Unity in Lynnwood boasts of robust and dynamic Interfaith at UIL program, under the leadership of Rabbi Ted Falcon. While the history of religion might be described as something of a grand “coming apart” among people (as something of a denominational isolationism among adherents) it remains a central tenet of our grand experiment that our spiritual traditions need not (must not, really) be perpetuated as weapons of separation.
A religion is a lens through which we experience and explore the Divine/the Truth/Higher Reality, by whatever name we choose to call It. As such, a religion is a human construct necessarily reflecting the geography, culture, history, tradition, language, bias, power structure and even political agenda of its era.
From the earliest cave etchings in which early Gods were depicted as those of the hunt, through the rise of agricultural societies in which Gods became those of the harvest, through the rise of warring societies in which Gods become those of the conquest – that fluid human constructs of God have paralleled transient human circumstance, is undeniable.
And if you’re still reading this, at this juncture mustn’t we look at our grand “coming apart” (mustn’t we look at our denominational isolationism) and have a good belly laugh at the implication that “ours” is the brand of Truth that is heaven-ordained?
And by extension, doesn’t it become possible, if not compelling, that our unique lenses might be of benefit to each other through something of a grand “coming together,” instead?
What if a heightened understanding of Jewish history might inform and strengthen my Christianity? What if a courageous exploration of Buddhist practice might inspire and elevate my Catholicism?
There’s a thought for you.
You see, I don’t really think the tension in the religious world is among the traditions themselves.
I think the tension in the religious world is between those adherents who would wield a religion as a weapon of human separation and those adherents who would wield a religion as a vehicle of divine awakening.
That’s the tension in the religious world.
For let’s face it - if we are courageous enough to embark upon any probing reflection of the histories of own traditions, we are certain to find examples of the former with a sad and humbling ease.
As we look at those histories, it is clear that human warring doesn’t work. And we are willing to believe that it’s through a seeking of commonality, a kindness of expression, a depth of curiosity, a generosity of ear – that it’s through something of a grand “coming together” of a diverse people - that we will finally give rise to sustainable co-existence.
So far, it seems to be working pretty well.
I invite you to join us in commitment to revealing that horizon of unity just beyond the arid plains of human positionality so espoused in the names of religion and politics.
We can do this.