Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sections
Blog Section Banner
 
You are here: Home >> Blog >> Marie Fortune's Blogs >> The Calendar Brings Us Together

The Calendar Brings Us Together

Sep 09, 2010 — Categories:

The fact that Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) begins the evening of September 8 and Eid al-Fitr (the end of Ramadan for Muslims) occurs on September 10 this year offer us an opportunity to consider the richness of these faith traditions common to America.

The fact that Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) begins the evening of September 8 and Eid al-Fitr (the end of Ramadan for Muslims) occurs on September 10 this year offer us an opportunity to consider the richness of these faith traditions common to America. The fact that this convergence of significant holidays occurs just before September 11 is also an opportunity for mourning, remembering and healing . . . together.

But for many, this coincidence is troubling. Why does this convergence of events create a problem for so many people?

I was just in Manhattan on the Sabbath, and, as I walked past several synagogues, I noticed that there were police stationed outside. As I entered one with my Jewish friend, we were both frisked with a wand to insure we carried no weapons. How is it that in America where our foreparents fought and died for the freedom of religion that Jews are only free to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath if they have police protection?

According to the polls, the people in the U.S. who hate Jews also hate Muslims. Why is there more backlash now against Muslims in this country than there was immediately following 9-11? Because there are those who are shamelessly exploiting our fear of extremist terrorists for their own political gains.

For those of us who are Christians in the U.S. and therefore part of the dominant faith tradition, it is our responsibility to speak out against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Plus, those of us who are Christians share our tradition with Jews and Muslims: we are part of the Abrahamic tradition common to western civilization. We have common ancestors and common values. For FaithTrust Institute as a multifaith organization, we share a common commitment to ending sexual and domestic violence.

We as Americans have the capacity to reframe this moment in history and this convergence of dates. We have the opportunity as Christians, Jews, and Muslims to stand together against disinformation and fear-mongering. To affirm our common moral values:

“That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.” --Rabbi Hillel
“That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind.” --The Quran
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” --Jesus

Just as the lawyer in Luke’s gospel did, we continue to press the question, “Who is my neighbor?” To which Jesus replied with the story of the Good Samaritan. Maybe it’s time we stopped trying to sort our “neighbors” from “the others.”

On this weekend of September 11, we need to stand together, mourn together, build together, and refuse to let the acts of fundamentalists of any stripe tear us apart.

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
FaithTrust Institute
www.faithtrustinstitute.org

Document Actions

I couldn't agree more

Posted by Julie Owens at Sep 22, 2010 05:35 PM
Thanks for the comments, Marie. I was thinking about the irony of the timing of these events myself. It is so disturbing that so much hate-filled rhetoric & behavior is emmanating from Americans who claim to be follwers of Christ. What a contrast with the true character of Jesus! It is sinful and shameful, in my opinion.