The Case Against the United Religions Initiative

The United Religions Initiative (URI), founded in 1995 by Episcopal Bishop William Swing, intends to create a spiritual equivalent of the United Nations, encompassing all "religions, spiritual expressions, and indigenous traditions." The URI Charter says that the organization's purpose is "to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation" and to "end religiously motivated violence;" they also plan to "create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings."

The URI has support among some leaders of Asian religions (including the Dalai Lama), some liberal Protestants, and Reform Jews, dissident Catholics, and leaders of the state-run churches in China. URI activities have occurred in 58 countries on all continents, and in 33 states in the U.S. The URI claims that 1 million people participated in its 3-day global "religious cease-fire" from 31 December 1999 through 2 January 2000. The Vatican, the Eastern Orthodox, and Evangelical Protestants oppose the URI.

The URI has friends and funding sources in high places-including George Soros, the billionaire currency speculator, and Richard Blum, the wealthy husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). URI allies include Mikhail Gorbachev's star-studded State of the World Forum, and the Earth Council-headed by Maurice Strong, a wealthy Canadian advocate of world government. The URI also enjoys tacit support or active cooperation from most other interfaith organizations, including the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, the World Conference on Religion and Peace, the Temple of Understanding, and the North American Interfaith Network.

Despite the seemingly-benign goals of the URI, Christians should firmly oppose this movement.

URI leaders and their allies repeatedly equate evangelism to manipulative "proselytizing" and violence. If the URI vision prevails, Christian evangelism based on the unique, saving identity and acts of Christ would be ruled out. As Bishop Swing says, "there will have to be a godly cease-fire, a temporary truce where the absolute exclusive claims of each [religion] will be honored but an agreed upon neutrality will be exercised in terms of proselytizing, condemning, murdering or dominating. These will not be tolerated in the United Religions zone-the whole world. URI leaders say "proselytizing" is the work of "fundamentalists," and URI board member Paul Chafee says, "We can't afford fundamentalists in a world this small."

Despite the URI's insistent denial that it intends to mix the world's religions or start a New Religion, URI worship ceremonies and the writings of URI leaders point in that direction. At the 1995 interfaith service that launched the URI, "holy water from the Ganges, the Amazon, the Red Sea, the River Jordan, and other sacred streams" was mixed in a single "bowl of unity" on the altar of Grace Cathedral. Bishop Swing made the meaning of the ritual clear: "As these sacred waters find confluence here, may the city that chartered the nations of the world bring together the religions of the world." In June 2000, the URI Charter was signed in Pittsburgh at a gathering of 275 interfaith activists from around the world. Rowan Fairgrove-an avowed Wiccan long active in the URI-reported that this chant started in the URI conclave: "Gathered in here in the mystery of the hour/Gathered here in one strong body/Gathered here in our unity and power/Spirit draw near." At this meeting, Bishop Swing said, "This is the spirit's property, and no one owns it." Fifty years from now, people from all over the world will flock to Pittsburgh in tribute of this signing." The "spirit" thus invoked was left un-named.

In The Coming United Religions, Bishop Swing has written, "The time comes, though, when common language and a common purpose for all religions and spiritual movements must be discerned and agreed upon. Merely respecting and understanding other religions is not enough." Since the purpose of religion is the service of God, Bishop Swing's call for "all religions and spiritual movements" to have a common purpose" is, in effect, a call for all to worship a common god.

The URI's desire to "manifest love and justice among all life in our Earth community" does not extend to the lives of the unborn. Although URI documents denounce many of the world's evils, they say nothing against abortion or artificial contraception. Bishop Swing has likened "the insane expansion of population" to exponential growth of algae in a lake. Two high-level URI executives-Canon Charles Gibbs, URI executive director, and the Rev. William Rankin, the URI vice president-have signed a manifesto issued in early 2000 by the Sexual Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS). This "Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing" opposes "unsustainable population growth" and favors "blessing of same-sex unions," ordination of women, artificial contraception, abortion, and "lifelong, age appropriate sexuality education in schools, seminaries, and community settings."

The URI supports efforts by Hans Kung and others to create a new Global Ethic, and supports the push by Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev, founders of Green Cross International, for an Earth Charter. Gorbachev views the Earth Charter as "a kind of Ten Commandments, a 'Sermon on the Mount,' that provides a guide for human behavior toward the environment in the next century and beyond." The Green Cross Earth Charter Philosophy" makes clear the philosophy of these proposed codes: "The protection of the Biosphere, as the Common Interest of Humanity, must not be subservient to the rules of state sovereignty, demands of the free market or individual rights."

