Another example of the influence of the United Nations in blending all religions together into a New Agey “Global Consciousness aka: the coming Planetary Transformation aka: World Awakening aka: Shift to the New Aquarian Age” to get rid of the “exclusive” Christian Gospel.
Today’s example in Interfaithism/Religious Syncretism is called a Cooperation Circle and is used by the United Religions Initiative (URI).
Their website: http://www.uri.org/
URI (United Religions Initiative) is an internationally recognized interfaith network active in 78 countries with its global office in San Francisco, California. We cultivate and connect grassroots change-makers across religious, cultural and geographic boundaries, harnessing their collective power to take on religiously motivated violence and social, economic and environmental crises that destabilize regions and contribute to poverty.
Since the signing of our charter in 2000, we have touched the lives of millions of people of different faiths around the world through a network of 509 interfaith Cooperation Circles (CCs), whose members number half a million. Locally rooted, these groups and organizations engage people of different faiths and traditions to work together for the good of their communities. CCs address issues as diverse as AIDS, economic empowerment, civil war orphans, climate change and urban conflict. URI is the common thread, connecting them around shared principles, amplifying their voices and helping transform them from local actors into powerful coalitions for regional and global change.
The Cooperation Circle-based organizational design is unique to URI. We invite you to learn more about URI’s Charter, structure, leadership and history.
You can read the URI Charter and Principles here. I’ll just quote a few that I think are the worst:
1. The URI is a bridge-building organization, not a religion.
2. We respect the sacred wisdom of each religion, spiritual expression and indigenous tradition.
7. We seek and welcome the gift of diversity and model practices that do not discriminate.
11. We seek and offer cooperation with other interfaith efforts.
21. Members of the URI shall not be coerced to participate in any ritual or be proselytized.
There’s a group called The URI at the United Nations:
The URI-UN was established to provide an ongoing presence for the United Religions Initiative at the United Nations and to engage the URI in initiatives and agendas of the United Nations. For information about the United Religions Initiative global network, please visit http://www.uri.org.
URI-UN is a member of the Multi Region of the United Religions Initiative. For information about the Multi Region, please visit http://www.urimulti.org.
The URI-UN is coordinated by a council made up of dedicated representatives of a number of varied religious and/or spiritual organizations. All decisions are made by consensus, often after meditative reflection.
In 2009, the URI-UN put our focus on the UN International Year of Reconciliation. We hosted a number of events throughout the UN calendar. On May 28th, URI-UN invited Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to speak on “Reconciliation: Healing the Wounds (see News report). We also had gatherings as side events for the Commission on Sustainable Development on May 4th (see News report), a side event for the Commission on Social Development on Feb. 12th (see News report) and the Commission on the Status of Women on March 4th (see Photo Gallery).
URI-UN welcomed the Trail of Dreams CC to the United Nations at a launch event for the 2009 International Year of Reconciliation and the annual Gandhi-King Season for Nonviolence. The event included a World Peace Prayer Ceremony with the flags of all nations in the chapel of the UN Church Center, and a talk by Trail of Dreams leader Audri Scott Williams for the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns-NY. (Please visit this Photo Gallery as well.)
Here’s a perfect example of a Cooperation Circle in action, partnered with the United Nations:
A lovely event was held at the United Nations to celebrate Golden Rule Day on April 5, 2010. The gathering began in the UN Meditation Room with a silent meditation. Then Sharon Hamilton Getz of Project Harmony and the CSVGC-NY Sacred and Transcendental Arts Working Group, welcomed everyone and spoke about Golden Rule Day. Monica Willard, UN Representative for the United Religions Initiative spoke about the URI and the history of Golden Rule Day, which was developed by the Interfaith Peace-building Initiative in Ethiopia and is supported by the URI Golden Rule Cooperation Circle. Deborah Moldow, UN Representative for the World Peace Prayer Society and facilitator of the United Religions Initiative at the United Nations (URI-UN), read portions of the Golden Rule message from Amb. Mussie Hailu, URI Regional Coordinator for Africa.
