To the Editor:
This past week (Dec. 6-12), the congregation at Temple Emanuel (Davenport) gathered to begin the celebration of Hanukkah. They were greeted with vandalism. The tag quoted a Scripture passage from John 8:44, which suggests that the Jewish people are followers of Satan.
This, of course, is nothing more than anti-Semitic, racist hate speech directed at Jewish people in our community. It is a sad commentary on our divided country and our divided community.
As an ecumenical ministry of 148 churches, Churches United of the Quad City Area remains continually challenged to adhere actively to the fundamental proposition that we must love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We must not only reinforce this principle, we must also stand firmly on the premise that our Christian love is extended to all our neighbors, without regard to their race or religious beliefs.
Valuing diversity, a key component of Churches United’s mission statement, focuses on the inherent importance of people and, by implication, the absurdity of anti-Semitic rhetoric.
If we have learned nothing else from the frequent and blatant acts of brutality perpetrated against people of color, Jews, and Muslims, we now know that racism, absent opposition, will continue to plague an otherwise progressive society.
For this reason, Churches United once again feels compelled to speak out against anti-Semitism as a destructive social sin, which pulls us apart as a people, and which prevents our obedience to the one commandment that clearly shows the world who we are and to whom we belong.
The Rev. Melvin L. Grimes, executive director
Churches United of the Quad City Area