The URI promotes religious relativism, the notion that all religions are equally true and are equally paths to God. In The Coming United Religions, Bishop Swing illustrates this belief. Six lines represent the major faiths-Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and the indigenous religions; like multiple paths up a mountain, these lines converge from below on a single point, a divine "unity which transcends the world." At the top of the mountain are the esoteric believers from each faith, who "intuit that they were ultimately in unity with people of other religions because all come together at the apex, in the Divine. Everyone below the line would be identified as exoteric. These people in all religions would wed the form of faith to the content or final truth of their own faith. Thus, the forms of one's faith become absolutized because these forms, alone, are held to carry the truth." Christ, the Incarnate Word and the only Savior, is thus demoted to one of the many "forms of one's faith."

Bishop Swing has said, "The United Religions will not be a rejection of ancient religion but will be found buried in the depths of these religions." If United Religions were "buried in the depths" of Christianity, countless martyrs could have avoided death by burning incense before the statue of the Roman Emperor, and today's martyrs in Sudan and China could apostatize with a clear conscience. Maybe martyrs are passť, anyhow; URI Vice President Rankin says, "The United Religions Initiative exists to bring people together from all the religions of the world, to create a world where no one has to die because of God, or for God, any more."

Bishop Swing told the 1997 URI summit conference: "If you have come here because of a spirit of colossal energy is being born in the loins of earth, then come here and be a midwife. Assist, in awe, at the birth of new hope." The Catholic Church speaks for all orthodox Christians in rejecting such utopian fantasies: "The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the 'intrinsically perverse' political form of a secular messianism."

Organizations should be know by the company they keep. Enthusiastic URI supporters include New Age authors Robert Muller (former assistant secretary-general of the UN), Neale Donald Walsch (author of the best-selling Conversations With God books), and Barbara Marx Hubbard. They draw inspiration from Theosophy, an occult movement started in 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavatasky [whose work The Secret Doctrine was found by Hitler's beside table at his death-JS]. Theosophy has had significant influence on the New Age movement worldwide. Its teachings include praising Lucifer as the bringer of light to humanity, denouncing orthodox Christianity and Judaism as "separative" and "obsolete," and forecasting a coming age of enlightened, spiritual collectivism-after the cleansing of earth to remove those who do not accept progress.

The URI proclaims its openness to all "spiritual expressions," and its logo-15 miniature religious symbols in a circle around the letters "URI"-includes a Wiccan pentagram, as well as an empty circle to represent "the people of all beliefs yet to come." A motley crew has responded to the URI's invitation. Participants in URI events have included the "New Cult Awareness Network," the World Federalist Association, followers of "Supreme Master Ching Hai," the Pagan Sanctuary Network, Druids, the Temple of Isis, the Covenant of the Goddess, the Coven of the Stone and the Mirror, and the Wittenberg Center for Alternative Resources (an interfaith seminary whose core courses include such topics as "crystal and ethnic healing.").

The appeal of the URI and its New Age allies is based on some truths. Killing in the name of God is an abomination. Badly managed economic growth has harmed the natural environment. Many people and societies appear to have placed love of money and comfort above love of God and neighbor. Churches and temples in all faiths are tainted by hypocrisy and bigotry among their adherents. These elements of truth in the URI's critique of current society may draw a wide audience for the rest of the message of the URI and its allies. This would fit with the usual pattern of temptation; a mixture of lies and truth is likely to draw more people away from God than a message that has no prima facie appeal or plausibility. So it has been from the beginning; it was not a rotten, worm-eaten fruit that the serpent offered to Eve. Instead, "when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate." (Gen. 3:6)

 

United Religions Initiative

URI Charter

The URI's Charter has been spoken into being by a myriad of voices from around the world. Its essential spirit, values and vision are expressed in the Preamble, Purpose and Principles. Taken together, they inspire, ground and guide all URI activity. The Charter includes:

Preamble - the call that inspires us to create the URI now and continue to create it everyday;

Purpose - the statement that draws us together in common cause;

Principles - the fundamental beliefs that guide our structure, decisions and content;

Organization design - the way we organize to enhance cooperation and magnify spirit;

Guidelines for Action - an action agenda to inspire and guide our worldwide URI community.

