2 Million Views in 5 days

It surprised the heck out of me, when I checked my Google profile for statistics at:https://plus.google.com/108969690090944956820/about

On 9/11/14 it registered 6,724,555 and on 9/16/14 it jumped to 8, 661,954. Much of it is owed to this piece - http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2014/09/911-my-personal-journey-from-2001.html

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Spirit of Rosh Hashanah - Festivals of the World

Shalom,

Years ago, I had a Radio show called “Festivals of the World” a 15 minutes weekly segment where we shared the essence of festivals that happened that week.   Wish you all the best on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. Next year, Insha Allah, I will study and write the essence of  Rosh Hashanah from a lay person’s perspective.  This year, I am borrowing from a beautiful write up by Jacqueline O' Sullivan.

Leshana tova tikateiv v'techateim." and "Leshana tova tikateivi veti
Wish ya'll the best on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.

Rosh Hashanah
Joy and Judgment
Jacqueline O' Sullivan explains the annual celebration.

The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) takes place in the month of Tishri (September and October on the Gregorian calendar) and commemorates the anniversary of Creation. It is on this day that G-d opens the Book of Life and observes his creatures, deciding their fate for the coming year.

It is a time of restricted rejoicing because, even though it celebrates HaShem's kingship, the celebrations are muted in acknowledgement of the great judgment taking place.

As is customary in Jewish festivals, observance begins on nightfall the day before Rosh Hashanah. Celebrants prepare by bathing, receiving haircuts, donning special clothes and giving treats to children.

Certain types of work are forbidden, though there are some exceptions. Food preparation and the carrying, transferring or increasing of the fire is all permitted. Women of the household light commemorative candles before sunset of the first night and a half-hour before sunset on the second night of Rosh Hashanah, reciting blessings over them.

Though G-d opens the Book of Life on Rosh Hashanah the judgment is not final. The book is 'sealed' on Yom Kippur, ten days later. The time between these two festivals is known as Shabbat Shuva (The Shabbat of Returning). This is a period for self-reflection in which to justify your existence to G-d. Rosh Hashanah is the only Jewish celebration that lasts for two days, signifying the importance of this date in the calendar.

Prayers play an important part in the proceedings. Intense and lengthy devotions on Rosh Hashanah vary from those normally uttered on Sabbath with even the familiar prayers containing subtle differences. Following the evening prayer people will wish each other a Good New Year. There are also specific greetings for each sex. A man is wished, "Leshana tova tikateiv v'techateim." A woman is bid, "Leshana tova tikateivi vetichatemi." . The Yiddish equivalent is a "gut yoar."

Following lunch on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the ritual of the Casting is performed. Crumbs of bread are tossed into water after the Torah verse, "And you will cast all their sins into the depth of the sea." The hems of the worshippers' garments are shaken alluding to the fact that sins are being cast away.

One of the essential elements of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar. The shofar is made from an animal's horn, preferably a ram. The cow's horn is not acceptable, nor is any animal horn that's a solid piece.

The horn is blown 100 times every day of Rosh Hashanah upon the command of HaShem with different meanings attached to the varying sounds. The Tekiah is one long 'blast' with a clear tone. The Skevarium is a 'broken' sighing sound of three short calls. The Teruah is the 'alarm' of a rapid series of nine or more quick short notes.

The command to blow the shofar comes from the Torah, but no explanation is attached. Rabbis have provided different reasons. It acts as a reminder for the soul to enter into repentance. It is also a warning to the Jewish people not to fall into temptation. It calls to mind the blasts blown by Moses when he ascended from Mount Sinai for the second time, after pleading with G-d for mercy for the Jews who had worshipped at the alter of a false God.

The shofar blower recites two blessings - the community must listen to the blessings and respond 'Amen' to both. It is forbidden to speak once the first blast is sounded until the last one is blown.

The Jewish New Year takes place around September/October, and is considered one of the most important and serious holidays (or High Holy Days) in the Jewish calendar. As well as being a time for celebration it is also a time for reflection and repentance for sins committed in the previous year. In synagogue, people pray to God to forgive them for their wrongdoings and to give them a good year - during the service a Shofar, or ram's horn, is blown, to alert congregants to the seriousness of the festival and the fact that God is deciding their fates for the coming year - which will be sealed on the Day Of Atonement ten days later. This period is known as The Ten Days Of Repentance and is traditionally a solemn time.

However, Rosh Hashanah is also a time for celebration - other traditions include eating apples dipped in honey in the hope that this will lead to a sweet year.


