Cultural Crossroads supports the full exercise of religious liberty for all and is opposed to any limitation on immigration based upon religious restrictions.The United States was founded on the basis of freedom, and religious liberty is one of themost basic of those freedoms. Any classification or treatment of citizens or immigrantsbased upon religion is counter to the very ideals of America and what America stands for.If America loses our unique position in the world as the bastion of religious liberty, it willnot only destroy the American dream, it will destroy the preeminent position of the UnitedStates in the eys of the world....and history.Dated January 29, 2017--------------------------------------------------------------------------------FRIENDSHIP FAIR: October 8, 2016Cultural Crossroads hosted a multicultural event with over 20 nonprofits organizationsjoining to teach about those in our community. Read about it in the article at http://www.kcinterfaith.org/friendship-fair-travels-the-world-in-an-afternoonSee photos (and post photos) on our Facebook page.
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF RIGHTS
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“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble…”This year has seen numerous rallies and marches, most of them promoting a positive agenda in favor of women, minorities, the environment and education. Although Cultural Crossroads does not take a position on political issues, some of our directors and supporters have been involved in these positively-oriented events. Unfortunately, Cultural Crossroads is unable to support a rally which is planned for June 10, 2017 in many cities, including Kansas City, and must take a stand against the avowed purpose of this particular gathering. The rally in question (the so-called “March Against Sharia”) does not promote any positive agenda or advocate any positive change for our society. The sponsoring organization, ACT for America, calls itself “the NRA of national security” and uses language of mobilization, saying they are “fighting for” national security. ACT (the website, ironically, says the acronym stands for “American Congress for Truth”) is admittedly an anti-Muslim group and is listed as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Various far-right and alt-right “militia groups” will be “providing security” according to the event website. As a champion of all cultural and religious heritage, Cultural Crossroads laments the spewing of hate speech and, thus, cannot support the ACT event. This statement is addressed to the organizers of the “March” as well as to those plan a counter protest and all who support either side. Although we cannot support the message of the “March” as planned for June 10, we request all parties to remember the “peaceable assembly” guaranteed by the First Amendment.Our First Amendment guarantee of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly are among the most cherished American freedoms and it is not our intent here to attempt, in any way, to detract from anyone’s ability to speak out and to meet in peaceableassembly. We are concerned, however, whenever an assembly is self-described as targeting a particular ethnic, cultural or religious minority. We are particularly concerned when private “militias” act as “security” in any public arena. (NOTE: While the Second Amendment does mention a “well regulated militia” as part of the definition of rights, there are contradictory interpretations of that term. We posit that the constitutional phrase does not include groups similar to those who plan to “provide security” during the proposed event.)We call upon all those who gather, whether in support of the so-called “March” or those who counter the display of hatred, ignorance and bigotry, to remember that “peaceable assembly” is not only what is protected under the First Amendment – it is the bedrock of the Bill of Rights. Peaceableassembly guarantees that all may gather and all may speak and all may be heard. Cultural Crossroads urges all citizens to take advantage of those rights – but cautions all citizens to refrain from violence in order to allow those rights for all citizens.30 May 2017
A Call for an End to HatredCultural Crossroads expresses deep sorrow at recent instances of hate violence in our midst. These past few days have seen several incidents of ethnic and religious hatred in the heart of the Midwest, from desecration of a Jewish cemetery in the St. Louis, MO, area to murder and attempted murder in Olathe, KS.The desecration of the cemetery, occurring with a background of threats to Jewish community organizations around the country, is acknowledged as hate violence. Although authorities are, so far, hesitate to label the Olathe, Kansas, incident as a "hate crime” (under all the specificities of that designation), witnesses of that event report ethnic slurs were directed at two men from India prior to the violence.We extend our most profound sympathies to the victims, their families and communities....and to our entire community, which is lessened by such acts of hatred.Hatred and hate violence are too evident in our society and are the result of a mindset that divides people and holds some segments of our community to be "superior" to others. No population is “superior” to any other population – and those who condone and cause violence, by definition, contradict any notion of “superiority.”In each case, we do find hope from the courage of those who stand against such violence. We are amazed at the selfless courage of a bystander in Olathe, who himself became a shooting victim as he tried to stop the assailant, and we are warmed by the outpouring of support from the Muslim community, which raised tens of thousands of dollars to repair the Jewish cemetery. At the same time, we are distressed that such actions are necessary.Cultural Crossroads works to promote the idea of equality of people of all cultures and the mutual respect that provides a peaceful society. We call on all people, of all cultures and life philosophies, to remove concepts of “superiority” and “otherness” from our vocabularies and to replace them with the concepts of “equality” and “humankind.”We can be better than this – we must be better than this.Dated: February 23, 2017
THERE IS NO ROOM FOR HATETo oppose hatred and violence is not making a political statement – it is taking a moral position.To refrain from calling out hatred and violence is to implicitly condone hatred and violence. Cultural Crossroads specifically calls out and disapproves of racism, hatred, and violence. We also call upon our leaders to take a moral position and to disavow such acts.What we have seen in Virginia is hatred, not politics. Statements like “Jews will not replace us” are designed solely to enflame fear and hatred and to separate Americans into armed camps. Employing words and symbols from the 1930s is a deliberate attempt to recreate the fear that led to war and genocide. In those days of nearly a century ago, the United States stood proud against genocide and led the free world to oppose the tyranny of hate --- are we now, in less than 100 years, to find ourselves destroyed from within by those same forces? We call upon all people to back away from hatred, from violence, from condemnation of the “other” –and, most of all, from the Fear that reduces thought to unthinking reaction.The United States is better than this! We are all better than this! Disagree on principle; argue your side of an issue; debate what is best for our society – but use your mind, not your fists. Remember that this society is not simply one country among many in the world – the USA has, from the beginning, been formed from ideals, not just a collection of historical events. This is our heritage and this is what the US has to offer the world – hope, unity, a future for all. Do not let hatred destroy it.12 August 2017