This past weekend, Stephen Colbert called on Americans to embrace their fear at The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or March to Keep Fear Alive in Washington, D.C. While he implored us to do this humorously, there are forces in American politics and society that are not joking. They have used fear of the “other” — whether Mexican, Muslim, or gay — in order to mobilize citizens to vote their deep seated anxieties.
Enter Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ), the social enterprise behind the popular Happy Birthday Katrina and Haik U Glenn Beck campaigns. Not only has JFSJ been actively working to engage with communities in order to get out the vote for tomorrow’s midterm elections, they have also created Al Tirah (Fear Not), a campaign to counter the fear that is seeping into our political process. As Chief Strategy Officer Mik Moore noted in an editorial in the Huffington Post, al tirah is one of the most frequently invoked phrases in the Bible: An utterance God says at least 122 times, which should say something about the importance of staying away from fear and despair.