Archives for January 19, 2017

Faith Roundtable Article January 22, 2017

          By Chuck Robison 

 The Question: Should strong relationships be formed with those who have different religious views?

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 January 11, 2016: “A new video has just been released in which Pope Francis very clearly expresses his belief that all of the major religions are different paths to the same God.  He says that while people from various global faiths may be “seeking God or meeting God in different ways” that it is important to keep in mind that “we are all children of God”.

The two moral leaders of our time, Pope Francis and The Dali Lama affirm that all paths lead to God.  This echoes what Albert Einstein said seventy-five years ago: “Science and religion both lead to the same truth.”

If you have already made the transition to a One Uni-verse View, that all things are connected and work together according to God’s direction, then this Roundtable Discussion is a slam dunk.  YES! Strong relationships should be formed with those who have different religious views. In fact, if you are open to forming strong spiritual relationships with everyone who comes across your path without regard to faith, gender, nationality or color, you will see your soul growing by leaps and bounds.

In my ten years as a Chaplain at the United Nations, this one issue was the central thing I took away when I left New York. While there, I got to meet, know and work with leaders from all the world’s religions.  That ten-year period in my life was like a Post Graduate Degree in World Religions, and I am truly grateful that I have that experience to inform my understanding of how things are meant to work.

Today there are 4200 religions in the world and each one has a different name for God, just as many of the readers of this column have different nick-names when they are in different social groups.  The names change, but the person is the same.  As below, so above.

God does not separate us; we separate ourselves.  The truth is that even the most difficult of religious zealots has a heart and a mother and a dream for the future.  When we are willing to relate to each other on that level, we can see God through our eyes, our friend’s eyes and God’s eye’s as well and all at once.

Here is something both common and special at the same time.  When you drop your defenses, and are willing to not have to be right all the time, and show just a little bit of open curiosity about another’s truth, you will find that people are always willing to explain their religious beliefs to you as well as how their religions work.  It makes them feel valued and shows you are valuable too.

Then, something close to magic happens.  When this moment of unity occurs with another, our hearts come into coherence and beat in rhythm and we find friendship and the discovery that we are one with another person whose belief experience is totally different than our own.  This is called Oneness and it is how you feel every time you hear that old Coca-Cola commercial about how “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony!”

Somewhere in each of our hearts we know that special song, which all of us knew when we were four years old.  The grownups told us that was just childish and we forgot that song, for the most part.

But as you read this very sentence, your heart longs to experience, once again, that child in you and his song.  He still remembers we are all one, and he knows to hold hands with each other, because it is safer that way.

 

 

 

Making a Silk Purse from a Sow’s Ear – 2017-01-10 Faith Article

By Chuck Robison

This week we will inaugurate the 45th President of the United States. According to Pew Research more than 60 percent of all white Christians are registered as and vote for Republicans. If this metric describes you, this may be a time of buyer’s remorse. We have all been so busy with so much work and activity that we did not have time to pay much critical attention to the news before the election. Now that Christmas is over and the pace has slowed down a little, we can reflect on what the election has created.

For our next President, we Christians wanted someone different than a young 50% white Hawaiian with a two-degree Ivy League education who wanted to include all Americans in the actions of government. We voted for a 100% white male from Queens, New York to lead us for the next four years. He’s rich, Republican, old, fat and unafraid to state whatever comes into his mind. And he has virtually no experience in leading a government of any size. But his governmental experience in dealing, under the table, with governments all over the globe better qualifies him than any customary experience. He knows how to cheat, hide, steal, manipulate and lie better than any other President we have ever had. This new President can be a player at the poker table of world government and attempt to win with the best of them.

But our buyer’s remorse gives us pause to consider that a government of white male billionaires working for us may not act in our best interests. And the fact that the very first act of the new Congress was to secretly vote out the Ethics organization purposed to keep them honest is sobering.

We are now on a course which will force all of us to get involved in creating a new form of government radically different from the ineffectiveness of the current government. Surely, the first thing will be closing the Electoral College which prevents us from having a one person, one vote democracy while assuring that the billionaires can get whomever they want into any position they wish.

Taking such a dramatic step toward a new government will re-activate all the power tools used in the election process to divide us. Not that we are all that hard to divide. Just dog whistle some of our more popular prejudices and we will turn against anyone.

The 1810’s expression “Silk Purse from a Sow’s Ear” implies that if something is not very good to begin with, you cannot do much of value with it. But that is where we are and what we must deal with moving forward. We are going to take what we have and create something remarkable from it.

Above and superseding all the rules of the World’s religions, there are eternal universal spiritual laws. These laws have more power and are more dangerous in their severe punishments for transgressors than any material or religious laws. We do ourselves well to know and obey these laws.

Chief among these laws is the one that states: WE ARE ALL ONE. Separation, divisions and taking sides against a part of God’s creation is doomed to long term failure. All 8 billion of us are in this together and to promote separating ourselves from each other is to deny the truth and to incur the penalties for breaking this primary Universal law.

No better example exists than the American Civil War. Brother against brother brought almost a million deaths and in the end, we still had to learn to live with our brothers and sisters, and we are still learning.

We are all closely connected and our technology mirrors that truth to us every day. We can connect with any person in the world from the palm of our hand with little or no effort. Moreover, the connections we can make with our souls far exceed our technological achievements.

As you consider how to deal with the coming effects of our decision to elect this new President and his new billionaire-led government, start right now to resist anyone who attempts to manipulate you by dividing you from any others. We are all in this together and fortunately, as we begin to act that way, we will discover the truth that we have more in common with all 8 billion of us than we have separating any of us.

The power of the long arm of the Universal laws will guide us to real success.