Good and gracious God, who loves and delights in all people, we stand in awe before You, knowing that the spark of life within each person on earth is the spark of your divine life. Differences among cultures and races are all unique manifestations of Your light. May our hearts and minds be open to celebrate similarities and differences among our sisters and brothers. We place our hopes for racial harmony in You, our loving God. Amen. Human creation by God “in God’s own image” confers upon every human person an eminent dignity; it also postulates the fundamental equality of all human beings. For the Church, this equality, which is rooted in being, acquires the dimension of an altogether special brotherhood and sisterhood through the Incarnation of the Son of God . . . In the Redemption effected by Jesus Christ the Church sees a further basis of the rights and duties of the human person. Hence every form of discrimination based on race . . . is absolutely unacceptable. Pope John Paul II to the UN Special Committee against Apartheid, July 7, 1984. •Determine as a group which “ism” is the most prevalent, and which is the most harmful. Important terms for discussion: Equality: The state of being equal. No person counts more than any other regardless of social status Tolerance: Respect acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of humanity Intolerance: A lack of respect for the practices and beliefs of others. It is the basis for racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, and discrimination in general Xenophobia: Literally, Fear of Strangers; hostility towards people who are different than you. Anti-Semitism: prejudice against Jewish people. Fascism: A violent reactionary right-wing political movement that includes an openly terrorist dictatorship and builds a strong nationalism that often turns to racism. Nazism: the ideology of German fascists from 1933-1945. The word is short for NationalSocialism. Persecuted groups: Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and communists. Modern Nazi idealists are called Neo-Nazi. Homophobia: The fear and hatred of homosexuals Nationalism: A political ideology that puts the interests of one nation above another. (This is not necessarily negative but can be dangerous) Patriotism: an ideology wherein one is proud of their national identity (again, not negative but potentially dangerous) Internationalism: A system of beliefs wherein human life and human rights are seen as more important than nationality. Integration: The process of unifying individuals and activities into a new system without preference for any particular group.