We have just come through an election period marked by, marred by, some of the most divisive rhetoric and disrespect, and sometimes by expressions of hatred and bigotry, that we have seen in years past. Not surprisingly, this probably has spawned some actions that are hurtful to members of our communities, and even has increased violence against segments of our society.
We can and should hope for a meaningful degree of reconciliation and healing, while adhering to our democratic values of peaceful transition of power. We can and should give a new administration a chance to do positive things for our nation, for our people. But it would be foolish, even dangerous, to relax our vigil in protecting faith and freedom for all.
The Interfaith Alliance, and all of us, need to maintain and increase our commitment to protecting the rights and safety of all members of our communities, our state, and our nation. We will continue to speak up for, and to stand together with, our Muslim community, but also for and with people of all faith beliefs, the non-religious, people across the spectrum of gender identity, all races, and all ethnic and cultural groups. We each need to be, in the words of John F. Kennedy, "...an idealist with no illusions."
Carl J. Rubenstein, MD
President, The Interfaith Alliance Foundation of Oklahoma