I had the privilege of opening the recent meeting of the Democratic National Committee, and I share those words with you. (Yes, I would do the same for Republicans, and, in fact, have done so.)
Good morning. I am Rabbi Jack Moline, and I am the chair of The Interfaith Alliance, dedicated to protecting faith and freedom, religion and democracy in America.
In 1943, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released a short film to promote support on the home front for the war being fought in Europe and the Pacific. It was called "For God and Country," and it was the story of three chaplains – Protestant, Catholic and Jew. That was diversity back then, three white guys, one of whom did not go to church. The title of that film gets bandied about a lot these days, but for too many Americans, the meaning is less inclusive than in the original. It has come to mean just the Christian notion of God, or some politicized Judeo-Christian power symbol. It has come to mean not the values that make America great, but the privileged few who horde the Bill of Rights as if using it too much would wear it out.
But you and I know what that title, that phrase really means – not a small concept of God, but the very notion of faith, the wide variety of traditional faith, from the faith of the fundamentalist in that old-time religion to the faith of the atheist in the human potential, and all the faith of all of us in between; not a small concept of country, but the very notion of freedom on which this country is built, freedom to and freedom from, the freedom we must live before we can presume to export.
Let us pray.
Sovereign of the Universe, Author of Liberty,
Open the hearts of these good people who gather today to chart a course for America. Impress upon them the responsibility they bear, and strengthen them from within their faith, each in his or her own way. Instill within them the pride of our patriots, the courage of our defenders, the wisdom of our sages. Open their ears to the cries of the neediest and their hearts to the imaginations of our dreamers. Make them good stewards of the legacy of the ten...amendments to our Constitution that guarantee our freedoms. For You know that what unites us in faith and freedom is always greater than what divides us. And You know that we carry no greater message than faith and freedom from our founders to our future, faith and freedom from us to our posterity, faith and freedom from yesterday to today to tomorrow.