Religious Leaders Join Forces to Eliminate Slavery

   Discerning the rights of man, we cannot fail to foresee the doom of all oppression. Slavery is not the legitimate state of man. God made man free. Paul said, “I was free born.” All men should be free. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

This is very cool –

“For the first time in history, major Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox Christian authorities, along with leaders of the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim religions, met to sign a shared commitment against modern slavery, which is considered a crime against humanity.”

So… did you expect to wake up and see this story sauntering through social media this week? Because I have to admit that I did not. It appeared without any fanfare or drumroll – there was no media build-up and there were no hints that this was in the works. But, holy shamoley, this is HUGE, isn’t it? If you go to the URL above, you’ll see in front of you a picture that shows these people all standing side-by-side, united in their efforts to get rid of slavery:
– Pope Francis
– Her Holiness Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma)
– Venerable Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Chan Khong (representing Zen Master Thích Nhất Hạnh)
– The Most Ven. Datuk K Sri Dhammaratana, Chief High Priest of Malaysia
– Rabbi Dr. Abraham Skorka
– Rabbi Dr. David Rosen
– Dr. Abbas Abdalla Abbas Soliman, Undersecretary of State of Al Azhar Alsharif (representing Mohamed Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar)
– Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi
– Sheikh Naziyah Razzaq Jaafar, Special advisor of Grand Ayatollah (representing Grand -Ayatollah Sheikh Basheer Hussain al Najafi
– Sheikh Omar Abboud
– Most Revd and Right Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
– His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France (representing His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew).

It’s like a Who’s Who of the World’s Religious Leaders.

And wouldn’t it be great if this was just the beginning of a movement towards world peace? Wouldn’t it be great if all the world’s religious – and non-religious, for that matter – leaders and their flocks joined together to end slavery, poverty, homelessness, hunger, environmental disasters – and the greatest of all injustices – war? I never expected to see this story on Facebook this week, but now that I have – now that I’ve seen what’s possible between our world’s religious leaders – I’m thinking why stop there?

Truth brings the elements of liberty. On its banner  is the Soul-inspired motto, “Slavery is abolished.” The power of God brings deliverance to the captive. No power can withstand divine Love.”
Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures


Tartan Kippah

Last weekend a new friend invited me to a Jewish service – she was providing the food for the oneg Shabbat afterwards. I’d never been inside a Jewish temple before, and was really looking forward to this opportunity.

The service was of the Reformed Jewish type – informal and friendly – we all sat in a circle and sang songs and heard stories. It was cool. The rabbi conducting the service was a woman – attractive and funny,  intelligent and kind.  After the service was over, we all went downstairs and feasted on the food of the oneg Shabbat – breads and fruits, and sandwiches and triple chocolate cake.  Chocolate and new friends and a new adventure. Can it get any better than this?

And I’ve just got to share this picture – one of the temple’s members was wearing a kippah made out of a material with a Scottish tartan pattern on it – it totally cracked me up – he started laughing when I asked him about it. He actually got this one when he was visiting Israel – he’s partly Scottish, and this tartan happens to match his Scottish family tartan!  Here’s Doug in his tartan kippah:

Doug and his way cool yamulke