I'm very relieved to know that there are still groups around who want to build global harmony and understanding and break down the barriers between religions and help us to see that they're all basically trying to do the same thing.
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.
Of course, nothing is said about sin (it would not be compassionate to call anyone's choices sin) or sacrifice (that might keep less committed people away) or redemption (which would imply that man is in a condition from which he needs redemption) or Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life (that would be exclusionary and discriminatory of those who have chosen a different "way"). But those are details that can be worked out later, no? In the meantime, can we just hold hands and recite The Golden Rule and have a cup of chai?
So...how does the Charter come into being?
The Charter for Compassion site is powered by the Kluster ™ platform:
Kluster™ is a collaborative decision making platform, a turbo-charged collective wisdom machine that turns questions into answers, ideas into opportunities, and analysis into action. Unlike conventional "crowdsourcing" that pits people and ideas against each other, Kluster™ brings them together. Our approach is based on real-world group decision-making models, taking into account individual influence and participation. Not only does Kluster™ identify the best ideas, it actually improves them in the process.
Integral to the process is The Council of Sages, bringing to the table all the world's great traditions. All you have to be is monotheistic; and really, if you're not, that can be worked out too. The difference between "one" and "many" is just really not all that big.
And, of course, like all great movements, this one starts with redefinitions. Karen Armstrong, a noted author, former Roman Catholic nun, and leader in the organization promoting the Charter, explains, “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."
Ethical alchemy. Hmmm....I'll have to chew on that one. Because believing things is such a burden.
(Oh, and by the way, you are invited to help write the Charter. They want as many viewpoints as possible, as long as yours agrees with theirs. Hurry--only 107 hours left.)