The global URI organization will be born in June 2000. You are warmly invited to participate in the birth and the growth of the URI and become part of this extraordinary force for good in the world. This Charter is your invitation to participate in its on-going creation. Welcome!

THE PREAMBLE, PURPOSE AND PRINCIPLES

Preamble

We, people of diverse religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions throughout the world, hereby establish the United Religions Initiative to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.

We respect the uniqueness of each tradition, and differences of practice or belief.

We value voices that respect others, and believe that sharing our values and wisdom can lead us to act for the good of all.

We believe that our religious, spiritual lives, rather than dividing us, guide us to build community and respect for one another.

Therefore, as interdependent people rooted in our traditions, we now unite for the benefit of our Earth community.

We unite to build cultures of peace and justice.

We unite to heal and protect the Earth.

We unite to build safe places for conflict resolution, healing and reconciliation.

We unite to support freedom of religion and spiritual expression, and the rights of all individuals and peoples as set forth in international law.

We unite in responsible cooperative action to bring the wisdom and values of our religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions to bear on the economic, environmental, political and social challenges facing our Earth community.

We unite to provide a global opportunity for participation by all people, especially by those whose voices are not often heard.

We unite to celebrate the joy of blessings and the light of wisdom in both movement and stillness.

We unite to use our combined resources only for nonviolent, compassionate action, to awaken to our deepest truths, and to manifest love and justice among all life in our Earth community.

Purpose

The purpose of the United Religions Initiative is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.

Principles

1. The URI is a bridge-building organization, not a religion.

2. We respect the sacred wisdom of each religion, spiritual expression and indigenous tradition.

3. We respect the differences among religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions.

4. We encourage our members to deepen their roots in their own tradition.

5. We listen and speak with respect to deepen mutual understanding and trust.

6. We give and receive hospitality.

7. We seek and welcome the gift of diversity and model practices that do not discriminate.

8. We practice equitable participation of women and men in all aspects of the URI.

9. We practice healing and reconciliation to resolve conflict without resorting to violence.

10. We act from sound ecological practices to protect and preserve the Earth for both present and future generations.

11. We seek and offer cooperation with other interfaith efforts.

12. We welcome as members all individuals, organizations and associations who subscribe to the Preamble, Purpose and Principles.

13. We have the authority to make decisions at the most local level that includes all the relevant and affected parties.

14. We have the right to organize in any manner, at any scale, in any area, and around any issue or activity which is relevant to and consistent with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles.

15. Our deliberations and decisions shall be made at every level by bodies and methods that fairly represent the diversity of affected interests and are not dominated by any.

16. We (each part of the URI) shall relinquish only such autonomy and resources as are essential to the pursuit of the Preamble, Purpose and Principles.

17. We have the responsibility to develop financial and other resources to meet the needs of our part, and to share financial and other resources to help meet the needs of other parts.

18. We maintain the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct, prudent use of resources, and fair and accurate disclosure of information.

19. We are committed to organizational learning and adaptation.

20. We honor the richness and diversity of all languages and the right and responsibility of participants to translate and interpret the Charter, Articles, Bylaws and related documents in accordance with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles, and the spirit of the United Religions Initiative.

21. Members of the URI shall not be coerced to participate in any ritual or be proselytized.

ORGANIZATION DESIGN

The URI is an organization where people act from their deepest values and claim their right and responsibility to do extraordinary things to serve interfaith cooperation on a local and a global level. The URI is made up of groups of people all over the world who take many different kinds of actions to serve a common purpose.

Individuals, associations or organizations seeking membership in the URI shall create a Cooperation Circle (CC) or join an existing Cooperation Circle. Groups are called Cooperation Circles because they are created by people who come together to initiate acts of interfaith cooperation. Every URI Circle determines its own unique purpose, membership, and ways of making decisions that are relevant and consistent with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles. If a Cooperation Circle chooses to coordinate its efforts with other Cooperation Circles, it may decide to form a Multiple Cooperation Circle (MCC). If two or more Multiple Cooperation Circles wish to coordinate efforts they may form a Multi-Multiple Cooperation Circle (MMCC). See diagram on page 8.

