I am the Multifaith Campus Chaplain here at Sinclair. I am writing in response to the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh in late October. In that senseless act of violence, 11 persons lost their lives.
“An attack on one is an attack on all.” This phrase expresses a fundamental element of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). These words commit each member state to consider an armed attack against any other member state, in Europe or North America, to be an armed attack against them all. But in recent years, that phrase has also been used closer to home, by political leaders in America in response to domestic incidents. Paul Ryan, speaker of the House of Representatives, used those words last year after the shooting of a Congressman at a charity baseball practice in Virginia. And last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions described the Pittsburgh shooting as “an attack on all people of faith.”
Our office is sponsoring a program this coming Thursday, November 8, focusing on “The Holocaust and Rescuing Religion from Intolerance and Violence.” We organized this program months ago, but now it seems eerily appropriate. Even as we remember the violence that the Nazi regime unleashed upon Jews and other minority populations decades ago, we see firsthand how the danger of such violence continues to threaten us in these days as well. My hope is that our program will serve as a forum for people to engage in conversation that helps us all to move beyond violence and toward greater tolerance, understanding, and compassion for our neighbors.
“An attack on one is an attack on all.” It is time for people of faith to stand in solidarity with the victims of the shooting in Pittsburgh and with all who face discrimination or harassment as they seek to express their faith. I invite you to join with me in embracing our friends of all faith traditions and working together to become a more caring community.
Multifaith Campus Chaplain