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Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam. Mike's work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and you can find all of his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com

Spirt of Navaratri | Happy Navaratri

Spirt of Navaratri
The Spirit of Navaratri

Among the popular festivals celebrated in India, Navaratri is among the longest.

Like the other festivals of India, Navaratri is rich in meaning. At one level, Navaratri signifies the progress of a spiritual aspirant.During this spiritual journey, the aspirant has to pass three stages personified by Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Then, he or she enters into the realm of the infinite, wherein one realises one's Self. Navaratri, which literally means 'nine nights,' dedicates three days each to worshipping the Divine in the forms of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The tenth day, though, is the most important; it is known as Vijayadashami, the 'tenth day of victory.'

The reason behind the worshipping of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati lies rooted in the philosophy that the attributeless absolute can only be known through the world of attributes—the journey is from the known to the unknown. Hence it is said that Shiva, who symbolizes pure consciousness, can only be known through Shakti, who represents divine energy. That is why people worship Shakti, also known as Devi, in Her various manifestations.

Inner Meaning of Navaratri Worship

The different stages of spiritual progress are reflected in the sequence of celebrations during Navaratri. During the first three days, Durga is worshipped. She personifies that aspect of shakti which destroys our negative tendencies. The process of trying to control our senses is akin to a war for the mind which resists all attempts at control. So the stories in the Puranas symbolically depict Devi in the form of Durga as waging war and destroying the asuras.

However, getting temporary relief from the clutches of vasanas does not guarantee permanent liberation from them. The seeds of the vasanas will remain within in latent form. Therefore, we should supplant them with positive qualities. The Bhagavad Gita refers to these qualities as daivi-sampat, literally "Divine wealth." Correspondingly, we worship Lakshmi during the next three days. Lakshmi is not just the giver of gross wealth or prosperity; She is the Mother who gives according to the needs of Her children. Only one endowed with daivi-sampat is fit to receive the knowledge of the Supreme. Accordingly, the last three days of Navaratri are dedicated to worshipping Saraswati, the embodiment of Knowledge. She is depicted as wearing a pure-white sari, which symbolises the illumination of the Supreme Truth.

The tenth day is Vijaya Dashami, or the festival of victory, symbolising the moment when Truth dawns within. Significance of Navaratri for Householders However, Navaratri is not only significant for spiritual aspirants; it has a message for those who lead a worldly life as well. They should invoke Durga's help to surmount obstacles, pray to Lakshmi to bestow peace and prosperity, and contemplate upon Saraswati in order to gain knowledge. These three ingredients are just as necessary for a full and complete worldly life. In reality, when we pray like this, we are but invoking the Shakti that is within ourselves.

Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are not different entities, but different facets of the singular Divinity. Some of the spiritual practices associated with Navaratri include fruit and milk fasts, japa (mantra chanting), chanting of hymns dedicated to Devi in Her different forms, prayer, meditation and recitation of sacred texts including the Devi Mahatmya, Sri Lalita Sahasranama and the Durga Saptashati.

Navaratri, Dussehra and the Ramayana Navaratri highlights the principles elucidated by the Ramayana. This is hinted at in the other name by which Vijaya Dashami is known in India, Dussehra. "Dussehra" is derived from "Dasha-hara," which means "victory over the ten-faced one." This ten-faced being ("Dashamukha") is none other than Ravana, Lord Rama's adversary. His ten heads symbolise the ten senses (five of perception and five of action). Ravana's manifest extrovertedness stands in contrast to Dasharatha, Lord Rama's father, whose name can be taken to mean "one who has controlled his ten senses." That he is father to a Divine Incarnation suggests that only when one is able to subdue all ten senses can one realise the divinity within.

In similar allegorical fashion, Sita, Rama's consort, represents the mind. As long as the mind remains wedded to the Self within, so long will bliss ensue. That is why Rama and Sita are depicted as enjoying a harmonious and satisfying relationship, both amidst palatial comforts and the privations of the forest. As soon as the mind withdraws from the Self and turns outwards to worldly objects, bliss ceases, and sorrow follows.

In the Ramayana, Sita becomes distracted by a golden deer, actually an asura (demon) in disguise, and starts coveting it. Rama counsels her on its true nature, but Sita remains deaf to his words of wisdom, and insists that he captures it for her. Rama orders Lakshmana to remain with Sita and protect her from danger, while He pursues the deer. As soon as Rama hunts it down, the magical deer treacherously calls out, in Rama's voice, to Lakshmana and Sita for help. Hearing this, Sita is convinced that Rama's life is in danger and tells Lakshmana to hurry to Rama's rescue. Lakshmana, who represents tapas (austerity), recognises that the situation is a trap and tries to advise Sita accordingly. Sita arrogantly rebuffs his explanations and orders him to leave at once. Seeing no other way out, Lakshmana leaves in search of his brother. Before leaving, he draws a line on the ground and warns Sita not to cross the line.

