Closing Remarks: Faith, Values and Human Rights

Remarks delivered by Rev. Diane Rollert at "Faith, Values and Human Rights: A Constructive Dialogue on the Charter", Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom, 20 October 2013.

There is a saying that is often attributed to the 16th century Unitarian minister, Francis David:

We need not 
think alike 
to love alike.

Which might be translated into French as:

Nous n’avons pas besoin 
de penser comme l'autre
pour s'aimer l'un l'autre 

We have come together today as a gathering of diverse people. Some of us may define ourselves by a particular name, be we Jews, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Unitarians, Buddhists, Hindus, members of the First Nations, Humanists, Secularists and every other name that I have failed to mention. Some of us may choose to wear the outward symbols of our faith and identity, while others of us carry this knowledge silently in our hearts.  Whether our expression is visible or hidden, no one can truly know what it is that we think, believe or cherish until we enter into conversation and truly hear each other’s cares and concerns for our loved ones and for this world that we share.

In this time together we have explored what the future may bring, knowing that we each have work to do to build the much-needed bridges between us in order to create harmony within our diversity. My wish, my prayer, my hope -- by whatever word you name your dreams and longings for the future -- my wish and prayer for all of us is that we will build greater understanding between us. 

To the religious leaders here: I urge you to find common cause with each other, to find the places of common ground in the values you most cherish of loving your neighbour, of honesty, and integrity. 

To the general public here: I urge you to open your hearts and minds to those who are different from you, to seek the intersections within your lives, to find your common needs and to work towards a better future for all who live here. 

To the politicians here: I urge you to look deep into your own hearts and to find your integrity, to remember who it is you serve, and to place healing before division. 

May we see the humanity that connects us no matter how we understand divinity. May we have the courage to work together to affirm what is good and beautiful in this city et dans ce pays. May this day be but a beginning to strengthen our relationships.

May we remember that we need not think alike to love alike.

Nous n’avons pas besoin de penser comme l'autre pour s'aimer l'un l'autre.

If this is a prayer for you, join me in saying in amen.

If this is a wish for you, join me in saying, may it be so.

Amen.

May it be so.