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Speaking out for the voiceless

Published: 5/3/2020 8:14:34 AM

The coronavirus makes us wonder what America will look like in the future. Who will be honored and appreciated and recompensed in this future America?

As members of the Interfaith Opportunities Network, we are forcibly struck by the teaching of our various faith communities that, at their best, place equal value on all human life.

This doesn’t mean only the lucky, those with access and those who have reached pinnacles of success. We already valued the doctors and nurses who put their lives at risk to follow their calling and do their jobs.

Now we value them even more.

But it’s humbling to see others who help keep things going within and outside hospitals — who keep us fed, our cars running, our medicines available, our bills paid and our checks arriving in the mail. These include truckers, warehouse workers, police, firefighters, utility maintenance people, sanitation workers, grocery workers, home-care workers, nursing assistants, hospital maintenance workers and orderlies. They are essential to keep the economy and our daily lives running.

Will we learn to give them appropriate recognition and respect?

Our consciences also cry out on behalf of those who have been forced into detention centers by the harsh policies of our government. We cry for those in refugee camps around the world who are especially vulnerable and have already experienced the trauma of war and removal from their homes.

Simply for being poor, victims of violence, and desperate enough to walk or be carried across borders, they have been locked or confined in crowded, often unsanitary detention centers and camps. Their situation is even more horrific now as the cruelty of this virus is heaped on top of other injustices. This is wrong by every moral standard, whatever religion one practices.

As members of Interfaith Opportunities Network we want to speak out for the voiceless, saying “Let my people go!” We long for the day when compassion and mercy hold sway throughout the world.

Eve Webster
Mary Beth Seminario Dorothy Cresswell

The writers represent the Interfaith Opportunities Network, a lay-led association of 23 faith communities and campus ministries in western Massachusetts. https://interfaithamherst.org/

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