Deborah then presented the Golden Rule Medal to Diane Williams, founder of the Source of Synergy Foundation and the Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns-NY, on behalf of Project Harmony and URI-UN. Everyone in turn offered personal reasons why Diane deserved this honor, in a warm demonstration of heartfelt solidarity. Diane responded with a beautiful speech about the importance of the Golden Rule for alleviating suffering. She said she was honored, but did not think she always deserved the medal, so she would try harder to live its message. […]
Sharon spoke about the Golden Rule film and encouraged signing of the Golden Rule proclamation, Monica distributed Golden Rule handouts (with a nicely framed version for Diane), and Deborah distributed copies of the Charter for Compassion, urging everyone to visit the website and sign on. Then Audrey Kitagawa offered a closing prayer.
Everyone gathered for a group photograph and said together, “May Peace Prevail on Earth!”
Thanks to just this one single Cooperation Circle, we have something like 6 or 7 different Interfaith groups intertwining and who-knows-how-many different religions coming together with the UN into a sparkling, beautiful Interfaithy web of Destruction.
It’s scary to realize that the average Joe will look fondly upon this group with all their talk about peace and love… when they’re actually Luciferian Theosophists meditating inside the United Nations.
This Cooperation Circle and others are helping to spread the joys of Religion Blending by using “The Golden Rule” through the promotion of this Golden Rule poster featuring 13 different religions and how they all teach the same thing. They also want to get “the Golden Rule Day Proclaimed at the United Nations.”
The “Golden Rule” (a/k.a. Ethics of Reciprocity)
Background. Failure of religions;
Why reciprocity is so important now.
Religious groups differ greatly in their concepts of deity, other beliefs, and practices. Many Eastern religion stress philosophy of life over theological concepts; Western religions often do the opposite. Non-theistic ethical and philosophic systems, like Humanism and Ethical Culture, also exhibit a wide range of beliefs. However, there is near unanimity of opinion among almost all religions, ethical systems and philosophies on one topic: that each person should treat others in a decent manner.
Almost all of these religious and secular groups have passages in their holy texts, or writings of their leaders, which promote this Ethic of Reciprocity. The most commonly known version in North America is the Golden Rule of Christianity. It is often expressed as “Do onto others as you would wish them do onto you.”
One result of this Ethic is the concept that every person shares certain inherent human rights, simply because of their membership in the human species. People are individually very different; they come in three genders (female, male, intersexual); different sizes, colors, and shapes; three sexual orientations; various gender identities, different degrees of ability, etc. They follow many religious and economic systems, speak many languages, and follow many different cultures. But there is a growing consensus that all humans must be considered equal in importance. As a minimum, all should enjoy basic human rights. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is one manifestation of this growing worldwide consensus.
A failure of many organized religions:
In our opinion, the greatest failure of many organized religions is their historical inability to convince their followers that the Ethic of Reciprocity applies to all humans, not merely to fellow believers like themselves. It is our group’s belief that religions should stress that their members also use their Ethic of reciprocity when dealing with persons of other religions, other genders, other cultures, other sexual orientations, other gender identities, etc. Only when this is accomplished will religiously-related oppression, mass murder and genocide cease.
Crimes against humanity require that the victims first be viewed as subhuman. If the Ethic of Reciprocity is applied to all humans, then no person or group of persons can be seen in this way.
Why the Ethic of Reciprocity is particularly important today:
The survial of the human species may depend upon this Ethic.
There are on the order of 30,000 Christian faith groups in the worlds, and untold numbers of faith groups within other religions. Many teach that they alone have the full truth, and that all other faith groups are in partial or complete error.
In the past and now, this has generated a great deal of religiously based hatred, conflict, and violence. It has triggered extensive oppression due to heresy hunters within religions. It has contributed to wars between religions or between different traditions of a single religion. Today, with the availability of weapons of mass destruction, it is quite possible that future conflicts may increase in intensity to endanger the survival of the human species.
