spritual-bill-of-rights-4-1

PART ONE

The Seven Spiritual Rights of
Humanity

What they are. Why they’re important.

All of the spiritual rights identified herein are a direct corollary to the Creator’s gift of individual free will and are the spiritual birthright of every person. These precious rights should not be violated by any person or institution.

1 The right of individuals to connect directly with the Creator in their own unique way is fundamental to human spirituality and should be forever protected, honored and cherished

No religious or spiritual institution, ideological or philosophical group, or individual representing any institution or group, or any individual acting alone should presume to act as an intermediary between persons and their Creator. Each of our relationships with the Creator is unique, primary, and sovereign in all matters relating to our spiritual lives.

There is nothing more life-giving for individuals than to discover and build a direct relationship with their Creator. This Creator-human relationship is the living source of spiritual growth and is all-important to these critical times. Although many experience this relationship in the context of religion, it is completely independent of religion or spiritual path. It is our human birthright and can be experienced by anyone.

Because of its unique and intimate nature, this connection must never be abrogated by those who would insert themselves between persons and their Creator. Religions best serve people by taking a supportive role in the sacred Creator-human relationship. Religious leaders appropriately serve by leading group worship, teaching spiritual concepts and facilitating the sharing of spiritual insights; their role should be considered ancillary to the Creator-human relationship.

2Individuals have the right to affirm their inherent goodness as beloved children of the Creator

Humanity is not inherently sinful and unworthy of the Creator’s love. Such teachings prevent humanity from reaching its full potential. They do not reflect the Creator’s infinite love, parental devotion and spiritual empowerment toward humanity. Rather, each of us are created in goodness and beauty as precious seeds of great promise. Religious, philosophical and ideological systems cooperate with the Creator’s high purpose for us when they foster self-respect, thereby unleashing full human potential to solve our serious problems. The human spirit, when awakened and enlivened by a direct relationship with the Creator, naturally yields abundant fruits of loving service, unselfish devotion, courageous loyalty, sincere fairness, enlightened honesty, undying hope, confiding trust, merciful ministry, unfailing goodness, forgiving tolerance and enduring peace.

3 Individuals have the right to freedom from fear, especially fear of divine punishment

The primitive-origin concept of eternal torment, or hell, as well as other concepts of divine chastisement and retribution are demonstrably false. These teachings have long been a source of distress and an obstacle to spiritual growth for innumerable people. They stand in stark contrast to the Creator’s all-loving nature, who never uses fear to control us. In the Creator, we have the personification of our ultimate ideals—the perfect parent, teacher, friend; to portray our Creator as a punisher is simply untrue. No one has anything to fear from the Creator. Rather than accepting this long-held belief, we can choose to uplift one another by adopting more enlightened concepts of the Creator.

The fact that the Creator’s love coexists with the Creator’s justice presents a paradox; in our confusion we may feel that divine punishment is a reasonable solution to human imperfection. But our limited vision cannot compare to the far-seeing eye of an infinite Creator who knows the motives of every human soul and who would not lose one child. Love and mercy are the true attitudes of the Creator. The action of any individual, even the most grievous, is always met with infinite divine patience and understanding.

While it is true that free will choice makes it possible to reject a relationship with the Creator, the theory of an eternity of torture is a human fiction born from an immature desire to punish others.

4Individuals have the right to embark on their own search for truth

Since every human is endowed with a unique identity from the Creator, spiritual insights and experiences vary from person to person. The most sublime of human adventures is that of discovering the Creator for oneself. The diversity of spiritual viewpoints in the human family is a great strength that points to the beauty of the Creator, but in no way dilutes the truth of humanity’s unity as children of the Creator. Religions and spiritual groups should not interfere with any individual’s sincere efforts to comprehend and experience truth. On the contrary, they can inspire spiritual growth by encouraging people to discover for themselves the truths about the Creator and their great purpose and destiny as children of the Creator.

5Individuals have the right to freedom from religious obligations

Participation in religious activities should always be voluntary. Religions become oppressive when they dictate beliefs and behaviors. Since the Creator’s primary attribute is unconditional love, all people are given the divine gift of free will. The Creator does not then revoke this gift by imposing obligations on individuals. Similarly, when religions presume to claim divine penalties for not fulfilling religion-mandated obligations, it violates the spiritual liberty of followers and often results in shame and guilt.

While many religious traditions and rituals contain spiritual truth, they are not a substitute for the primary Creator-human relationship. But they should never be taken away if followers find them to be spiritually nourishing. Rather, the process of developing a personal relationship with the Creator can be prioritized for followers who may downplay this primary relationship because of their attachment to religious practices. When large numbers of these followers discover a relationship with their Creator, it could result in a tremendous collective spiritual illumination that would gather many under the twin unifying concepts of the divine Creator Parent and the family of humanity.

6Individuals have the right to access all spiritual leadership roles

We honor the beauty and diversity of the Creator when we invite all people into spiritual leadership, whether by gender, race, ethnicity, orientation or other identity, thereby including their precious gifts to uplift humanity. It significantly strengthens humanity whenever we do so. When people from all groups are empowered to answer the call to spiritual leadership, the Creator will be truly represented.

The exclusion of women from spiritual leadership, as entrenched in many religions throughout the centuries, has been a great loss for humanity. Their harmonizing influence is needed at all levels of religion to inspire new spiritual perspectives and help prevent tragic abuses.

Human attitudes of superiority and servility cannot reflect the Creator’s love toward all. The gifts of all people, when wholly embraced, will allow humanity’s full potential to emerge and heal our world. A fertile environment of equality is the spiritual salve that beckons us into a new era of light and life.

7Individuals have the right to choose their own loving and committed partners

Along with our personal relationships with the Creator, loving and loyal human partnerships are the most beautiful testaments to love. As loving partners commit to each other’s well-being, face life’s challenges, and share physical, emotional and spiritual intimacy, they create a nurturing foundation for the growth of their souls. Unselfish and spiritually fragrant human partnerships form the basis for strong societies and should be supported by religious and spiritual groups who love the Creator.

PART TWO

Putting the Spiritual Rights
into Practice

Important Issues in Global Spiritual Renewal