Thursday, February 28, 2008

Changed my mind....Karen Armstrong

She's so good and her talk so near and dear to my heart.....

Religion has been hijacked she says. We have a talent as a species for messing up wonderful things. You cannot confine your concern to those of your religion. You must open up your mind and think more about Universal Outreach which she feels many religions no longer do. Religion is a kind of fault line and when a country has armed conflicts, religions tend to fall into line and are also impacted and take advantage of opportunities like armed conflicts, to grow when they have the opportunity to do so. After 9/11 her work on Islam has thrust her into prominence. She says the world is yearning for a change. Thousands of Pakistanis came to her recent talks. She says religion should serve to bring people together not tear them asunder. We should not treat other nations in a way we wouldn't want to be treated ourselves. Sh talks about how the mosques in this hemisphere reached out to Sinagogs and communities to begin to communicate and generate understanding. Personally I've always been of the belief that it's hard to hate those with whom you are familiar and she seems to support that. It is the "otherness" of our enemies that allows us to hate them. Her wish is that we help with by developing a charter of inspiration and based on the fundamental principle of the golden rule. To connect all of those who wish to reclaim their faith, to remember the ethos of love and charity. She wants to see the major religious leaders, at least a thousand all sign a charter that we can get to everyone on the planet. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has already offered his support as has the UN alliance of civlizations. we need to avoid the escalation of extremism. The UN gives it validation that it's not driven by single religion. Make relgion once more a source of peace rather than conflict.
Amazing, inspiring the books and get involved! This is why I haven't been able to subscribe to any religion and now I have a reason to dig in and see if there's a way to help. She has the potential to be a bridge to a new world.

The Great Transformation
The Beginning of our Religious Traditions
The Bible: A Biography
A History of God

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