Acceptance of All Faiths
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness...
All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness ... the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.
- Dalai Lama
Acceptance of All Faiths
The NSP is a vehicle across faith communities, religions, denominations, and spiritual movements, aimed at bringing people together so that we might work together and do what we can outside the narrow frame of our own faith community, and yet to do so in ways that will help and strengthen our work within our own faith communities.
Political Struggle Within Faith Communities
NSP welcomes all faiths. In every faith there is a struggle happening right now between those who hear God speaking as the force of power and domination and those who hear God speaking as the force of healing, transformation, love and generosity.
Very often existing faiths are represented nationally by a denominational or faith structure that is dependent on the donations of the local churches, synagogues, etc. Those national or international organizations don’t want the bureaucratic structure on which they depend to make a living to suddenly fall apart or lose much of their funding. So they try to keep the faith community apolitical as much as possible.
But meanwhile the right-wing forces, those who hear God speaking as the force of power and domination, what we in NSP call “the Right Hand of God,” have no intention of quieting their politics. Wrapping themselves around flag and patriotism, they demand that the churches support the military and the hard-lines against homosexuals and other “outsiders,” while the other side that hears God as a force of love and generosity doesn’t want to “split the church,” worry that arguing strongly with the right-wingers would somehow be “disrespectful,” and often end up silencing themselves.
These dynamics leave many spiritual progressives adrift, not knowing how to find others like them, even when there are others in the same faith community (because these others have tactfully “stayed in the closet” rather than cause what they fear would be division and disruption).
NSP – a Place to Connect and Gather Strength
The NSP, then, is a vehicle across faith communities, religions, denominations, and spiritual movements, aimed at bringing together these people so that we might work together and do what we can outside the narrow frame of our own faith community, and yet to do so in ways that will help and strengthen our work within our own faith communities (because the NSP is not a new religion or an attempt to create such).
We do not want to mirror the inter-faith communities and organizations of the past in which each group tries to abandon whatever is distinctive or controversial or provocative in their own faith community in order to not antagonize anyone else in other faith communities. While we insist on respectful dialogue, we also want to provide safety for people to come into our community with the fullness of their own religious commitments and practices, so that we can engage each other and learn from each other, even as we attempt to work together toward a New Bottom Line in every aspect of our society (as defined in the Spiritual Covenant with America).
We learn from each other, share with each other our own experiences of trying to move our own faith community in a more spiritually progressive direction while learning from the experiences and experiments tried by others in other faith communities, and brainstorm together on how to be more successful at our spiritual work. We also learn from each other’s experiments with new ritual, new theological ideas, or re-interpretations of very old but rich traditions and holy texts.