Whatever your spiritual path, chances are that the primary tenets of your faith include universal love, acceptance, and compassion. Yet three thousand years after Moses, twenty-five hundred years after the Buddha, two thousand years after Jesus, and fifteen hundred years after Muhammad, we are still divided by our differences. Religious intolerance, discrimination, even persecution and violence make up the not-so-golden rule.
"The Interfaith Alternative" shows us how we can celebrate each other without fear of losing our own identity. It illuminates the path to creating a nurturing spiritual community that honors and includes all religious languages--an alternative to Jews worshiping only with Jews, Christians with Christians, and Muslims with Muslims. In doing so, it demonstrates that through coming together in a mutually supportive environment we can concentrate on our shared desire to remake the world into a compassionate, loving place.
At its core, Interfaith is about community and justice. Once we truly embrace diversity, we embrace our common humanity. A powerful antidote to the current climate of fear and mistrust, "The Interfaith Alternative" argues that it is not "how" we encounter the sacred, but what we "do" about it that counts--there are positive alternatives to religious lines in the sand.
Steven Greenebaum is an Interfaith minister whose experiences directing choirs of different faiths and denominations have helped him to understand the profound wisdom of many spiritual traditions. Steven has dedicated his life to working for social and environmental justice. He is the founder of the Living Interfaith Church in Lynnwood, Washington.