Bishop Harry Jackson ’75 on religious tolerance after 9/11.

And perhaps we’re not talking about the fact that there can be a sense of anger and outrage that someone will blow themselves up in a particular setting. And, in D.C., we may feel very intimidated. We know that we would be high on a target list.

The 9/11 mosque controversy is one that I don’t think that we have helped people process their feelings. So, as a pastoral counselor for many years and one who trains ministers, I think you would agree with me, Reverend Vincent, that there needs to be a voice, a pastoral voice that helps people deal with how they feel positively, as opposed to explosively.

But, again, I agree that there needs to be leadership, religious leadership. I pastor a church in D.C. that has 22 different nationalities, black, white, Hispanic, first-generation Africans, people who have come from all kinds of walks of life and faiths.

I think there needs to be some specific teaching on this. And the next generation may be less tolerant if we don’t do something. Think about what happened with Al Sharpton vs. Glenn Beck on the Mall, all the hubbub: Is the Tea Party racist or is it not?

We are in a time that, unless we give clear leadership, as Reverend Vincent said, we can slip away from our professed values. And our leaders are supposed to lead the way in exemplifying the American dream.

I only feel explosively on Tuesdays.

Print  •  Email