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This-essay is a9708082.htm which is available at the web-site See more notes at the bottom. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One ========================================================== %LIMITS RANGE RELIGIOUS RESPONSIBILITY CONTROL+970808 %PRINCIPLES CHRISTIAN MORALITY LAW LEGALISM SIN 970808 Religious leaders often differ as to the proper range of their responsibilities in regards to other people's beliefs, thoughts, desires, decisions and actions. Some overly zealous religious leaders possess the view that it is their right, privilege, duty and/or responsibility to be aware of, and/or inquire into, the private beliefs, thoughts and/or behaviors of other members of their religious group. Other religious leaders are of the view that it is not their right, privilege, duty and/or responsibility to so intrude into or try to control the private beliefs, thoughts and/or behaviors of other members of their religious group. It is enough to bear witness to one's own beliefs, thoughts and/or convictions about what is right, proper, helpful and integrative. Such a witness, when offered in a non-coercive way, is far more likely to be received respectfully --- than is any attempt to coerce others in any way. It is disintegrative to try to control what one cannot control and has no right, privilege, duty or responsibility to try to control; e.g., other people's private beliefs, thoughts and/or behaviors. Attempts to control most often engender rebellion and alienation, not compliance or conformity. Religious leaders who try to control what they cannot control cause wise people to be skeptical of the merits of the religion of such disintegrative leaders. Often religious leaders come into conflict with each other within and with those outside their own particular religious community --- over conflicting interpretations of scriptures, religious laws, and tacit understandings. There have been long and tragic religious wars which have lead to personal and communal disintegration --- all in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, and others religious leaders who have called Jesus of Nazareth a great prophet. Such conflicts have been clearly contrary to the teachings and lifestyle of Jesus. Such conflicts have led to the continuing fragmentation of the Judeo-Christian religious communities: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Muslim, Bahi, and the endless Protestant denominations and sub-denominations. Such conflicts have lead to countless instances of extreme personal and communal disintegration with the perpetuators of the conflicts being proud of their "accomplishments." Many religious extremists, zealots and fanatics have been able to gather around them disintegrative disciples ---because the followers of Jesus of Nazareth have not committed themselves to any common set of fundamental principles of religious morality; e.g. to the following as being very important to human fulfillment within any group of interdependent healthy communities: 1. Personal and communal integrity --- which entail the transcendence of the presence of dishonesty, coercion, and violence within intra-personal, inter- personal, intra-communal, and inter-communal conflicts. 2. Traditions which lead to the respecting, honoring, and selecting of diverse, mature, and healthy persons to serve as communal leaders --- because the persons are outstanding models of personal integrity, who in balanced ways, have contributed to the development and maintenance of communal integrity. 3. Balanced respect for such integrative leaders and for articulated guidelines indicating various patterns of human behavior which help people move together in cooperative ways towards both personal and communal integrity. 4. The giving and accepting of free gifts of true security which is enjoyed as the freedom to be safely vulnerable in open, honest and intimate dialogue. 5. The open and honest recognition, naming, description, and discussion of patterns of both personal and communal behaviors which tragically undermine both personal and communal integrity through: dishonesty, deception, arrogance, self-righteousness, coercion, violence and alienative preoccupations with issues of control. 6. An emphasis upon balance between various complementary ideas, ideals and values --- which appear to be in conflict with each other; and often lead people to be in conflict with each other over which which ideas, ideals and values shall be dominant over others. 7. In the presence of any conflict an emphasis upon the great importance of continued open and honest dialogue as being essential to the resolution of conflicts in ways which promote both personal and communal integrity. 8. Honesty about and respect for the limited quantity of high quality natural resources which are available to humans on planet Earth: land, soil, water, air, fuels, minerals, plant species, animal species, etc. 9. Respecting the difference between what people can and should try to control; and what people cannot and should not try to control --- because the latter is dishonest, alienative and leads to personal and communal disintegrations. 10. Enabling and listening to what diverse people people want to say about their beliefs, experiences and perceptions. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in Search for Integrity and Honesty (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================
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