A United Green Religion
Blending the world’s religions together and bringing them under the umbrella of the United Nations has been high on the Global Green Agendafor many years. Dr Robert Muller, until recently the Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, and its #2 ranked official, appears to be the driving force behind the plan to create a new United Religion. His passion for this spiritual agenda is readily apparent, “My great personal dream is to forge a tremendous alliance between all religions and spiritual groups, and the UN. We desperately need a United Religions Organisation to bring reconciliation, unity and peace to all the peoples of our world.”
Dr Muller famously described himself as “A divine motivator … the wise man of the UN … the shaman of the UN … the man through whom God speaks … the spokesman of Christ …” Now this ‘divine motivator’ was the co-founder of UNESCO and a key architect behind many of the UN’s most important environmental policies and plans. Dr Muller is also one of the key figures behind the drive to establish a universal global consciousness. He is the co-Chairman of the World Commission for Global Consciousness and Spirituality and the co-Chairman, alongside Mikhail Gorbachev, of the World Wisdom Council. Dr Muller is also the Chancellor of the UN’s University of Peace, which he founded on a mountain in Costa Rica. Why did he choose this location? Because of this ancient prophecy:
“The Great Spirit is in every animal, in every bird, butterfly, flower, insect, leaf and grass you see. The Great Spirit is also in you, the Creator’s children. Please take care of the wonderful nature created by God and some day, from this mountain, you will see the birth of a civilization of peace spread to the entire world.” – link
Dr Muller’s clearly outines his vision for a New Green Religion on his websites http://www.paradiseearth.us/, http://www.robertmuller.org/,http://www.goodmorning-world.blogspot.com/ and http://www.goodmorningworld.org/. In one article he recounts a conversation between himself and God, as equals no less. These are quotes from that article (remember this is not some fruitcake standing on a streetcorner, this guy was responsible for formulating many UN policies) :
God: “Dear Robert, congratulations for having finished your 4000 ideas. May I ask you: which one do you consider the most important?”
I: Well, my most important idea and conclusion after all my adult life as a world civil servant is this: The United Nations must be vastly strengthened to resolve the major global problems henceforth increasingly confronting humanity and the earth. It must be empowered to adopt and enforce world laws and regulations. Let us perform this miracle in the House of Mica, on the shores of the River of the Rising Sun, wherefrom our indigenous brethren prophesized that a civilization of peace will extend to the entire world.
God: “Thank you, dear Robert, for what you are recommending. Perhaps after all, the greatest jewel of my Creation, the Earth, can be saved.“ – link
The first attempt at global interfaith dialogue occurred at the first ‘Parliament of World Religions’ held in Chicago in 1893. This conference involved representatives from most established and emerging religious groups and also marked the introduction of the Baha’i faith into the United States. In the early 1990s a group of interfaith dialogue proponents decided to organise a centenary conference to be held in 1993, also in Chicago.
Dr Muller was one of the primary organisers, along with Hans Kung and Dr. Gerald Barney, and was a keynote speaker. Kung is a Catholic priest who previously held the powerful position of ‘Expositor of Theology’ at the Vatican and is the founder of the Global Ethic Foundation, another organization strongly pushing the concept of human global consciousness. The conference included more than 8,000 representatives from 150 different religious and spiritual groups. Dr Muller’s speech was entitled ‘A Proposal to establish a United Nations of Religion‘. It received a prolonged standing ovation and his proposal was endorsed in the conferences joint communique.
“Our earth cannot be changed unless in the not too distant future an alteration in the consciousness of individuals is achieved. This has already been seen in areas such as war and peace or economy and ecology. And it is precisely for this alteration in inner orientation, in the entire mentality, in the “heart,” that religion bear responsibility in a special way. Religion must be a unifier and peacemaker, not a cause for violence and separation.” – excerpt, Parliament of World Religions Joint Communique.
The centenary parliament led to the formation of interfaith dialogue initiatives by many religious groups, most notably the Vatican, and secular organisations such as the United Nations, the Gorbachev Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative, and many UN associated NGOs. However, it was the United Religions Initiative (URI), proposed by Robert Muller during the conference that has made the most dramatic progress.
The URI’s stated aims are “unity among religions” and “manifesting love for the Earth.” Working closely with Muller on this daring initiative is the Anglican Bishop William Swing of Grace Episcopal Cathedral in San Francisco. Although Muller is the visionary behind United Religions and the catalyst between the major parties involved, Swing has become the initiative’s figurehead and spokesperson.
However, the direct involvement of the United Nations in this project has been evident from the beginning. Swing relates how Muller first contacted him in 1993 about heading up a worship celebration on its behalf: “Three and a half years ago, a telephone call arrived in San Francisco from the United Nations asking if we, at Grace Cathedral, would host a great interfaith worship service honoring the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter in our city.” This request, and subsequent conversation with Muller, is allegedly what prompted Swing to become involved in the United Religions Initiative. He continues, “I got out of bed the next day determined to commit the rest of my life to an initiative that would create a United Religions which would, in appropriately spiritual ways, parallel the United Nations.”
