Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Eileen

My name is Eileen and I live in Sterling, Virginia. I have been a Democrat since 1990. I am a Progressive...and I am a religious Jew.

I categorically reject claims made by some that Progressives are against people of faith. I am a Progressive because of my Jewish faith.

Judaism teaches me that we were all created in the image of God. Therefore, in faith, I work toward a world of respect and love for all, regardless of differences in faith, ideology, race, class, gender, age, abilities, or sexual orientation. Judaism teaches me to work for peace, as well as for the sustenance of the planet. Judaism also teaches me not to use God for my own ends, but rather to pray for God to use me for His.

When Bill Frist and the Family Research Council talk about people of faith, he isn't talking about me or my six million Jewish-American brothers and sisters. They aren't talking about the 10 million American Muslims, the 1.1 million American Hindus, two million American Buddhists, or even the tens of millions of Christian Americans who consider themselves politically progressive, liberal or moderate.

Because to Bill Frist and the Family Research Council, these people are not "People of Faith." The only true "people of Faith" in their eyes are Fundamentalist Christians who align themselves politically with the right-wing of the Republican Party.

Bill Frist and the Family Research Council do not speak for me. And I will not be silent while they pervert faith for their own political ends. I will not be silent while they take the Lord's name in vain.

Millions of Americans of Faith oppose the appointment of radical right-wing judges who seek to impose their religious will on the rest of us. And they oppose the overturning of longstanding Senate tradition in order to appoint those judges. They reject the selfishness, arrogance, and cruelty of the right-wing of the Republican party that ignores the poor, perpetuates hatred and division, contributes to the destruction of our environment, and wages immoral wars overseas.

Millions of Americans of Faith envision an America of tolerance, and peace, an America that uplifts the poor and defends the downtrodden and outcast among us, an America that lives in harmony with other nations and with our planet.

Millions of Americans of Faith are Democrats, Independents and moderate Republicans. And millions of Americans of Faith are Progressives.

I am Jewish. I love the Lord my God "with all my heart, with, all my soul, and with all my might," in the words of my forbearers.

And I am a Progressive.

And I will not be silent.

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