American Values Religious Voices: 100 Days. 100 Letters "has brought together a diverse group of scholars to write letters to [the executive and his] administration, and our elected officials in the House and Senate. These letters articulate core American values that are rooted or reflected in our various faith traditions."
The scholars joined the founder of this idea, Rabbi Andrea L. Weiss, Associate Professor of Bible at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. She felt that the words and actions of the campaign and its aftermath call into question fundamental values that has long defined this country and culture. She and the writers are hopeful that their observations will spark ideas and insights about what it means to be an American, and to contribute to our national discourse.
The group is non-partisan, and characterized by a sense of relevancy and urgency. The contributors show the kind of diversity that makes us who we are as a nation: religions, races, generations, genders, ages, political viewpoints, sexual orientations, and geographic location.
Join with me in subscribing to these letters (form in the footer of the campaign's home page. As of today (January 22) three letters have been written and sent, by Rabbi Weiss, John Kutsko, Director of the Society of Biblical Literature and Professor of Biblical Studies at Emory University, and Eric Barreto, Weyerhauser Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Will this campaign make any difference? To the current incumbent, perhaps not. It is vital for the rest of us to stand up, however, and show both the clarity and restraint that are the best values of all those who work in higher education, whether as teaching scholars or in other roles.
Please also write to express your support, to firstname.lastname@example.org – this is a vital witness at a perilous time in our country's history, and time when we need to re-affirm the key values of religious diversity, principled argumentation, respect for facts, respect for differences of point of view, and humility. (And see Frank Bruni in the January 22, 2017 New York Times regarding humility.)