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Valarie's Blog Posts

Our Inauguration Oath For #RevolutionaryLove

This was originally posted by the Auburn Seminary. In a matter of hours, our next president will place his hand on a Bible and speak an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” It is an oath sworn many times throughout history, but never before by a person whose ideas represent such a direct threat to the Constitution. I share your sadness and anger, uncertainty and pain. I am not asking you to suppress these emotions — I’m asking you to honor them and choose love anyway. Love is not a passing feeling; it is an […]

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Kaur issues call to ‘revolutionary love’

At the conclusion of Valarie Kaur’s Jan. 4 electrifying keynote address at the College Conference at Montreat, the tandem lines on either side of Anderson Auditorium were at least ten deep with students all but on fire to have her respond to their questions. In fact, “fire” was an operative word for Kaur, an American interfaith leader, lawyer, filmmaker, Sikh activist, and founder of The Revolutionary Love Project based at the University of Southern California. She had so galvanized the conference by charging her listeners “to have the courage to walk through those flames of hatred and bigotry and rage, […]

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The Sword & Dilruba: Spiritual Activism in an Era of Rage

On January 5th, millions of people around the world celebrated the 350th birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth teacher of the Sikh faith. We honored him with pilgrimages, services, stories, and sweets. But this moment offers more than celebration. In our current moment of political and moral crisis, the Guru’s birthday offers an opportunity for reflection. His life shows us the path of spiritual activism — how to fight for justice through the ethic of love, even in an era of rage. Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) lived in a time when an empire waged war on religious minorities […]

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New Year’s Eve Watch Night Service

On New Year’s Eve I joined with other faith leaders at the Watch Night Service at the historic Metropolitan AME Church in DC. There was part of my soul that had been shattered since the election — a part that no one could reach. But the entire service — testimonies, music and song — touched and healed that part of me. So deep, I didn’t even know it needed to be healed until it happened. I will never forget standing there, tears streaming down my face with the deep knowledge that I will not bow down in the fire; I will […]

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The Deaths of Two Little Boys

Today I hold in my heart two boys who were bricked alive in 1705. Zorawar (9) and Fateh (6) were the youngest sons of the tenth #Sikh teacher Guru Gobind Singh, killed by captors when they refused to give up their faith. They are shown in paintings hung in gurdwaras, their faces serene and stoic as men with scowls build brick walls around them. Today Sikhs around the world commemorate them as martyrs called “Chotta Sahibzade,” our little sons. A few years ago I visited the place in Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab where they were killed, parts of the brick wall […]

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Christmas Eve in the Era of Rage

It is 2AM on Christmas Eve. I sneak out of the bed where Sharat is asleep and sit next to our little tree to write by its lights. Shadi is curled up on the couch, where she’s not supposed to be, but I let her stay. Kavi is in his crib, talking in his sleep, “Mommy, hold this.” The only other sound is the hum of the heater keeping out the cold. This is usually a magical night for me, even as an adult. The pure joy and anticipation I felt as a little girl, straining to hear sleigh bells […]

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WHAT DO WE DO NOW? JOIN THE FRONT LINES.

This was originally published on Auburn Seminary’s Website here.  As a Sikh American mother, I have been terrified since Election Day. More than 400 incidents of hate and bias have swept America in the name of President-Elect Trump. Soon his administration will consider proposals that threaten the dignity, safety, and civil rights of millions of families, including mine. It’s no longer enough to vent on Facebook or love our neighbor while keeping to ourselves. We are called to become political. I’m going to fight — for my son and the next generation. Will you join us on the front lines […]

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A Sikh Prayer for America on November 9th, 2016

A SIKH PRAYER FOR AMERICA ON NOV 9, 2016 Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh In our tears and agony, we hold our children close and confront the truth: The future is dark. But my faith dares me to ask: What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor? What if all the mothers who came before us, who survived genocide and occupation, slavery and […]

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Election Night: Why I Vow To Fight with #RevolutionaryLove

Why I #VowToFight: When the first election results came in tonight – and the unthinkable became possible, then inevitable – I first put my hand over my mouth. I felt the horror in my throat, my face flushed, my breathing shallow. I wanted to rage and cry. My toddler tugged at my shirt and shouted “Evening Edition!” This is his name for our bedtime routine of stories, songs, and prayers to get him to sleep. I didn’t think I had it in me. Still my husband and I turned off CNN and held back our tears. We sat on the […]

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Special Invite: Will you join us to Get Out the Vote?

We have 12 days left to Election Day — an election that will determine the course of our future and character of our nation. Are you planning to vote but want to do something more? Traveling the country this fall, I witnessed up close how this election season has vilified, shamed, and intimidated communities of color — especially Muslim Americans. With every new threat of voter intimidation at the polls, Muslim families worry that they may not be able to exercise the sacred and fundamental right to vote. But we can change that — together. Can you donate 3 hours […]

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