To Continue Our Critical Work, We Need You: Support the Pluralism Project Today
On the morning of August 6th, the phone rang at our Arrow Street office. The reporter from the Boston Globe asked: “Was there anyone at the Pluralism Project who could speak about SikhismSikhs call their tradition the “Sikh Panth,” meaning the “community (panth) of the disciples of the Guru.” The tradition reveres a lineage of ten Gurus, beginning with Guru Nanak in the 16th century and coming to a clos. with the death of Guru Gob... and the SikhSikhs call their tradition the “Sikh Panth,” meaning the “community (panth) of the disciples of the Guru.” The tradition reveres a lineage of ten Gurus, beginning with Guru Nanak in the 16th century and coming to a clos. with the death of Guru Gob... experience in Boston?” The murder of six members of the Sikh community at a gurdwaraThe gurdwara, “the gateway of the Guru,” is the place for community gathering and worship in the Sikh tradition. The Guru is the Adi Granth, the sacred scripture of the Sikh tradition. Each center will include a chamber where the Adi Granth is kept, a... in Oak Creek, Wisconsin just the day before had catapulted SikhsSikhs call their tradition the “Sikh Panth,” meaning the “community (panth) of the disciples of the Guru.” The tradition reveres a lineage of ten Gurus, beginning with Guru Nanak in the 16th century and coming to a clos. with the death of Guru Gob... into the national and international spotlight. Long-time friend of the Pluralism Project and my colleague, Harpreet SinghUpon initiation into the Khalsa, Sikh men assume the name Singh, “Lion.” immediately came to mind. As a founding member of the Sikh Coalition, an advocacy organization founded post-9/11 to protect the civil rights of Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike, Harpreet is no stranger to the bigotry and hatred leveled at the Sikh community in recent years.
In June we had been with Harpreet at the Milford Gurdwara Sahib in Milford, MA during a two-week interfaith leadership seminar. During our visit, Harpreet and others welcomed our group of nearly twenty-five theological school students for the Sunday morning service and langarLangar is the communal meal shared by Sikhs and all visitors to the gurdwara. For Sikhs, eating together in this way is expressive of the rejection of the Hindu caste system to reaffirm the equality and oneness of all humankind. meal. There, we experienced the radical hospitality that is foundational to the Sikh faith. For many of the participants in the interfaith leadership seminar, the trip to Milford was their first visit to a gurdwara; the course their first introduction to Sikhism. In addition to personal encounters with members of the Sikh community, the seminarians previewed our forthcoming online version of On Common Ground: World Religions in America, with a thorough introduction the Sikh tradition. When news broke about the shootings in Oak Creek, members of the seminar cohort shared information about solidarity events they were organizing or planning to attend in support of the Sikh community; they were able to translate their new knowledge of the Sikh faith and community into conversations, sermons, and appropriate responses of support. More so, several participants noted that the visit to the gurdwara gave them the confidence and connections they needed to reach out to the Sikh community during a time of tragedy.
Our colleague Harpreet reminds us that while the scale of the tragedy in Oak Creek was significant, this was not an isolated incident. The year before, two elderly Sikhs were gunned down in Elk GroveSacred groves have historically been among the most important sites for Pagan worship. In Druidism, trees are thought to have specific attributes that contribute meaning to the site where they grow. Contemporary Druid groups are often called “groves.”..., California, one of many unsolved murders; and the persistent stream of arson attacks on mosquesMasjid (plural masajid) in Arabic means “place of prostration,” or the place where Muslims bow in prayer; in English, this word has become “mosque.” A masjid contains a prayer hall in which there is a mihrab or prayer niche, and a minbar or pulpit... around the nation are sobering reminders that our work not only remains unfinished but is more critical now than ever. Teachers, clergyClergy are the body of ordained men (and in some cases women) who are authorized to perform the priestly, pastoral, or rabbinical duties of the community—as distinct from the laity whom they serve., scholars, and civic leaders can—and often do—play an important role in shaping public discourse about religion. For over two decades the work of the Pluralism Project has been to provide these individuals—many of whom are now our friends, affiliates, and alumni—with timely resources to enhance their teaching, preaching, and serving in multi-religious America.
Like many non-profits in these challenging times, we face a future that is uncertain. Your tax-deductible gift (see below) will help to sustain this critical work. Whether we are connecting reporters to community members, educating seminarians, or even introducing Harvard undergraduates to religion in America through the case method, our work at the Pluralism Project is vital to the public conversation.
In this season of light, we give thanks for your continued partnership as together we build a culture of pluralism that challenges the darkness of bigotry and hatred.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Pluralism Project.
Your gift of:
- $25 could defray the travel costs of a student researcher
- $100 could assist in the hosting of a film screening
- $500 could support case study research
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