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Charter For Compassion


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Writer Karen Armstrong has a vision she would like all people to share. During the past election, I heard arguments about whether Jesus would have been a Republican or Democrat. I kept telling people I was sad how little faith I had in the politicians truly being able to change the world we live in. My hope lies in faith. If more of the world could unite behind the idea of loving others as they love themselves, thinking of others before themselves, the world would be a better place.

 

Please take time to visit the following link:

 

http://charterforcompassion.com/about

 

Any ideas how the Progressive Christians should help Ms. Armstrong realize her dream?

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Writer Karen Armstrong has a vision she would like all people to share. During the past election, I heard arguments about whether Jesus would have been a Republican or Democrat. I kept telling people I was sad how little faith I had in the politicians truly being able to change the world we live in. My hope lies in faith. If more of the world could unite behind the idea of loving others as they love themselves, thinking of others before themselves, the world would be a better place.

 

Please take time to visit the following link:

 

http://charterforcompassion.com/about

 

Any ideas how the Progressive Christians should help Ms. Armstrong realize her dream?

You may not like my response, but I think the best hope we have is to hold President-elect Obama's feet to the fire and push for real progressive change both here and in the world. There are have been two great American reformers, Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Rooevelt in modern history.Neiher one of them would have did much reforming without a push from the bottom up.

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Regarding political priorities, I have a few, and they may all require some work on the part of those who want our elected representatives to act in the direction of effective compassion. My positions include:

 

A single payer health care plan

Strong support for organized labor

A more progressive income tax structure

An economic recovery plan that emphasizes jobs and infrastructure

Emphasis on helping people hold on to their homes

 

And, yes, my politics are as liberal (or progressive) as my theology

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Can you envision a world instead where the government does not have to regulate all this? Where people who agree to be a community for all and to love their neighbor are moved to help each other hang onto their homes and afford to see the doctor? Where labor unions are not necessary because corporate greed no longer exists? (etc) Can we as Christians help God's kingdom come on earth without resorting to politics? Is there a solution to the world's problems that relies on faith rather than elected officials?

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Can you envision a world instead where the government does not have to regulate all this? Where people who agree to be a community for all and to love their neighbor are moved to help each other hang onto their homes and afford to see the doctor? Where labor unions are not necessary because corporate greed no longer exists? (etc) Can we as Christians help God's kingdom come on earth without resorting to politics? Is there a solution to the world's problems that relies on faith rather than elected officials?

 

I think that politics will always have to play a role, and some regulation will always be necessary. But I think the most basic way we can start to fix these problems is to fix them in our own lives. For example, be responsible citizens, be fiscally responsible, treat others with kindness (including in our professions - e.g. not scamming people!), etc. On the next level we can encourage our friends and family to do the same, in part simply by our example. Then there is the level of our organizations, especially churches, that can help those who need it. All of this is done without resorting to politics and really has little to do with politics; it is simply an attitude adjustment at the most basic level of society. Beyond that there is grassroots activism, which I also think is important. And beyond that there is higher-level politics, writing to your Congressperson and all that. And all of that has to play a role. But ultimately I think it comes back to us as individuals, and so of course faith plays into that, within our own hearts.

 

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

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  • 1 month later...
Can you envision a world instead where the government does not have to regulate all this? Where people who agree to be a community for all and to love their neighbor are moved to help each other hang onto their homes and afford to see the doctor? Where labor unions are not necessary because corporate greed no longer exists? (etc) Can we as Christians help God's kingdom come on earth without resorting to politics? Is there a solution to the world's problems that relies on faith rather than elected officials?

That would truly be grand and remarkably similar to what or Founding Fathers had envisioned getting away from. However, they also warned us that only a moral nation could survive this plan, because as soon as the populace saw that without compunction they could vote for themselves monies from the public largesse (bailouts), our days as a free country would be limited.

 

When "Big" business greed (ie; Fannie and Freddie; AIG, etc.) colludes with the Gov't corruption of its regulators (ie; House Financial Services Commitee chairman Barney Frank) to control the private sector market by way of, not only just law but, arbitrary and punitive regulations, purposefully designed to eliminate and severely restrict competition and socialize what was intended to be a free market, corporate, sharing system (capitalism), the public will have to pay and pay and pay. It reminds me of the old crooked work camps that you owed more to than you could earn working for. You could never leave. We're becoming enslaved by our own government to owe it more in taxes than we can ever earn, with such things as these "necessary" fiscally irresponsible bailouts.

