The question rings down through the ages. Religious communities have traditionally responded with a resounding “Yes!” Caring for our sisters and brothers is a key component of what it means to be a person of faith and conscience.
- Judaism: “You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself: I am the SOVEREIGN GOD.” (Leviticus 19:18)
- Christianity: “Those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.” (1 John 4:21)
- Islam: “None of you has faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 13)
- Hinduism: “This is the sum of duty: Do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.” (Mahabharata 5:1517)
- Buddhism: “In this world hate never yet dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate. This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible.” (Dhammapada)
- “Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship.” (Epistle to the Son of the Wolf)
It is a consistent message in our world’s great religious traditions that we are indeed our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. At its heart, this message minimally means at least two things: 1) that we will do our brothers and sisters no harm; and 2) that we will work fervently and tirelessly for their well-being.
So, what do we, as people of faith, do in a time when some in the world seem to advocate for a harmful track in areas of immigration, health care, and the human rights of so many?
History has shown what happens when people do not speak out and stand up for each other as injustice and terror are perpetrated by a few against the many. The time is always now to engage…to love the neighbor…for we are our fellow human neighbor’s keeper!
– Shared by Rev. Bonita Bock, Metro Denver Faith Leaders Caucus, from a faith leader action across the nation this spring