Note to Christians & Jews
About Agape, Love, And The Love Ethic
The Agape Order seeks to educate about the historic notion of Agape, the principle of "brotherly love," and organize a critical mass of interest and activity around this idea and its practice. Individuals and institutions of every kind, including those with a religious orientation, are encouraged to join, affiliate, or make use of our resources.
Most people are unfamiliar with this principle, except perhaps in its vaguest outlines. The Christian faith, however, is notable in its explicit call for active love of neighbor. Yet Christians, like anyone else, can be swallowed up whole by the demands, distractions, and compulsions of our "modern" money-oriented society, with the corresponding abandonment or evisceration of values this often causes.
Many Christians, therefore, can benefit from a gentle and respectful reminder that Christianity requires them, as a formal mandate and essential obligation of their faith, to follow the second great commandment of Christ: "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
Accordingly, we encourage Christians to join the Agape Order, or simply seek information, assistance, and support. That's why we exist!
Finally, we note that many religious believers of all faiths, not only Christians, are unfamiliar in varying degrees with the tenets, precepts, and ethico-instructional codes of their faith, and might benefit from a re-examination and re-acquaintance with those principles.
Hillel the Elder, the famous Jewish religious leader who lived in Jerusalem during the time of King Herod, and one of the most important figures in Jewish history, recognized as the fundamental principle of the Jewish moral law the Biblical precept of brotherly love. He stated:
"What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man: this is the whole Law; the rest is the explanation."
(Babylonian Talmud, tractate Shabbat 31a)
In fact, the web site Judaism 101 asserts, and appears to comprehensively elucidate, the claim that the concrete practice of brotherhood, love, and kindness are integral to Judaism.
Thus, those who follow Judaism might also consider membership or affiliation with the Agape Order, as a reinforcement and assist to their mandated practice of brotherly love.
Over and against the assertions, above, there is an apparent substantive strain of bigotry by some Jews against non-Jews, in America and presumably elsewhere. I base this unfortunate assertion on:
Doesn't bigotry exist among some within all faiths against those not of that faith? In the modern age, Christians and Buddhists, for example, appear to harbor no such bigotry, at least not officially. In Judaism, however, there is an apparent strain of anti-Gentile sentiment, official and unofficial, that is simply absent from the written and oral expression of many other faiths. Indeed, it appears to be Jews, or a contingent within Judaism, that steadfastly rails, and cautions their fellow Jews, against intermarriage and what it terms "assimilation."
The website My Jewish Learning states and acknowledges:"Traditional Jewish law treats Jews better than non-Jews."
And states further:
"Other rules assume that gentiles are, at best unreliable and at worst malevolent and violent. For this reason, a gentile is grouped together with dishonest butchers, gamblers, usurers and thieves...."
Even admonitions by Jewish authorities to fellow Jews toward cooperation with non-Jews appears motivated in many instances not by a basic respect, indeed love, for non-Jewish persons and an acknowledgement of their inherent worth and our common humanity, but merely by the desire to "keep the peace" and prevent animosity toward Jews:
Moreover, the popular Jewish writer Gila Manolson speaks of:
"ahavat Yisrael (love of your fellow Jew)"
...and states "...in Judaism there is the concept of kol Yisrael araivim zeh lazeh, every person in the Jewish community is responsible for each other.http://starofdavida.blogspot.com/2011/03/star-of-davida-interviews-gila-manolson.html
Why does Jewish law and sentiment limit its solicitude to Jews? Such a circumscribed, limited, and pedestrian view is antithetical to the fundamental notion that all on this planet are brothers and sisters in One human Family. This latter view is propounded by The Agape Order, and by many belief systems and individual thinkers and writers around the world, now and through history, whether religious or not.
Bigotry, from Jewish or any other human quarter, is worrisome, because like all bigotry it divides the one human family. We must work together in love to educate brothers and sisters away from such sentiment. Belief systems predicated on bigotry or whose superstructure contains elements of bigotry must be renewed, re-engineered, or even abolished, as necessary and appropriate.
I invite correction to these remarks as warranted.
The Agape Order
The Agape Order is neither a "religious" nor a "secular" organization. It is a brotherhood and sisterhood of persons who can originate in any social quarter--religious, spiritual, or secular--to come together in belief in Agape, the principle of love. The Order has no metaphysics, and so neither espouses nor denies any metaphysical system; it has an ethics, rooted in a wholehearted belief in Agape, the love ethic. Thus, the organization focuses exclusively on the principle of love--in theory, and especially in practice.
~ Love Yourself, Love Others ~
THE AGAPE ORDER