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									THE RELIGIONS ARE ONE!
The Global Youth Development Theatre
By David Hoffman

A simple set. Six actors are positioned on stage or among the audience. Each of the six have distinct personalities. They might be humorous, deep, energetic, playful or a complete ham. Each personality should remain consistent throughout the performance. The actors should feel free to create their characters. Throughout, the actors relate to each other as well as members of the audience. These connections are critical. The flow of the dialogue should vary, making for a very interesting overall beat and rhythm. The opening is very dramatic. Each actor places his finger to his or her mouth or makes some other similar motion, relating to one or more of the members of the audience. The opening comments might be in a dramatic whisper as each actor beseeches the audience to focus. In improvised sequence… Actor 1: Stop! Actor 2: Stop! Actor 3: Stop! Actor 4: Stop! Actor 5: Stop! Actor 6: Stop! Actors Again in Sequence: Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen!

Actors Again in Sequence: Don‟t understand! Don‟t understand! Don‟t understand! Don‟t understand! Don‟t understand! Don‟t understand! Actors Again in Sequence: Makes no sense! Makes no sense! Makes no sense! Makes no sense! Makes no sense! Actors Again in Sequence: Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Makes no sense!

Actor 1: Soooooooo Saaaaaaaad Actor 2: So very sad. (All bow their heads. Long Pause.) Actor 3: (Looks up and makes eye contact with audience). Why can‟t the religions agree? Actor 4: Actor 5: There will be no peace in the world until they do! All the wars…

Actor 6…because religions can‟t agree. Actors in Sequence: Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad

Actor 1: (Excitedly) But they do! Actor 2: They do agree! Actor 3: All the religions do agree! Actor 4: It‟s so obvious! Actor 5: That‟s right! Check it out! Actor 6: All the world‟s religions have taught that there is only one God, and that God is the Creator of All Creation. All Actors: (Shaking their heads, getting the concept with great effect and enthusiasm, nodding to each other and saying one of the following expressions…) “That‟s right!” “Of course!” “Yes!” “So obvious!” “It‟s so clear!” “So cool!”

Actor 1: That‟s right! Pick a subject! Any subject! For example, haven‟t all the Founders of the world‟s great religions paid homage to and stood in awe before God?! It‟s evident from all of the Holy Scriptures! Actor 2: (Remembering something and looking in His book). Yes. I see it right here. Listen to this quote From the Jewish teachings: “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth.”

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Actor 6: In the ancient Hindu teachings, it is written: “… in Me subsist all beings, I do not subsist in them. And yet contingent beings do not subsist in Me. Behold My sovereign power! Myself sustains all beings, it does not subsist in them; it causes them to be.” Actor 3: And in the Buddhist teachings it says… “As all things originate from one essence, so they are developing according to one law, and they are destined to one aim, which is nirvana.” Actor 4: Here‟s another… “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” Actor 5: (Enthusiastically recognizing the quote) teachings! That was from the Christian

Actor 1: From the Islamic teachings: “it is God who hath given you the earth as a sure foundation, and over it built up the heaven, and formed you, and made your forms beautiful”. Actor 2: Baha‟u‟llah wrote on this subject too: “all praise to the unity of God, and all honor to him, the sovereign Lord, the incomparable and all-glorious Ruler of the universe, Who, out of utter nothingness, hath created the reality of all things.” PAUSE. ABSOLUTE SILENCE. Actors in Sequence: Actor 3: Love! Love! Love! Love! Love! Love! Love!

For sure ALL religions have agreed on this!

Actor 4: It has been said that “the invincible weapon, always victorious, is the incessant act of love.” Actor 5: Actor 6: Actor 1: Actor 2: Actor 5: The act of love is always victorious. Always victorious. Love. Incessant love. Love.

