The United Forum of the Faiths

preaching01One of the enduring frictions of our time is the one between the Church and Caesar, or whatever authoritative body or person is ruling any particular nation. For sure it exists in the Philippines as the Goliath of all faiths, the Catholic Church, spars with secular leadership over matters such as HR law, divorce, and other social practices. And of course we see Muslim fanatics spread across the globe murdering one another, and those they perceive as heathens, as if God were totally Old Testament and they were His agents of smite.

The religious fanatics are usually outside of government. When they BECOME the government, as was the case in Afghanistan a few years ago when the Taliban ruled, they make for a very hostile global player. Or take Iran, today, for instance. Or Israel. Yes, take Israel.

Religious nations are so convinced of their invulnerability to being wrong because they see themselves as agents of God.preaching02

And in secular states, the religions see themselves as invulnerable to moral wrong, and frequently view the governments, or non-believers, as agents of the devil.

So in the Philippines, we have two huge forces – the Church and the State – not working harmoniously to make people’s lives better. We have them in a slow wrestling match, no better than two women in a mud pit, brown and slippery and entangled, falling and flailing and splashing futilely as the rest of us look on with some considerable amusement at their foolishness.

And, around the globe, when one religious state pits off against another religious state, the argument is rigid and blood-thirsty. No bend, no basis for compromise, no forgiveness.preaching04

That’s the thing about morality, isn’t it? There is no room for forgiveness. For, after all, it is MORALITY. Our intense, heart-held belief in what is right.

Conundrum of the universe: what is moral differs for different faiths.

I’d suggest that the leaders of such faiths, rather than taking their warlike attitudes toward one another, or toward us, have a grand and glorious moment of enlightenment that says “WE – the religious faithful – are the problem here. Let’s solve it.” The Mormon Tabernacle Choir can sing the background music to this moment of ecstatic revelation.

The Preachers in Chief of all the world’s faiths, from Agnosticism to Zoroastrianism, can get together and come up with an agreed set of rules we can all live by.preaching03

Let the moral eager beavers try to do what governments cannot. Agree on the rules.

If they CAN agree on the rules, the bloodletting across our great blue orb will be cut by about 95%.

These moralists should put ACTION where their pious mouths are. Walk the talk. Succeed where they claim Caesar fails, at generating the rules that assure harmony and well-being around the world.

Their agreement can be crafted by a United Nations of world religions, or what I term:

The United Forum of the Faiths

They can gather in Geneva and get down to work crafting a united morality, rules for living that are in harmony.

And meanwhile, until the moralists can actually DO what they accuse others of doing – failing to work constructively to solve the world’s problems – they can just sit down and let us get on with our secular business to the best of our ability. They can stop preaching to us as if it were easy. They can stop inserting their bible-thumping, Koran-preaching, tea-leaf-reading noses into our earnest affairs.

Show us a united, harmonious, moral path to world peace that puts all faiths on the same page. That ends the relentless trouble-making caused by religious states and religious organizations agitating and murdering by wielding their God as if He were a nuclear weapon.

Show us how it is done, this peace and harmony.

And until you do, kindly withdraw from meddling in the affairs of State.

17 Responses to “The United Forum of the Faiths”
  1. J says:

    The United Forum of the Faiths would unite religions, perhaps. But conflict over morality will continue, especially since we are seeing a wave of militant atheism now.

    • Joe America says:

      Atheists would have to be represented at the Forum. But you are right. Our difficulty is not the faiths, necessarily, or the morality, which is reasonably consistent among the faiths (kindness, generosity, fairness, no thieving), but the extremists within the faiths who are doing battle with their own brothers as well as the outside world. Militant atheists, for example.

      My main point, I suppose, beyond the tiny chance that the faiths would get together, is to try to get them to see that they are a part of the problem. I think that Pope Francis gets it, actually. But some of the higher ranking bishops here do not.

      • J says:

        Even Tagle gets it. Even before Francis spoke of a humble Church, Tagle had been raising eyebrows in numerous bishops’ consistories in the Vatican (where he had been constantly elected by his peers) that the Church should drop its “triumphalistic, know-it-all attitude,” and should be “a Church that listens” instead.

        • Joe America says:

          Yes, I’ve been impressed with Cardinal Tagle, and wish the Catholic Church of the Philippines had a structure other than the political CBCP. Like one that would allow the Cardinal to have some authority.

          • The Mouse says:

            The CBCP needs more bishops from more “mature” minded congregations like the Jesuits and CICM.

            Interesting that J mentioned militant atheism. I agree they exist but it’s a bit odd because most people, at least, think that atheism is the antidote to religious fanaticism. But looks like a “branch” of atheism is heading the way of fundamentalism

        • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

          Christian Church somewhat listens. Muslim Mosques do not listen at all.
          Christians adapts to host countries. Host countries adapts to Muslim immigrants.
          Christian Church is not violent anymore. Muslims remains violent and forever will be until infidels, non-Muslims, are massacred.

          Atheists are the greatest. Atheists are under-represented in any prison systems in America and around the world. Why they are under-represented? Because Atheists are goot people.

          Prisoners around the world have Jesus Christ as their favorite tatoo.
          Crucifix is also their favorite jewelry.
          “Bless you” is their wan goodbyes.
          “Oh, My God” is their bedtime expression.
          “God!” another favorite expression of the doomed
          “Jesus Mary Mother of God help us” an expression that never gets answered

          In Philippine setting, Religion is part and parcel of colonial mentality which Filipinos flagrantly blame for their corruption.

          • Joe America says:

            I think prisons convert more souls to Christianity than churches do. It’s like, if you break a leg or end up in the slammer, you need a crutch to lessen the pain. I also think that religion is an exquisite form of talking to ourselves. That can actually be helpful, sometimes in some circumstances, but often it is just delusion and way too often no one is listening.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      Atheists have made gazillions times more contributions than religious people …. The computer we are using and its inards andoperating systems are made by Atheists-made-for-by-Religious people.

  2. manuel buencamino says:

    It is a struggle for power. On one hand you have those who would place the spiritual above the material world, church over state rather than church and state. On the other hand you have those who say since there are so many religions let’s declare the public square a free zone, everyone is allowed to worship whatever god he wants but government stays neutral or secular.

    Those who for centuries have exercised and enjoyed complete dominance over the body and soul of man see their power slipping away, very slowly but surely. So they will resist with every ounce of strength they can muster. They will use morality, the wrath of god, superstition, and whatever else they can get their hands on to push back against any and all threats to their power.

    Morality and power, each feeds on the other. You cannot impose morals if you have no power and you cannot remain in power without morals.

    • Joe America says:

      They do indeed feed one another. I suppose political power is much like a church, in fact. Preaching their doctrines, their morality, their ways. They even have their priests and sects, McCain and Ryan, for example, in the Church of the Republican Party.

    • Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

      There cannot be United Form of the Faiths because Faiths do not mix like oil with water. Each faiths wanted world dominance of our souls.

      Right now, I have my soul on eBay.

      • Joe America says:

        That is why they need to have an enlightenment, to grasp that Satan is a slick guy and is operating at large within the churches, piling up all that hate and illogic and ego-centric mentality.

  3. winky says:

    Religion becomes a disease when religion is allowed to assert control over its citizenry. Societies who have the freedom to say “you can take your morality and shove it up you a$$” tend to fare much better than everyone else. Societies that allow religion to have full control, much like what’s seen in the Middle East, turns into a cancer.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, because those who are not followers of the faith see faith as something like witchcraft, while the faithful see the non-believers as devils. The only sane solution in dealing with something as fluid as belief is multiple choice, without prejudice.

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