A New Beginning Begins in 2020 – by Howard Gerald Comen 

War, killing, and hatred permeate every level of society. This uncivil war is growing like a cancerous growth.  It is time we developed a New Beginning as the United States approaches the 400th Anniversary of the landing at Plymouth Rock.

In 2020, all segments of society must come to an understanding of each other and begin, together,  to recognize that we are one humanity, merely many different shades. All the various perspectives of faith, race, gender, and culture must see ourselves as parts of the engine of humanity, parts of a sports team each with a different perspective that, when working in unison, wins championships.

Roots of the New Beginning began decades ago.


In the 1990’s Charleston Police Chief Reuben Greenberg and Shirley Comen invited a Muslim Imam to speak at the Temple Emanuel Synagogue Minion breakfast. In attendance were Minionaires, Hebrew School children, other members of the Jewish Community and a half dozen Muslims. The Imam, Hakim Abdul Ali, stayed up late the night before looking for inspiration. He saw on television the hatred between Jews and Muslims and reacted to the hatred he saw. This led to his dissertation “ Why can’t we work together instead of against each other”. Greenberg thought it would be interesting to have a Rabbi, Imam, and a Christian Clergy member on a podium speaking of Abraham, the common denominator of all three faiths.
The result was the formation of the Charleston Congress of Religions where clergy representing the Christian Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Jewish faiths would meet to better understand each other. This went on for 5 or so years, but then faded away.

Then, ten or so years later, after a planned Koran-burning in Orlando, the office of Charleston Mayor Joseph P Riley requested that the group effect a response. The Charleston Congress of Religions was reintroduced as Interfaith Partners of South Carolina (IPSC). It was based at the Religious Studies Department at the University of South Carolina (USC). At about the same time, King Abdulah of Jordan and the United Nations developed World Interfaith Harmony Week to be celebrated in the first week of February.

IPSC convinced former Ambassador Nikki Haley when she was Governor of South Carolina to expand the UN effort and declare South Carolina’s Interfaith Harmony Month. The USC Religious Studies Dept. and IPSC launched a month-long effort to teach clergy and communities throughout SC to respect their differences and celebrate their similarities.
Several months ago former Brookings Institute’s Edith Joachimpillai, a Bentley University Grad living in the Boston area and Howard Comen, a thirty-five year Charleston SC veteran of the interfaith harmony concept formed Copper and Cobalt Consulting to concentrate on making interfaith harmony an integral part of society. The current world situation has deteriorated into shouting matches between most factions of society. Even the Democratic and Republican parties in this country have replaced Marquis of Queensbury rules with bare knuckle, no holes barred, punching below the belt, win at all costs without regard to anything fighting.  Democrats and Republicans have replaced cooperation with hatred. Faith groups have replaced spirituality with material concerns governed by maintaining congregations by downplaying other faith groups connection to God. They seem to have replaced the religious and political freedoms the Pilgrims settled this country hoping to find with greedy, selfish, self preservation at all costs. Just look at the plight of the Indigenous Peoples that began in the 1670’s.

Vision 2020: Replace this selfishness with cooperation and teamwork. 


To concentrate on defining and solving community problems by teaming up the World Conference of Mayors, the Historic Black Towns and Settlement Alliance, and the Indigenous Peoples with the  Copper and Cobalt Consulting Firm to establish permanent partnerships between Mayors Offices, Clergy, Chambers of Commerce, Native Americans, Universities, and all races to identify local community problems, develop strategies to solve those problems and report their efforts back to the United Nations. Each Mayor should adopt a Proclamation declaring February as Interfaith Harmony Month and then reach out to Governors and national government leadership to adopt their proclamation.

What better way to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the Plymouth Rock Landing than bringing together the Red, Black, Yellow and White Nations together to bury the hate and foster a New Beginning for Humanity.


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6 thoughts on “ A New Beginning Begins in 2020 – by Howard Gerald Comen ”

  1. A very good initiative that brings humanity together. This is pegged on the teaching of Jesus Christ in john chapter 17. “I do not pray for these alone,but also for those who will believe in Me through their word.
    That they may be one as You, Father are in Me,and I in You,that they also may be one in Us,that the world may believe that You sent Me.( John 17:20-21).

    1. Due to Cain and Abel, the Golden Calf, the Tower of Babel ( I could go on) God has been locked away in some dark corner of the heart of mankind. Our efforts are to bring God back out into the Light,

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