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Actor 6: Actor 1: Actor 2: Actor 3: Actor 4:

Love is… …is invincible. Invincible. Love is… …the invincible weapon Love is Invincible! Always Love Invincible

Actors (together): Actor 1: Actor 2: Actor 3:

(whispers) (whispers) (whispers)

PAUSE. ABSOLUTE SILENCE Actor 1: Love one another; for love is of God and he who loves is born of God and knows God. The Christ. Actor 2: Let his thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world: above, below, and across without any obstruction, without any hatred, without any enmity.” The Buddha Actor 3: If you want to see the heroic… (Pause)… look at those who can love in return for hatred. Lord Krishna Actor 4: O Friend! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold. Baha‟u‟llah. PAUSE. ABSOLUTE SILENCE Actor 5: The golden rule. Actor 6: (Enthusiastically) The golden rule!

Actor 4: (Shouting): The golden rule! Actor 1: (Playfully). Oh, that‟s a good one…. The Golden Rule! (Smiling). All of the religions… (Nods knowingly)… The Golden Rule! PAGE 4

Actor 2:

Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. Buddhism.

Actor 3: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. That is the entire law, all the rest is commentary. Judaism Actor 4: One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality. Hinduism Actor 5: Ye shall love your neighbor as yourself Christianity.

Actor 6: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself Islam Actor 2: Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself. Bahá'í Faith.

PAUSE. ABSOLUTE SILENCE Actor 3: Actor 4: Actor 5: Actor 6: (Sadly) But we don‟t understand.

(Sadly) We don‟t understand. (Urgently) But we must understand! (With great energy) We must understand!

Actor 1: (Playfully) Actor 2: Actor 3:

Oh, we‟ll understand!

What about unity? Unity and equality?

Actor 1: Unity and Equality! Actor 4: Actor 5: Sikhism! Jainism! Let all mankind be thy sect. Consider the family of humankind one.

Actor 6: Shinto! All ye under the heaven! Regard heaven as your father, earth as your mother, and all things as your brothers and sisters.” Actor 1: Confucianism! “In education there are no class distinctions.”

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Actor 2: Hinduism! none more dear.” Actor 3: Buddhism! Actor 4: Judaism! together in unity!”

I look upon all creatures equally; none are less dear to me and So what of all these titles, names, and races?” Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell

Actor 5: Chrisitanity! And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Actor 6: The Bahá'í Faith! All the divine manifestations have proclaimed the oneness of God and the unity of mankind. Actor 1: (Taken by all of this excitement). You know, it‟s truly amazing how much all of the religions agree! Actor 2: And on so many topics, too! Actor 3: On every important topic! Actor 4: Absolutely! Actor 5: And what about peace? That‟s my favorite topic! Actor 6: All of the religions have commanded their followers to peace. Actor 1: Otherwise the consequence is complete and utter destruction! Actor 2: That‟s right. (Opens book). Look right here! The Jewish Talmud declares: Peace is great because peace is to the earth what yeast is to bread. If the Holy One, blessed is He, had not given peace to the earth, swords of men like the beasts of the fields, would destroy the world. Actor 3: Wow. That‟s so incredible! Actor 4: And it sounds just like what Muhammad commanded…. Make peace between one another: enmity and malice destroy all virtues.” Actor 5: And Christ said it too. Just like that! Put away your sword. All who take up the sword shall die by the sword.

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Actor 6: So amazing. The Buddha gave the exact same message about the importance of peace and the consequence of war. Tell „em … Actor 1: OK! I‟ll tell „em! It is reported that the Buddha, Himself rebuked two kings saying to them…“Now when you go into battle, is it not certain that many of your men will be slain, and you yourselves, O Kings, are liable to lose lives?... Are you going to sacrifice that which is priceless for that which is has no intrinsic value at all?” Actor 6: And history has it that as a result of this the wrath of the two monarchs abated, and they came to a peaceful agreement. Actor 1: Exactly! Peace has consequence, and war has consequence.

Actor 2: So true! Abdul-Baha, son of Baha‟u‟llah, wrote, “Thoughts of war bring destruction to all harmony, well being, restfulness and content…Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship, and happiness.” Actor 3: So why are we fighting when all religions agree? Actor 4: (Thoughtfully) Because we don‟t understand. (Pause) Or maybe over the centuries we have simply just forgotten. Actor 5: Don‟t understand what? Forgotten what? Actor 4: About the fruit! Actor 6: The fruit?

