World Events

Centers for Spiritual Living on World Events

 

June 19, 2018

Keeping Parents and Children Together: A Call for Humanity

 “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”   ~ Matthew 25:40, 45, The Holy Bible (NIV)

The spectacle of children of refugees, most fleeing violence in their homelands, being separated, often with force, from the arms of their parents at the United States border, is an offense against humanity devoid of any sense of compassion. This policy of the Administration of President Donald J. Trump, ordered by United States Attorney General Jefferson Sessions, is being done without being enacted into law by the Congress and without current review by the courts. At this writing, over 2,000 children have been separated from parents and are being held in detention centers in the United States. Mr. Sessions also did away with a policy that made it possible to give asylum to women who are victims of domestic abuse or who are raped or threatened by gang members in their home countries.

“We are for human rights in every instance,” said Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon, Spiritual Leader of Centers for Spiritual Living. “We call on the White House to reverse this inhumane policy immediately and to reunite the many families who have been forcibly separated.”

Centers for Spiritual Living joins the many voices of religious denominations and civic organizations in calling for an end to these practices and a return to a more humane set of policies for families as their cases are processed. Basic human decency requires nothing less. We must also recognize the emotional damage being done to parents and children alike, and work to heal the damage done.

The fact that the administration cited Biblical references to justify their actions is an affront to anyone who holds sacred scripture dear. We should remember that separation of children from their parents by force, according to the Bible they cite, was done by the Pharaohs of Egypt and Pontius Pilate. The core message of The Holy Bible is love, not obedience to secular authority. Tearing children from the arms of their families for the purpose of deterring migration is both cruel and unlawful. Family unity is a fundamental human right, recognized by the U. S. Supreme Court and the United Nations. Since many of those families being separated are seeking asylum, the current policy is even more egregious.

We call on our local spiritual communities to speak out on this issue. We call on the U.S. Congress to act to overrule this cruel administrative policy if the administration will not act. We join other communities of faith in demanding a more humane governmental approach to issues of migration and asylum-seeking. We know that when we recognize our mutual humanity, our fear dissipates and compassion pours forth. Let our actions reflect that wisdom.

“I salute the God-presence in everyone I meet, and I know that as surely as I do this, the Love dwelling in them responds to the same Presence that is within me. We act in a unison of peace and understanding.”                                                 ~ Ernest Holmes

Link to United Methodist Church statement: https://www.umcjustice.org/news-and-stories/a-shocking-violation-of-the-spirit-of-the-gospel-697

Link to Jewish Groups statement:  https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-jewish-groups-condemn-policy-that-separates-children-from-migrant-parents/

Link to Jewish Orthodox Union statement:  https://www.jta.org/2018/06/14/top-headlines/orthodox-union-expresses-concern-family-separation-border 

 

Link to Evangelical Lutheran Church statement:  http://elca.org/News-and-Events/7935

Link to US Catholic Bishops statement:  https://www.ncronline.org/news/people/us-bishops-condemn-immigration-policies-separate-families-border

Link to United Church of Christ statement: http://www.ucc.org/news_ucc_leaders_keep_families_together_06152018

Link to Unitarian Universalist Statement:  https://www.uusc.org/action-center/end-family-separation/

Link to Interfaith Immigration Organization statement:  http://www.interfaithimmigration.org/2018/06/01/familiesbelongtogether-faith-leaders-decry-family-separation-urge-national-leaders-to-protect-family-unity/

Link to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service statement:  https://www.lirs.org/press-room/posts/lirs-responds-to-jeff-sessions-announcement

 

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Statement on Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability

Centers for Spiritual Living (CSL) believes in the Oneness of all Life and Creation. We envision a world free of homelessness, violence, war, hunger, separation, and disenfranchisement. We see a world which has renewed its emphasis on beauty, nature, and love through creativity, art, and aesthetics.

We recognize the evidence of science: Human activity is the main cause of the climate crisis, and human creativity can be used to reverse its effects. The climate crisis is seen in extreme weather, changes to seasonal patterns, rising sea levels, species extinction, the melting of glaciers, and shrinking of the polar ice caps.

Climate change will affect not only our generation but our children, our grandchildren, and all future generations of humanity, as well as all other forms of life. It is a moral issue. The predicted impact of climate change will have a disproportionate impact on the least developed countries and on those living in poverty, who are least responsible for the emissions of Greenhouse Gases. It will displace whole populations and we lament the potential loss of cultural identity and belonging.

We urge our member communities to do what they can to be wise stewards of the climate and the environment in all phases of their operations and to encourage members to do so in the homes and workplaces. We call upon religious, political, and social leaders to address the climate change crisis as an urgent moral issue.  We urge local and state governments to support and invest in energy conservation and renewable energy development.  We urge national governments, including the United States, to respond to Global Warming with great urgency and firm leadership by enacting and supporting mandatory measures that reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and environmentally responsible practices.

We join with other organizations, including the Association for Global New Thought, The Parliament of World Religions, and the Universalist Association in taking a principled stand on this issue. The time for morally responsible action is now.

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Call to Action for all Centers…                                                                                         June 2, 2017
Centers for Spiritual Living
Golden, Colorado

Press Release: Climate Change Statement and Position

The Centers for Spiritual Living (CSL) stands in support of the Paris Climate Accord (Paris Agreement). We view Thursday’s decision by the Trump Administration to back out of the agreement to be a significant setback for any global effort to curb global warming.

The Paris Agreement was created to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions to help reverse the devastating effects of Global Warming. It is unfortunate that a Nation, which is one of the largest polluters historically, is taking such a step. The United States now joins Syria and Nicaragua, who did not sign the Agreement because it was viewed as too weak.  The Agreement has been signed by nearly 200 other countries.

We believe that God acts through creation, not independently of it. Statements which have been made to the effect that, “God will take care of Global Warming,” fail to recognize that each of us individually and us as a whole are responsible for our own experience – that God acts through creation. If we want a green and verdant planet, we will have to act in ways which support that outcome.

“Centers for Spiritual Living believes climate change and environmental deterioration are moral issues and as a spiritual organization, we must take a stand,” said Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon, CSL Spiritual Leader. “Climate change will not only affect our generation, but our children, our grandchildren, and all future generations of humanity, as well as other forms of life. We stand united with other faith communities in our call to care for the earth and to protect the poor and suffering.”

CSL recognizes the evidence of science: Human activity is the main cause of the climate crisis. This crisis is seen in the extreme weather, changes to seasons, rising sea levels, species extinctions, the melting of glaciers, and shrinking of the polar ice caps. The scientific consensus is clear.

The United States can best serve its own interests and those of all of humanity by continuing to be an environmental leader of the world in reducing emissions. Today’s decision to exit from the Paris Agreement moves in the opposite direction. “We recognize that our good is within us, so we awaken to our individual responsibility and empowerment to properly steward our planet. So, let our voices be heard and let our actions speak of our love for our planet,” said Dr. Gordon.

Below find two links where your members can get information about how to be good stewards of our planet:

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2012/03/what-communities-should-do-protect-against-climate-change/1562/

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/climate-change-what-you-can-do