Monday, December 26, 2005

I'm Catholic. What Does Chanukkah Have To Do With Me?

Today is the first day of Chanukkah, an eight day celebration of the Israelites taking back their freedom of religion over 2000 years ago. In our household, partly to remember Sam Kasser, our Jewish ancestor whose father and uncles were killed in a pogrom in 1889, and partly to remind us of the importance of the freedom to practice any religion however we are called to do so; our family celebrates Chanukkah. Usually we have celebrated this feast with great joy and gratitude for that freedom; this year we celebrate it in trembling anxiety that this freedom is threatened. At our Chanukkah dinner tonight, we will be reading the following words as a prayer for our country:

"I suggest that you preach truth and do righteousness as you have been taught, whereinsoever that teaching may commend itself to your consciences and your judgments. For your consciences and your judgments we have not sought to bind; and see you to it that no other institution, no political party, no social circle, no religious organization, no pet ambitions put such chains on you as would tempt you to sacrifice one iota of the moral freedom of your consciences or the intellectual freedom of your judgments."

From the commencement address that Isaac Sharpless gave to the Haverford College class of 1888.

Read here the post that inspired this post today.


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