TWO ISSUES TODAY

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Nawaz Shariff should respectfully resign for the sake of orderly democratic Pakistan

Nawaz Shariff should respectfully resign for the sake of orderly democratic Pakistan.

By Mike Ghouse
The Ghouse Diary.com

Shariff was elected by the people and the same people are asking him to step down - and that is indeed a genuine democratic thing to do. He should remember that peaceful demonstrations earn respectable name for Pakistan in the world, and if he honors the peaceful people, he will have a place in history.

Pakistan turmoil, courtesy Rueters
On the other hand if Nawaz Shariff goes berserk, he will cause Pakistan to go violent and endanger his own existence.
What does he think of himself, a Netanyahu or Al-Baghdadi that he can silence the people by brutal force?

If he were any smart, he would go on the national TV and appreciate the people and welcome them for peacefully exercising their democratic right to protest, and do what the people ask; to recount the ballot or resign. Is that a problem?   More than likely, the demonstrations would have been called off and he would have remained respectable and would have won another landslide victory, but the he did not have the brains to do that. 

Every peace loving person should be outraged at this dude for deploying 10,000 Special Forces to disperse the peaceful non-violent crowds seeking political solutions. On the top of it, he ordered firing at nearly 200 injured women, which reminds me of Jalianwala Bagh incident where British forces did the same thing and women jumped into the wells and died. I am proud of these women who stood and took the bullets. But, this is outrageous and unacceptable, he ain’t no Baghdadi. 

When the bad guys were killing fellow Pakistanis be it Shia, Christians, Ahmadies and others, Shariff let it happen, and now when his days are numbered, he deploys 10,000 forces to squelch the peaceful demonstrators. It does not work that way.

What kind of non-sense is he talking about when he says he wants to protect democracy? If he steps down respectfully, he will have a chance to continue in some form of governance, if not, he knows her kuttay ke din hotay hain, he has seen every dog had his day, and he will be one too if he goes against the will of the people.

Its time for Obama to ask Shariff to step down, it is in our (American) interest and the interests of the people of Pakistan to have stability in the region, we cannot have more than one Afghanistan.  I hope Obama will not wait until it becomes messy to ask Shariff to step down; as he did the right thing with Mubarak in asking him to step down by siding with the people of Egypt. Obama made the same mistake with that Idiot Maliki in Iraq, had Maliki formed an inclusive government, we would not have seen this mess. Of course, all these problems stem from Bush's criminal adventure in Iraq. Obama is a good guy, but he needs to be a bully to deal with the bullies.

It’s time for Obama to be on the side of the Pakistani people and not with the guys who are desperate to remain in power. Be smart and be with the people and not with the transients.  All Obama has to do is ask Nawaz Shariff to announce recounting, or announce a date for re-election. It will restore calmness. The people of Pakistan deserve that.


Nazia Khan, Aqeel Qureshi and a few others are out there witnessing the mayhem first hand, and I hope to incorporate their quotes in the piece, I am writing on our goofy foreign policy about nurturing democracies.

Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi - A Hindu Festival

Today is Ganesh Chaturthi - a day Hindus around the world invoke the icon of Ganesh, a representation of the aspect of God that removes obstacles for the believer. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all.

Full article is at http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/08/happy-ganesh-chaturthi.html


 

Thank you
mike

Mike Ghouse

(214) 325-1916 text/talk
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Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Prime Minister Narendra Modi insists on Non-Vegetarian menu.

http://MikeGhouseforIndia.blogspot.com

Firstly, congratulations to Prime Minister Modi for choosing the vegetarian menu, one should eat and drink what one is comfortable with and making that known is good.

Secondly, I question the integrity of the the statement made in behalf of Mr. Modi,  "
PMO respects the individual freedom to have a non-vegetarian menu.." Could the same individual have said this, "The instructions are extended to banquets hosted in the PM’s honour on foreign soil as well. (to have only vegetarian menu)"



Modi-eating

Prime Minister should not eat what he does not want to, but should he ask others in foreign nations not to eat what they normally eat?
 


