In a welcome and positive move, a group of religious leaders in Rhode Island are publicly calling on those who have inundated Jessica Ahlquist and her family with hatred and vile threats to act like civilized human beings instead of hateful thugs.
About 18 clergy members from a number of faiths stood on the steps of the Edgewood Congregational Church in Cranston to call for an end to the verbal abuse and threats directed toward Jessica Ahlquist, 16, who has been the target of classmates, talk show callers and others unhappy with the federal court ruling that held a prayer banner at her Cranston High School West school must be removed.
“We come as faith leaders in good conscience to speak to all those who are intolerant, to please be intolerant, stop the verbal abuse, stop the threats,” said Reverend Matthew Kai, Pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church of Providence and the immediate past president of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches.
“We are not strangers coming from outside,” said Rev. Dr. Don Anderson, Executive Minister of the rhode Island State Council of Churches, and a 1966 graduate of Cranston High School West. “We love Rhode Island, we love Cranston, and we believe that the majority of people in this fair city want the hateful speech to stop.”
“Crucify her, crucify her, cry those who fear the future, and hold on to the past,” said Rev. Betsy Garland, President of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches and interim pastor of the Riverside Congregational Church, United Church of Christ. “Today, we are all Jessica Ahlquist.”
“It is Jessica today,” said Rev. Kai, “it could be me tomorrow.”
Here’s the video:
Good for them. Good for us all.