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Religious Leaders Respond After Charlottesville

August 16, 2017

A Statement from Interfaith Group of Boston Clergy 

The events of Charlottesville, VA have shaken us to the core. We grieve the loss of the dead and pray for the healing of the injured. We despair that today’s neo-Nazis feel emboldened to spew hateful venom into the public square with impunity while wearing helmets, wielding shields, and brandishing weapons. We are confounded by the self-proclaimed anti-fascists who are also prone to violence. The moral fabric of our nation is frayed. 

We know that you need to do something. Many of you are desperate to be a part of the solution. You want to confront the evil, face it down, expose it to the light of day for what it is. We love you for this. We love you for your fierce anger and will to do good, to make a difference, to take a stand for God.

Similar groups to those who visited hatred upon Charlottesville plan to hold a rally on the Boston Common on Saturday. We have had lengthy meetings with City officials and other inter-religious leaders, including colleagues in the Christian community, the Black community, Muslim community, and Jewish community.  (Visit our website for information on various events being planned. They are not all the same in tone, tactics or strategy. We ask you to investigate your own conscience and decide where you are called to be.)

The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization will host an Interfaith Gathering of Unity, Love, and Strength, this Friday at 5 p.m., at Temple Israel of Boston.  Whatever else you choose to do this weekend, we hope you will make this a high priority. We will hear inspiring words from faith leaders across Greater Boston, as we stand together against all forms of hatred, to affirm the power of love and righteousness. All members of clergy will be invited to stand together on the bima (raised platform), in full spiritual regalia. Then at 6 p.m., Temple Israel is inviting our interfaith community to join them for “A Sabbath of Love and Light,” a Shabbat worship experience open to all, devoted to the values of justice and compassion. Please extend this invitation to your family and friends.  This is the time for us to be together with all who wish to counter messages of hatred by kindling the light of compassion and human dignity for all.  

Religious leaders of GBIO have also developed a joint statement, which can be found here. 

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