To provide initial stability and interfaith diversity, Cooperation Circles must have at least seven (7) members who represent at least three (3) different religions, spiritual expressions or indigenous traditions.

Rights of Members

Each URI Cooperation Circle has the right:

to organize in any manner and around any issue or activity which is relevant to and consistent with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles;

to determine its own process of governance and decision-making that is in accordance with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles;

to choose to combine with or join any other URI Circles;

to participate in the selection of Trustees to serve on the Global Council;

to use the name "United Religions Initiative" and its related names, abbreviations, logos, and images so long as they are used in furtherance of and in accordance with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles of the URI;

to review and accept, on behalf of the URI, applications for membership from individuals, organizations and associations seeking to join in pursuit of the Purpose.

Responsibilities of Members

Each URI Cooperation Circle accepts responsibility:

to act in accordance with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles;

to determine its own process of governance and decision-making that is in accordance with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles;

to take actions to encourage and ensure that its own members act in accordance with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles;

to actively use its best efforts to achieve the Purpose in accordance with the Principles;

to adhere to the by-laws and operating procedures as they evolve in the life of the URI;

to communicate best practices and stories and highlights of activities with other parts of the URI;

to develop financial resources to meet its own needs;

to share financial and other resources to help meet the needs of other Circles;

to pay any dues and/or offer such appropriate contribution as the Global Council may establish;

to keep accurate and current records of its members, financial transactions and activities;

to indemnify and hold the Trustees, the United Religions Initiative, its employees and representatives, harmless from any liabilities arising out of or in any way caused by a URI Circle's breach of any provision of the Articles, by-laws or operating procedures.

Application for Membership

Individuals, associations, and organizations may form their own Cooperation Circle and may apply for membership directly to the Global Council or to an existing MCC or MMCC.

Affiliates

Individuals, associations and organizations who value and support the URI Preamble, Purpose and Principles may become Affiliates. Affiliates desire to be informed of and to participate in the work of the URI but do not desire to have the rights and responsibilities of membership. Affiliates may be asked to pay a fee and/or offer such appropriate contribution as the Global Council may establish in order to participate in URI activities and the communication network. Affiliates may apply to the Global Council or to URI Cooperation Circles.

The Global Council

The purpose of the Global Council (GC) is to support the Membership in making real the vision and values of the Preamble, Purpose and Principles. The Global Council's central spirit is not one of control, but rather one of service informed by deep listening to the hopes and aspirations of the whole URI community. The Global Council will inspire and support the URI worldwide community in cooperative global action. It is envisioned that their deliberations will be tempered with tenderness for one another and for the Earth community. It is envisioned that their actions will reflect a yearning to help people of the URI fulfill their aspirations to be a positive force for peace, justice, and healing in the world.

The Global Council is responsible to develop financial and other resources to meet the needs of the URI, Inc. The Global Council will accept eligible applicants for membership to the URI and manage the affairs of the URI, Inc.

Global Council Trustees

The term Trustee signifies that trustees carry the trust for the URI world membership. The Trustees of the URI will be exemplars who manifest the vision and values of the Preamble, Purpose and Principles, and who will model leadership and service by their actions. They will have a deep commitment to serve the whole of the URI community.

Composition of the Global Council

A maximum of twenty four (24) trustees elected by the world membership through elections in eight (8) regions.

A maximum of twelve (12) trustees selected at-large by the GC to meet the need for greater diversity or a particular expertise.

A maximum of three (3) trustees designated from among the members of a Transition Advisory Committee composed of members of the current URI Board of Directors. The Transition Advisory Committee will remain in place until June 2005.

One (1) Trustee shall be the Founding Trustee to honor the unique role of the URI founder.

One (1) Trustee shall be the Executive Trustee to ensure that the URI staff is represented.

Selection Process for Trustees

To ensure that there are people from diverse geographic perspectives on the Global Council, 24 seats will be filled through an election process. URI Circles within a geographic region can select up to three (3) trustees from among the eight (8) regions listed below. The regions are: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, North America, and the Pacific. The eighth (8) region is a non-geographic region that includes URI Circles that are multi-regional in composition.

To ensure optimum diversity and to meet the need for particular expertise at the GC, twelve (12) seats will be filled by appointment by the GC.

Trustees are chosen every two years to serve on the GC.

Models of reflection, meditation and prayer which deepen understanding of the qualities of leadership which embody service and spiritual wisdom are encouraged as part of every governance selection process.

