"... a voice of conscience." - Rabbi Mark Glickman

Rabbi Mark Glickman was elected chair of the Calgary Interfaith Council the other week. During his remarks, he shared a commentary on why faith leaders and those who build community must be a part of the public discourse.


... When religion functions well in a democratic society, it becomes a voice of conscience. As religious Calgarians, we have something to teach. We are committed, like many others, to building a just and compassionate community.

And that commitment matters.

Of course, there are issues where we don't have consensus within our group. (...) But what about questions of how we treat our needy or homeless neighbours? Or the rise of legislation around Canada that would restrict the wearing of certain religious garb? Or reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of our community?

These are questions about which our religions have important lessons to teach. And as religious Calgarians, we must not be silent. Instead, we should be at city council meetings and at legislative sessions in Edmonton. We should be in the papers, speaking out about what is important to us.

We should let the collective voice of our collective religious traditions be heard—because in that voice is great wisdom and great power. To be silent is to be complicit in society's wrongs.

Especially when our silence mutes the time honoured sacred religious wisdom we all embrace. So my friends, won't you join me in this sacred work this year? Together, let's learn the wisdom of the many great religions being practised around us here in Calgary. Together, let's lead out community in moments of shared awe and feeling.

Together, let us give voice to the shared call to sanctity that all of our religions provide.