These are trying times for advocates of genuine religious freedom and other core constitutional principles, but I'm feeling energized and inspired. night, Interfaith Alliance supporters and allies gathered in Washington to honor two very special Americans, legendary public radio host Diane Rehm and attorney and activist Khizr Khan.
Rehm and Khan were each awarded the Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award, which Interfaith Alliance created in 1998 to recognize individuals who promote democratic values, defend religious freedom and reinvigorate informed civic participation. In their words and deeds, each has embodied the values represented by the Cronkite award.
Don't worry if you weren't in the room with us. You can watch the 2017 Cronkite awards with Diane Rehm and Khizr Khan on Facebook.
Gold Star father Khizr Khan, whose speech at last summer's Democratic National Convention dismantled stereotypes of Muslim Americans in front of an audience of millions, spoke about the importance of interfaith organizing. He said that "whenever there are members of Interfaith sitting with community, the morale of community is so high."
Acclaimed journalist Diane Rehm addressed the crisis of confidence in the media, fueled by the rise of "fake news" and President Trump's attacks. "Every journalist must work harder to make sure that what we tell is the truth," she said, but news consumers must be "more thoughtful and discretionary as to how and where they receive their news."
A critical theme from the evening was resolve. We will stick together – and fight together – to protect religious freedom for all Americans, with no exceptions.