The Spokesman-Review

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Diversity fosters hope

I want to say how worthwhile I think the “Beyond The Climate of Fear – Empowering The Community Of Faith To Act” conference recently held in Spokane was and how I appreciated the participation of all who came. I had no role in organizing or promoting the event, but I was glad I was there.

Its most encouraging aspect was that people from diverse traditions were eager to come together for the sake of communicating across the “us/them” boundaries that usually form around self-identified groups such as denominations, political groups, racial groups and even informal social groups. And I was inspired to ask myself where could fear take root in a person who sees no outsiders, no them?

I don’t think it could. And so I bless every effort to subvert barriers to communication whether those barriers are self-imposed or imposed from without.

Hopefully in the future this conference will expand its reach to include more Native peoples, Muslims, Hindus and others, and even atheists and humanists who may not think of themselves as people of faith but who, I can testify to the fact, do have faith in good will and honesty.

Jeremy Street

Cheney



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