THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

True Patriots Are Not Silent. They Speak Out.

True patriots are not silent. They speak out.

When I wrote the first "The Indictment of America" blog, I felt that the call for greater compassion for our planet, the animals and our poor, in addition to open dialogue around the world, equaled a call to humanity for peace, freedom and equality for everyone. One month later, the right wing attacks against President Obama have increased significantly. I am still speaking out on these matters because I'm reminded that in all the major spiritual texts including the Bible, Q'uran, Torah, Buddhist and yogic scriptures as well, the prophetic voice is always the voice that stirs people to progressive action in recognition of the oneness of humanity. I believe our world should have a better chance for peace, less abuse of animals, more protection of the environment and the eradication of poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

We need more people to speak out and to stand publicly with President Obama. Millions who voted are now way too silent, too passive and too willing to be patient with injustice. As the attacks from the right have increased, many people in our country have begun to question their faith and hope in change. At times, especially in the media, the chorus of few seem to outnumber the songs of the masses. But we know that the same young, progressive voices that helped elect the President are more powerful than any attack that can be launched. So, let us not be afraid, but rather empowered to continue to promote an agenda rooted in love, compassion and kindness.

It is not just the president that needs to stand strong, we as citizens of America must play our part too. We must not forget that America is a nation built on all religions, races, creeds and cultures. I have committed my life working with the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding to promote dialogue among races, religions and ethnicities. I have witnessed first hand the results from dialogue without condition. Just recently, against everyone's "better judgment," Rabbi Marc Schneier and I, through The Foundation For Ethnic Understanding, created twinship programs where imans speak in synagogues and rabbis speak in mosques. Today, after a few short months, we have close to 200 programs with prominent imans twinning with prominent rabbis throughout America and Europe. We now see more Jews fighting against Islamaphobia and more Muslims fighting against Anti-Semitism. Today we bear the fruit of the work of dialogue.

President Obama not only calls for change, he is now taking the necessary leadership steps and definitive actions around the world and across America to make change real for millions of people. The President has been warmly embraced by the international community which presents an opportunity for the President to lead the healing process and to repair America's image abroad and at home. Repairing our image is a process, a process that requires not only the action of our foreign policy and state dinners, but it requires the goodwill of our elected, civic and social leaders. The president and his team have engaged America and the world in dialogue, whether it's the extraordinary speech in Cairo, opening up talks with Iran and North Korea, challenging the government of Afghanistan to fight corruption and the acknowledgment of the important role China plays in the America Global Strategy Partnership. These are major steps in the right direction. In addition, the work on health care is also commendable. The U.S. Congress should stop p*ssy footing around with special interest groups and pass health care reform so all Americans can have access to quality, affordable heath care. Thus we can help remove the indictment on America and transform the world with the affirmation of the love of the American leadership and people.