Bestower of Authenticity, thank you for people courageous enough to stand on principle even when it means risking the loss of needed funds. Our team at Spirituality & Practice is grateful and honored to be affiliated with the Claremont School of Theology. CST's partner school Claremont Bayan just turned down a $800,000 grant from the Trump administration.
Article: According to NBC News, Islamic theology school Bayan Claremont was all set to receive $800,000 in funding through the Obama administration's Countering Violent Extremism grant program. The school intended to use this money for a project called "Flourishing Communities," which would help them increase the capacity of non-profits and community organizations striving to enhance interreligious cooperation, civic engagement, and social justice. After struggling with the decision, the school's board voted 7-1 to walk away from the grant because, in the words of the school's president, Jihad Turk, "the context is too acrimonious now, and the rhetoric against Muslims too alarming to work with this administration. Trump poisoned the well." The school still hopes to complete its project and as of this writing is halfway to their goal in a GoFundMe campaign.
And so we pray this news . . .
O You who are the very Essence of Integrity, thank you for the brave stance that Bayan Claremont has taken by placing values like trust, kindness, and inclusivity above even justifiable needs for money. Their actions strengthen our own hearts and bolster our own resolve. We understand that their refusal to accept a federal grant is far from a negative move; rather, it is their way of saying that hospitality towards Muslims and all people of faith is a fundamental way of expressing Your presence in the world. We are also heartened to know that others who received similar grants are following suit.
May Bayan Claremont and these others be blessed with resources beyond their imagining, and may we, too, be guided in the way of Your truth. Amen.