The eminent religiologist (not a real word) Karen Armstrong writes about a Charter of Compassion — this is all over the Buddhist blogs (and sure is geting some nasty comments from people who feel that their particular faith isn’t properly reflected in the blog.)
Well, seems like a nice enough idea, who doesn’t like compassion? So a Yes vote for compassion (and wisdom too, if you have any to spare.) But the whole charter idea seems to wither in the light of the very serious challenges religions face these days. The nasty commenters will fill you in when you visit. Barbara at About.com gives it a whirl, as does Danny Fisher.
Update: A constructive word from a nice commenter: “I like this message. Let’s all return to the most basic message of our respective religions and build on the common ground without expectation for full agreement on all spiritual matters. I think each religion (and each individual) represents different expressions of the same God. God bless us all.”
Second Update: Read our interview with Karen Armstrong from Summer 2003. She ends that interview:
Compassion is the sine qua non of religious life. Spirituality that does not lead to respect for others has no value at all. And compassion is one of the chief ways in which we leave the self behind and can thus enter into what Buddhists call nirvana and what monotheists call the presence of God. Without compassion, there is no religious life at all.
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