President Ronald Reagan on Religious Intolerance

“Let me speak plainly: the United States of America is and must remain a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. Our very unity has been strengthened by this pluralism. That’s how we began; this is how we must always be. The ideals of our country leave no room whatsoever for intolerance, anti-Semitism, or bigotry of any kind – none. The unique thing about America is a wall in our Constitution separating church and state. It guarantees there will never be a state religion in this land, but at the same time it makes sure that every single American is free to choose and practice his or her religious beliefs or to choose no religion at all. Their rights shall not be questioned or violated by the state.

Remarks at the International Convention of B’nai B’rith, 6 September 1984”

― Ronald Reagan

Justice in the Courts – a lament

Hate evil, love good;
Maintain justice in the courts.

There are those who turn justice into bitterness,
And cast righteousness to the ground;
There are those who hate those who uphold honour and justice,
And detest the one who tells the truth;
There are those who oppress the innocent, take bribes,
And obstruct the poor from justice in the courts.

Though you have built stone mansions,
You shall not live in them;
Though you have planted lush vineyards,
You shall not drink their wine;
And there will be wailing in all the streets,
And cries of anguish in every public square.

Hate evil, love good;
Maintain justice in the courts.

written in response to today’s prompt at The Daily Post, and inspired by Amos 5:1-17, a lament and call to repentance.

President John F. Kennedy on Religious Intolerance

“For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew–or a Quaker–or a Unitarian–or a Baptist. It was Virginia’s harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson’s statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim- -but tomorrow it may be you–until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.

Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end–where all men and all churches are treated as equal–where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice–where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind–and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.

That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe–a great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a President whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.

This is the kind of America I believe in–and this is the kind I fought for in the South Pacific, and the kind my brother died for in Europe. No one suggested then that we may have a “divided loyalty,” that we did “not believe in liberty,” or that we belonged to a disloyal group that threatened the “freedoms for which our forefathers died.”
― John F. Kennedy

Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum

(a legal maxim, translating as, “Let justice be done though the heavens fall“)

The sky shall not fall
Though Heaven come down to earth
Justice’ will be done

written in response to today’s daily prompt at The Daily Post

‘Should the whole frame of Nature round him break,
In ruin and confusion hurled,
He, unconcerned, would hear the mighty crack,
And stand secure amidst a falling world’
– Horace, Odes 3.3.7-8, translated by Joseph Addison

Sir Nicholas Winton – “The British Schindler”

A memorial service has been held today for Sir Nicholas Winton, who rescued hundreds of children from the Holocaust in the months before World War Two.

Some 28 of those he saved as children were among 400 people who attended the event at London’s Guildhall, along with Czech, Slovak and UK government representatives.

Sir Nicholas organised the “Kindertransport” in which 669 mostly Jewish children came to Britain by train from Czechoslovakia in 1939.

He died on 1 July last year, aged 106.

Faith Unlocked

Please read and watch – I defy you to not shed a tear.

Sir Nicholas George Winton, MBE is a British humanitarian who organised the rescue of 669, mostly Jewish, children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War, in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport. Winton found homes for the children and arranged for their safe passage to Britain. The UK press has dubbed him the “British Schindler”. On 28 October 2014 he was awarded the highest honour of the Czech Republic, the Order of the White Lion, by Czech President Miloš Zeman.

Nicholas Winton was born on 19 May 1909 in Hampstead, London, a son of German Jewish parents who had moved to London two years earlier. The family name was Wertheim, but they changed it to Winton in an effort at integration. They also converted to Christianity, and Winton was baptised.

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Their Power is Fleeting

Their power is fleeting
Though established
Though self-assured
God allows them to rest
In complacent security
But He remains watchful
Knows their hearts
Sees their ways
And like Bede’s sparrow
Those once briefly exalted
In a blink shall be gone
Those who reach high
Yet shall be brought low
Shall be gathered
Reaped and sorted
And chaff shall fall
Returned to wasting dust

Thursday is Verse Day @FaithUnlocked – Jeremiah 9:23-26

This is what the Lord says:
‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,’
declares the Lord.
‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord,
‘when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh –
Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab
and all who live in the wilderness in distant places.
For all these nations are really uncircumcised,
and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.’

His Name is the Lord

He has placed His words
In our mouths and on our tongues;
He has appointed us to stand
Against nations and governments,
To overthrow and tear down,
To uphold and to build;
He is watching and waiting,
His plans shall prevail:
Judgement against the wicked,
Justice for the oppressed,
Salvation for all;
His name is the Lord.

Bring Back Our Girls

How insecure,
How ignorant,
How weak and cowardly,
Must man be
To brainlessly,
And brutally
Punish girls,
Whose only ‘crime’
Is to grow up
Learning naturally?
To expand and nurture
Minds of their own,
Which only wish
To be free?

Free to live,
And to love;
To grow up
Learning how to be
Educated women;
Proud, independent women,
Born to live,
Born to grow,
Not subject
To man’s yoke
Of evil slavery;
But to be, and to stay
Proud women,
Forever Free.

‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.’
– Galatians 5:1