Pork is prohibited for Jews and Muslims and they should not eat it,  but should they ban the sale of pork to others, who eat it routinely? The answer is no.

India should never follow lower standards of civility like the Taliban Nation or ISIS, instead it should look up to the US Standards where one can eat, drink, wear or believe whatever the hell one wants to believe.

This sounds like the Prime Minister, "The note discreetly suggests that the PMO respects the individual freedom to have a non-vegetarian menu," but the following addition is the work of self appointed supporters of the Prime Minister, also known as chamchas, "but this new protocol may please be adopted while Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the government."


The civil laws of all nations, be it a rogue or free  have one thing in common - the bad guy goes to prison or gets the chair or beheading, and not his spouse, parents, siblings or kids, he bears the punishment alone. The religions have also laid similar emphasis, that God will punish the bad guy, and not his spouse, parents, siblings or kids.  No one bears others' burden. Hence, no one should impose their beliefs on others. 


During the month of Ramadan, Saudi Arabia, a host to workers of many faiths, shuts down all the eateries in the nation making it difficult for others to eat. Should any one be responsible for your Karma? Or should the individual be responsible for his own karma?  What concerns me is the fanatic fringe in India, and their  battle cry to ban the slaughter and sale of beef to others, the infringement of the rights of others starts here, those are not the signs of civility of nations. 

What you eat should be "your" choice, and no human should have the right to ban what others eat or not eat, drink or not drink, wear or not wear, and believe or not believe. India should not become like the ISIS or Taliban guys, we should take pride in our freedom, and religious people in particular should promote and encourage freedom and not imposition. 

Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net

 # ## 

No non-veg menu at PM's functions
http://www.indiatomorrow.co/nation/1669-now-no-non-veg-menu-at-pm-s-functions

The joy of being one


Whether the situation is within the family – saying one thing to your sister and the other to your brother, one to your spouse and the other to your friend… that is the worst thing we can do to ourselves and our joy.

Over the years I have learned that if you are one and the same no matter where you are, what you do… and if you speak the same whether your are sleepy, drunk, angry, calm… you’ll be the happiest person on the earth. That was my mother’s advice when I was a kid, and I appreciate that very much.

by the way, I speak, write, think and act the same whether I am with Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus or any one, and with White, African American, Asian or European … and it wouldn’t worry me a bit what others’ say, I am the same and that gives me peace.

Mike Ghouse
www.MikeGhouse.net

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Civility of individuals and nations

CIVILITY OF INDIVIDUALS AND NATIONS

Civility of an individual or a nation is an outcome of how it treats it’s weak, women, children, seniors, the minorities and the governed. Is there a nation on the earth, where the majority or the rulers have not oppressed and harassed the minorities, and consistently attempt to keep them in their place? 

No faith majority, racial or other majorities can claim a clean record. It's human and is called evil majoritarian attitudes, religions emerged, all religions emerged to mitigate those attitudes and build cohesive societies.... Most people get it, some don't.

There are exceptions no doubt, where certain minorities within the group of minorities pander to the majority (the powerful, and the rulers), and that is part of the self-balancing acts of preservation of one’s identity. These acts are detrimental to long term cohesiveness and peace of the society.

The civility of a nation is determined by how it treats its weak and its minorities and the weak.

The silence of majority contributes greatly to such evil, unless they speak up, bad guys will continue to be evil. I am glad to see the ‘majority’ speaking up against the treatment of minorities in Ferguson that is the only hope we have, that majority will stand up against injustice, if not it will create more chaos and all of us will suffer.

Genuine love is an antidote to bias, and genuine love of God removes the evil of bias from one’s heart. If Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and other religions do not remove the bias from you…. It’s not their problem, it is yours.

