The nation’s capital is host to many events, rallies and marches which voice concerns and opinions on any number of issues. These groups, of course, all have a right under the First Amendment to peaceably assemble and speak their mind, however distasteful others might find their ideas.

Some of these gatherings the Church of Washington wholeheartedly endorses and participates in, such as the annual March for Life.  Others express inflammatory views that are quite foreign to the Gospel message, not to mention fundamental justice, human dignity and the common good.

In the face of groups whose message we deplore and even as they exercise their First Amendment right, we must stand firm in our convictions.  We cannot let these messages that we reject somehow change us.  Rather, we must continue to stand up for a good and just society, speaking the truth in love.

One of those truths is that “in whatever form, intolerance of other people because of their race, religion or national origin is ultimately a denial of human dignity.  No one is better than another person because of the color of their skin or the place of their birth,” as I affirmed in my recent pastoral letter The Challenge of Racism Today.

In this mission – always – we “go forward in the light of faith,” putting Christ’s love into action and “embracing all of those around us, realizing that those wounded by the sin of racism should never be forgotten.”

© 2018 Archidiocese of Washington