Tag Archives: Human Dignity

My Letter to a Young White Friend

by Alfred D. Turnipseed

Girl reading a letter

A cherished friend—a religiously unaffiliated but morally earnest young white woman who recently completed her first year at a prestigious American university, where she majors in Astrophysics—recently wrote to me to tell me that, in light of George Floyd’s murder, she is making every effort she can to educate herself about the dynamics and the reality of racism and white privilege, so that she can do her part to effect lasting and positive change. She shared with me a list of the books she’s reading this summer, and asked me my opinion of her efforts. She even asked me to tell her of my own experiences as a black man who has grown up and grown middle-aged in America. It was not in any way an impertinent request. She and I had often enough in the past discussed, in a much more general way, how to understand our common human predicament in a properly “integral” or “holistic” way; it was always probably a natural next step for us to broach the topic of the very particular predicament that only some of us must endure.

In any event, below, in a slightly redacted form, is the letter I wrote back to her—which, with her enthusiastic permission (mindful that I would maintain her anonymity) I reproduce here. It remains very much a personal letter in tone and form, and for that I ask pardon in advance. But, for just that reason perhaps, it also says more than an impersonal essay might have done. After all, genuine friendship—one bridging differences in sex, age, race, religion, family origin, socioeconomic background, etc.—bears in itself the seed of a comprehensive solution to the problems that challenge us all today. 

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Religions and Peace

by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I

bartholomew cairo.jpg

Photo: romfea.gr

With the Permission of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, we print an Address of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Al-Azhar and Muslim Council of Elders’ Global Peace Conference.

Your Beatitudes, Eminences, Excellencies,

Distinguished participants,

Dear friends,

It is an honor to be invited to address this Conference on Global Peace organized by Al-Azhar and the Muslim Council of Elders. We wholeheartedly congratulate His Eminence Mr. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, for having the courage and vision to organize this crucial initiative in the promotion of peace by religions.

During the last two decades, humanity has experienced continuous terrorist attacks, which are the cause of death and hurt of thousands of people, and which are becoming the greatest threat and source of fear for contemporary societies. Since then, religions have been often suspected or openly accused for inspiring terrorism and violence. Our everyday life has become filled with horrible news about terrorist attacks in the name of religion.

At the same time, we notice the willingness and capacity in our world to promote dialogue instead of conflict. Continue Reading…