Cincinnati religious leaders denounce xenophobia


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The Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati (MARCC), an interfaith coalition of 17 religious denominations speaking in one voice, condemns the bigotry, hatred and xenophobia being promulgated at this time in the United States. We categorically reject the proposal that all Muslims be barred from the United States, as visitors or immigrants. Religious litmus tests for entering our country and/or becoming an American citizen is antithetical to American values.

As Cincinnatians of differing faiths, we call upon all people of conscience to speak out against such hatred, to respect all people of all faiths, to treat all Americans and those who would visit our country, state, region and city with the same respect and civility we would want for ourselves.

Through programs sponsored by the U.S. State Department, with the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council, MARCC has dialogued with visitors from many nations. These groups have included Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists. They represented their countries as elected officials and professionals in every walk of life, visiting the United States to learn how people of differing faiths can work together to resolve problems locally, and in the process relate, learn and grow to understand one another.

Our nation was founded by people fleeing religious persecution and has a long history of accepting and embracing those of different faiths. As far back as revolutionary times, George Washington declared these principles for our nation and its people: “Happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

MARCC calls upon our political leadership, candidates for office and those who hold office to lead the way by rejecting hatred and bigotry, by finding the common path to unity, respect and appreciation for the diverse communities that make up our great nation.

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