Mike Ghouse
www.TheGhouseDiary.com

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Get that SOB Al-Baghdadi now - Mike Ghouse on Sean Hannity Radio show on aug 21, 2014

GET THAT SOB AL-BAGHDADI NOW - An appeal to Obama and Hannity

Our attitude towards Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his thugs should be, "You SOB, you are the murderer and not your religion, don’t give me the crap about your religion, your religion does not teach you to kill a single soul, don’t you slap your evilness onto your religion, we are not dumb to buy it. You are going to pay a price for it, either back off and repent, surrender or face the drones".


Mr. Al-Baghdadi, don’t give me the bullshit to believe that your acts are Islamic. No one believes you except your thugs. We cannot let you make Islam look bad with a rogue like you, you acts are not Muslim, period. You are a criminal and we will figure out a way to punish you. “

Dear President please surround Al-Baghdadi Gang, cut off supplies, spray the sleeping gas to knock them out of conscious for a few hours and capture them all and bring them to Guantanamo Bay for a trial, it is probably efficient and in the process we will save the innocent civilians.

I urge Sean Hannity, my friend and the entire Fox team and other media to call the terrorists anything under the sun but Islamic State, Caliphate, or ISIS. There is no need to give a semblance of legitimacy to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his gang. Please do not buy their illegitimate claim to be called an Islamic State, call them Terrorist State.

If there were a certificate given to an organization to operate as an Islamic entity, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his gang's application will be rejected for the gross violations of Islam, a few are addressed here at

My opponent  Claire Lopez was as bad as Robert Spencer;

I gave the right version of Prophet marrying 13 year old and not 6 as the propaganda does.



Prophet did not kill the 700 Jews in the battle of the Trench as the propaganda goes, the tribe betrayed the treaty, and were asked how should they be treated, and were asked to nominate a person to decide, they chose a scholar of their time and he chose to follow the Torah, and condemned them to death for treason.

We ran over several verses - I asserted Quranic formula; when some one forcibly enters  in your house, stop them, if they are still agressive, tell them to back off, if they don't, then go  find them whereever they are in your yard and kill them - that is the American Law, however, if they repent and back off, do not Kill them, be merciful. 



Glad to repeat this twice - that plucking a verse will give a wrong meaning as in the case above, but when you read three verse before and after, then it gives the right meaning.

Huffington post - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/muslims-to-dedicate-frida_b_5679118.html

***** NEW FRIENDS - Please join me at Speaker Mike Ghouse or follow me, as regrettably this Facebook page has reached its limit. Thank you.


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Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Muslim, Buddhist and Government perspectives of ISIS in Iraq

With Permission from Boothe Global Perspective.
Thank you Ben for sharing the message with your world wide audience, we appreciate that.

by Boothe Global Perspectives, Special | ‎Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 8:44 AM (CDT)

https://bootheglobalperspectives.com/article/1408542245WBG487492234/muslim-buddhist-and-government-perspective-of-isis-in-iraq

 
THREE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES TO ISIS AND OTHER RELIGIOUS/POLITICAL CONFLICTS IN THE WORLD


 This article outlines three unique and powerful global perspectives all from sources with voice and influence on millions, to terrorism and the absolute horribly evil actions taking place around the world.  Of course, the terror, (bombings of civilians, kidnapping of children, raping of wives, beheading of children, execution of civilian men while they watch their wives and children being herded off to rape and execution),  are in the playbook of immoral people from time immortal. The terror they conduct is supposed to frighten people into submission. 

But, more and more people around the world have learned that these acts of violence have lost their ability to frighten…because to be intimidated is to fall within the power of immoral terrorists.  More and more people just see these acts for what they are, disgusting, pathetic, evil tools by ambitious men, who would use their religion, their guns, their knives, even their bodies to desecrate and demean humanity and themselves, in the goal of power, greed, ego and politics.  We see it in the Ukraine (Russia, a Christian nation fighting Ukrainians),  Israel (A Jewish nation bombing Gaza), Gaza (Muslims sending rockets to blast Israel), Iraq (the self proclaimed Islamic State attacking religious minorities, and other Muslims), Nigeria (thugs posing as Muslims kidnapping children, murdering their parents).   These are people doing evil things. 

