Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"Promoting Dialogue," a Commentary by Interfaith Montgomery (Alabama)

Jan 18, 2008
Montgomery Advertiser

"With the appearance of this column, Interfaith Montgomery and the Montgomery Advertiser introduce a new monthly column dedicated to the increasingly diverse religious communities in our city and surrounding areas. This initial column was written by Rev. Robert Graetz and Rev. Paul Britner, co-conveners of Interfaith Montgomery; Rev. Andrew Dawkins, treasurer; and Rev. Dr. Susan Diamond, secretary.

"The religious spectrum in Montgomery today includes not only the full range of Christian traditions familiar to most people, but also smaller, yet vibrant communities of Buddhists, Hindus, Baha'is, Muslims, and Jews, among others. This diversity is not new, just more prominent.

"The first Jewish community was organized here more than 100 years ago, and Muslims have worshiped at the Masjid Quasim Bilal El-Amin since 1984. Unitarian Universalism, which has roots in the Christian tradition and which today is an open, diverse, non-creedal faith, has been in Montgomery since the 1950s.

"Of course, the Christian community hardly speaks with one voice. Our community has Greek and Roman Catholics, and there are many variations of Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and Lutherans, to name just a few of the Protestant traditions in Montgomery. Thus, Christians should not presume to speak for each other any more than they would for faith groups outside the Christian tradition."

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