This file summarizes the creed of the interfaith movement.
The World View of the Interfaith Movement - in Fourteen
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
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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)
1 Transcribed by Lee Penn from URI-provided tape of URI forum at Grace Cathedral, held