The URI has attracted a diverse group of followers, and seems to be remarkably skilful in appealing to there different worldviews. Reverend James Davis, an Anglican minister from New York stated “We’ve never seen any organization build coalitions as quickly or as successfully as the United Religions Initiative.” Huston Smith, a scholar of comparative religions and author of The World’s Religions, a standard reference in religious studies, describes the URI as “by far the most significant global interfaith effort.”
The URI claims that more than 1,000 religious groups, representing 600 million people, have endorsed the URI charter. These include the Dalai Lama, state churches in China, various Jewish Rabbis, Sufi’s (a Muslin sect), the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, radical feminists, deep ecologists, creation spiritualists, kaballahists and various neopagan groups. It has also received favourable comments from the United Nations and the Vatican. The preamble to the URI Charter is as follows:
We, people of diverse religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions throughout the world, hereby establish the United Religions Initiative to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.
We respect the uniqueness of each tradition, and differences of practice or belief.
We value voices that respect others, and believe that sharing our values and wisdom can lead us to act for the good of all.
We believe that our religious, spiritual lives, rather than dividing us, guide us to build community and respect for one another.
Therefore, as interdependent people rooted in our traditions, we now unite for the benefit of our Earth community.
We unite to build cultures of peace and justice.
We unite to heal and protect the Earth.
We unite to build safe places for conflict resolution, healing and reconciliation.
We unite to support freedom of religion and spiritual expression, and the rights of all individuals and peoples as set forth in international law.
We unite in responsible cooperative action to bring the wisdom and values of our religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions to bear on the economic, environmental, political and social challenges facing our Earth community.
We unite to provide a global opportunity for participation by all people, especially by those whose voices are not often heard.
We unite to celebrate the joy of blessings and the light of wisdom in both movement and stillness.
We unite to use our combined resources only for nonviolent, compassionate action, to awaken to our deepest truths, and to manifest love and justice among all life in our Earth community.
It goes on to say: The root of this ecological crisis is a spiritual crisis. Just as the religions and spiritual traditions of the world teach respectful interaction with a sacred whole, so must spiritual values and moral imperatives help humanity to rediscover a reverence for all life and respect for the sacredness of the whole of Planet Earth. Therefore, we call for interfaith cooperation in furthering this vision for love and protection of the Earth, reverence for life, and harmony with all living beings.
As suggested by Swing, the United Religions Initiative is intended to be to religion what the United Nations has become to global politics, unifying the world’s religions as the UN is unifying the world’s nations. Bishop Swing confirmed these plans, “The URI will be a spiritual United Nations. And what better place to give it birth than the Bay Area, which gave birth to the present UN.”
Bishop Swing also states, “The URI will offer the world a powerful new vision of hope – the vision that the deepest stories we know can now cease to be causes of separation between people, and become instead the foundation for a reunited humanity. Religions need the URI. Bombs are exploding in the name of God in cities throughout the world, religious persecution is more prevalent now than ever before, religious extremists are demanding and obtaining nuclear weapons, and still there is no neutral arena where all of the religions can engage each other. The URI, in time, aspires to have the visibility and stature of the United Nations. It will have global visibility and will be a vital presence in local communities all over the world.”
The United Nations has granted the URI official ‘liaison status’, which means that in return for UN financial support the URI will “co-operate closely with the U.N. and its organisations to complement the U.N.’s political, diplomatic and social mandates, influence U.N. policy and support its programs.” At a recent UN-sponsored Interfaith Conference, Bishop Swing issued a challenge for a new global civilisation, “We stand on the threshold of a new world order that may be defined either by an increasing polarisation that fuels a spiral of escalating conflict and violence, or by growing global cooperation that calls the human race to work across national, ethnic and religious boundaries to serve a larger global good.”
Bishop Swing recently apologised for two millennia of Christian evangelism. His apology not limited to ‘religious violence’ committed by Christians, it also includes regret for “proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of all” and for seeking “to make the whole world Christian“. The URI strongly condemns all forms of religious fundamentalism; in fact the need for a new spirituality is often based on the intolerant attitude of evangelical Christians and radical Muslims’. Swing states “Because some day, the ascendancy of militant fundamentalist voices of politically aspiring religions might be so pervasive that a United Religions will need to be created in order to save religions from these fundamentalists.”
The URI arose out of, and is the culmination of, the interfaith movement that began with the 1893 Parliament of World Religions. It is inextricably tied to the quest for a new spirituality that would unify the planet in a ‘transformed global society’. The URI is the fullest expression of this movement now. The current model of unity in diversity will characterise the United Religions Initiative for a while. However, the final phase of the Global Green Spiritual Agenda will be the “full end to the great heresy of separateness.”
The final green religion will be the blending of all religions into one unified expression of spirituality based on reverence for our shared planet and human interconnectedness with all living beings. No doubt anyone one who refuses to accept this new spirituality will be labelled an intolerant radical fundamentalist. In the wake of an earth-shattering crisis, such as the one described in A United World, ‘fundamentalists’ are likely to be blamed for all the world’s problems. A new world religion, in addition to a new world order, will be gratefully received by most given a crisis of sufficient magnitude.