More powerful than all the armies on earth is an idea whose time has come. And the time has come for the Interfaith Community to lead a spiritual transformation in the auspicious year of 2020 to deal with a changing world. While we have been overwhelmed by thousands of deaths across the globe from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also been shocked and outraged by the murderous death of George Floyd and, more recently, Rayshad Brooks. The list is long for both men and women of African-American descent whose lives have been cut short due to police violence. I agree with the many articles that connect these two events as ‘viruses’ but I also feel that where they differ is that one is an indiscriminate biological phenomena while the other is a virus of the mind. I see racism as a disease that has been used for thousands of years by power-hungry individuals to dehumanize other people, cultures, religious followings, skin colors, etc., in order to take over their land, make war on them, kill, rape their women and destroy them, all for a so-called “righteous cause” that has racism at its core.
With thousands of citizens today taking to the streets in protest of police brutality, racism has been exposed in every corner of the United States and abroad. That is why this is the time for the Interfaith Community to stand together and not just oppose racism, denial of religious freedom, and oppression of the poor in all its ugly forms but to present to the world a vision of hope, a vision of an alternative way of caring about each other and the planet.
As an Interfaith Community, we join together to call on all religious leaders and actors worldwide to work in concert to promote a shared vision of hope of a world where racism in all its forms is condemned; police are trained as mediators to use force only when no alternatives exist, and in those cases to use the least amount possible under the circumstances; nuclear weapons are abolished; alternative energy is promoted; local organic farms and co-ops are supported; women, especially women of color and minorities are respected, not abused, and are given equal pay and equal rights.
On October 16th and 17th, 2020, the Temple of Understanding and Marble Collegiate Church is hosting a virtual Forum2020 event that includes the leaders of the major interfaith organizations, environmental activists, and scientists to promote a united interfaith response to the climate emergency facing the planet. We are calling for a systemic change to the United States environmental policies to take climate change as an urgent threat to our coastal communities and those of the world at large.
As part of the Interfaith Community, we at the Temple of Understanding have a responsibility to share our vision of hope to heal the world. We believe that all cultures and religions have wisdom to share, that the sacredness of the Earth has been honored by all traditions, and that it is our moral duty as representatives of an interfaith perspective to promote compassion and understanding for all sentient beings on the planet. Please join us for a two-day Forum2020 and Interfaith Service by sending us your email address. Together, and only together, can we create a sustainable future for the Next Seven Generations?