 More and more people around the world are adding their voices and energy condemning the evil acts done by men under a pretense of religion. Most of the time it is politics, power, greed and control...not spirituality, and certainly not what any major religion would espouse. 

1. Mike Ghouse, Islamic leader, has an audience of 6,000,000 people and he has called for good Islamic people to pray for an end to the violence and call for an end to the leaders of ISIS (ISIL) for their wicked acts. His study of Islam, says what ISIS is doing, has no justification to call their evil acts “religious”, indeed what they do is evil by their own holy book.   

2. HH the Dalai Lama, Buddhist leader, who speaks to millions throughout the world, has met with Islamic leaders in India and they have also condemned the acts of ISIS (ISIL) and restated that the Koran speaks against such evil violent acts (thus, showing that ISIL cannot in truth call what they do religious).  

3. Finally we see a response from a government. This photograph, of a bombed and destroyed Toyota Pick Up.  ISIS had a host of brand new Toyota Pickups, all equipped with powerful weaponry in the bed of the truck that they proudly drove from Syria into Iraq to conduct their lightning fast shock raids.  The photo shows their ultimate destination, one must wonder if these sad burned Toyota tombs represent trips to heaven, or just a fiery end to evil adventurism…it is the voice of justice and power, with no pretense of religion or terrorism. Simply a message of the ultimate destiny of men, who died hiding under a tree, after doing wicked things.

 1. PERSPECTIVE FROM MUSLIMS, MIKE GHOUSE, WORLD MUSLIM CONFERENCE (6,000,000 people follow Mike)

Muslims to dedicate Friday Sermons for the safety of Christians, Yazidis, Shia and other Minorities, and condemn Terrorist Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi to prevent the Genocide
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is on a killing spree of Christians, Yazidis, Shia and other Minorities in Iraq and Syria. We urge Muslims to pray for Sanity to prevail, and urge the World powers to give a final warning to Al-Baghdadi to surrender or face the drones. 



In behalf of Muslims, I strongly condemn the evil acts of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi for terrorizing Christians, Yazidis, Shia and other minorities in Iraq. He is an evil man and must be caught and processed for his crimes against humanity, there is Genocide in making, and I recommend a bounty be posted to get him dead or alive.

Key suggestions:


1. We urge Muslims around the world to dedicate their congregational Sermon on Friday, August 15, 2014 and or August 22, 2014 for the safety of Christians, Yazidis, Shia and others in Iraq and Syria, and restore law and order, and safety to the victims of oppression. 

2. Christians are fleeing Iraq, and their population is dwindling from a Million down to 400,000, it needs to be stopped at once. No human should be thrown and forced out of his or her home, and thanks to the US initiative to rescue the Yazidis. 

3. The Gang leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has given a despicable ultimatum to the Christians, "We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract - involving payment of Jiziyah; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword."

4. No one should have the right to chase any one out of their own homes. Quran recommends severe punishment to the oppressors and suggests hunting them down where ever they can be found and punish them accordingly, unless they sincerely repent and back off. It's time to apply the Quranic rule to these criminals. 

5. We urge the European Union to drone the terrorists individually without hurting the innocent civilians to prevent Genocide. The United States does not have a moral ground to stand on, as we have justified bombing civilians in the Gaza crisis, shame on us, our Senators and Congresspersons. 

6. The terrorists who call themselves religious and carry the labels of Islam, (ISIL or ISIS) have beheaded hundreds of innocent people, crucified former Muslims who freely chose to follow Jesus Christ, destroyed dozens of Christian churches, burned sacred manuscripts and sacred art, and sent hundreds of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities fleeing for their lives in a reign of bloodshed and terror (Catholic.org)

7. We urge the media to call them anything under the sun but caliph, Caliphate, or Islamic State. There is no need to give a semblance of legitimacy to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his gang. We have to reject his evil claims of his acts as Islamic. Our attitude should be, "You are the murderer and not your religion, and you are going to pay a price for it, either surrender or face the drones".