There are only two approaches that we have found to prevent this. One appears impossible, the other merely very difficult:
1. Create doubt among believers about the validity of their beliefs. It is unlikely that 9/11, Waco or the attack on the Murrah Building, etc. would have happened if the people involved had even a slight doubt about possessing absolute truth. Unfortunately, one of the features of religion is that many believers tend to tenatiously believe that their beliefs are absolutely true. Thus, creating doubt and skepticism is virtually impossible.
2. Have faith groups widen the range of the Golden Rule to encompass not only fellow believers but people of all faiths and none. In Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-31, and Luke 10:25-37, Yeshua of Nazareth’s (Jesus Christ’s) parable of the Good Samaritan shows us that he intended the Golden Rule to apply to other humans. When the Golden Rule is interpreted in this way, human rights — including religious freedom — become a priority by all and for all.
Moving back to this Cooperation Circle example, here’s a little something about Audrey Kitagawa who “offered” the closing prayer. Audrey seems to be from a group called “The Light of Awareness International Spiritual Family” which uses New Agey terms like “avatar“:
On July 13, 1914, Divine Mother was born in the little sugar town of Waipahu on the Island of Oahu, in Hawaii. She was the second of eight children. Her family was very poor, and could only afford to send her to school up through the eighth grade. Throughout childhood, Mother was deeply spiritual, and always prayed for others. She was sent to work as a maid, and later married. She had five children, and remained at home to care for the family. Around 1972, a divine messenger appeared to Mother, and told Mother that Sri Ramakrishna had sent her to show Mother how to give God’s message for this age.
Sri Ramakrishna was an avatar, a divine incarnation of God who was born in India in 1836, and died on August 15, 1886. Sri Ramakrishna came to harmonize all religions. He said, “I am the string running through all the pearls,” (the pearls being the individual religions of the world). Sri Ramakrishna manifested God’s pure love and taught universal tolerance and respect for all religions. God Is One, though men call Him by different names, and it is His Life that resides in each person. Sri Ramakrishna did not want us to lose sight of this eternal truth by getting enmeshed in dogmas, sects or creeds. He wanted us to live daily, the inherent messages that the perfect masters gave throughout the ages: God is love, peace, and compassion. In spiritual realization, we can know our divine nature, which transcends all religions. […]
Mother left the body on May 22, 1992. Before she left, she gave me her power of attorney and said, “Audrey, you carry Sri Ramakrishna’s Light to the world for Me.” This Light is to be taken to God’s children who hunger and thirst to know Him, and long to understand Him in daily life. Everywhere, people are suffering in their alienation from God and are looking for love, understanding, and acceptance, but in things outside of themselves. We must come within, for God is already sitting in our hearts the closest to us of all, and we must enter this sacred chamber to find Him there. This is the journey back to the Godself.
I gave up my law practice in November of 1996, and now devote myself fully to serving God. I travel all over the world sharing with others the beautiful love and light that Divine Mother gave to me. I have visited with spiritual family in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Florida, San Francisco, Maui, Big Island and Australia. There will be more traveling down the road.
Meditations are held six days a week in Honolulu and weekly in Los Angeles; San Francisco; Long Valley, New Jersey; Townsville, Australia; and Kula, Maui. More homes will be opened for meditation and sharing as the spiritual family continues to grow.
Meet Monica Willard… the head of “United Religions Initiative at the UN.”
Here’s Bishop William Swing talking about the history of the URI.
At 74, William Swing, born and reared in Huntington, W.Va., is hardly letting up. His latest endeavor is nothing less than uniting the religions of the world.
“For this, I have been called the Antichrist, New Age, nuts and an apostate,” Swing said with a smile in his office in the Presidio of San Francisco. “Religions can be a reason for people to destroy one another. But there are people in every society who want to build a civil society. We support them.”
Swing, who sees himself as a “spiritual entrepreneur,” took out a $1 million line of credit to build his organization, United Religions Initiative. “When I got the line of credit, I was living on a clergy’s salary. I have gambled everything on this.” […]
A new goal to unite religions
The idea for United Religions Initiative came about in 1993, when Swing was asked to host at Grace Cathedral the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.
“I said, ‘Sure,’ and went to bed that night thinking the nations of the world have met every day for 50 years, yet the religions of the world have not spoken. So I figured if there is a United Nations, there has to be a United Religions.”
He and his wife set out in 1996 on a global tour to meet religious leaders of the world, including the Dalai Lama at his palace in India. It took an additional four years of planning, debating and writing the organization’s charter for United Religions to be founded.
Charles Gibbs, an Episcopal priest who serves as the initiative’s executive director, said, “Even though I was born and raised in the Episcopal Church, I never believed Christianity was the only answer. Religions do a lot of good, and evoke the absolute best in people. But extremism happens when religions claim to have the unique path to the Ultimate.”
Dressed in the garb of their “faith traditions,” supporters of the global interfaith agenda stood in a large circle on the Carnegie Melon University campus, located in historic Pittsburgh. Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Wiccans, New Agers, Muslims, followers of Judaismand Zoroastrianism, along with devotees of a multitude of religions joined together as native spiritualists invoked the “great spirit” and “cleansed” the circle with smoke from a smudge pot.
Once the smudge had made it around the group, indigenous drummers from India led the procession to the University Center. The United Religions Initiative global charter signing summit was officially opened.
Watching the processional from the sidelines, it struck me that this organization, the URI, was nonexistent only five years ago. And while the present charter summit was not large in terms of attendees, it was designed to make a long-term impact on the global religious scene. We had gathered to make history. The Pittsburgh URI summit was a six-day event starting on Sunday, June 25.
The actual charter signing, officially launching the world body, was held on Monday, June 26—the same day that the United Nations charter signing took place back in 1945. This was not a coincidence. The United Nations, through the vision of UN official Robert Muller and the events surrounding its fiftieth anniversary, was the guiding force behind the creation of the URI. Cementing this link, a letter of support from the San Francisco chapter of the United Nations Association was read on Sunday, and at the Monday charter signing, a congratulatory conference call came from the UN.
Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, the telephone connection failed. Many other links between the URI and the United Nations exist.Currently, the URI and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) are partners in the United Nations sponsored International Year for the Culture of Peace, and in a concurrent peace program called Manifesto 2000.
The URI also has a “Cooperation Circle” inside the UN. Cooperation Circles, or CC for short, are at the heart of the URI agenda. CCs are self-organized groups that are “locally rooted and globally connected.” According to the URI, “Cooperation Circles support the spirit, values and vision expressed in the URI Charter’s Preamble, Purpose and Principles and carry out this vision in a multitude of ways.” Net-working CCs “provide opportunity for worldwide collective interfaith actions.”
In essence, CCs are local church-like interfaith settings where URI members come together in inter-religious worship and interfaith community planning. It’s the URI at the grassroots level.
Interfaith Cooperation Circles (CCs) are the heart of URI. Independently organized, self-governing and self-funding, they build cooperation among people of all faiths and traditions to address the most pressing issues facing their collective communities, including poverty, religiously motivated violence, environmental degradation and more. […]
Cooperation Circles range in size from a minimum of seven members to tens of thousands, representing at least three faiths or traditions, including the non-religious, and subscribe to the shared vision outlined in URI’s Charter. They are connected to one another and the global URI network through eight regional anchor points, where regional coordinators help CCs build capacity, organize regional gatherings and trainings, and seed new CCs. URI’s global office in San Francisco provides support for regional leaders, maintains a global communications network, organizes conferences to bring CCs together from all over the globe, and supports three global initiatives, the Traveling Peace Academy, the Young Leaders Program and the Environmental Satellite.
All this talk about cooperation between religions for peace-building and poverty-reduction might lull some people to a soothing slumber, so let me bang a huge gong right now and WAKE THEM UP!!! with this final anecdote:
In June, I flew to Pittsburgh for the 2000 Global Summit of the URI. The conference was a week long, but the highlight was the signing of the URI Charter. (A full report, like my previous URI Summit reports, is forthcoming.) 300 delegates representing over 40 faith traditions came from 44 countries to participate. By the end of this conference, the URI Interim Global Council had approved 85 local and regional founding CCs around the world.
The Spirituality & the Earth CC met several times during the Summit, and almost doubled our numbers! We are now 19 individuals from 5 countries representing 10 faith traditions.
