This file summarizes the creed of the interfaith movement.

The World View of the Interfaith Movement - in Fourteen Points

By Lee Penn

Summary: Summarizes the implicit creed of interfaith organizations, such as the United Religions Initiative (URI), the Temple of Understanding, and others of the same kind.

Conditions of use:

This story is an extract from a book-length manuscript by me titled "False Dawn, Real Darkness: the Millennial Delusions of the United Religions and the New Age Movement." You may re-distribute this story by hard copy or electronically, and you may abridge or quote from this story - IF you give credit to Lee Penn as the author, and IF you include - in the body or as a footnote - the following statement:

"Excerpted from "The United Religions Initiative: Foundations for a World Religion" (Part 2), to be published in the fall of 1999 by the Journal of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project. You may order the complete story from the Journal, or subscribe to the Journal, by calling (510) 540-0300, or by writing to the Spiritual Counterfeits Project, Post Office Box 4308, Berkeley, CA 94704, or by visiting the SCP web site, http://www.scp-inc.org/."

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Those who can stay awake while reading interfaith organizations' verbose, windy documents will discover the implicit creed of the interfaith movement:

1. All religions and spiritual movements have a shared moral code, in most important respects. 2. The principal concern of religion (and of the faithful) should be the advancement of social justice, peace, human equality, and environmental preservation. 3. All living things are an expression of God and should be protected against harm - except for children in the mother's womb, who may be destroyed at will in the name of "reproductive rights," "choice," or "family planning." Those who object to abortion should not disrupt unity by trying to ban the practice. 4. All religions are paths to God; there are many roads up the same mountain. 5. "Spirituality" is a good thing in and of itself, and ought to be encouraged. (There are, after all, no "bad" spirits.) 6. Humankind can build and maintain a just and peaceful social order on earth, if there is proper education, enlightened leadership, and progressive consciousness. 7. The purpose of education is to create enlightened, socially aware youth who will be agents of change. 8. Traditional faiths should adapt their revelations, scriptures, disciplines, and doctrines to the discoveries of science and to the pressing concerns of humanity and the Earth today. 9. Traditional faiths should recognize that "truth" is relative in the post-modern world. 10. Believing that one's own faith is true and that others are not (or reveal less truth than one's own) is a mark of intolerance and "fundamentalism." 11. "Fundamentalists" are willing to kill and oppress others in the name of their faith. Evangelism and the seeking of converts are "proselytism," an activity of "fundamentalists." 12. Preservation of the biosphere (along the lines set out by the environmental movement) is the most important human value, and is of greater importance than human life or human rights. 13. After preservation of the biosphere, the most important values for human society and human behavior are equality, peace, and tolerance. Tradition, law, individual freedom, and property rights must not interfere with achieving these goals. 14. Tolerance, however, has its limits. As URI Board Secretary Paul Chafee said, "We can't afford fundamentalists in a world this small." (1)

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Footnote

1 Transcribed by Lee Penn from URI-provided tape of URI forum at Grace Cathedral, held on 2/2/97

 

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