Dear Interfaith Ally,
You don't have to be a millionaire to be a philanthropist. You don't have to be wealthy to make Idaho better. Now more than ever, Idaho's wealth lies not in her bank account, but in the generosity of her people. Small donations of money, time, talents, and volunteerism are essential!!
Thursday only, your tax-deductible donations qualify us for even LARGER awards, given every hour to random organizations based on the number of unique donors within that hour. Please spread the word: your kindness THURSDAY provides the resources to pound the pavement, build the bridges, and sponsor timely events WHEN and WHERE they're needed.
Integrity matters, and diligent stewardship of our financial and other resources is paramount to us. As grant sources have dried up since the recession, we continue to rely heavily on events like Idaho Gives and our strong network of members and member organizations to build a commanding, progressive voice in the discussions important to you! Our diverse network of strategic allies allows us to respond rapidly with TRUE IDAHO VALUES, free from partisan agendas that create gridlock and stall progress -- and make no mistake, we've made considerable progress!
In the last year, The Interfaith Alliance of Idaho and our partner organizations:
* Persuaded Senate State Affairs Committee to amend and improve upon harmful aspects of the Parental Rights law. [Story 1] [Story 2]
* Sponsored an Alternatives to Violence Project Conference at the Idaho Correctional Institution.
In a state as vast and independent as Idaho, building and nurturing our statewide relationships require considerable investments of time. The Interfaith Alliance of Idaho presently has no paid staff and an all-volunteer board. The smallest contributions from passionate individuals like yourself make the largest impacts!
You're not just giving money; you're giving the resources and opportunities to reclaim a positive narrative, and to proudly stand for your progressive values. Morals, faith, and conscience are inextricably linked; simply "separating church and state" will not prevent the values and agendas espoused in the former from influencing the policies of the latter. These issues require constructive conversations and dynamic solutions. We must not let well-funded, well-connected extremists steal the conversation -- and the headlines. People united are still LOUDER than money, and reason is still STRONGER than fear. But building success and spreading that message relies on your active engagement!
Join us in constructive conversations! Get involved! Please donate what you can -- money, time, talent, or volunteerism. Let's make a positive difference in the issues that impact you, your family, and communities all across the Gem State! And together, let's make Idaho a better place to live, worship, work, and play!
DONATE NOW AT: www.idahogives.razoo.com/story/Tiaidaho
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed (middle) with Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter (left) and Lt. Gov. Brad Little (right) just before opening the Idaho Senate with its first Hindu prayer on March 3rd.
Idaho Governor C. L. "Butch" Otter has issued a proclamation declaring April 1st "Rajan Zed day," in honor of the Hindu statesman who delivered the first ever Hindu invocation in the Idaho State Senate, on March 3rd of this year.
The event -- naturally -- wasn't without controversy, as three Idaho Senators, Steve Vick (R-Dalton Gardens), Sheryl Nuxoll (R-Cottonwood), and Lori Den Hartog (R-Meridian) embarrassed Idaho by skipping the event out of protest., as reported by Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review. A fourth, Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, didn't enter the chamber as a courtesy after arriving late, but shared his disappointment that a Christian prayer wasn't also offered.
Vick had earlier foreshadowed his absence, stating that he planned to walk out to object to a Hindu prayer opening the day's session. He said he was worried that it -- tolerance? -- would “send a message we’re not happy with the way America is,” contrasting with the other 32 state Senators, who were real troopers through the entire invocation.
Nuxoll objected because "the United States is a Christian nation," and clarified her position, alleging that "Hindu is a false faith with false gods," while Den Hartog felt uncomfortable personally taking part in a prayer of a religion different from her own.
