Stand up against religious discrimination — even if it’s not your religion

As religious diversity increases in the United States, we must learn to channel religious identity into interfaith cooperation.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Religious diversity is the norm in American life, and that diversity is only increasing, says Eboo Patel.
  • Using the most painful moment of his life as a lesson, Eboo Patel explains why it's crucial to be positive and proactive about engaging religious identity towards interfaith cooperation.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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If you lost friends in the 2016 election, watch this

American society is in trouble if we let fundamental disagreements cancel entire relationships.

Videos
  • As the saying goes: Diversity isn't rocket science—it's harder. Living in a diverse civil society isn't just about embracing the things we like, says Eboo Patel. That's the 'egg rolls and samosas' view. Diversity means cooperating through disagreements.
  • Have you ever judged someone harshly, ended a relationship or avoided one because of a fundamental disagreement? "Does the fact of that disagreement—voting differently in a particular election, disagreeing on fundamental issues, immigration policy for example, or abortion—does that disagreement cancel any chance of a relationship? If it does, we don't have a civil society anymore," says Patel.
  • Even so, there are limits—what Patel calls the 'true barbarians'. In political philosophy, that person is defined as someone who destroys the conversation. With some groups, like the KKK, there can be no productive disagreements. Anyone else, you should try to engage with.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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Why the U.S. is an anomaly among democracies

Eboo Patel explains how America's political philosophy broke the democratic mold.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • From the time of the ancient Greeks, political philosophers believed the only way to have diversity in a society was for it to be an empire or a dictatorship. They thought homogeneity was the core of democracy: one ethnic group, one racial group, and especially one religion. Then America broke that mold in 1787.
  • Eboo Patel cites historical examples of how Benjamin Franklin donated funds to different religious communities and built a pulpit for the Grand Mufti of Constantinople to preach Islam, if he so wanted. George Washington assured the Jewish people protection in a very famous and beautifully written letter. Religious diversity? Turns out it's as American as apple pie.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less