Inside the Palm Desert Church of Latter-Day Saints a group is gathered for quiche, salad and conversation.
Most of those gathered are not Mormon, in fact they’re of all different faiths. This is a meeting of the Mid-Valley Interfaith Council, they’ve been in the valley over 25 years. They gather once a month at a different church or temple to brainstorm on how they can help the community.
“As we accept each other’s differences we can move forward better in serving the community,” says Bebe Green, a member of the council and Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
But when you have people of 17 different faiths gathered in one room, you can guarantee there will be disagreement. During this meeting, one member was adamant the keynote speaker for their Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration should be a person of color.
“I have been told by folks of color where we have a white privileged world, that it is not so easy for them to have various celebrations sort of taken over and one of the things that I offer as a caution is that we not just celebrate the different cultures on Martin Luther King Day that we see to it that our work is year long and persistent,” said a member.
That didn’t sit well with Father David Justin Lynch of Saint Cecilia’s Catholic Church who quickly pointed out that King’s message was for people not to judge a person by their color but character, “There is but one race and that’s the human race and lets confront issues that negatively affect a everyone, like poverty.”
But after each had their say they moved on in peace.
This is what they say is missing in today’s heated political discussions.
“A lot of people have very passionate feelings about their viewpoints, they say I‘m right and you’re wrong and there’s no middle ground, I think it’s time for this country to start exploring that middle ground I think it’s time for this country to start exploring that middle ground and to see if we can come together and not be so polarized,” says Lynch.
For more information on how to participate in the Mid-Valley Interfaith Council click: Mid-Valley Interfaith Council.