Honoring the Charleston nine: Today, we mourn. Tomorrow, we organize.
This article was originally published in The Washington Post. Gunshots in a sanctuary of peace. Cries of terror where people sing God’s name. Blood in the prayer hall. A community shaken by hate but coming together to sing, pray and forgive even before they’ve laid the dead to rest. This is what happened three years ago in Oak Creek, Wis., when a white supremacist opened fire in a Sikh house of worship on a Sunday morning and killed six people. It was one of the deadliest attacks on a faith community in the United States since the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that […]Read more
The Doors of the Church Are Open
Click here to add your prayer or message of solidarity for the families of Charleston in the wake of the AME shooting. Within hours, Groundswell, Auburn Seminary’s online platform, collected and continues to deliver some 8,000 prayers from people of all faiths and beliefs in response to the horrific murders at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Some of America’s top faith leaders shared their prayers, heartbreak, and humanity and we offer them here: “There were gun shots in a place of prayer and peace. Cries of terror filled the space where we sing God’s name. Blood soaked the carpets […]Read more
The Open Internet Order Becomes Law: Why Faith Leaders are Celebrating
This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post. Today, after more than a year of national debate, the Open Internet Order goes into effect. The Order keeps the Internet an open and democratic space free from undue corporate control. Business leaders, start-up innovators, and economists widely praise the Order as win for the economic growth. But protecting the open Internet is not just sound policy — it’s a moral imperative. Today, I join twelve of America’s top faith and moral leaders – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Humanist – to celebrate the Open Internet Order as necessary for our work and […]Read more
Class of 2015: Flare Up, Let Your Life Sing
This piece was originally published on the Huffington Post. On May 9, 2015, I delivered the 100th commencement address at the College of Saint Benedict, a Catholic liberal arts college for women. I was the first commencement speaker of the Sikh faith in the College’s history. I addressed the Class of 2015 on Mother’s Day weekend. President Mary Hinton, professors and staff, family and friends, and the College of St Benedict’s Class of 2015, it is an honor for me to address you today. On a bright day like this, not so long ago, I was sitting in your place, my heart […]Read more
A Sikh Sermon at the Pentagon: Seva, The Call of Our Times
Originally published in the Huffington Post. The following are my remarks from the Pentagon’s second-ever commemoration of the Sikh faith on May 1, 2015. I spoke alongside Simran Jeet Singh and Inni Kaur on “Seva” – selfless service in the Sikh religion. Hosted by the Pentagon Chaplain on Vaisakhi, the program was organized by Major Kamal Singh Kalsi and the Sikh Coalition, an organization leading the campaign for turbaned Sikhs and other people of faith to be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. My remarks at the first-ever Sikh event at the Pentagon in 2014 can be found here. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki […]Read more
Baltimore Is Burning: 8 Faith Voices You Should Hear
By Faith Source Originally published on FaithStreet.com. “What is the call for people of faith when they are faced with the aftermath of a riot they may have helped create due to neglect or ignorance wrapped in arrogance? What do all riots all have in common? “They are the phonetic and kinetic sounds and rhythms of the unheard.” – Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Trinity Church, Chicago “I arrived outside the Supreme Court around 8:30. Crystal clear day. It was to be a landmark day. SCOTUS would hear arguments that could make gay marriage legal across all 50 states. Before the Gay […]Read more
Net Neutrality for Nonprofits: An Interview on “State of Belief”
Friends ask me why I’ve taken on Internet freedom as part of my advocacy work. Click below to hear my 12-minute interview on “State of Belief” radio with Rev. Welton Gaddy explaining why: You can also read the transcript: Interfaith Alliance State of Belief Radio March 14, 2015 TRANSCRIPT: REV. DR. C. WELTON GADDY, HOST: This past week, I noticed a strident column in the conservativeWashington Timesdecrying the Federal Communication Commission’s new rules on Net Neutrality asan existential threat to religious freedom. Huh? Joining me now to shed some light on this issue is a pioneer in onlinefaith-based activism, Valarie Kaur. […]Read more
An open Internet, for God’s sake!
By Valarie Kaur and Cheryl Leanza This week, a handful of Republicans will hold hearings on the Hill to challenge new federal rules protecting the Internet. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reclassified providers who connect us to the Internet as common carriers and adopted strong rules banning them from blocking or slowing down sites and charging access fees. The vote is already touted as among the greatest public interest victories in U.S. history, most vocally by the tech world. But also among those celebrating this vote are America’s Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and humanists. What’s faith got to do […]Read more
3000+ Prayers Pour Into Chapel Hill After Slaying of Muslim American Students
The families of three Muslim college students killed last week in Chapel Hill, North Carolina received more than 3,000 messages and prayers of love and support from people across America. The prayers were collected by Groundswell Movement at Auburn Seminary and delivered to the local mosque in Raleigh, NC by Rabbi Eric Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue. “Groundswell collected thousands of notes from caring souls throughout the world who declared their willingness to stand in grieving solidarity with these families,” Rabbi Solomon told the Barakat and Abu-Salha families. “May the souls of Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha rest in peace and […]Read more
Protect Our Faithful Voices. Protect the Open Internet.
If you recognize my name, it’s because we’re connected in a magical way. Four years ago, I founded Groundswell because I had a dream – to connect people of faith to build a moral movement for justice. Today, you and me and over 100,000 others have taken faithful action together! We built this movement with a lot of heart – and with the help of the Internet. But right now the Internet is under attack, and I’m in the fight to save it. There’s a big vote this Thursday and if people like us speak up now, we can make the […]Read more