Joyful Noise

U.C.M. Newsletter of Joy, Humor, Laughter, and Inspiration

Editor: Rev. Doti Boon

http://safedoti@aol.com21 UCM 8-19-07

Volume 8 page 31 (07-30-09)


I willingly do unto others as I would have them do unto me!

The Golden Rule

Can Religions Work Together? 

          The Golden Rule exists in all religions in some form. It is a statement, in summary, of the basic requirements for all human behavior. It appears sometimes in positive form: Jesus said, “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.” (Mathew 7:12). It also appears in negative form: Confucius said, “What you do not want done to you, do not do to others. (Analects 15.23) Since this is the fundamental obligation in all religions, why are religions involved in so many of the most bitter conflicts in the world?  Why do religious people seem too often to be a living contradiction of love? Part of the answer to those questions is that religions offer the resources, the programs and the goals of worthwhile and successful lives, success being defined within the religions themselves. They cannot guarantee that people live their lives in those ways.

          All religions recognize that people, even with the best intentions, are pulled down by sin and ignorance. Religions offer ways of resisting what is wrong and dispelling ignorance, but they cannot compel people to live in these ways. Even worse, people use religion as weapons to gain power for themselves and do damage to others:  think of the ways men have used religious sanctions to keep control over women. Even now, today, when this is recognized within religions as wrong, there are still those who try to keep things as they have always been: among those Christians who oppose the ordination of women, some accept that there is no serious argument against it except that it has never been done before.

          The Golden Rule is endorsed by all the great world religions. And for many centuries the idea has been influential among people of very diverse cultures. These facts suggest that the Golden Rule may be an important moral truth.

          President Kennedy in 1963 appealed to the Golden Rule in an anti-segregation speech at the time of the first black enrollment at the University of Alabama. He asked whites to consider what it would be like to be treated as second-class citizens because of skin color. Whites were to imagine themselves being black – and being told that they couldn’t vote, or go to the best public schools, or eat at most public restaurants, or sit in the front of the bus. Would whites be content to be treated that way? He was sure that they wouldn’t and yet this is how they treated others. He said,“the heart of the questions is . . . whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.”

          The Golden Rule is a common obligation for all. On this basis, religious people can encourage each other to achieve the best that their different traditions require of them and can join together in agreeing on what should be opposed. At the heart of each religion is the Sengyo or fish-run principle that Zen Buddhists derive from Chuang-tzu 31: “A fish-run is constructed to catch fish:  we should keep the fish and forget the run. A snare is to catch a rabbit:  we should keep the rabbit and forget the snare. Words are to transmit meaning:  we should keep the meaning and forget the words.”

          “Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst ascribe to thee, and say not that which thou doest not”  “Blessed is he who preferred his brother before himself.”Baha’u’llah (Baha’i Faith)

          “Do not hurt others with that which hurts yourself.” The Buddha

          “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Luke 6:31 King James (Christian)

          “This is the sum of Dharma (duty): Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.” Mahabharata, 5:1517 (Hindu)

          “None of you is a believer until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself.” Muhammad (Islam)

          “Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do.”  The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, Ancient Egyptian original dates to 1970-1640 BCE and may be the earliest version ever written.

          “Respect for ALL LIFE is the foundation.”The Great Law of Peace. (Native American)

          “All things are our relatives: what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One.” Black Elk (Native American)

          “Do not wrong or hate your neighbor. For it is not he who you wrong, but yourself.” Pima Proverb (Native American)

          “What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowman. This is the law: all the rest is commentary.” Talmud, Shabbat 31a (Judaism)

          “. . .thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Leviticus 19:18

          “The law imprinted on the hearts of all men is to love the members of society as themselves.” Roman Pagan Religion

          “The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form.” Ko-ji-ki Hachiman Kasuga (Shinto)

          “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as you own loss.” T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’len

          “We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” Unitarian principles

          “An it harm no one, do what thou wilt.” (i.e. do what ever you will, as long as it harms nobody, including yourself.) Wiccan Rede

          “One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts.” Yoruba (Nigeria)

          “Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.” Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29 Zoroastrianism

Take The Time

Miriam Therese Winter

Take the time to sing a song, for all those people who don’t belong:

for the women wasted by defeat, the men condemned to walk the street,

the down and out we’ll never meet.


Take the time to say a prayer for all those people who face despair:

the starving multitudes who pray to make it through another day,

who watch their children march away. 

Take the time to hear the plea of every desperate refugee:

the millions who have had to flee

their lands, there loves, their liberty,

who turn in hope to you and me. 

Take the time to take a stand for peace and justice in every land.

Where power causes deep unrest,

come, take the part of the oppressed,

and then, says God, you will be blessed. 

          As we observe this day of prayer, we remember the one law that binds all great religions together:  the Golden Rule, and its call to love one another; to understand one another; and to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth. – excerpt from May 7, 2009, President Barack Obama.

Heard in a third grade Bible Class, “Do unto otters as you would have otters do unto you.”

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