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(Re)Building the Kingdom: Secularism, Christianity, and Cultural Renewal

A friend of mine lives in one of Philadelphia’s comfortable suburbs. She and her husband are both attorneys. Both hold Ivy League degrees. Their community is nearly 90 percent white, rich in Quaker history, above average in education and income, and low in crime. People are friendly. Nights are quiet. Streets are clean and safe. Real estate is well-groomed and priced accordingly. In other words, it’s a town better known for its merit class credentials than its angry bigots.

So she thought it odd when lawn signs recently started popping up in her neighborhood with the slogan “Hate Has No Home Here.” In her view, in her manicured corner of the woods, hate was already homeless, but apparently this was not so. How had it gone unnoticed?

With a little digging, she found that “Hate Has No Home Here” is a transplant. It’s part of a campaign begun by Chicago’s Hollywood-North Park Community Association and now spreading nationally. In the words of the campaign’s website, “The Hate Has No Home Here Project promotes just and inclusive communities by encouraging neighbors to declare their homes, schools, businesses, and places of worship to be safe places where everyone is welcome and valued.” Despite the coincidence of its founding in November 2016—the same month as Donald Trump’s election—the campaign is avowedly non-partisan and non-sectarian.

Again, from the website: the lawn signs are “a public declaration that hate speech and hateful actions against others will not be tolerated by the person or organization displaying the sign. In that, it is non-partisan.” The signs are a statement that, “while it is okay to disagree with others civilly regarding issues, it is not okay to intimidate or attack a person or group—verbally or physically—based on attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, political party, or sexual orientation.”

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