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US Religion Communicators Call For Civil Discourse About 9/11

By: for Religious News Services on Aug. 12, 2011
World News
A religion communicators group is calling for responsible discussion of faith groups in news coverage of 9/11's 10th anniversary.

The Religion Communicators Council urged journalists and bloggers to "pursue accuracy, respect and understanding of people of all faiths and faith communities." The statement is in a resolution adopted Aug. 7 in Philadelphia by the board of governors for the 400-member interfaith council (full text below).

The 17-member board called "for responsible discussion of religion and of all faith groups, seeking the understanding and acceptance of religious communities."

The anniversary of the 2001 attacks could "bring about painful recollections of terrorism and its effects," the resolution said. Rhetoric about the attacks "could become heated and distorted as it intermingles the religious identity of participants in those heinous acts," the measure continued.

The council encourages communicators for faith groups to adhere to the highest ethical guidelines in presenting religious faith and values in public discourse.

"We encourage our members to consider having their faith groups adopt similar resolutions on civil discourse," said Deb K. Christian, council president. She is management team leader for UMR Communications in Dallas.

About the Religion Communicators Council:

The Religion Communicators Council is an interfaith association of more than 400 religion communicators working in print and electronic communication, advertising, and public relations. Members represent Baha'i, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim faith communities. Founded in 1929, the council is the oldest public relations professional association in the United States. Council headquarters is in New York City.

Contact: Shirley Struchen, sstruchen@rcn.com or (212) 870-2402.

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RESOLUTION ON CIVIL DISCOURSE DURING 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11

WHEREAS, The coming tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the USA will bring about painful recollections of terrorism and its effects; and

WHEREAS, The rhetoric at such times can become heated and distorted as it intermingles the religious identity of participants in those heinous acts; and

WHEREAS, The Religion Communicators Council encourages religion communicators to adhere to the highest ethical guidelines in the communication of religious faith and values in public discourse and to foster understanding among faith groups; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the Board of Governors of the Religion Communicators Council calls for responsible discussion of religion and of all faith groups, seeking the understanding and acceptance of religious communities; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That the Board urges all who report and record news and register, edit or publish opinions about faith communities and religious commitments to adhere to the highest ethical standards of their craft and pursue accuracy, respect and understanding of people of all faiths and faith communities.

Adopted August 7, 2011, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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