Two letters from Unitarian Universalist ministers in today’s San Francisco Chronicle speak out against anti-Muslim acts, including the tiny-but-nasty Florida church which plans to burn copies of the Qu’ran on Saturday. Barbara and Bill Hamilton-Holway, ministers of the UU Church of Berkeley, call on non-Muslim congregations to include readings from the Qu’ran in their worship services this week. Amy Zucker Morgenstern, senior minister here in Palo Alto and writing for the Palo Alto Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice, calls for tolerance and invites people to participate in an Interfaith Witness for Peace in Palo Alto on Sept. 19.
I’ll include the full text of both letters below, or read them at the Chronicle’s Web site.
Seeking tolerance, peace
Sept. 11 was a tragedy that struck Americans of all religions. On that terrible day nine years ago, we were united by grief, and our losses have made the day solemn and even sacred. Now a Florida pastor named Terry Jones has desecrated that memory by planning to burn Qurans on Saturday, seeking to turn grief into intolerance.
We deplore the distortion of Christianity from a message of love to hate. We know that Islam’s very name comes from the root “peace” and that it is as unjust to judge all Muslims by the terrible acts of a few as it would be to judge all Christians by Jones’ ignorance.
We honor the dead on Sept. 11 by working for a world where the beautiful variety of human religions no longer divides us but brings us peace and joy, and we urge everyone to do the same through service, justice and education. We hope that all who share our vision will join us for a day of Interfaith Witness for Peace in Palo Alto on Sept. 19.
The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern, Unitarian Universalist Church
Palo Alto Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice
Join us and read from the Quran
A church in Gainesville, Florida, plans to burn Qu’rans on Saturday. Other hate crimes against Muslims have been in the news. The proposed mosque and Islamic Community Center in Manhattan has been met with fear and anger.
This weekend, our congregation will join with many religious communities in Gainesville and across the country in reading our services from the Quran. May quieter voices of religious tolerance, acceptance, and understanding prevail. Peace will come to the world only when people can see and affirm the insights of neighboring religions.
The Revs. Bill and Barbara Hamilton-Holway Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley