Friday, October 10, 2008

interfaith snacking council

The "Grand Traverse Area Faith Diversity Council" just settled on that name last night. We are still tweaking things, so I am soliciting feedback on the name (I used to refer to us as the "Interfaith Snacking Council"), and on our mission statement and principles, below:

The Grand Traverse Area Faith Diversity Council's mission is that of community service through: actively supporting the advancement of better understanding, trust, communication and cooperation among the many faiths of our community; acting as a voice for education and illumination concerning local, national or planetary faith-related events/issues; actively supporting our First Amendment rights regarding freedom of religion (including the right to follow no religion).

Our Principles:
1. Belief in, and active support of, freedom of religion as guaranteed in our Constitution's first amendment, including the right to follow no religion.
2. Belief in, and active support of, the concept that no single religion, faith tradition or spiritual practice is right for everyone.
3. Belief in, and active support of, the concept that no single religion, faith tradition or spiritual practice is more, or less, valid than another.
4. Belief and active support of separation of Church and State.
5. Knowing that, because we are the most religiously diverse nation on earth, it is crucial that all faiths work together to build better understanding, trust, respect and cooperation among one another. Accomplishing this shall help bring about healing on an individual, community, national and planetary scale.

(snacking was left as an implicit value)

What did we miss? Are there any implications that might not be wholesome or helpful?

4 Comments:

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks good...,but

if you are going to have that many words in the name, they should make a cool anagram.

GTAFDC? Nobody can remember that.

UU Jester

 
At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Jess said...

I love number 2.

"Belief in, and active support of, the concept that no single religion, faith tradition or spiritual practice is more, or less, valid than another."

This is a hard one, because there are religions/faith traditions/spiritual practices that should not be held up as equal -- see Scientology, The Secret (blaming the Jews for the Holocaust because of a lack of positive thinking, anyone?), fundamentalist Morman cults that practice polygamous marriages with children, fundamentalist Christianists who practice psychological abuse with their fire and brimstone, etc.

Speaking to a larger point than your specific group, which sounds fantastic, there needs to be room to condemn those beliefs and practices that cause real harm to people. This is something we struggle with in Unitarian Universalism, particularly, with the "we can believe in whatever we want" oversimplification that is so prevalent. Value-based judgement, tempered with reason, is one of our greatest tools on our respective spiritual and religious journeys, enabling us to reject those teachings/philosophies that serve to divide people rather than bring them together.

Just sayin'.

 
At 7:57 AM, Blogger Chip said...

Nice point, Jess. We could dodge the issue by judging Scientology, etc., as illegitimate, but that just raises the question of defining legitimacy. I'd appreciate help on this point, too :-)

 
At 3:10 PM, Anonymous bill said...

it should probably mention the browns beating the giants last night. big win - and congrats. seems like it's the sort of thing that GTAFDC should affirm

 

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