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Annual interfaith dialogue brings out discussion, debate over NFL protests during National Anthem

Posted at 11:55 AM, Oct 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-01 12:13:01-04

Timely discussions are nothing new at the annual interfaith dialogue, and this year has been no different. 

An event Saturday night brought different religions together on Yom Kippur with the purpose of starting important discussions.  

Rabbi Barry Silver described the event as “bringing them together to disagree agreeably.”

Silver, who organized the event, says the controversy over protests in the NFL during the national anthem made for a timely topic. 

“I think it brings up a critical question about, 'What does patriotism mean, what does it mean to be an American?'”

Many at the event held at Santaluces High School were very vocal on that topic, including Steven Nalls, who represented Judaism on the panel. 

“People of color in this country have never really been allowed to protest according to our constitutional right, in the sense of saying whatever we do is wrong. 

Ted Brownstein, who represented the Bahá'í faith on the panel, was more neutral. 

“There's a lot of work to do to really build a society where there is justice for all,” he says. “But what’s the most effective way to attain that? That's a good question,” said Brownstein. 

Even with the different religions and different viewpoints, one thing in the room was constant Saturday.

“No one called names, no one belittled anyone else's opinion,” Nalls says. “They simply said 'I disagree, and here's why.'”

Many say it’s a refreshing dose of civil discourse we could certainly use in America right now. 

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