Our world and its cities are extremely and increasingly violent.
Have you noticed: much of the death, destruction and division follows almost gleefully in the wake of one religion or the other, including mine and including yours.
I've been wondering. What if all religion and every "important" question associated with religion and the theologies of the various religions were done away with except for one?
What if God and God's will were reduced to one single directive, just one?
Try this on for your going-forward-into-life credo:
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
No more arguments about tradition, sacraments, pilgrimages, holy shrines, doctrines, preferences, historical disputes, etc., etc., etc.
No more war defined by "faith."
No more using God or "God's values" as a justification for conflict, division and death.
What if, horrors of horrors, God doesn't need our unction about all of this holy stuff?
What if it really is much, much, much simpler than any of us every imagined?
What if God's religious expectation of us actually boils down to one very important concern: people.
Maybe we can begin by listening to our various leaders, the ones behind the expressions of different religions and philosophies of religion.
Their commonality is amazing!
Hear them out just now:
Brahmanism: This is the sum of duty; Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you. (Mahabharata 5:1517)
Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. (Udana-Var-ga 5:18)
Confucianism: Surely it is in the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you. (Ana-lects 15:23)
Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain and your neighbor's loss as your own loss (T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien)
Zorastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself. (Dadistan-I-dinik 9:45)
Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowman. That is the entire law; all the rest is commentary. (Talmud, Shabat 31a)
Christianity: So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. (Sunnah)
A city, dare I say a world, filled with people who accept this as the essence of their faith and religion would be an incredible place to call home, don't you think?
December 8, 2013–second Sunday in Advent
2 hours ago