Raj Goyle Braves an Interfaith Panel

On October 4th, Raj Goyle, a Wichita native who is running for United States Congress in the Fourth District in Kansas, was interviewed by an interfaith panel on the River City Forum show on station KCTU.  The interfaith panel was composed of religious leaders from Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Unitarian Universalist traditions. Goyle’s opponent, Mike Pompeo, had been invited to the show but had neither accepted nor declined the invitation. During his introduction, Goyle mentioned that he sits on the board of directors for Inter-Faith Ministries of Wichita.

When asked what his first course of action would be in Congress,  he responded that it would be the creation of jobs. Goyle asserted that the creation of jobs would help to alleviate economic disparity as well as the atmosphere of fear and divisiveness against minorities because we can only expect the best of our society when all parts of it are doing well.  Goyle also emphasized non-partisanship was important for creating legislation that would be helpful to the population.  He also mentioned that he would like to bring back the manufacturing culture to Wichita in order to accomplish economic recovery.

After the interview, the panel continued the discussion with the open-ended question of “What is our vision for this world?”  David Carter of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Wichita spoke of the need for learning of different faith traditions to broaden our understanding of each other.  Rabbi Michael Davis of Congregation Emanu-El and Global Faith in Action described two ways to come to greater understanding:  the first was to actively study other faith traditions, and the second was to work together on a common project and learn about each other secondarily.  Pastor Rovilla Ritchey of New Dimensions of Christ Church urged ministers to step away from the pulpit and assist members in practical matters such as filling out job applications.  Lastly, Dr. Daisy Kabagarama of Wichita State University Campus Ministry urged religious leaders to be voices of hope in difficult times.

No mention was made on the role that minority religions such as Buddhism or modern Paganism have in the interfaith community of Wichita.  However, the panel acknowledged that Hinduism was included on the board of religious leaders although no mention was made of which individual represented the religious path.

The interview was observed live through the online KCTU website.

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