This line, the Lakshman rekha, marks the limits of morally permissible behaviour. Because Sita trespasses into forbidden territory, she has to suffer the consequences: she is taken captive by Ravana. Only after this ten-headed egoist gets destroyed, only after the ten senses are controlled, is Sita reunited with Rama. The story of the Ramayana is relevant to us as well. If we wish to progress spiritually, we have to first make efforts to control the negative tendencies. Only then can we cultivate the positive ones. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna enumerates the signs of a Jnani (one who has realised the Self), not because an ordinary person can recognise such signs, but so that we may cultivate those qualities. Likewise, Amma says that we should read stories about Lord Rama so that we may become Rama Himself, that is, imbibe His noble qualities.

Navaratri

A deeper meaning of the festival Navaratri suggests the spiritual growth of a person, where one needs courage to stand up for others and protect the weaker and be able to fight the evil and their temptations. This is the first requirement of spiritual growth - to take a firm against the evil and for the good. The second requirement is to fulfill one's needs, treat the guests and help the poor. For this one needs money and the next three days of Navratri are dedicated to the worship of Lakshmi so that she would bless us with the necessary money to be put to good use. Learning virtues and good qualities and upholding one's responsibility as a sacred duty is the next requirement to the spiritual growth. Finally, Goddess Saraswati is worshipped so that she blesses us with power of knowledge and helps us to attain spiritual enlightenment.

The 9 nights festival of Navratri begins on the first day of Ashwin of the bright fortnight. The festival comes to an end on the tenth day of Vjay Dashmi or Dussehra, when the idols of the Goddess Shakti are immersed in the river. Dussehra, is thus, considered auspicious for beginning mantra incantation and renouncing the world as 'Sanyasi'. However, Navaratri has a message for people who lead worldly life too. It teaches us to surmount obstacles with the help of Durga, thank and pray to Lakshmi for her blessings and gain knowledge with the blessings of Saraswati. This done, we can find Shakti (power) within ourselves. We must also understand that Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are different facets of a single entity, thus, representing that Mother Goddess bestow us with wealth, prosperity and knowledge and protect us too.
Much of this article is a compilation by Mike Ghouse
Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam. Mike's work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and you can find all of his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

TEXAS FAITH: Is it ever right to divorce a spouse with Alzheimers?

Whether it is Pastor Robertson or Imam Mohiuddin, they are in the same garb. What I see is the abuse of one's advisory position and misuse of scriptures. I would expect religious men and women to teach unselfish but rewarding love and loyalty. The Pastor is suggesting exactly what a handful of Muslim Robertsons interpret Sharia to be; to suit their chauvinistic mindset.
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When Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson told a caller on his TV show that a married man dating another woman because his wife was suffering from Alzheimer's "should divorce and start all over," it caused a predictable reaction. Even his co-host reminded Robertson that couples vow to remain together "for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer." But Robertson did not back off: "I hate Alzheimer's. It is one of the most awful things because, here is a loved one, this is the woman or man that you have loved for 20, 30, 40 years, and suddenly, that person is gone. They're gone. They are gone." Alzheimer's, he said, "is a kind of death." And he said he would not put a "guilt trip on someone who divorced for such a reason."

What to make of this? Conservative Christian leaders were swift to condemn Robertson's remarks. But as the New York Times reported, many doctors and patient advocates had a more complex response - some suggesting that he had broached an important subject, how spouses and other family members of dying patients can prevent their lives from being engulfed and start to move on.

How do we reconcile the practical and moral conflicts in Robertson's advice? Is it ever right to divorce a spouse suffering from Alzheimer's? What is the morally acceptable thing for people who develop new relationships while caring for a spouse in the last stages of Alzheimer's?

Our Texas Faith panel weighs in with some provocative, and often surprising, answers on a very difficult issue. 14 Panelists respond including mine: http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/09/texas-faith-is-it-ever-right-t.html

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

Is life all about usefulness of one to the other? Indeed it starts out that way; each one becomes a catalyst and fulfills a need or want of the other. Over the years relationships sustain with mutuality of benefit exchanges, however true love develops reaching it's ultimate in spirituality; loving without a benefit. True love is unconditional and has its own rewards; it's like love of the God.

