First, I want to thank the others on the call. Their leadership on this issue of great importance has proven inexhaustible and their leadership within their respective faith communities is nothing short of inspirational.
My colleagues have shared our joint concern about Senator Frist’s planned participation in the “Justice Sunday” event, an event whose message claims that the United States’ Senate is participating in a “filibuster against faith.” For the Senate Majority Leader to support such an event is disingenuous, dangerous, and demagogic and above all, dismissive of all those Americans of great faith who disagree with him on the filibuster issue.
At this time, we must note the tremendous reaction surrounding this issue from clergy and congregants, from the pulpit and the pew, across the country. From Los Angeles, California to Louisville, Kentucky, people of faith have joined across political and denominational lines, in voices loud and resolute, to say that Senator Frist’s scheduled participation in the “Justice Sunday” event is inappropriate and ill-advised.
We urge Senator Frist to listen to those voices. While the Family Research Council has every right to hold an event with a message of their choosing, the Majority Leader of the Senate must not lend credence to an event whose message is one that inexcusably lashes out at thousands of America’s faithful, and tears at our country’s fabric of religious tolerance, pluralism, and inclusion. Senator Frist should withdraw from participation in the “Justice Sunday” event or, at the very least, use the opportunity to repudiate the notion that anyone who does not endorse a particular political and legal agenda is anti-religious.
The Justice Sunday telecast is scheduled to take place on the second night of the Passover holiday, when Jews around the world gather together to celebrate our religious freedom. It was to enjoy exactly such freedom that we fled Egypt. It was for exactly such freedom that so many of us came to this great land. And it is because of exactly such freedom that we and our neighbors here have built a nation uniquely welcoming to people of faith – of all faiths. We believe Senator Frist knows these things as well. We call upon to him to disassociate himself from the claim that the Senate is participating in a filibuster against faith, and to withdraw his participation from the April 24th event.