Common Ground - World Religions                                                                     

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    Toward no crime have men shown themselves so cold-bloodedly cruel as in punishing differences of
    belief.
    -  James Russell Lowell
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    Dr. Frank Kardasz

    The Golden Rule: Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.

    Historically, law enforcement officers in the United States were mostly of Judeo-Christian religious
    backgrounds. With the shift in recent years towards hiring officers whose backgrounds and beliefs more
    closely approximate the community they serve, the demographics are changing.

    In and around the workplace, public employers must maintain the separation between church and state.
    In most workplaces, employees are discouraged or prohibited from advocating their personal religious
    beliefs during working hours.

    A common theme found in many of the world's religions is the "golden rule", treating others as you wish to
    be treated. A variation of this theme found it's way into police dogma in 1930 when George Fletcher
    Chandler, the first superintendent of the New York State Police wrote The Policeman's Manual: A Standard
    Guide to the Latest Methods and Duties of American Police. (1) In it, he wrote,

    In a police officer, common sense is more than a virtue; it is invaluable.
    Putting yourself in the other fellow's place and dealing with him as you
    would wish a member of your family dealt with, is a principle of good
    police work.

    In the field, officers sometimes encounter citizen-advocates holding strong religious beliefs. Officers
    should have an understanding of various religions in order to interact professionally with members of
    each religious group. Finding common ground is an important element towards professional community
    relations and ethical treatment. Where can common ground be found between contending religions?

    The following excerpts from the beliefs of ten different religions are all variations on The Golden Rule:

    Brahamanism:
    This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.
    Mahabharata, 5,1517

    Buddhism:
    Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
    Udana-Varga, 5,18

    Christianity:
    All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.
    Matthew, 7:12

    Confucianism:
    Surley it is the maxim of loving-kindness:
    Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.
    Analects, 15, 23

    Greeks:
    Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.
    Socrates (469 BC - 399 BC)

    Islam:
    No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
    Sunnah

    Judaism:
    What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen.  That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
    Talmud, Shabbat, 31,a

    Native American:
    Respect for all life is the foundation.
    The Great Law of Peace

    Taoism:
    Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.
    T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien

    Zoroastrianism:
    That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself.

    Reference

    (1) Chandler, G. F. (1930). The policeman's manual: A standard guide to the latest methods and
    duties of the american police. New York: Funk and Wagnalls. 22.
Dr. Frank Kardasz  P.O. Box 45048 Phoenix, AZ 85064
e-mail:  
kardasz(at)kardasz.org
Ethics Training for Law Enforcement