From: Dr. Larry Greenfield
The Parliament of the World's Religions
To Our Friends in the Interfaith Movement Around the World:
who are your colleagues in the interfaith movement living in the United
States pray that you will not forsake us because of what some of our
political leaders are doing in our nation’s name.
We need you to understand that these political leaders do not speak for
us, that they are not acting on our behalf, that, yes, they represent a
part of our nation’s past, but not the best of our past. In fact, they
represent the worst part of our national history.
They do not stand in the lineage of one of our greatest presidents,
Abraham Lincoln, who in a time of great national division, asked that we
draw on “the better angels of our nature.”
Another of our presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt, told the nation in a
time of testing that “we have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” But
even that president created internment camps and imprisoned our sisters
and brothers of Japanese decent for many years. That was a blemish on
our nation’s reputation.
Now we are being blemished again, this time by our current president. He
is using fear to rally our fellow citizens to demonize people from
particular countries and a particular religion and to keep them from
entering our country – a country, as you no doubt know, is a nation
mostly of immigrants.
It is true that all of us across the world are mindful of dangers of
terrorism and the need for security. But we together cannot meet that
challenge by maligning and excluding one another.
So we want you to know that we oppose this tactic and this policy.
We want you to know that we honor people, like you, who come from other nations and other faith traditions.
We want you to know that we want to be in solidarity with you, when
you are here with us in this country or with us, in spirit, when you are
We want you to know that we need you to be patient with us while we
fight the evils of fear, of xenophobia, of suspicion, of hate.
Don’t give up on us.
As one of our great leaders assured us: We shall overcome.
Parliament of the World's Religions