Shared by Victor Magana.
Sabbath, September 22, the Fresno Temple of Praise Seventh-day Adventist Group, in Fresno, California, hosted an Interfaith Social Justice Panel. The members included Beverly Fitzpatrick, from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno and president of Peace Fresno; Mike Bridges, from Occupy Fresno; Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, from the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno; and Victor Fernando Magana, from the Fresno Temple of Praise Seventh-day Adventist Group.
Each panelist was asked three questions:
- What is your theology/philosophy of social justice?
- How has your faith/group put this theology/philosophy into action?
- What is the greatest obstacle to social justice in this world?
Beverly Fitzpatrick discussed her work on the Unitarian Social Justice Committee and Peace Fresno’s work for social justice. Mike Bridges shared the Occupy Movement’s continuing highlighting of income inequality. Dr. Ashraf shared verses from the Koran, and compared this world to a great banquet to which all humanity is invited. He shared the Muslim view that God will hold everyone responsible for how we made our money, and what we did with it. Mr. Magana shared the Adventist view, that social injustice is the result of sin, and that the only permanent solution is the Second Coming of Christ. He also highlighted the work of ADRA, in helping the poor help themselves all over the world.
Afterward, church members and guests were treated to a vegetarian potluck. Our guests from the Islamic Cultural Center even donated some pastries to our Sabbath dinner and fellowship. We all enjoyed the exchange of views, which continued after the service.