The proclamation, issued in Lenore, Idaho says: "…on March 3, 2015 the historical first Hindu invocation in the Idaho State Senate was read by Rajan Zed, President of the Universal Society of Hinduism…"
It further states: "…Zed's initiatives to bring various religious communities together throughout the world so that they can live in peace and mutual trust and enrich themselves through dialog should be honored…"
The proclamation also mentions the importance of honoring "...Zed's leadership role in attempting to help the helpless…"
It goes on to say: "…Zed works tirelessly to uplift about 15 million Roma (Gypsies) people of Europe who live in apartheid conditions by frequently speaking about their maltreatment, issues and concerns; and urging other religious leaders to do the same…"
Congratulations, Rajan Zed!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BOISE, IDAHO January 24, 2015
The Interfaith Alliance of Idaho (TIA Idaho), along with our partners at Interfaith Equality Coalition (IEC) and Liberating Spirit - Metropolitan Community Church (LS-MCC), have purchased ads on six digital billboards in five cities across Idaho, which will run through Friday afternoon, January 30th. Those cities are:
a) Inbound I-184 (Connector) at River St exit
b) Fairview at Maple Grove
Northgate Mile, south of Holmes
Thain Rd at Stewart Ave
Nampa-Caldwell Boulevard, west of Karcher Rd
Yellowstone, south of Alameda
We expect our lawmakers to recognize every Idahoan's civil rights.
We expect our lawmakers to fulfill their governmental duty of providing safety and security, including at our job sites, in our homes, and in our public places. Gay and transgender Idahoans work as hard as anybody else, and deserve the respect and dignity of being hired, fired, and promoted because of their qualifications and the quality of their work, not because of their actual or perceived orientation or gender identity.
We strongly believe that HB 2, as it exists, provides adequate religious exemptions. No one’s rights, including those provided for in our state’s constitution regarding religious faith, liberty, and worship, should ever inflict harm upon, or jeopardize the safety or well-being of, another individual.
Now in its 15th year, The Interfaith Alliance of Idaho, its faith leaders, and people of conscience – Agnostics, Atheists, Buddhists, Community of Christ members, Freethinkers, Hindus, Humanists, Jews, Latter-Day Saints, Lutherans, Mennonites, Methodists, Metropolitan Community Church members, Muslims, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Unitarian Universalists, and United Church of Christ members, among others – have joined together to protect faith and freedom. It is our mission to support efforts to protect liberty and our democracy, while resisting efforts by religious extremists to impose their views on others.
Congregation Liberating Spirit - Metropolitan Community Church (LS-MCC) is a Social Action Church founded in Idaho in 1978. Pastor Renee McCall leads the congregation in downtown Boise, celebrating the diversity of the whole human family, and all creation. At LS-MCC, everyone has a voice, and self-expression is encouraged; we welcome everyone, without exception, embrace the richness of our differences, and encourage everyone to be their authentic selves. We live fully, love wastefully, and strive to be all we were created to be, transforming ourselves as we transform the world.
Interfaith Equality Coalition is an alliance of faith communities, organized in 2013, working together to bring equality and justice for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people, through compassionate witness and advocacy, through our welcome and support, and through our efforts to educate ourselves and one another.
IDAHOANS OF FAITH AND CONSCIENCE URGE LAWMAKERS
TO PROTECT OUR GAY & TRANSGENDER FAMILY MEMBERS!
ADD THE 4 WORDS
The Idaho House State Affairs Committee will hear our testimony on House Bill 2 (the 'Add the Words' Bill) beginning at 8 AM Monday morning, January 26, 2015. The Idaho State Capitol doors open at 6 AM, with sign-ins beginning around 7:30 AM. Dress warmly, professionally (business casual or better), and arrive early to sign in as SUPPORTING HB2; additionally, you may check the box that you wish to testify!
How long will the committee members hear testimony?
It may continue all day Monday, or the committee members may decide to take additional days; the committee members have a lot of latitude. The best thing you can do is show up early, and be prepared to stay. If you need to come and go, please take a seat where it will be least disruptive. Anyone wishing to testify will likely receive three minutes to do so.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY, OR HOW TO ADDRESS A COMMITTEE!
The LGBTA Democratic Caucus of Idaho will hold an activist training, where they will review the details of the Add the Words bill, and answer all questions regarding the hearing and testimony process, so you'll be all prepared to give an eloquent, concise speech, and know what to expect!
WHERE: Lincoln Auditorium. Use the west entrance to the Statehouse, which is down the stairs on the west (6th Street) side of the building; the hearing will be held in the garden level (the newer underground wings, down the stairs from the sidewalk). It will be just inside those doors to your left, between the Lincoln busts.
DRESS: Dress like you're going to a business meeting! If you feel compelled to wear a political shirt, wear layers over it.