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Yorktown Letter: Religious Leaders Call For Peace

Rabbi Robbie Weiner
Rabbi Robbie Weiner Photo Credit: Temple Beth Am

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- The Yorktown Daily Voice accepts signed letters to the editor by sending them to yorktown@dailyvoice.com.

To the editor:

To the members of the Yorktown community. On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, some of our Yorktown faith communities -- Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist -- came together in prayer and celebration of our common values.

Standing in front of this beautiful congregation, we members of the clergy put our arms around one another and prayed for peace and blessings for all. In this moment, we embraced not only one another, but also the ideals upon which our nation was built. These ideals include our diversity and the idea that we are all bound together as one American people. We recognize that we are predominantly a nation of immigrants.

The words at the base of the Statue of Liberty, which have welcomed generations of Americans, remind us that America opens its heart and doors to those who are oppressed. In recent days, our hearts have been filled with sadness as our Muslim neighbors — our American brothers and sisters — have become the target of hate across our country. American Muslims have seen their mosques defaced and burned, and have been harassed in their hometowns.

A leading presidential candidate has even proposed a ban on Muslim immigration and suggested that Muslims in our own country be forced to carry identification cards.

As members of the clergy, we must point out that these proposals violate the fundamental freedom of religion guaranteed by the First Amendment. Hatred, violence and prejudice violate the precepts of all of our faiths as well.

Our religious traditions demand of us that we treat others with kindness, compassion and human dignity. We are called upon to welcome the stranger, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to act with righteousness. We entreat our Yorktown community to stand up to this wave of intolerance. If we give in to the fear which is consuming our nation, we will cease to be American in the most basic sense—a nation of freedom for all.

Rabbi Robbie Weiner

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