Love Thy Neighbor, No Exceptions

Yesterday I wrote about the student demonstrations for Black Lives Matter at Simpson College.

I think it was a great idea of my friend, Rezadad Mohammadi, to bring a #Love Thy Neighbor (No Exceptions) sign to the rally. Those signs are from the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), the Quaker lobbying organization whose offices are in Washington, DC. When you go to Black Lives Matter and similar events, you might consider taking that sign. (links below to download it).

Photos below of Reza at the Black Lives Matter gathering at Simpson College yesterday.


Our country is struggling with deep divisions. Amid the blame of and attack on those who are different – in political views, race, religion, country of origin, or sexual orientation – it becomes even more urgent to highlight the value we place in one another. FCNL’s #LoveThyNeighbor (No Exceptions) campaign seeks to shift the narrative.

Love is hard, but Scripture is clear. We are called to love our neighbors – all our neighbors – without exception.

Love Thy Neighbor No Exceptions, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)

Love is hard, but Scripture is clear. We are called to love our neighbors – all our neighbors – without exception.

Reza (and I) have been involved in several things with FCNL. He spent last summer there. During that time he and my friend Christine Ashley, who was working at FCNL then, brought the Love Thy Neighbor signs to a vigil in front of the White House. (photos by Rezadad Mohammadi)


Get Your Own Signs, Stickers, or Buttons

FLYERS AND SIGNS TO DOWNLOAD

  1. #LoveMyNeighbor in 2020 (PDF, 339 KB)
  2. Rally Sign: White 8.5×11 (PDF, 405 KB)
  3. Rally Sign: White 11×17 (PDF, 405 KB)
  4. Rally Sign: Blue 8.5×11 (PDF, 401 KB)
  5. Rally Sign: Blue 11×17 (PDF, 401 KB)

Share a photo on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), using the hashtag #LoveThyNeighbor.

Love Thy Neighbor, No Exceptions, FCNL


The #LoveThyNeighbor campaign is a conscious effort to “shift the narrative.” It challenges policymakers and voters to think about the moral implications of the actions they are taking on questions of war and peace, inequality and intolerance — at home and abroad. Ultimately, it seeks to bring people of different parties and different ideologies together to work for peace, economic and social justice, and environmental sustainability.

John Nichols, Madison Cap Times


Five Ways to Love Thy Neighbor

By Jim Cason, June 3, 2016

As a country, we need to move from slogans to action. Here are five steps we can all take to help Congress act to make #LoveThyNeighbor more than a hashtag.

#LoveThyNeighbor (No Exceptions)

Order signs and take action.Get involved  ›

The second line that goes with “Love Thy Neighbor” is a Biblical reference. We’re assuming everyone knows that! The banner we put up on the front of our FCNL building this month adds a different second line: no exceptions.

I wish we didn’t have to add no exceptions, but this year the line seems necessary.

Hashtags aren’t enough

I hope you’ll spread this message on social media, put it on your building, write it in the sky and do whatever you can to get the word out. Talk to Friends, talk to your neighbors, talk to people you think you may not agree with (you may be surprised). Langley Hill Friends Meeting recently distributed some ideas on how to do this, maybe you have as well (let us know).

But don’t stop there: Contact Congress.

As a country, we need to move from slogans to action. Here are five steps we can all take to help Congress act to make #LoveThyNeighbor more than a hashtag.

  1. Embrace freedom of religion. Friends have a long history of witness against religious persecution and the Bill of Rights is very direct on this point. Urge your representative to cosponsor the Freedom of Religion Act (H.R. 5207) that would prohibit the U.S. from denying admission to the United States because of a person’s religion.
  2. Reject racism. Our laws have resulted in a system of modern day slavery, where black men serve nearly as much time in for non-violent drug offenses as whites do for violent offenses. Urge your senators to cosponsor and press for passage of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123) as a first step toward changing this broken system.
  3. Don’t treat our communities like a war zone. With prodding from FCNL, President Obama released an executive order that places restrictions on a Pentagon program to provide weapons used in war zones to police forces in the United States. Urge your representative to support Rep. Hank Johnson’s legislation, the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act (H.R. 1232), that would turn this executive order into a law.
  4. Fix our broken immigration system. Rather than demonizing immigrants and further militarizing our border, Congress needs comprehensive immigration reform to fix our broken immigration system. Lawmakers could start by supporting the bipartisan Border Enforcement Accountability, Oversight, and Community Engagement Act (H.R. 3576) that would draw on the wisdom of border communities to inform our immigration policies.
  5. War is not working. Much of the public debate in this election year has focused on how U.S. security can be guaranteed by dominating and controlling the rest of the world. But 15 years after Congress wrote the president a blank check to launch new wars, we can look back as a nation and see that war isn’t working. One step in the right direction would be for the Senate to pass the bipartisan Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act (S. 2551) that would refocus U.S. foreign policy on preventing violent conflicts five years from now rather than fighting wars five days from now. Urge your senator to cosponsor S. 2251.

Five Ways to Love Thy Neighbor, Jim Cason, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)


Related to #LoveThyNeighbor are the signs in the photos below, taken at Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative). The larger group is the Yearly Meeting’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee. I don’t think those are available any longer.


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FCNL’s #LoveThyNeighbor banner is getting noticed. Here are some of the people and organizations highlighting the message.


This entry was posted in Arts, Black Lives, Friends Committee on National Legislation, peace, Quaker, solidarity, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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