Why Interfaith: A note from the Chair of the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada, Reverend Gard Jameson
I would like to personally invite you to join the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada, to be an integral part of the appreciation of the universal values that are embraced and shared by the many faith communities of Southern Nevada. Why Interfaith?
Many faith communities have actually rejected any participation in the community of interfaith without asking the question: Why Interfaith?
Interfaith is of great importance because it illuminates the vast panorama of values that the human family shares in common. It is little known and appreciated that the Golden Rule found in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is shared by all of the great traditions of the East: Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism and Confucianism. It is little known that indigenous and pagan traditions which celebrate the sacredness of the earth also share in the affirmation of the Golden Rule.
Interfaith is not a new religion; it is affirmation of the beauty of the diverse expression of divine values in all sacred traditions. This world longs for universal peace and understanding. Many great theologians from West to East have stated clearly that there will be no peace on earth until there is peace between religious traditions. It is therefore incumbent upon every person to work toward the understanding and celebration of our diverse expressions of divine values. The Divine created us and made us into many tribes and nations, that we might know one another, not that we should express suspicion toward one another. It is the Divine Purpose to bring peace on earth and goodwill to every member of the human family.
The key values of love, compassion and ministry are shared by all of the great traditions. Each has given beautiful expression to these values in a variety of ways. Like the different flowers and fragrances of a beautiful garden, each tradition in its unique way seeks to manifest these values on the planet, affirming that Divine Reality is loving, wise and compassionate.
In a world in which we have technologically gained the capacity to destroy the planet many times over, the expansion of interfaith understanding becomes not only a privilege but a duty to every person on this beleaguered planet. No longer can we afford the exclusive attitudes of medieval times, in which other traditions were viewed with not only suspicion, but disdain. There is great confusion about our diverse spiritual perspectives. It is the goal of interfaith understanding to break down all barriers of prejudice, bias and bigotry, in order to promote universal appreciation and celebration of our diversity.
If you are truly an advocate of breaking down the walls which separate us, which create an atmosphere of prejudice, bias and bigotry, we humbly invite you to join with us as we seek to improve relations not only between sacred traditions, but, also between humanity and the earth. We invite you to affirm an attitude of not just tolerance but, more importantly, celebration of diversity of expression.
Associate Pastor, Grace Community Church
Chair, Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada