International Association for Religious Freedom
We are the US chapter of this organization of religious bodies from around the world, striving for understanding and mutual respect, and thus toward world peace.
IARF-US Chapter Open Discussion #3
Sunday, November 8, 2020
7:30 pm EST 4:30 pm PST
Topic: Leave Your Assumptions & Shoes at the Door
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87818208382 pwd=RVkwNlRHVzdhMUdOZy9sd0o1SlMrUT09
The board of the US Chapter of the International Association for Religious Freedom is pleased to invite you to participate in our third Zoom discussion "Leave Your Assumptions & Shoes at the Door." Stephen Schwichow, US Chapter board member, will be the presenter.
In 1970, Stephen, a White American, began his Buddhist practice in a Japanese tradition in Philadelphia, PA at the age of 25. In 1990, he joined the UU Society of Sacramento, CA and has maintained his dual religious affiliations ever since. Stephen, now 76, will share his experiences in entering these faith groups and how both he, a gay man, and his co-religionists have dealt with the assumptions we all carry about those around us and how we can also break through to the realities behind the assumptions.
US Chapter Deplores Harassment of Asian-Americans
The US Chapter of the IARF is greatly distressed by the harassment of and, worse, attacks on Asian-Americans and other Asians in the US that have arisen in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. New diseases arise from time to time, and “blame” is not appropriate. The fact that COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China, has led to Asian-Americans being stereotyped as infected with the virus, and this racist assumption hurts Asian-American communities all over the country. To blame or try to avoid Asian-Americans in the US makes no sense at all. To harm them is appalling. We especially condemn those campaigning for high office by blaming the Chinese for the pandemic.
The US chapter of the IARF is compelled to denounce anti-Asian bias and racial intolerance. We must stop it from becoming normalized. Current attacks against Asian Americans simply stoke inter-community animus and recall the past racially-motivated prejudice that has left a stain in our country's past history and present story. Clearly, the values of the IARF lead us not to speak ill of others, nor act in ways to harm, but rather to offer help to those who are at risk, while maintaining our own safety, and to speak up for respect for all.
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Our US Board
Board members live across the US and meet by video conference.
Retired religious educator with long interest in multi-faith encounters.
Dr. Janice Marie Johnson
Committed to making multiculturalism real, her maxim is "Let us build together."
For Stephen, it is all about accepting each other because of, not in spite of, our differences.
John L. Young
Retired minister with deep interest in non-violence, and former chair of this chapter.
Recently received an MPH from Tufts, interested in the junction of religion and health.
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or, $50 for a household
or, $10 for a student.
Donations beyond our modest dues are very welcome.