Neither one of the spouses can remain eternally beneficent to the other in meeting each other's needs as we are bound to face vulnerability. This is what differentiates us from most animals; to stick with the person through thick and thin. Relationships do form in those moments with others who sympathize and understand, however where you take that relationship depends on your own spirituality and morality.

Obviously Pat Robertson does not believe in sacredness of the wedding vows to advocate a married man to divorce and start all over again.


It is a betrayal of one's own sense of morality to divorce a spouse suffering from Alzheimer's for the selfish needs. Most of us are built to feel a sense of guilt, remorse and repentance and not walk away from a non-benefit giving spouse, by extension, would one dump God in distress? What if it was the man, wouldn't the wife stick with him? Didn't Nancy Reagan stick with President Reagan? Betrayal is an exception and not the rule; a majority of people regardless of their faith do not take that option and in turn find their worth in serving the loved one.

When my late wife was unable to do personal chores during her cancer treatment, I volunteered to do it for her; instinctively she refused and was not comfortable, but accepted it on the same argument. Would you do it for me if I were in your shoes? The bonding reward is something I would cherish for a life time and I have discovered hundreds of men and women rejoicing the same.

The Pastor is suggesting exactly what a handful of Muslim Robertsons interpret Sharia to be; to suit their chauvinistic mindset. There is a case going on in New Jersey, where the right of a man to demand sex from his spouse is debated, the guy thinks it is his God given right and uses an in-authentic quote from the Islamic tradition in his defense. On the other extreme a French court fines a man for failing to have sex with his wife while he was married to her for two years. It was calculated at $1.79 per day amounting to $13,200.00 for the services he did not render.

Whether it is Pastor Robertson or Imam Mohiuddin, they are in the same garb. What I see is the abuse of one's advisory position and misuse of scriptures. I would expect religious men and women to teach unselfish but rewarding love and loyalty.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam. Mike's work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and you can find all of his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Conference on Islam in America

The Conference on Islam in America
DePaul University’s loop campus
Depaul University, Chicago
September 23-24, 2011

News and Media Representations of Islam and Muslims
The Face of Islam in America: Racialization and Space in the Media Panel

Mike Ghouse presents:

ABSTRACT:

           
Since Sept. 11, 2001, a negative image of Muslims was successfully portrayed in the media, tilting Americans toward buying stereotypical images of Muslims. However, the year 2010 witnessed a dramatic shift in auto-correcting that error.

The Ground Zero Mosque, nay, the Muslim community center in New York was a major turning point in adding the average American Muslim to the media mix of public faces who were not only moderates but also contributors to the overall prosperity and security of America. This has gradually changed the perceptions about Muslims; the average American can relate with this segment of common Muslim voices sidelined heretofore.

A fuller picture of engaging Muslim diversity has thus emerged in civic society; from speakers with beards and head coverings to no head coverings and no beards, just as a majority of Muslims live their day to day life like all others.

While the intolerant ones in all groupings are in a panic mode, the religious leaders from every faith spoke up against gratuitous divisiveness caused by demonstrations at a Mosque in California or other mosques including the Ground Zero Mosque. The Anti-Sharia theme is not going to fade away, even though many a Muslims have articulated against a remote possibility of Sharia in America, the fears are hyped and the perceptions are real.

During all of this Americans got to hear the common Muslim voices sidelined heretofore. The peaceful revolutions in the Middle East have upset the business of a few who had successfully cashed in on painting Muslims as terrorists. Time Magazine lists several Muslims among the 100 Influential individuals of 2011. They are not only the heroes for heralding a new era but they also provide positive role models for Muslims to look up to. The capstone to this sea change is the end of an evil era; thank God Osama bin Laden is now gone for good. It is the best news Muslims have had in a decade.

             Questions about freedom of religion and the first amendment were dangled and a range of discussion were carried on including the character of the nation; should America lead the world and set the standards for co-existence or dig in her heels?   

The Muslims in Media have emerged in the last year and are pounding sense with the main stream public. Muslims are engaged in building cohesive societies where no one has to live in apprehension of the other.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam. Mike's work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and you can find all of his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com
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Texas Faith - Do you think monotheism is a superior form of religious belief?

Monotheism would not be a superior form of religious belief, if it gets Abrahamic faiths to gang up against others. However, if it becomes a panacea to develop cohesive societies where no one has to live with fear of the other, then it is a belief that works superiorly along with the polytheistic, native, pagan, atheistic and humanistic traditions who aspire to create a kingdom of peace for its inhabitants.

