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Your Opinion: Take a stand against racism, bigotry

Your Opinion: Take a stand against racism, bigotry

August 10th, 2012 by The Rev. William Edwards, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

Back in 1974 my wife and I studied Kundalini Yoga with the Sikhs' 3HO Foundation in Minneapolis, Minn. (3HO stands for healthy, happy, holy.)

I would maintain that Sikhs are among the most wonderful people on earth. If you have a Sikh for a friend, you have a dependable friend for life - regardless of your race, religion, color or national origin.

It broke my heart to see the murder perpetrated on the Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Please say something when you hear someone make a racist, creedist or otherwise bigoted statement. (I know it's difficult; as the late James Baldwin said, "To be committed is to be in danger." No one wants to be in danger. But bigotry is like cancer; if you ignore it, it just grows.)

Prince Phillip, Queen Elizabeth's husband, was giving a speech in England once. Someone in the audience shouted out a caustic comment at him. His response was: "Shut up and grow up, you can destroy freedom of speech by making a mockery of it."

Along with freedom of speech comes a great deal of responsibility; words have consequences.

As I write this letter, I see that a mosque in Joplin has been set on fire for the second time. Joplin has had enough tragedies for awhile.

America is the mother that gave birth to modern religious freedom, let's not lose it.

Oh, one last quote, from Martin Luther King Jr., "Either we learn to live together as brothers, or we perish together as fools."