Global Assembly

A Global Assembly of all the Members of the URI is planned to take place every two years at a place designated by the Global Council. The Global Assembly will be a vibrant gathering where people deepen their experience of living into the Preamble, Purpose, and Principles as a global community. The Global Assembly will magnify everyone's capacity to carry forward their dreams and initiatives, address visions of collective actions for service in the world, and give voice to collective hopes and aspirations. The Global Assembly will align strengths and call forth unprecedented cooperation. The Global Assembly will celebrate the totality of the URI and offer opportunities to give and receive hospitality, to share work, and to offer help to each other.

GUIDELINES FOR ACTION

In light of the essentially self-organizing nature of the URI which gives members freedom to choose what they want to do, the following Agenda for Action is offered as guidance for URI activities. Inspired by a Javanese phrase, Memayu Hayuning Bawano, which when translated means "to work for the safety, happiness and welfare of all life," the URI seeks to serve as a moral voice and a source of action grounded in contemplation in each of the following areas:

Sharing the Wisdom and Cultures of Faith Traditions - actions to promote dialogue, education and kinship among the diverse religions and spiritual traditions of the world.

Nurturing Cultures of Healing and Peace - actions to develop cultures in which all people can live without fear of violence.

Rights and Responsibilities - actions to uphold human rights.

Ecological Imperatives - actions to uphold the welfare and healing of the entire Earth community.

Sustainable Just Economics - actions to bring a spiritual perspective to the tremendous gap between rich and poor.

Supporting the Overall URI - local, regional and global actions to support all URI activities.

As of mid-1999, it is uncertain whether the United Religions Initiative will become a significant worldwide religious movement, or whether it will fade into oblivion, one more of mankind's proud attempts to create spiritual unity on mankind's own terms. Even if the URI itself fails, the wealthy and influential people associated with the New Age and globalist movements are likely to try again to achieve the same utopian goals within the next few years. These people are devoted and persistent, and will not be easily deterred by the failure of one initiative.

By exposing the URI, I also hope to bring to light the social, political, and spiritual agenda of the movements that are associated with the URI now - and the movements that may later follow the trail blazed by the URI. I have paid the URI the compliment of taking its documents, its leaders, and its allies seriously. Those who, like the URI and its allies, have "a mouth speaking great things" (Dan. 7: 8, 20) deserve such scrutiny and exposure.

The URI has utopian goals, unorthodox theology, and an expectation of imminent social and spiritual transformation for the world. In addition, like its globalist and New Age allies, the URI plans to use the millennial fervor associated with the year 2000 to assist in building the movement. Therefore, the URI deserves to be known as a millennial cult - a respectable, well-connected, politically correct millennial cult, but a cult nevertheless. Cultists who set dates for the Second Coming, max out their credit cards, and head for the hills to meet Jesus in the air - the Rapture - do harm primarily to themselves and their families, and are the occasion for some press coverage ridiculing the Church. The cult of United Religions will, if it succeeds, do more damage than any number of Rapture cults could do. A successful United Religions would lead to the spread of irrational New Age beliefs and practices, and would repopulate the "naked public square" of the West with a pantheon of idols. The collectivist "global ethic" fostered by the United Religions and its allies would provide a fig leaf of respectability for further expansion of national and international government power at the expense of individuals, families, and the Church.

Let's give Bishop Swing the last word. On September 11, 1996, he extolled the URI to a meeting of 200 San Francisco Episcopal lay leaders, and said: "We're talking about salvation history here. If I'm wrong, I'm dead wrong."(30) The Bishop has spoken; the case is closed.

Footnotes:

NOTE: Internet document citations are based on research done between September 1997 and August 1999. Web citations are accurate as of the time the Web page was printed, but some documents may have been moved to a different Web site since then, or they may have been removed entirely from the Web.