8. If there were a certificate given to an organization to operate as an Islamic entity, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his gang's application will be rejected for the gross violations of Islam, a few are addressed here;

a. There is no compulsion in Islam -- no one can be forced to believe against his or her will (2:256) -- how dare they make the despicable statement to the Christians of Iraq to convert or run.

b. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)'s covenant states, "It is not permitted to remove a bishop from his bishopric or a Christian from his Christianity, a monk from his monastic life or a pilgrim from his pilgrimage or a hermit monk from his tower. Nor is it permitted to destroy any part of their churches, to take parts of their buildings to construct mosques or the homes of Muslims. Whoever does such a thing will have violated the pact of Allah, disobeyed his Messenger, and betrayed the Divine Alliance."

c. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)'s covenant states, "No Christian will be made Muslim by force: And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better [29:46].
d. In another Hadith (Prophet's sayings) quoted by Abu Dawud, Prophet in essence says, if you are unjust to a Christian or a Jew, by God, on the Day of Judgment, I will stand up against you. Here is the quote, "Be aware, that whoever oppressed one who has a treaty with us, or belittled him, or burdened him with more than he is capable of, or took something from him forcibly with him being displeased, then I will be his plaintiff (will argue against him) on the Day of Judgment."


9. Please feel free to visit www.WorldMuslimCongress.com for updates and related reports on the subject.

To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker who seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. Our work at is geared towards building a cohesive society where no human has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. World Muslim congress is a think tank and a forum with the express goal of nurturing pluralistic values embedded in Islam to build cohesive societies. If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept each other's uniqueness, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge. Mike Ghouse is a Muslim Speaker thinker and a writer.
  Mike is a thoughtful, brave man, a powerful communicator and an outstanding organizer.  We at  Boothe Global Perspectives recommend that you follow Mike Ghouse and encourage his work. 

  2. HH the Dalia Lama, PERSPECTIVE (admired and followed by Buddhists throughout the World) 

Meeting Hosted with HH the Dalia Lama and by the Muslim Co-ordination Committee, Leh
 July 16th 2014
 Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India, 16 July 2014 -

The Muslim Co-ordination Committee, Leh had invited His Holiness to lunch. In welcoming remarks Saeed Naqvi praised His Holiness for his efforts to promote mutual understanding and for being a symbol of peace and harmony for the whole world. Saif ud din took up the theme saying:


“Today is a great day for us as we are honored by His Holiness’s presence. We admire your work for peace and assure you that Islam denounces violence and bloodshed. Like many in the international community we support your Middle Way Approach to resolving the difficulties in Tibet. We Muslims and Buddhists of Ladakh have long lived in harmony and will continue to do so. We pray for His Holiness’s long life and the fulfilment of his wishes.”

 “My Muslim spiritual brothers and sisters,” His Holiness replied, “you organized this meeting and invited me to it, which I greatly appreciate. In the small village where I was born near Kumbum Monastery there were Muslim families so I have long been familiar with people of Islam. When I reached Lhasa at the age of five, about 1000 Muslims lived there and whenever there were government functions Muslim representatives took part. Many of them wore a red hat with a tassle on it.”


 At mention of this the one man in the audience wearing such a hat got to his feet and His Holiness teased him saying:


 “Yes, just like that, with a tassle that matches you beard.


 “You may have heard me tell this story before, but the 13th Dalai Lama had had a pocket watch that I began to use. Then one day it stopped and we invited an expert Muslim watchmaker to come and have a look at it. He fixed it, but solemnly told me that a person who carries a watch in his pocket should behave as if he was carrying an egg! A gentle rebuke that I should be more careful.”

 His Holiness mentioned that after 1959 many Tibetan Muslims left Tibet and settled in Srinagar. For many years, he said he had been unable to visit them, but renewed his acquaintance two years ago. He spoke of being surprised and touched to discover that their young children spoke good Tibetan with a Lhasa dialect, an indication that they still use Tibetan within their families.


