Recently, in an effort to start answering many of the questions around what Sharia really means and whether it is a danger to America (spoiler alert: it is not), Rev. Gaddy participated in a panel on Sharia at the Center for American Progress. If you were not able to catch the live stream online, I would encourage you to watch the archived version.

The panel helped quash many misconceptions and allay the real – but irrational – fears that many seem to have about the potential for Sharia and Islam to take over America’s courts and government, and examined Sharia more generally: what it is, what it isn’t, how it relates to Christian and Jewish religious law and how it has been turned into a political wedge issue.

Rev. Gaddy focused his remarks on the similarities between the Abrahamic faiths and noted that an attack on the ability of the members of one American religious group to freely exercise their faith is a threat to all American religious groups and, in fact, to “the fundamental principles behind the founding of our government…the nature of democracy.” Rev. Gaddy also reminded the attendees: “Those who think Sharia law is a threat to the Constitution simply don’t understand the Constitution.”

As the tenth anniversary of September 11th draws near and the 2012 election season kicks into high gear, it is more important than ever to educate ourselves about those around us who are different from us, to avoid falling victim to those who would use fear to divide us, and to focus not only on that which unites us but also on the fact that, in a nation built upon religious freedom, that which divides us should not stop us from trusting, accepting and treating each other with respect.