On July 20, 2023, Professors World Peace Academy President Dr. Frank Kaufmann spoke to the IAPD webinar titled Africa at the Crossroads: The Role of Spiritual and Religious Leaders.
His assignment and presentation was on how to overcome the divisive tendencies that may emerge within religion, and work to promote dialogue, mutual respect, and cooperation so that we may more effectively work to solve the critical challenges of our time, atheism, secularism, and religious persecution, including poverty, hunger, injustice, environmental degradation, family breakdown, immorality, corruption, conflict, and violence?
Here are the Speakers of the event:
This is the presentation given by Dr Frank Kafumann.
Presentation 3: Family Breakdown and Various Faith Traditions
The concerns, premise, and proposition below are from the conference organizers and expressed in the conference invitation and backgrounder
Poverty, hunger, injustice, environmental degradation, family breakdown, immorality, corruption, conflict, and violence,
Religion should be a solution
Instead of being a solution religion, too often, has given rise to conflict and immorality.
From here on is the writing and account offered by Dr. Kaufmann
- Religion is rarely accused of giving rise to immorality.
- On the other hand the idea that religion gives rise to conflict is widespread.
Does Religion give rise to immorality?
- No it does not.
- I would say rather, “religion is rife with immorality.”
Two forms of immorality.
- Sexual immorality, and
- Social immorality.
Sexual immorality is the highest, most demonic, and most egregious of all wrongdoing. It attacks the most fragile, tender, elevated, sacred part of people, namely their love. It attacks our deepest point that makes life meaningful. Sexual immorality attacks in other people, their very source of hope, trust, and every basis for noble and dignified life.
Social immorality on the hand attacks life. It arises from a demonic addiction to wealth, power, and the sick obsession to control people and exploit the fruits of their lives. For even a small bit of personal gain people are willing to impoverish the lives of others. To deprive them and their children of their basic needs, their dignity, education, and opportunity. This is immoral.
- Religion does not give rise to these. Religion unilaterally and unequivocally opposes both these sins and evils that people inflict on others, and tries to provide insights and means to avoid both. .
- Are religions rife with these? Yes. The reasons would have to be discussed another time due to time constraints.
Conflict and Division
- The second concern cited about religion is that it gives rise to divisive tendencies.
- This is not true. All people are plagued by divisive tendencies. It is a human problem not a religious one.
- The issue with religion and conflict is that religion concerns are so deeply deeply important to our lives that it is more difficult than with other things to find ways past differences and disagreements.
[Example] I could probably, eventually get past the fact that someone stole my car. I may never get past rage and hatred, if somebody stole my child. My point: When things are extremely important, it is harder to rise above difference.
- The people who cannot understand religious conflict are those who do not understand that religion is important.
Religion and Conflict
- The problem is that all religions have the resources to help their believers overcome conflict. This is the job of religion. This is why people look on religious conflict with derision and find it hypocritical.
Here is the PowerPoint presentation
- The family is the touchpoint between heaven and earth. It is the place meant to translate the dream of God into reality on earth.
- The family gives every human being a magical gift. That is the love and the bonds that mysteriously arise in family.
- [Example] A completely bad man or woman.
- Even such a person wells up with love for their child. How on earth did that happen? This person is the opposite of loving. They are cruel, evil, hateful, destructive. Yet with their child is born, and suddenly there is love in them!
- What about the child? Why are they bound in infinite love for their parents? Where does this come from? Why doesn’t a child be bound to this lady or that? Again, the child has something in it that comes into her mysteriously. Where does this come from?
If this breaks down, the very secret of life gets deformed and broken.
If on the other hand we treasure these loves, nurture them, grow them, and put them at our center, then all else in life will reflect that and become similarly mysterious and magical.
Family and Conflict
The family is also the place that teaches us how to reconcile differences and conflict.
Family Breakdown and Faith Traditions
The issue of family breakdown is not a question related to different faith traditions.
So far as this question is concerned, this is all that is needed: Sit with a Christian, a Muslim, Yoruba, or any believer from any faith.. Ask them, “Does your religion want to make people good, and society peaceful, free, and prosperous?” If they answer yes, respond in this way, “Turn every last penny and every last breath in your religion to raise your believers to cherish, nurture, and grow God’s free gift of love that is given through family.
This will fix our troubles.
You can find here more information about the event: