NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — An interfaith group today released a “Statement of Conscience” calling on Tennesseans and all Americans to join them and speak out against racism, hatred and rising autocracy. The statement reads: “Today, we witness the unlawful deployment of United States troops into our cities against the request of state and/or local officials; scapegoating against people of color and religion; attacks against the free press, the scientific community and the judicial system. Suppression of the vote is now at hand.”
More than 750 leaders from Baptist, Jewish, Muslim, Methodist, Buddhist, and other faith traditions as well as leading academic institutions from across the state and nation signed the statement. Since March this interfaith group has gathered to open a dialogue about how to confront a range of issues facing society today. This discussion, and the statement, points to moments in history when faith leaders failed to act and the repercussions of those inactions, such as the rising power of the Third Reich and the Holocaust.
“As Tennesseans, and as servants of faith, we are compelled to speak out against racism and unchecked power that threaten to break apart the human family,” said Rabbi Mark Schiftan. “This statement, the result of months of dialogue and careful study, applies the lessons of the past to meet the challenges today—from the pandemic and climate change to ongoing discrimination and deep-seated racism. At a time when many feel hopeless, this statement is a reminder that together we can affect positive change.”
The Statement of Conscience outlines four actions the signatories commit to fulfilling:
- Exercise the sacred right to vote our conscience and encourage others to do the same;
- Advocate for racial and economic policies that promote the common good through respectful and civil discourse within religious communities and circles of influence;
- Call out all labels that desecrate the inherent worth of each person and lead others to engage in conversation, speeches, sermons, and study that deconstruct labels used to divide the human family; and
- Stand against the oppression of those whose human rights are trampled upon until “all are created equal” resounds not only in word but in practice.
Any individual who agrees with the tenets of the statement is encouraged to sign it. The group will hold study sessions that are open to the public (Facebook @HarperHillGlobal) to explore the issues addressed in the statement and continue the interfaith dialogue each Sunday at 6:30 p.m. beginning Oct. 4 and ending on Nov 1.
For more information and to read the Statement of Conscience, click here.
CONTACT: Martin Sir, [email protected]
SOURCE Harper Hill Global