 In addition to describing his practice since 1975 of making pilgrimage to other people’s places of worship, which has seen him visit several mosques, making many Muslim friends, he referred to events since September 11th 2001. He recalled attending the first anniversary memorial service in Washington and expressing his conviction that just because the terrorists involved had a Muslim background was no reason for generalizing about a whole community. He pointed out that there are mischievous individuals amongst Hindus, Jews, Christians and Buddhists, not only among Muslims, and that to generalize about any of these communities on such a basis would be wrong and unfair. 


He said:


“I’m a Buddhist, but now I often step forward to defend Islam. I often repeat what my friend Farooq Abdhullah the former Chief Minister, explained to me about jihad, that it is not about attacking other people, but about making combat with your own disturbing emotions. If you are about to do someone harm, but you restrain yourself, that’s an instance of jihad, which also has a lot to do with self-discipline.”


His Holiness went on to praise India as a living example of tolerant pluralism, a place where all the world’s major religions live together peacefully side by side. He cited the small Parsee community in Mumbai who have long flourished there without fear. He reiterated that India’s example is a model for the world to follow.

 Commenting on the sadness he has felt to hear reports of Buddhists in Burma and Sri Lanka attacking Muslims, he recounted the appeal he had made to them when moved to attack to remember the face of the Buddha. His Holiness is convinced that if the Buddha were present there he would offer the victims protection. In a similar context, considering the conflicts between Sunnis and Shias in various parts of the Middle East and between Christians and Muslims in parts of Africa, he appealed to his listeners to consider ways in which they might influence their Muslim brothers to exercise restraint. He acknowledged that Ladakhi Muslims by themselves might not achieve much, but as part of a larger Indian Muslim community their voice would be heard.


 Finally, His Holiness noted that although they had invited him to lunch, on this occasion his hosts would not be joining him because they are observing the Ramadan daytime fast. They parted in good will with much affection and intentions to communicate messages of compassion and reconciliation to the world.  



3. ISIS (ISIL) BEFORE AND AFTER ENTERING IRAQ

View as ISIS entered Iraq. They drove across the country, coming into towns, waving flags, cheering, firing their weapons into the air. It appeared like a sports event. Then they hit poorly guarded towns and villages, shooting their way in, then kidnapping women and children, raping, and stealing. Beheading children, wives and husbands. With their new pick ups, they were relentless, filled with bravado.



View of their new pickup after ISIS entered Iraq. These "brave" soldiers died, trying to hide under a tree. Their black flag and guns destroyed.  "Those who live by the sword will die by the sword". 

Ferguson is burning, I stand with the people. Never again.

I stand in protest with the people of Ferguson for Justice, and wish these protests become a catalyst to eradicate the evil of racism from our society. Let’s be clear the bad guys are one or two to a million good police officers we have, but their actions create despair and trust issues in public safety and we must punish the bad guys to the maximum our law allows, no one should dare do this again. I pray for a safe America for every resident, and no one should live in fear of the other. Never again



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Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

TEXAS FAITH: Why should the government say whether churches can preach politics


If we repeal the laws, does it give a free hand to men like Pastors Hagee, Jeffress, Robertson and others to spew unrestricted hatred towards others, creating chaos and mess up America’s orderly life? Should we extend that kind of free speech to men like Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, if he were to preach in the United States?
 
Mike Ghouse
 
TEXAS FAITH: Why should the government say whether churches can preach politics from the pulpit?
By Wayne Slater | 3:15 pm on August 19, 2014 | Permalink
 
When Christian conservatives gathered recently in Iowa to hear from potential presidential candidates, nothing was a bigger applause line than the idea of allowing politics to be preached from the pulpit. Iowa opens the presidential nominating process with its first-in-the-nation caucuses. Plenty of would-be Republican nominees were there a week ago – including Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.
 
