I have been pondering the term interfaith. Interfaith dialogue means a dialogue between people holding different beliefs. Yes? Is belief synonymous with faith? What does faith mean? Who are you wanting to join if you call yourself an Interfaith Organization?
I sent OneJax an email asking them what they mean by "interfaith organization." Part of their response was this: "OneJax is interfaith in heritage and inclusive in practice."
What does Nancy and Kyle mean when they say "OneJax is interfaith in heritage and inclusive in practice"? The United States is racist in heritage. Homosexuality was once punished by prison terms. Women were once treated as chattel. "Heritage" isn't something to hang our hat on. Heritage is what people are using to keep Confederate Monuments in the town square. I think they need a better response than "OneJax is interfaith in heritage and inclusive in practice." It certainly didn't answer my question as to what they mean by interfaith.
One Jax started as part of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. I don't know why they moved away from being exclusively for Christians and Jews. I posit that it is time for the board of One Jax to change from being an interfaith organization to a human relations organization as have other members of the National Federation for Just Communities. Is the term interfaith outdated?
You can find more about the National Federation for Just Communities at these links:
I posit that the word "faith" is a word that excludes people. I would think many Christians would agree and would celebrate that their faith does indeed make them different from people without faith.
I posit that community and ethics and rituals that have been proven to help mental health are more important to some religions than blind faith.
I found this wonderful quote in an article about Jonathan Zur who is the Vice Chair – Administration & Secretary of the National Federation for Just Communities:
"Racism may be easy to spot in overt forms, but the subtle versions are the most troublesome."
You could substitute "religious bigotry" for the term "racism" and I think Zur's point would still be valid. I posit that discrimination against atheists is just as wrong as discrimination against minority religions.
I would think Humanist groups would want to be part of this "we". "Who We Are" section of the One Jax website says this: "OneJax is a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote diversity as the foundation for a strong community. We work to increase respect and improve relationships among people who represent the rich menagerie of religious, ethnic, racial and cultural groups that compose our community."
Please post in the comment section how you define "Interfaith organization." I like the description "human relations organization" which has been adopted by some members of the National Federation for Just Communities.