Sunday, November 2, 2014

Spiritual Covenant with America

by Tikkun's Network of Spiritual Progressives. Recent comments have been about how this is not a political or economic forum but about 'spirituality.' Agreed. However economics and politics are transformed when we bring a spiritual perspective to those arenas. And spirituality in a broader sense is about how we manifest spiritual principles in the daily bread of, well, daily bread: how we get enough bread to eat, how we share our bread with our neighbors, how we provide it if they can't afford it, etc. Recall that bread is a key ingredient in Holy Communion, how we share in the *body* of the Divine, and how we nourish our physical bodies in preparation for cultivating our more ephemeral bodies.

It is in that Spirit that I offer the ingredients of the Spiritual Covenant:

1. We will create a society and economic system that promotes rather than undermines loving and caring relationships and families. We affirm the deep yearning of most people on this planet to be recognized as fundamentally valuable not for what they do or how much money, power or fame they accumulate, but for who they are as embodiments of the sacred energy of the universe, a yearning to contribute to the common good, to have work that has higher meaning than to accumulate money or power, and to live in peace and mutual respect with their neighbors and all people on the planet, connected through a bond of caring for each other's well-being.

2. We will take personal responsibility for personal ethical behavior.

3. We will build Environmental and Social Responsibility into the normal operations of our economic and political Life. We will end the role of money in politics, require free and equal media time for all major candidates, and take major steps to democratize the economy.

4. We will reshape our education system to teach the values of love, caring, generosity, intellectual curiosity, tolerance, gratitude, repentance, humility, forgiveness, and awe and wonder at the universe.

5. We will seek a single-payer national health care plan and also broaden the public’s understanding of health care to provide ample access to exercise facilities, pollution-free transportation and energy, healthy and nutritious and affordable organic food, pollution free air and water, and free psychological and spiritual counseling, chiropractic and other approaches to health that move beyond the confines of past Western medical thought.

6. We will be stewards of the environment and protect the life-support system of the planet Earth.

7. Foreign policy and homeland security must be governed by a commitment to non-violence and a spirit of generosity, ending (not ameliorating) domestic and global poverty, opening all borders and transcending national chauvinism.

8. We will seek the separation of Church, State and Science, and encourage inner spiritual development.

9. We will dramatically reduce economic inequality, insist on a “living wage” not just a “minimum wage,” and a guaranteed annual income for all, free childcare, elder care, and a reduced work week to 30 hours per week. We will prioritize restorative justice over prisons, focus on rehabilitation and not punishment in prisons, and reintegrate former prisoners into society with generosity and open-hearted concern for their ability to rejoin society and receive productive work.

10. In every aspect of life, we will give priority to enhancing our capacities to respond to other human beings as embodiments of the sacred and respond to the universe around us with radical amazement at the grandeur and mystery of all that is, recognizing that our well-being depends on the well being of everyone else on the planet and the well-being of the planet itself.

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