The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule

Most people seem to know the Golden Rule as: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And only a relatively small percentage of these people seem to realize that there are no limits to its meaning. The compassionate message of the golden rule extends to the whole of creation, to every other human being, to every other animal, and even to the environment in which we all live.

There are also several Bible references that parallel the common expression of the golden rule cited above. As an example in Matthew 7:12, Jesus said:

12. “Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

What Jesus is saying is that the golden rule of unlimited love and compassion fulfills the whole of the Hebrew Bible’s intent of the Law and what the prophets taught. As an example note Leviticus 19:18.

18. ‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.

And Jesus said that the second part of this verse was the second greatest commandment, and that it also fulfilled the whole Law and the Prophets.

By now, some of you are probably saying that this only applies to human beings, but we believe that you are missing a key point.

If there is a very loving and compassionate person who also deeply loves animals to the extent that they neither eat their flesh nor byproducts nor wear their skins, and we belittle them or flaunt our hunting and fishing skills and eat the products of tortured animals before them, we cause such a person to be extremely emotionally hurt, which is against the entire meaning of the golden rule.

For, to do such a thing is a deliberate act of not loving your neighbor as yourself, which is also what Paul wrote in Galatians 5:14.

14. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

That one word is “love”: God’s unconditional love.

And for people like us, our neighbors include all the animals.

Join us in this golden rule effort to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God for the benefit of the whole of creation.

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6 thoughts on “The Golden Rule

  1. Thankyou, Frank and Mary, for this message. It does cover everything, doesn’t it!
    As the One God is for all people, I was thrilled to discover from Baha’i friends that, whatever they call our Creator, each of the many faiths does have a rule or law with the same meaning ; “Do Unto Others….” Of course they may not all include animals and all life. In every faith, ours included, there are so many who do not apply that commandment fully in life, and who go right against it in varying degrees of neglect and cruelty towards other lives! But the people looking toward the Creator and living compassionate lives are aware…!

  2. Hi Noelene: Thank you for your insightful comments. We need to do everythiing we can to help all people see and understand these simple truths, and to act upon them.

  3. A far higher and nobler standard than mere reciprocity (is principled ‘anticipated reciprocity’) – and, of course, so MANY folks, when they hear “golden rule” tend to think that “whoever has the gold makes the rules” (you’ve given something quite different).

    1. Thank you. This is what we always try to do. Society all too often follows the misinterpretation that the world uses to justify their ungodly lifestyles.


    Edmund Strother Phelps, Jr. (born July 26, 1933) is an American economist and the winner of the 2006 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Early in his career he became renowned for his research at Yale’s Cowles Foundation in the first half of the 1960s on the sources of economic growth.

    His demonstration of the GOLDEN RULE SAVINGS RATE, a concept first devised by John von Neumann and Maurice Allais, started a wave of research on how much a nation ought to spend on present consumption rather than save and invest for future generations. His most seminal work inserted a microfoundation—one featuring imperfect information, incomplete knowledge and expectations about wages and prices—to support a macroeconomic theory of employment determination and price-wage dynamics. This led to his development of the natural rate of unemployment—its existence and the mechanism governing its size.

    Phelps has been McVickar Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University since 1982. He is also the director of Columbia’s Center on Capitalism and Society.

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