The Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations is deeply concerned about the violence, threatened and real, that has been leveled against religious, ethnic and various other minorities in the United States in recent months. Despicable acts include the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, arson attacks on mosques, bomb threats against community centers, physical assault and even murder. We know from history that once sub-groups in a society become accepted targets of verbal aggression that this can quickly escalate to discrimination, tacit or legal marginalization, and outright violence — unless that society intentionally acts to repudiate any social sanctioning of such behavior.
We decry any weakening of the principles of inclusion and diversity upon which the United States is founded. In the past, for example, such weakening fostered prejudice against Jews, Catholics, and others who sought better lives in the United States. Such prejudice must not again be allowed to become accepted public discourse or even to simmer beneath our society’s surface.
As we see today, given the chance, it breaks out in smaller and greater ways against human beings whom we cherish as members of our diverse American society.
Clearly, the progress made in Christian-Jewish relations over recent decades must continue to deepen, be further inculcated in our society, and be broadened to encompass other religions. We therefore pledge ourselves, collectively and individually, to do all that is in our power to restore and improve American civil discourse, and to educate at all levels, not just for tolerance, but for widespread understanding and acceptance.
The CCJR statement joins a growing list of similar statements published by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim organizations, institutions, and communities from across the USA.
These statements can be found on Dialogika, the supersite for resources and research in Christian-Jewish relations run by the "Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations" at the Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia.