Many Beliefs, One Body

Many Beliefs, One Body

 

Graduate Schools Stand Together, Against Hate, Again

We – the presidents of three graduate schools and a university in interfaith partnership – stand together, with our students, staff, faculty, and supporters, to oppose the most recent actions taken by the Executive Branch of the United States. These abhorrent anti-immigration, anti-Muslim orders and edicts are creating deep anxiety within all immigrant communities now residing in the U.S.

We are the Academy for Jewish Religion California (AJRCA), Bayan Claremont, an Islamic graduate school (Bayan), Claremont School of Theology (CST), and University of the West (UWest). Each of our traditions – Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist – contains values and precepts that honor justice, love, and protection for the stranger and the powerless.

As interreligious partners, we live the dream of inclusion, understanding, and compassion. We know there is a better way –

better than building walls and banning human beings based on religious beliefs or country of origin. This is a time for unity, for a clear voice of the highest values of our traditions, and for concrete actions that support our values.

Our traditions oppose Fascism and Dictatorship and it is up to us to stand strong with each other to express our visions for a more humane, fair, and honest world – a world that does not believe distorted facts or target innocent people with cruel stereotypes, divisive language, and bullying. Together – with our brothers and sisters of all races, creeds, colors, religions, genders, sexual identities, and nationalities – we offer a strong and loving voice, unified to protect the innocent and restore the enlightened values we cherish.

We recall in the iconic words of poet Emma Lazarus who penned “The New Colossus.” Her words – mounted at the foot of the Statue of Liberty – created a vision of America that we believe is still possible… as the “Mother of Exiles.”

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Together, we will continue to lift our communal lamp, lighting the way for those who are poor, lost, scared, alone, fleeing harm, and more. Our interconnectedness teaches us that when one is hurt, we all hurt; when one is helped, we are all helped. Our proud history of holding open our door to refugees and immigrants is not dead – threatened, yes! But, we are strongest when we are together. This we know because we live it. This is what gives us great faith and hope that we will meet the current crisis with courage and grace.

 

Please join us.

 

Rabbi Mel Gottlieb, Ph.D.
AJRCA President

Jihad Turk
Bayan President

Rev. Dr. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan
CST President

Dr. Stephen Morgan
UWest President

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