 

The more regulation, the more socialist, and the more opportunities present themselves for high level corruption by those jockeying for political influence, and politicians looking to line their pockets and inflate their self-worth. This is why Socialism in any form (Communism, Nazism, etc.) cannot be sustained. It will always end up bankrupting itself. The people suffer not only loss of financial security but loss of overall liberties, despite their enthusiatic demand for it (Soviet Union, Italy, Germany). Socialism comes not greeted with resistence, but with standing applause.

 

Politics is necessary, corruption inevitable, vigilence demanded.

 

Solution? Maybe. Let's have no federal taxes for 9 months. None! This would not ever be subject to collection. The Gov't is going to have to print money anyway, just let them print enough to pay its own internal bills. Let the people keep all of their earnings. People could hten pay their mortgages and car payments and it is foreseeable that the job market could eliminate almost all unemployment. Charitable giving would return to be even higher than ever before.

 

The simple inforcement of laws designed to halt anyone from taking or harming something, and the less gov't regulation, the better.

 

People show mercy and compassion. Governments can't. The citizens always gets screwed. That's why the less gov't control over the everyday workings of its citizens (regualation), the more compassionate and successful every citizen can become. Let the government enforce the laws against murder and theft and slander, not try to regulate how you live. Like McKenna said, let true compassion thrive.

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That would truly be grand and remarkably similar to what or Founding Fathers had envisioned getting away from. However, they also warned us that only a moral nation could survive this plan, because as soon as the populace saw that without compunction they could vote for themselves monies from the public largesse (bailouts), our days as a free country would be limited.

 

When "Big" business greed (ie; Fannie and Freddie; AIG, etc.) colludes with the Gov't corruption of its regulators (ie; House Financial Services Commitee chairman Barney Frank) to control the private sector market by way of, not only just law but, arbitrary and punitive regulations, purposefully designed to eliminate and severely restrict competition and socialize what was intended to be a free market, corporate, sharing system (capitalism), the public will have to pay and pay and pay. It reminds me of the old crooked work camps that you owed more to than you could earn working for. You could never leave. We're becoming enslaved by our own government to owe it more in taxes than we can ever earn, with such things as these "necessary" fiscally irresponsible bailouts.

 

The more regulation, the more socialist, and the more opportunities present themselves for high level corruption by those jockeying for political influence, and politicians looking to line their pockets and inflate their self-worth. This is why Socialism in any form (Communism, Nazism, etc.) cannot be sustained. It will always end up bankrupting itself. The people suffer not only loss of financial security but loss of overall liberties, despite their enthusiatic demand for it (Soviet Union, Italy, Germany). Socialism comes not greeted with resistence, but with standing applause.

 

Politics is necessary, corruption inevitable, vigilence demanded.

 

Solution? Maybe. Let's have no federal taxes for 9 months. None! This would not ever be subject to collection. The Gov't is going to have to print money anyway, just let them print enough to pay its own internal bills. Let the people keep all of their earnings. People could hten pay their mortgages and car payments and it is foreseeable that the job market could eliminate almost all unemployment. Charitable giving would return to be even higher than ever before.

 

The simple inforcement of laws designed to halt anyone from taking or harming something, and the less gov't regulation, the better.

 

People show mercy and compassion. Governments can't. The citizens always gets screwed. That's why the less gov't control over the everyday workings of its citizens (regualation), the more compassionate and successful every citizen can become. Let the government enforce the laws against murder and theft and slander, not try to regulate how you live. Like McKenna said, let true compassion thrive.

 

The secret of "verbal propositions" is in the sly and deceptive use of words like "all", "none", and "can't".

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You may not like my response, but I think the best hope we have is to hold President-elect Obama's feet to the fire and push for real progressive change both here and in the world. There are have been two great American reformers, Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Rooevelt in modern history.Neiher one of them would have did much reforming without a push from the bottom up.

 

There will be little need to push Obama. He is already a progressive polititician and progressive Christian. Both domains have been intertwined for more than 100 years. It is a history that has been neglected far too long. In other words, we might just take a bit of time to look back into the true origins of the concept we call "progressive". In fact, if you have the time and inclination, you can trace it right back to the earliest stories in the Bible. The tension between the so-called "liberal" and "conservative" views is as old as the Book of Genesis itself. The "inconsistencies" of the Bible just might have been placed there deliberately to teach us a lesson.

