Ben Ramirez, Leader of Gamaliel affiliate, Asamblea de Derechos Civiles, Minnesota
We stand at a precipice of impending doom and falling back into the dark annals of history.
The state of Indiana in 1907 passed the world’s first Eugenics Law followed by 31 other states. Sixty thousand people were sterilized by force, compulsory and involuntary. These laws led to government officials ordering sterilization of human beings deemed “feeble minded” or “mentally defective.” These laws later became models for Nazi Germany’s evil and wicked program of extermination of people whom they deemed inferior.
Now is the time to stand against diabolic ideologies. Now is the time to unite our voices and loudly denounce backward evil misleaders that believe in reimplementing doctrines of evolving a “Super Race.”
Questions for Reflection
- Are we doomed to forget the past and allow history to repeat itself?
- Or do we gain the spirit that fights to omit the irrelevant in favor of the essential?
Prayer for Action
Lord give us the wisdom that judges from above and sees from afar. Teach us serenity in times of confrontation and obstacles; teach us to progress in faith along the road You laid out. Give us peaceful activity so that we may embrace everything with a vision of unity.
The Common Prayer on Our Journey
Source of all being, Sacred mystery, you are the wellspring of justice. Weaver of the warp and weft of history, weave our lives into the fabric of your will. Guide us towards the Beloved Community. Forgive us when we have failed to give shape to the Beloved Community in our communities and in our lives.
All around us the ugly onslaughts of white nationalism, hate crimes, and systemic racism devastate your people, divide us, and threaten our democracy. All around us the wicked strut, and in high places are those who encourage the basest of attitudes and actions. Grant us wisdom and courage to confront these evils with the power of love and truth. Free us from timidity and equivocation. Help us to be bold in thought and action. May our lives and our faith communities model the change we hope to see in the world.
As we approach the November elections, keep us mindful that the right to vote is a sacred trust won by beatings, by imprisonments, by blood, by the relentless struggles of many who came before us. Help us to honor that legacy. May we vote our conscience and encourage others to do the same.
Heal our nation. Heal our hearts. Heal our nation. Amen.
Gamaliel National Religious Leaders’ Caucus invites you to 40 Days of Reflection on Our Journey to the Polls
Few national elections have had similar consequences as the November Election in 2020. Our nation stands in crisis and at a significant crossroad. The Gamaliel Network, an interfaith coalition of persons of faith who stand and act together for justice and equality, pledges to undergird the 40 days leading up to the election with prayer and reflection.
We urge you to use the Common Prayer below every day. On each day, we have asked a faith leader, from different traditions, to offer a reflection on the Common Prayer at this Moment of American Crossroads. We urge you to begin this prayer preparation with a day of fasting on Sept. 24,(or a similar expression of spiritual preparation), and then to engage in prayer at a time of your choosing each day, to prepare yourself, your friends and neighbors, and our nation, for this election.
The Gamaliel Religious Leaders Table has written a “Theological Statement on Hate Crimes and White Nationalism.” a faith statement on “White Nationalism.” The link to this statement is: https://gamaliel.org/our-work/religious-leaders-caucus/gnrlc-a-faithful-response-to-hate-crimes-and-white-nationalism/
Each reflection will include the leader’s personal reflection, questions for contemplation, and a suggested scriptural text from their tradition.
The Gamaliel National Religious Leaders’ Steering Committee