A highlight for me was being asked to perform a “traditional Wiccan foundation blessing” in the closing ceremony, to which I said “Sure!” and went back to my room to write one. What made this special is that, up ’til know, we had always used fairly generic terms like “Lady” and “the Goddess” in our public interfaith blessings. In this one, I specifically invoked Hekate and Hermes by name, and Bishop Swing was right there raising his arms in invocation with the rest of the Circle! We have, indeed, come a long way.
:: E X I T L I N K S ::
Ground Zero Mosque a Smokescreen For Interfaith Center? My post about the Ground Zero Imam… wondering whether he might be connected to this Wonderful World of New Age/Interfaith/Globalist Mysticism/Theosophy rather than Radical Islam.
The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 1
UN Climate Change Summit (COP15) Copenhagen, December 2009
Church bells ringing out warning on climate change! pagan “Christian” church service complete with altar full of corn, coral, and rocks… Eco-fraud Rachel Carson and DDT, lots of Interfaithism, New Age, and Paganism
The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 2
United Nations World Urban Forum (WUF3) 2006 Vancouver
UN participants wanting to Rezone-Out Churches and Rezone-in Interfaith Community Centers? Thanks, U.N.! David Suzuki calling us maggots, whiny eco-gal Severn Suzuki, fun with paganism, burning a 14 foot demon effigy, the child-eating Rangda leads an army of evil witches!
The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 3
The Ground Zero Imam and an Interfaith Explosion
The U.N., Glenn Beck, Temple of Understanding, Aspen Institute, reading the Koran in church, and the Ground Zero Imam… Soooo Interfaithy!!
The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 4
Obama/Hillary and Freedom of Religion vs. Freedom of Worship
What’s the deal with Obama’s use of “Freedom of Worship” instead of “Freedom of Religion”?
The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 5
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC
The Grand Procession of the Ghouls, Blessing of the bicycles, the creepy Peace Fountain, The Peace Altar, Paul Winter’s Earth Mass and Summer/Winter Solstice concert, Blessing of the Animals, Rev. Dr. James A. Kowalski, The Temple of Understanding, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, William Irwin Thompson, The Lindisfarne Association, Madeleine L’Engle, Rev. James Parks Morton, United Nations Sunday, and Christa: a crucifix depicting Christ as a woman… and more!
The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 6
UN Climate Change Summit (COP16) Cancun, Nov/Dec 2010
The Invoking of Ixchel, lots of meditating/Circular Dancing/and Sacred Sunrise Ceremonies, Mayan Mania/drama at Chichen Itza/and a whole bunch of fun with Brahma Kumaris… Mother Earth is the lady of the hour and boy do those Indigenous Peoples sure know how to complain…
The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 7
1992 Earth Summit in Rio
Invoking Iemanja the “goddess” of the sea, Shirley MacLaine meditating with the Dalai Lama, John Denver crooning, Shamans threatening Bush Sr. with that Shamany thing they do best, drinking hallucinogenic tea, thanking bananas as they are eaten, Maurice Strong and his wife Hanne and her Wisdom Keepers keeping up a constant drumbeat throughout the proceedings, John Kerry (of Vietnam fame) making a love connection!
The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 8
Actual Evil Within the United Nations
Lucifer-revering New Age Theosophy/ the UN Meditation Room/ Lucis Publishing Company used to be named the Lucifer Publishing Company? Really??/ Theosophy groups meditating inside the UN Meditation Room according to the changing of the moon/ the Lucis Trust evil prayer The Great Invocation was once published in Reader’s Digest? Really??/ UN’s General Assembly room contains a being called The Avatar of Synthesis? Really??/ UN Catholic chapel and Interfaith chapel.
The U.N. Meddling with Religion, Part 9
Cooperation Circles and the United Religions Initiative
Bishop William Swing and his United Religions Initiative/webs of Interfaith Cooperation Circles/Wiccan Donald Frew and his traditional Wiccan foundation blessing while Bishop William Swing joins in and raises his arms in invocation. Sigh.