The Talk To Compassion And Harmony
Spring, 2013 ~ Dearborn,
Partner and Event of
Charter For Compassion &
Parliament of World's Religions
spiritual experience is both uniquely individual
and universal, tapping into our deepest, most inner self, while
connecting us to the oneness with all.
How each of us chooses our own sometimes quite different path on
this common journey can highlight an appreciation for the rich diversity
of human sacred practice, while at the same time setting the stage
for the potential hazards of elitism, competition, polarity, and
even animosity that paradoxically negate the core message of unity,
and hamper us on that journey.
Religious intolerance, marginalization, scapegoating, and related
conflict are not new experiences, whether in the US or globally.
Many examples are woven throughout our human history that highlight
both the unique circumstances of individual religious groups, and
the broader commonality shared by all who have been on either side
of such supposedly fundamental
divides. A current example in American society is the recent
experience of Islam and the Muslim community. However the dynamics,
struggles, and threat are universal for all religious communities
exposed to these ills.
In addition, dichotomies and conflicts within spiritual traditions
themselves, including extremist interpretations and interpolations
of religious tenets and practice by uninformed or purposely manipulating
individuals and groups, are also historical and present day dilemmas
for many religions.
Understanding how these elements and conditions arise, how they
compromise, contradict, and even threaten original spiritual intent,
and how they wound relationships between and within religious communities,
is essential to learning practical methods for appreciating diversity
and achieving harmony and peace in today's rapidly shrinking and
increasingly inter-dependant world community.
The RCP Conference seeks to create an engaged, inclusive dialogue
to consciously explore together both broader historical dynamics,
implications, and possible remedies, and more recent specific manifestations
playing out around us in society today.
does not require that we be the same to be appreciative of,
at peace with, and secure in our relationships with each other;
only that we be familiar enough with each other's story to share
the humanity and trustworthiness that resides in each of us."
... Steve Olweean
us as we explore:
The mutual dilemmas of religious misunderstanding,
extremism, prejudice, demonization and dehumanization, scapegoating,
and fear of "the
that can lead to toxic divisiveness, polarization,
and targeting any religious/cultural communities, including addressing
the relationship between rising Islamophobia and rising anti-Semitism,
racism, anti-immigrant, and anti-minority sentiments,
The power of personal engagement through dialogue
and practical applications in advancing a shared consciousness of
peace in our communities - and in doing so promoting the spiritual
experience as a healing remedy rather than problem.
As examples of central issues
in this year's conference, the program addresses the
source of bigotry based on social paranoia, the direct relationship
between targeting and scapegoating one group with negative stereotypes
and hate acts and increases in the same toward other minority groups,
and how communities can work together to educate and sensitize the
public. Related to this, the conference will also include sessions
dealing with the emotional and psychological distress individuals
and groups experience as result of being targeted, how this effects
relationships within and between communities, and how both counseling
professionals and clergy can work together to support community
members and remedy this, including exploring the possibility of
an interfaith coalition of professional counselors and clergy.
Donate to our Subsidy Fund ~
to help students and participants
from developing communities attend