Actor 4: Yes, the fruit! Actor 1: Well, tell us already. What are you talking about? Actor 4: Well, here‟s the way I see it. Didn‟t Jesus Christ say that “By their fruits ye shall know them”? Actor 2: Of course, he did. So, go on. Actor 4: Didn‟t he define the fruits of the spirit? Actor 2: Yes. He defined the fruits of the spirit. And? Actor 4: Well, we‟ve been talking about the fruits of the spirit, haven‟t we?

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Actor 2: (Getting it). Sure we have. That‟s right. The fruits of the spirit! Love! Unity! Peace! Actor 4: Well then. If Jesus Christ said that “Ye shall know them by their fruits” and each of the Messengers of God has commanded His followers to partake of these fruits, then we must know that each of the religions they have established are valid in the sight of God. EVERYONE: IT‟S SO OBVIOUS! I GET IT! OF COUSE! YES! SURE! ETC. ETC. Actor 1: (To Actor 4). SO LET ME SEE. YOU‟RE SAYING… GOOD FRUIT EQUALS GOOD TREE! Actor 3: Wow! You can‟t deny that logic. Actors in Sequence: Can‟t deny. Can‟t deny. Can‟t deny. Can‟t deny. Can‟t deny. Can‟t deny!

Actor 3: The world is full of stress and turmoil. Actor 4: The world is being rolled up. Actor 5: The world is full of pain an suffering. Actor 6: Pain and suffering. Actor 1: But in the end… Actor 2: In the end… Actor 3: In the end all religions have promised peace. Actor 4: Promised peace. Actor 5: World unity and peace. Actor 6: World peace. Actor 1: All have said it. Actor 2: All have written it. Actor 3: All have promised it.

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Actor 4: Isaiah, one of the greatest of the Israelite prophets visioned it well. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more. Actor 5: Wow! Actor 6: Awesome: Actor 1: It’s crystal clear! Actor 2: It is clear. ALL BOW THEIR HEADS. THEN ALL LOOK UP, MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH AUDIENCE MEMBERS.

Actors in Sequence:

Listen!

Listen!

Listen!

Listen!

Listen!

Listen!

PAUSE. ABSOLUTE SILENCE. THE ACTORS BEGIN TO MOVE THROUGH THE AUDIENCE, MAKING EYE CONTACT WITH INDIVIDUALS. THERE IS A CLIMACTIC ENERGY TO THE FOLLOWING DIALOGUE. EACH ACTOR DELIVERS HIS OR HER PORTION OF THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURE WITH GREAT ENTHUSIASM AND CONVICTION AND IN A MANNER WHERE THE VARIOUS PIECES SEEM TO FLOW AS ONE THOUGHT. Actor 3: Praise be to God! The springtime of God is at hand. Actor 4: This century is verily the spring season. Actor 5: The world of mind and the kingdom of soul have become fresh and verdant by its bestowals. Actor 6: It has resuscitated the whole realm of existence. PAGE 9:

Actor 1: On one hand the lights of reality are shining; Actor 2: …on the other the clouds of divine mercy are pouring down the fullness of heavenly bounty. Actor 3: Wonderful material progress is evident and great spiritual discoveries are being made. Actor 4: Truly this can be called the miracle of centuries for it is replete with manifestations of the miraculous. Actor 5: The time has come when all mankind shall be united… Actor 6: …when all races shall be loyal to one fatherland… Actor 1: …all religions become one religion… Actor 2: … and racial and religious bias pass away. Actor 3: It is a day in which the oneness of humankind shall uplift its standard… Actor 4: …and international peace like the true morning flood the world with its light. Actor 5: Therefore we offer supplications to God… Actor 6: … asking him to dispel these gloomy clouds… Actor 1: and uproot these imitations… Actor 2: … in order that the East and West may become radiant with love and unity… Actor 3: that the nations of the world shall embrace each other… Actor 4: …and the ideal spiritual brotherhood illumine the world like the glorious sun of the high heavens. Actor 5: ILLUMINE! Actor 6: ILLUMINE! All Together: (In an energetic and powerful whisper). ILLUMINE! LIGHTS OUT PAGE 10


								
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