Friday, November 14, 2008

Create a Charter for Compassion

I'm late coming to this, but The Charter for Compassion is a great idea that I think deserves more attention, despite what PZ Myers might think (I swear the New Atheists are sometimes more fundamentalist than the religions they reject to completely -- doing the baby with the bathwater type thing).

Help us create a Charter for Compassion

People of all nations, all faiths, all backgrounds, are invited to contribute.

By recognizing that the Golden Rule is fundamental to all world religions, the Charter for Compassion can inspire people to think differently about religion. This Charter is being created in a collaborative project by people from all over the world. It will be completed in 2009. Use this site to offer language you'd like to see included. Or inspire others by sharing your own story of compassion.

The Charter for Compassion

The Charter for Compassion is a collaborative effort to build a peaceful and harmonious global community. Bringing together the voices of people from all religions, the Charter seeks to remind the world that while all faiths are not the same, they all share the core principle of compassion and the Golden Rule. The Charter will change the tenor of the conversation around religion. It will be a clarion call to the world.

Over the next months this site will be open for the world to contribute to Charter for Compassion. Using innovative group decision-making software, people of all faiths, from all across the globe, will contribute their words and stories on a website designed specifically for the Charter. A Council of Sages, made up of religious thinkers and leaders, will craft the world’s words into the final version of the Charter. The document will not only speak to the core ideas of compassion but will also address the actions all segments of society can take to bring these ideas into the world more fully. The Charter for Compassion will then be signed by religious leaders of all faiths at a large launch event, followed by a series of other events to publicize and promote the Charter around the world.

“The Charter will show that the voice of negativity and violence so often associated with religion is the minority and that the voice of compassion is the majority”

The Charter for Compassion will not be a new organization. There are hundreds of existing organizations around the world already working tirelessly in the name of compassion and interfaith dialogue. Our goal is to highlight these groups in effort to raise the profile of their work.

The Charter will show that the voice of negativity and violence so often associated with religion is the minority and that the voice of compassion is the majority. Through the participation of the grassroots, people around the world will expect more out of religious leaders and one another. In doing so, the Charter will shift conceptions of religion for all people.

Here's more:

Karen Armstrong

“I say that religion isn’t about believing things. It’s ethical alchemy. It’s about behaving in a way that changes you, that gives you intimations of holiness and sacredness.”

Karen Armstrong is one of the most provocative, original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world. Armstrong is a former Roman Catholic nun who left a British convent to pursue a degree in modern literature at Oxford. In 1982 she wrote a book about her seven years in the convent, Through the Narrow Gate, that angered and challenged Catholics worldwide; her recent book The Spiral Staircase discusses her subsequent spiritual awakening after leaving the convent, when she began to develop her iconoclastic take on the great monotheistic religions.

She has written more than 20 books around the ideas of what Islam, Judaism and Christianity have in common, and around their effect on world events, including the magisterial A History of God and Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today’s World. Her latest book is The Bible: A Biography. Her meditations on personal faith and religion (she calls herself a freelance monotheist) spark discussion — especially her take on fundamentalism, which she sees in a historical context, as an outgrowth of modern culture.

In the post-9/11 world, she is a powerful voice for ecumenical understanding.

In 2008, Karen Armstrong won the TED Prize. Watch her wish below:






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