1 Bishop William Swing, "The United Religions Initiative," document issued in April 1996 by the URI; p. 1

2 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 31

3 Transcribed by Lee Penn from URI-provided tape of URI forum at Grace Cathedral, held on 2/2/97

4 Don Lattin, "Religions of World Celebrated With Prayers to Dozen Deities," San Francisco Chronicle, June 26, 1995, p. A1, front page section

5 Richard Scheinin, "Interfaith ceremony promotes world peace," San Jose Mercury News, June 26, 1995; Internet document, p. 2

6 Don Lattin, "Religions of World Celebrated With Prayers to Dozen Deities," San Francisco Chronicle, June 26, 1995, pp. A1 and A11, front page section

7 United Religions Initiative, "Benchmark Draft Charter," Internet document, http://www.united-religions.org/charter/index.shtml, Draft Agenda for Action, III. Ecological Imperatives, Rationale, p. 10

8 United Religions Initiative, "Benchmark Draft Charter," Internet document, http://www.united-religions.org/charter/index.shtml, Draft Agenda for Action, III. Ecological Imperatives, Project Ideas, Project 7, p. 11

9 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 63

10 Fred Matser, "Nature Is My God," an interview with Mikhail Gorbachev, Resurgence 184, Internet document, http://www.gn.apc.org/resurgence/184/gorbachev.htm, p. 3

11 Green Cross International, "Interview," Los Angeles Times, May 8, 1997, Internet document, http://www4.gve.ch/gci/GreenCrossFamily/gorby/newspeeches/interviews/laTimes.html, p. 4

12 The Earth Charter Campaign, "The Earth Charter: The Green Cross Philosophy," Internet document, http://www.earthcharter.org/report/special/greencross.htm, p. 5

13 Don Lattin, interview with Bishop William Swing - "Bishop's Idea for a Leap of Faiths," San Francisco Chronicle, June 22, 1997, p. 3/Z1

14 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Salt of the Earth: Christianity and the Catholic Church at the End of the Millennium - An Interview with Peter Seewald, translated by Adrian Walker, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1997, ISBN 0-89870-640-8; p. 165

15 Carol Barnwell, " 'United Religions' is Bishop Swing's goal," The Lambeth Daily, Issue 4, 22 July 1998; Internet document, http://anglican.org/online/Lambeth-Daily/22/UR.html, p. 1

16 Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations, "Annual Report 1997," Internet document, http://www.aco.org/united-nations/annual97.htm, p. 2

17 Baxter and Sax, (first names not stated), "Exclusive Interview: Bishop William Swing, Head of the United Religions Organization," Endtime, July/August 1998, Internet document, http://www.endtime.com/bishop.htm, p. 11

18 The Center for Progressive Christianity, "President's Report, February 1999," section on the United Religions Initiative by William Rankin, Internet document, http://www.tcpc.org/newsFeb99.html, p. 6

19 Bishop William Swing, The Coming United Religions, United Religions Initiative and CoNexus Press, 1998, ISBN 0-9637897-5-9; p. 64

20 The Center for Progressive Christianity, "President's Report, February 1999," section on the United Religions Initiative by William Rankin, Internet document, http://www.tcpc.org/newsFeb99.html, p. 8

21 Bishop William Swing, "Invitation Letter," Journal of the United Religions Initiative, issue 3, Summer 1997, p. 3

22 Bishop William Swing, "Opening Address" to the 1997 URI summit conference; Internet document, http://www.united-religions.org/youth/welcome/swingspeech.htm, p. 2

23 Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Image Books/Doubleday edition, 1995, ISBN 0-385-47967-0, sections 675-676, pp. 193-194

24 Dennis Delman, "For the Sake of the Children, We've Got to Talk," Bishop Swing Tells Commonwealth Club Gathering," Pacific Church News, August/September 1999, p. 25

25 Dennis Delman, "For the Sake of the Children, We've Got to Talk," Bishop Swing Tells Commonwealth Club Gathering," Pacific Church News, August/September 1999, p. 25

26 Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance, Harper San Francisco, 1988, ISBN 0-06-062915-0, p. xi

27 Donor list, Grace Cathedral Magazine, Spring 1995, p. 9; covers donations made to the Cathedral capital campaign as of March 1, 1995; Rockefeller donated at least $10,000, according to this listing.

28 Gerald O. Barney, Global 2000 Revisited: Changing Course, Internet document, http://www.cgv.org/millennium/g2000r/course.html, pp. 2-3

29 Millennium Institute, "Threshold 21 Update," December 1997, Vol. 1, no. 1, Internet document, http://www.igc.apc.org/millennium/news/t21upd01.html, p. 8

30 From notes taken by Lee Penn of the speech given by Bishop Swing at the 9/11/96 meeting of the San Francisco Deanery for the Episcopal Diocese of California

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