From Our Minister – Rev. Tony Lorenzen

“A Declaration of Interdependence”

Dear Beloveds,

No less than a dozen Declarations of Interdependence have been proclaimed, in one way, shape or form, since 1936.  These declarations have been made in an ecological context but have also dealt with racial and religious tolerance as well as interdependence among nations and cultures.  

The first complete declaration that grabbed my attention was one proposed in 1945 by Will Durant, Meyer David, and Dr. Christian Richard, it was introduced into the Congressional Record on October 1 of that year by  Ellis E. Patterson.  A DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE among All People re-affirms what it calls “evident truths” by listing five statements of support for racial and religious diversity, noting that intolerance is the door to violence and dictatorship.  The document ends with the following resolutions:

  • To uphold and promote human fellowship through mutual consideration and respect.
  • To champion human dignity and decency, and to safeguard these without distinction of race, or color, or creed.
  • To strive in concert with others to discourage all animosities arising from these differences and to unite all groups in the fair play of civilized life.

Declarations of interdependence moved decidedly in the direction of that environmental awareness as the 20th century progressed. Originally published in the Whole Earth Catalog Supplement of September 1969 and again in the book Sources, edited by Theodore Roszak (Harper Collins, 1972, p. 388), The Unanimous Declaration of Interdependence by Cliff Humphrey and friends makes use of Thomas Jefferson’s, language, style, and cadence, borrowing freely from Jefferson’s historic document to sound an environmental call to arms.

When in the course of evolution, it becomes necessary for one species to denounce the notion of independence from all the rest, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the interdependent station, to which the natural laws of the cosmos have placed them…We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all species have evolved with equal and unalienable rights,

This declaration ends, like Jefferson’s, with an appeal “to the ecological consciousness of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do solemnly publish and declare that all species are interdependent.”

In 1992 The David Suzuki Foundation wrote a Declaration of Interdependence for the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. It contains many statements laid out in three sections labeled This We Know, This We Believe, and This We Resolve. You can find a copy here:

This month as we delve into Interdependence as a spiritual theme, I once again declare myself an interdependent part of the glorious web of creation. I invite you, dear ones, to join me.

Grace and peace,

Rev. Tony