Religious leaders regularly preach moral issues, both those on the right and the left. But partisan politics has been off limits from the pulpit since the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. Houses of worship are granted tax-exempt status. In return, they’re not allowed to endorse candidates. The Internal Revenue Service is the agency is charged with enforcing the law and withdrawing the tax-exempt status from any offending church. As a practical matter, the IRS hasn’t pursued cases. That prompted a nonprofit atheist organization in 2012 to file suit, demanding a strict separation of church and state. Last month, the suit was dismissed after the IRS assured it “no longer has a policy of non-enforcement against churches.”
 
Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, defended the church side against the lawsuit. In an interview with the on-line site The Daily Signal, Bloomberg raises an issue that increasingly comes up in election years: Should the government have any role limiting what a pastor says in the pulpit during a religious service? So here’s where we are: A law aimed at curbing partisan politics by houses of worship. An agency that’s supposed to uphold the law, but isn’t. Considering the situation as it now stands, what should be done? Should we repeal the law and regulations restricting what pastors can say from the pulpit? Should we actively begin enforcing the law and strip offending houses of worship of their tax-exempt status? Should we simply do what we’re doing now and not enforce the law?
 
That’s this week’s Texas Faith question. Is it time to repeal the law forbidding churches engaged in partisan politics from the pulpit? Our Texas Faith panel of experts weighs in.

 
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters, Dallas
 
I am in favor of enforcing the existing laws and pleased to submit my understanding for consideration. The validity of a binding contract signed under the influence of alcohol is always questionable, should a person’s decision to vote a candidate under the influence of clergy be invalid? Does it amount to losing one’s freedom?
 
A few years ago, I was browsing in a store for a pair of new glasses. The lady behind the counter asked me if President’s Bush’s decision to hang Saddam Hussein was right. I said no, the timing was wrong to hang him on the day of Christmas like festival of Muslims. I don’t look anything like Saddam Hussein; but she pursued the inquiry as if I was his brother and would have sympathies for him. Finally, I asked her about her opinion, which she was anxious to answer, “My pastor told me to support the president, the Bible calls for it” I said really? Let me bring the Bible from my car, and please show me where it is written. She protested the need for that and wanted to end the conversation with “I believe my pastor.”
 
The Clergy from the pulpit can positively or negatively influence a large number of congregants. There is nothing wrong with that, but it kills the individual’s spirit through undue influence. The idea of a deliberated vote ensures it was exercised freely for us to remain a free people. We are yet to realize the full potential of the wisdom of our founding fathers and what is encapsulated in our constitution – that Congress has no business in promoting or discouraging any religion to go with all men are created equal.
 
If we repeal the laws, does it give a free hand to men like Pastors Hagee, Jeffress, Robertson and others to spew unrestricted hatred towards others, creating chaos and mess up America’s orderly life? Should we extend that kind of free speech to men like Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, if he were to preach in the United States?
 
Thank God during the Gaza crisis, I wrote, “The conflict should not tear the Jewish and Muslim Americans apart; instead it should bring them together to build a cohesive America, and hopefully cohesive societies across the world where no human has to live in fear of the other. (http://foundationforpluralism.blogspot.com/2014/08/sanity-prayers-for-american-jews-and.html )
 
I visited several Mosques during the month of Ramadan, and in no place did they spill hatred towards Jews, but prayed for the victims and prayed for sanity to prevail, what a blessing, that is what a place of worship ought to be. I did not get a chance to visit churches and synagogues to see if there was any hatred spilled there. We do have the freedom to say whatever we want to say, but if that freedom robs others freedom, that is not freedom anymore. We should retain and enforce the laws on the books.
 
 
Thank you
mike

Mike Ghouse

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Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

Texas Faith: The endless entanglement of faith and war


Most of the religious men are insecure, and want to secure their income, place and status in the society by doing what sells; making a villain out of God, who hates Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and others. That is the real problem.
 
Texas Faith: The endless entanglement of faith and war
By Rudolph Bush | 9:10 am on August 6, 2014 | Permalink

For so many of us in the comfort of the west, it is hard to understand the generational conflicts in the Middle East, between Jew and Muslim or Sunni and Shia.

