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.
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.
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.
- A New Beginning Begins in 2020 – by Howard Gerald Comen - January 2, 2020