This blog is a response to recent opposition from within the context of Religion to my support of The Virtues Project. The reason given was that The Virtues Project tells the lie that people don’t need God to attain virtues. To those active in The Virtues Project, this is absurd, so let’s set the record straight.
The Virtues Project was started by Bahai’s, members of the small, but growing global Religion of which I am a part. The Founders describe its origin as follows: “Tapping into Dan’s years of research in the world’s sacred traditions, they had an “Aha! Moment”. They discovered that virtues are at the heart of meaning in every culture and belief system, from indigenous oral traditions to the world’s Sacred texts.”
The Family Virtues Guide published by the founders of The Virtues Project in 1997 is even more direct. The preface explains that The Virtues Project does “not promote the practices or beliefs of any particular faith”. Yet it equally clearly asserts that “Virtues are described as the qualities of the soul and the attributes of God. They are the means by which we can reflect the image and likeness of the creator.”
So what to do about attacks against a noble effort to assist humanity in the nurturing of the nascent virtues within us all, our heritage as Children of God? To assist in gathering my thoughts, I pulled a random virtue card for inspiration, and it was Purity’s turn. I’ll quote from the card:
“Purity is living in a state of physical and spiritual health… We free ourselves day by day from unwanted influences… We replace negativity with virtuous practices… Purity gives us a clear conscience and a peaceful soul.” It offers “I act from pure intentions” as an affirmation.
I am convinced of the purity of intent in the founders and the bulk of those participating in The Virtues Project. For those who put a relationship with God first and foremost, fully recognizing God as the source of all virtues, there is no doubt that The Virtues Project enables others to draw nearer to God.
This is true regardless of what the distance is at which we find ourselves from God at any given moment. Which is why leading with virtues is a powerful way to lead people to God. More powerful, I might add, than forcing our conception of God upon others.
I’ll end this Blog with the quote at the end of the card.
“I am thankful fore the gift of Purity. It gives me a fresh start.”