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Writer Karen Armstrong has a vision she would like all people to share. During the past election, I heard arguments about whether Jesus would have been a Republican or Democrat. I kept telling people I was sad how little faith I had in the politicians truly being able to change the world we live in. My hope lies in faith. If more of the world could unite behind the idea of loving others as they love themselves, thinking of others before themselves, the world would be a better place.

 

Please take time to visit the following link:

 

http://charterforcompassion.com/about

 

Any ideas how the Progressive Christians should help Ms. Armstrong realize her dream?

 

To be more bold, knowing where Obama is coming from, knowing the history ... this should be restated as "Any ideas on how Progressive Christians should help President Obama realize his dream?" That would be far more honest considerding the facts.

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As I have said, "progressive" is a very old term. It dates back to the origination of thought itself. There were two cosmolgies at the beginning of thought. One of "change", the other of "order". Today, we know something of the relationship between the two. The world, in the field of time, is changing. We can observe galaxies being destroyed in violent confrontations with black holes. New stars are being formed in the process. The universe is expanding. These are facts.

 

The old notion that the cosmos was created "whole and complete" died almost 100 years ago. Einstien said that his biggest mistake was not seeing this. But, we Westerners have been duped. Yes, duped by Plato. We paid no attention to Heraclitus. Christianity based on Plato is in serious error.

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Actually, I was hoping to leave politics out of the discussion. I believe that part of the need for a charter for compassion stems from the fact that our whole world is so accessible now. When towns were small, people who made shady business deals had to look their victims in the eye on the street. We have moved on to a global marketplace, where some of us do not even know our neighbors. Yet, we have a greater knowledge than ever about tragic living conditions in other parts of the world.

 

DavidK makes a good point that the idealism of a society where government is not needed requires human morality. If everyone treated our neighbors how we would want to be treated, we would be a lot closer to that ideal.

 

It seems to me that faith communities could band together in an effort to create world-wide community, without the religious jargon that turns people off, but appeals to the common good of actively loving each other and trying to alleviate suffering of others.

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minsocial,

Thanks for your thoughts. Can you clarify why you think the Charter for Compassion is the same as Obama's dream?

 

Thanks

 

He belongs to the same denomination that I belong to. The same denomination that is often affiliated with this website. The same denomination as the current president of TCPC. He self-identifies as "progressive" in both domains ... political and spritual. He knows the history of the progressive movement.

 

I will give you an example from current acedemia. The concept of "progressive values" has finally reached this domain. About a year ago I read a series of journal articles on this very subject. One researcher went to the Deep South to investigate the roots of the Civil Rights movement. The hypothesis of his doctoral thesis was that the Civil Rights movement was based on the politcal aspriations of those involved. Half way through his research, he was forced to reject his own hypothesis. His interviews with those who actually participated told him, over and over again, IT WAS A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE. Note the phrase "those who actually participated", those who marched, those who stood up and did something. Like Rosa Parks refusing to give up a seat on a bus ... and saying "... my feets was tired", meaning "I'm tired of being walked over."

 

Minutes after posting this there was this from the New York Times:

 

"Obama Signals New Tone in Relations With Islamic World"

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/world/mi...tml?_r=1&hp

 

I'm not here to say "I told you so", but I am saying that I expected this from Obama within his first week of office based on my knowledge of his Christian background. So far, he is right on plan. Stay tuned, more to come.

Edited by minsocal
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Actually, I was hoping to leave politics out of the discussion. I believe that part of the need for a charter for compassion stems from the fact that our whole world is so accessible now. When towns were small, people who made shady business deals had to look their victims in the eye on the street. We have moved on to a global marketplace, where some of us do not even know our neighbors. Yet, we have a greater knowledge than ever about tragic living conditions in other parts of the world.

 

DavidK makes a good point that the idealism of a society where government is not needed requires human morality. If everyone treated our neighbors how we would want to be treated, we would be a lot closer to that ideal.

 

It seems to me that faith communities could band together in an effort to create world-wide community, without the religious jargon that turns people off, but appeals to the common good of actively loving each other and trying to alleviate suffering of others.

 

1. The history of progressive views recognizes that, from time to time, governments will attempt to eliminate the "disorder" of religious disputes by proclaiming "one" (state) religion.

 

2. We moved to "a global marketplace" thousands of years ago when "foreign invaders" moved in to take scarce resources from their neighbors. Nothing new. It's called "plunder" and "colonialism". We took "America" from it's rightful occupants. As Whitehead so bluntly put it "life is robbery". England forbid India from making salt and textiles. Ghandi won out. Ghandi never held any political office ... how far would you like me to press my arguement? I can continue.

Edited by minsocal
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