IFYC’s Commitment to America’s Interfaith Democracy
IFYC is dedicated to an America defined by religious pluralism - a country where people of all religious identities can thrive, develop relationships, and build a common life together. What we saw happening in the U.S. Capitol this week was nothing short of the desecration of American ideals.
In our work with people of diverse faith backgrounds, we take it as a given that people hold irreconcilably different beliefs. The glorious possibility of a thriving religiously diverse democracy is that, even with those differences, we can realize our nation’s call of e Pluribus Unum. Yet religious pluralism requires a shared understanding and acceptance of reality based facts. January 6 brought into sharp and bloody relief how consistent and outrageous lies from the highest halls of power and deliberate disinformation are fundamental threats to our democracy. Understanding truth from lies - whether about an election or about a person from another faith, race or background - is an essential part of our democratic project.
IFYC is founded on the idea that religious identity can be a powerful force to bring people together to work for the common good. The manipulation of racial and religious identity towards violence and distrust is an ugly part of our nation’s history; the white Christian nationalism on display this week is an intolerable continuation of that story. IFYC insists that all religious and ethical communities are part of the American story. We believe that the “better angels” of our religious traditions will prevail - but only if we work together to make it so.
Going forward, IFYC will continue its work to lift up the beauty of our nation’s interfaith history and traditions, empowering and equipping interfaith leaders to strengthen our democracy. As our nation grapples with its deep divides, we are committed to building an interfaith America where we can be united in equal dignity and mutual loyalty. As IFYC Founder & President Eboo Patel wrote this week, we must keep singing the beautiful song of American pluralism:
"Diversity, dignity, possibility – a variety of voices singing, and being heard. That is what it means to be in America. There’s been some distortion the past four years, and a brazen attempt at silencing in the last week, but as Whitman said, “I Hear America Singing”. That song is beautiful. We need to turn up the volume and join in."
If you are looking for a way to become an interfaith leader, work for racial equity and build bridges, please check out our free curriculum "We Are Each Other's" and start your interfaith leadership today.
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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.