efforts to suppress the vote and silence the voices of those who would cry out for justice.
This is an Interfaith issue of the highest degree. Interfaith Spirituality and Practice is based on the practice of open and honest dialogue. We not only dialogue as individuals in meeting rooms and seminars, we speak in the streets and the ballot box. The powerful and those charged with governmental responsibilities have the duty to hear the grievances of those who have been oppressed by corrupt economic policies and regressive laws.
Interfaith Practitioners know firsthand the power of listening to the grievances, hurts, and pain of those unfairly treated. In some traditions, their Scripture boldly proclaims, “The Lord hears the cry of the poor!” Since persons are more important than doctrines, now is the time to break down any walls of separation preventing us from hearing the cry of the oppressed. It is time for us to stop assessing the situation and tear down the walls of silence.
If we would genuinely dialogue, hear, and understand, we would follow the example of the Minneapolis police, who stood up for what is right. They heard the voices of the people in the streets and found their courage. They did not deny what their eyes saw, their ears heard, or their hearts felt. Politicians trying to hold on to power at the expense of those whose rights have been historically denied is nothing less than a politics of resentment and fear. The time has come to speak from the pulpit, proclaim from the podium, and shout out from the ambo. A new day is dawning as the oppressed and their allies march together in the streets and shout from the rooftops the truth that must be heard.
May all those slaughtered on the roads, murdered in their beds, and suffocated in the streets bless us from their resting place as we strive to find the courage to transform the politics and policies of resentment into the Beloved Community of peace, justice, and liberty for all.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
with All of Us at The Interfaith Peace Project