"We begin with the fundamental insight of imago dei, the image of God. Most of the world's great religions teach that humankind and every human being is created in the divine image. That most foundational premise gives each person an equal and sacred value.

"At the heart of our problem is the painful truth that the affluent believe their children are more important than the children of the world who are now starving to death. The religious assertion that those children are also sacred means that they are just as important as our own children and must be treated that way. It is a spiritual imperative that we have ignored, and the consequence is our own spiritual poverty and moral deterioration. There is a cost to disregarding moral values, and we are now reaping the social and cultural disintegration resulting from our spiritual disregard.

"The radical assertion of the image of God in every human being lies at the heart of our best religious traditions and is the insight that could convert and renew our hearts and minds. What would it mean to fashion a global economy and conduct our politics as if every human being had equal and sacred value? Would that not create a fundamental challenge to all our present systems and operating assumptions? Only a renewed consciousness of the worth of each and every one of us can provide the beginning of a new politics of community that could bring us together. To create such a new consciousness will be a formidable spiritual and political task."

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