Saturday, December 31, 2005

Are we all one family of faith?

This year there has been much battling over which religion owns the Month of December for its celebrations. Stores that didn’t use the right “words” were boycotted. People on both sides were offended and hurt. Each felt that their particular brand of faith was not being properly acknowledged.

Religions worldwide observe many seasonal days of celebration during the month of December. Most are religious holy days. Many are established in some way on or around the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

Are we all so different that there is no hope for common ground at all?
Or, is there a shared wisdom or value that we can glean from each form of faith?

Disagreements, violence and wars survive on the fringes of faith, where the focus is on a particular group’s marginal religious constructs. These have grown to encompass each form of faith over time. The “Thou Shalt Nots” that eventually, and mistakenly, come to take the place of what the heart of the faith and the core teachings were to begin with.

In looking at the list below, I have come to believe that peace lies in each of us getting back to the basics. The need is for all of us to break free of the web of religious doctrines that have divided us. It is a dangerous diversion and has turned our focus away from the heart and soul of our spiritual obligations to our creator, our selves and each other.

Brahmanism: This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you. Mahabharata 5:1517

Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. Matthew 7:12

Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. Sunnah

Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. Udana Varga 5:18

Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary. Talmud, Shabbat 31:a

Confucianism: Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you. Analects 15:23

Pagan/Wicca: Do as you will, but harm none.

Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss. T'ai Shag Kan Ying P'ien

Zoroastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good: for itself. : Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5

"I see that sensible men and conscientious men all over the world were ofone religion." -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)


At 2:04 PM, Blogger Rinda Elliott said...

Very, very nice post.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Dana Pollard said...

I agree with Rinda. Thanks for gathering this information and sharing it with us!


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