Whenever a group of people is facing oppression, there's a temptation to see it as their problem to fix: Racism is a problem for Blacks, homophobia is a problem for the LGBTQ+ community, antisemitism is a problem for Jews.    

a carving of Elie Wiesel

Especially if we are not directly impacted, it’s easy to lose sight of our responsibility in combatting evil that oppresses others. Our faith, however, calls us all to be part of the solution.

That’s why we’re heartened to see the Biden Administration unveil an ambitious National Strategy to Combat Antisemitism.  Defeating this cancerous ideology will be up to each of us, regardless of our faith.

As Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff put it on Thursday, “Antisemitism is a threat to Jewish communities and all Americans. And it can only be combated with united efforts. We are committed to making sure that everyone can live openly, proudly, and safely in their own communities. It is on all of us to put an end to the visceral hate that we are seeing across our nation. We cannot normalize this.”

The first-ever strategy rests on four pillars: Increasing awareness of antisemitism and appreciating Jewish American heritage; Improving safety and security for Jewish communities; Reversing the normalization of antisemitism; and Building cross-community solidarity to combat hatred.

Antisemitism directly impacts Jewish Americans, but it corrodes the souls of all Americans. Hatred of Jews and Judaism is antithetical to the Gospel and offends the principals on which this country was formed.

Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, whose likeness was added to this Cathedral in 2021, reminds us that the victims of oppression cannot be the only ones responsible for their liberation — and the rest of us must always resist the temptation of indifference:

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”





The Rev. Canon Leonard L. Hamlin, Sr.

Canon Missioner and Minister of Equity & Inclusion