Freedoms of speech, religion depend on truth and respect

We cannot live together as a community unless we accord others the same respect we ask for ourselves.

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The Archdiocese of Chicago, located at 835 N. Rush St.

The Archdiocese of Chicago, located at 835 N. Rush St.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

The Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago condemns the anti-Catholic caricatures and inflammatory rhetoric that has erupted in our community in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Regardless of our personal or political views on abortion, bigotry has no place in our community. There are more than two million Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago. As a council composed of almost every religious tradition in Chicago, we cannot accept the demonization of any faith community.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. We want to hear from our readers. To be considered for publication, letters must include your full name, your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Letters should be a maximum of approximately 375 words.

We live in a diverse community. Although our council members hold profoundly different beliefs on fundamental matters, we agree on a wide set of binding values and moral standards. We cannot live together as a community unless we accord others the same respect we ask for ourselves. This respect includes how we speak to each other, particularly on fundamental issues of life and death.

For decades our council has spoken out against violence in our community. We also condemn incitement to violence. Words and images have power. We know the freedoms of speech and religion depend on truth and respect. They are undermined by prejudice and violence. We urge everyone to exercise our cherished freedoms responsibly.

Let us instead continue to live by truth and respect even as we differ.

Barbara Abrajano, president, Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago

I’m bailing on being an election judge

In response to Diane Blaszczyk’s recent letter to the editor on being an election judge: I concur with your misery. I worked a number of elections and as time went on, fewer people signed up and fewer showed up.

I recently worked in Elmhurst for early voting and some workers did their job. But there was an older woman who always wore a hat and was timid about pushing keys on the touch pad — and yes, we had to help her. Then on Election Day, some of the appointed crew bailed out and fill-ins showed up. Problem was, one man stood around and did nothing.

For future elections, like in November of this year, I plan to bail out. Being an election judge should be an honor and an opportunity to show your civic pride, but why show up only to be insulted by staff and/or voters, or deal with no-shows?

Richard J. White, Elmhurst

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