The cycle of provocation and vengeance has lost its beginning. It seemingly has no end. It is wrapped on all sides in justifications of faith.

Both violence and faith are used by evil people as a means to ascend to power. But good people too become absorbed in the tradition of blood for blood.

How can faith help break this cycle? How can each side use his or her belief in a higher power, and in their sacred scripture, to see the humanity in someone different?
 
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters, Dallas
 
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is a humanitarian one, and it would be wrong to label it as Jewish and Muslim or between Judaism and Islam. We have to guard ourselves from labeling each other as enemies which we are not, and we shouldn’t be. Of course a few among us (Jewish or Muslim) look to the other as if ‘they’ have wronged us. No, none whatsoever.
 
The conflict should not deteriorate the delicate relationship between Jews, Christians and Muslims; instead it should bring us together to build a cohesive America, and hopefully cohesive societies across the world where no human has to live in fear of the other.
 
It is easy to blame the religion, an intangible that you cannot kill, shoot, beat, hang or bury to restore trust and justice in the society, but you restore trust in the society by holding the individual wrong doers accountable.
 
It is time for Jews, Christians and Muslims to re-look at their books and start seeing and believing in a God who is just, merciful and loving, and not a bigot who takes sides, favors one over the other, or makes deals with one set of people behind other’s back. Do we need a sneaky God like that? Hell No!
 
I have spent 20 years researching on pluralism and here is my take. The holy books are right, God’s words are right, and religions are beautiful. God loves us all, we are his creation, and his words are not the problem; it is our understanding that is messed up.
 
Most of the religious men are insecure, and want to secure their income, place and status in the society by doing what sells; making a villain out of God, who hates Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and others. That is the real problem.
 
Making a villain out of God
 
Some of the most powerful leaders in Christianity tend to be sadistic men, and their own tailor-made-God loves killing people, and they remorselessly justify and cherish massacres of Palestinians, because God will come soon to the earth if that happens. Does Jesus want blood on his hands to come back?
 
The Powerful Jews and Muslims are no better either; they have got their scriptures completely wrong. One’s bigoted God has promised them the land robbing from the others, and the other’s bigoted God tells them not to make friends with Christians and Jews. The interpretations for the following verses need to be corrected – Exodus 23:31-32, Deuteronomy 1:8, Genesis 15:18-2 and Quran, 5:51 to prevent abusers from justifying injustices and outright hate. God is not a bigot.
 
God is just, and has created everything in harmony and balance. Our free will messes us up with our bad choices. God wills nothing but seeing his creation remain intact as he has created, and it is responsibility of good ones among us to remind the others about what God wants; harmony and respect for his creation.
 
Apologies
 
We should demand an apology from Benjamin Netanyahu, Khaled Mashaal, Barak Obama, our Senators and Congresspersons for the death of the Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused from their irresponsible justifications and actions.
 
God gave paws, fangs and horns to animals to settle their disputes, but denied the same to humans, and instead gave them a tongue to dialogue. I am afraid these men were not blessed with a tongue. They are still at the bottom of the evolution pit and are adept in using their horns, fangs and Paws to settle their disputes.
 
In conclusion, we need to fix the interpretation of our holy books, make God a good God for all, get Netanyahu and Mashaal to dialogue instead of encouraging and funding them to pound each other. Let’s look forward to building security for Israel and justice for the Palestinians; one will not happen without the other.
 
Resign
 
If these men really want peace, we need to put them together with 5 Israeli and 5 Palestinian Children with their mothers, and ask them to look at the kids and promise to them, that they the Palestinian and Israeli leaders together will deliver peace and prosperity, jobs and security to them when they grow up, and that they will not be their villains anymore. Furthermore, they would apologize to them for killing other children who would have become their friends in prosperity. If they have no intentions to deliver the results, why should people elect them?
 
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Thank you
mike

Mike Ghouse

...............................................................................................................................
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.