More Than 60 Cities Sign the Charter for Compassion to Make St. Louis a More ‘Compassionate’ City After Ferguson

A view of St. Louis, Mo., at night. Photo courtesy of Daniel Schwen via Wikimedia Commons
A view of St. Louis, Mo., at night. Photo courtesy of Daniel Schwen via Wikimedia Commons

Some might argue that if there is one thing this city could use more of right now, it’s compassion.

Even before civil unrest surfaced in the region after Officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, local leaders were trying to find a way to cultivate more of it. But how exactly? And how would we know when we had enough?

Unlike other commodities, compassion is difficult to quantify.

But that hasn’t stopped the formation of a worldwide movement for compassionate cities. St. Louis is the latest municipality to vie to be part of the sympathetic pack, which includes Louisville, Ky.; Atlanta; Nashville, Tenn.; Seattle; and other cities from around the world.

On Thursday (Nov. 13), in an effort to bring St. Louis one step closer to officially signing on to what noted religion scholar Karen Armstrong coined as the Charter for Compassion, advocates will host the first-ever town hall meeting dedicated to the crusade.

“We’re wired for compassion and what we would hope for and work toward is compassionate energy and action becoming an increasing factor in decision making and planning across the St. Louis region,” said David Mehl of the Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis, a key member of a group of about 30 local leaders pushing that the city, like others around the nation, agree to the charter’s terms.

“The situation in Ferguson and beyond makes this all the more relevant.”

The charter itself was crafted at Armstrong’s behest in 2009 by leading thinkers from the three Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and speaks in terms eerily relevant to the tense situation Ferguson and surrounding areas face today.

The charter calls for religious and irreligious alike “to honor the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.”

“To incite hatred by denigrating others — even our enemies — is a denial of our common humanity,” it says.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Religion News Service
Lilly Fowler / St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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