Mr. Trump, Respect the God-Given Dignity of Every Human Being
Rabbi Eric Yoffie’s Statement Protesting Donald Trump’s Appearance at the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C., on June 10, 2016.
Mr. Trump, as you speak today to the Faith and Freedom Coalition, I join with faith leaders from across America in expressing my concern about your statements and actions during the presidential primary campaign.
You have found it politically opportune to peddle divisive anti-Muslim and anti-Mexican bigotry, inexcusably pandering to people’s prejudices and demonstrating disrespect for the God-given dignity of every human being.
You have contributed to a public discourse that has become not only uncivil, but vulgar, vicious, and ugly, and deeply offensive to religious people of all faiths.
You have conducted a campaign focused not on policy but on prejudice, not on substance but on personal invective, and in the process encouraged fanaticism to grow and prejudice to harden in our country.
And by singling out Muslim Americans and Mexican Americans as second-class citizens, you have demonstrated ignorance of the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees our most precious freedoms, including the freedom of religion.
Mr. Trump, if Muslims are not free and safe in America, then Christians and Jews are not free and safe in America. If Latinos are not free and safe in America, then no ethnic group is free and safe in America. Do not trade away our most precious values for political advantage. I plead with you to change the course of your campaign, and to do what presidential nominees have always done in this country—which is to help Americans strengthen one another, inspire one another, and promote the values of justice and love that are common to all of our faiths.
This weekend, Jews throughout the world will celebrate the holiday of Shavuot and read the Biblical Book of Ruth. In the Book of Ruth, we read of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz acting in a kind and compassionate way to one another. Mr. Trump, I urge you to embrace this book and its message and to douse the fires of bigotry and intolerance that your words have ignited. Only in this way can America continue to be the great country that it has always been. Only in this way can America remain a secure sanctuary, safeguarding the right of all Americans to embrace their own heritage and follow their own religious path.