Standing Together

The call to stand together as faith communities across our state continues. Last Friday, Temple de Hirsch Sinai, a member of FAN’s network, experienced Holocaust-denying graffiti on their building. Both Mercer Island and Vancouver BC Jewish Communtiy Centers have experienced bomb threats. These are deeply disturbing events that call for our continued outreach and support. But they also call for our action. We have much to learn about empathy and deepening understanding in our communities. Included in our events calendar listings are some opportunities to do so. There are additional actions we need to take together as well as education and preaching against hate, discrimination, xenophobia and racism in our own communities.

We have some great teachers for this work. Over the weekend, the Kent Community Rally offered standing-room-only support for the Sikh Community at Kent Lutheran Church. Many communities came together in a big way when the MAPS sign was desecrated and the Bellevue mosque experienced arson. On Friday, thousands of Native Americans and allies marched in Washington D.C. in solidarity with the Standing Rock tribe against the Dakota Access Pipleline. Yakama Nation chair JoDe Goudy delivered a joint proclamation Friday with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in D.C. calling for the Vatican to revoke the Doctrine of Discovery (a series of papal bulls that caused the decimation of indigenous peoples and still impacts law regarding sovereignty of native lands). You can hear his powerful words in the first 10 minutes of this video. He asked: Do you understand that the culture of domination must end? One voice, one heart, one spirit. There is no dispute more important than the future of our generations.

While we stand in solidarity in the face of threats to any individual or community based on their religion, home country, or color of their skin, we know more is needed as we act together for justice. FAN’s Interfaith Leaders’ Council will be meeting to discuss these questions next week. We welcome your own input to Please continue to share these statements by our Interfaith Leaders’ Council to the Jewish Community and to the Sikh Community, as well as statements of support for American Muslims and immigrants that individuals have signed. Ask your faith leader to preach and teach about them. Invite a guest speaker from a neighboring faith community. Then let’s continue to put our intentions into action so that Washington truly becomes a Hate Free Zone. Together we will build the moral strength to change this story.