Three Ways Faith can Guide Advocacy


“But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream” – Amos 5:24 NIV

What does it mean to live a moral life?

I have studied religion as a man of faith and as a civil rights attorney and advocate who has fought for religious freedom across the world. The United States isn’t perfect. We have much to improve upon. But the one thing we do well is protect every person’s right to believe (or not believe) as they wish.

I am motivated by a vision which exists in all of the great religions: so in everything do to others what you would have them do to you. If you believe this as I do, then faith is about a sense of beloved community, of compassion for all people irrespective of their background.

Yet we are living in a world which worships not love of brothers and sisters, of the poor or the downtrodden, but worships the acquisition of power, influence and money. I do not believe that this is what Jesus, Muhammad, Moses or Buddha envisioned. I am not a theologian, nor an expert on any of our world’s holy texts. But I know we are living in a time where tolerance, equality and respect have yet to be achieved, and I think humanity’s beautiful faith traditions have the answer.

For those of you who are marching for justice, writing to your representatives and preparing to vote (yet again), let your faith (irrespective of religious affiliation or no affiliation at all) guide you in three ways …


Ehsan Zaffar
Ehsan Zaffar is a civil rights advocate, educator and policymaker and the founder of the Los Angeles Mobile Legal Aid Clinic, which helped to pioneer the delivery of mobile legal care to vulnerable populations in California and across the nation.