If we can learn to accept and respect the God given (genetic for those who do not believe in God) uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

To read the take by all the panelists go to Dallas Morning News at: http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/09/texas-faith-is-monotheism-supe.html

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MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

In spiritual terms, the phrase superior belief is oxymoronic. Religion is about humility and not arrogance. It is the inculcation of the value of humility that builds cohesiveness in a given society. Arrogance simply destroys it.

Every religious teacher and spiritual master was committed to harmony within the group and with others. Indeed with almost no exceptions, every tradition has established a form of prayer to connect with the creator. That, invariably, involves bowing, leaning, kneeling or prostrating, it is learning to be humble.

Arrogance and spirituality are inversely proportional to each other. The greater the arrogance, the lower the spirituality and vice versa. Arrogance depletes one's spirituality (humility), while humility enhances the blissful connection with oneself and the universe.

Claiming superiority of a "belief" gives a false sense of security to those whose belief is based on the assumption that the other is inferior. To them, other religions have to be wrong or inferior for theirs to be right. That's a false foundation for a belief to rest on. As with every aspect of life, monotheism, polytheism, theism or atheism is a security blanket and not a genuine source of solace to a small portion of the population resulting in discontentment and fear of learning the other.


Monotheism evolved as a panacea to "me and my God" attitudes causing one to dig in his (rarely her) heels leading to irresolvable conflicts and destructiveness. It was to offer a larger tent to accommodate everyone and develop the inclusive attitudes of "me, us and our God".

Much of this development originated in the Zoroastrian tradition and has been a part of Judaism, Christianity and Islamic traditions that firmly believe in Uno God as if God is a physical being. Even though Judaism and Islam do not collapse God into an image or a word, they still posit God as a being.

However, in the Hindu tradition, the causer and the creator was the same and was called by many names including Brahma, the ultimate reality. The societies accepted physical manifestation of that reality in different iconic forms. They found pluralism was the panacea to resolving conflicts involving abstract aspects of life.

The Baha'i and Sikh faiths evolved as unifying and inclusive traditions. Buddhism and Jainism did not see the need to manufacture God as an arbitrator of their conflicts and or a source of peace within. Many earth based and native traditions have their own systems that work beautifully for them.


Monotheism would not be a superior form of religious belief, if it gets Abrahamic faiths to gang up against others. However, if it becomes a panacea to develop cohesive societies where no one has to live with fear of the other, then it is a belief that works superiorly along with the polytheistic, native, pagan, atheistic and humanistic traditions who aspire to create a kingdom of peace for its inhabitants.

If we can learn to accept and respect the God given (genetic for those who do not believe in God) uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
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MY NOTES AT DALLAS MORNING NEWS IN RESPONSE TO READERS


There is no such thing as Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai or God. All that we can see comprehend or believe has evolved from a single act. The people of religion call that cause or the causer with many different names including God. This is the broadest definition.


Whether you call that element Manito, Yahweh, Elahi, Ishwar, Allah, Mahavira, Buddha, Wahe Guru, Ahura Mazda, mother earth, Jesus Christ or any name, it is the same thing.


Monotheism is fine, and I am a monotheist, meaning I see God as one energy and I have no problem if you see God as one, none and many and in every form; male, female, genderless and non-existent, being and non-being, nameless and with innumerable names. I will not claim that my belief is superior to any, it amounts to arrogance. The religion I follow brings humility to me and not arrogance.


Claim of superiority makes the other inferior. Who am I to say that, and who will accept that non-sense? The conflict has continued for thousands of years. The guardians of every religion somehow pose that their faith is the only one, the best, the wise, the scientific, the oldest… so what? It does not make others anything less.


Twenty years ago, almost all Christians believed that Salvation is only through Jesus and others would go to hell – today nearly 30% of Christians subscribe to that, a survey is warranted for Jews, Muslims, Hindus and others. Muslims outside the religious institutions may have a similar percentage based on my discussions and the Quraan supports that where God says, whether you are a Jew, Christian or other, you need not worry, be good to fellow beings and your reward comes through me.


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Tex65


Madjess has addressed your concerns and I appreciate his (or her) take on it, which is very close to my understanding. It is the one that starts with "A person can believe that there is no god but God ….." I have also addressed it in my response to Nityananada Das, which starts with, "Even if there were multiple causes leading to creation, life evolved from one single act…" the following is related to the above referred comments.


Indeed, I am pleased to re-iterate your quote, "I testify that there is no god except God." As a Muslim, I see the corollary "there is no act but one act, the act that we call God. Not every Muslim will subscribe to this but he or she can see the validity. In Islam God is not a material, not a being, not an entity, it is just nature or the energy that powers the creation.


The idea of monotheism was to bring people on singular abstract platform and a form of God where most people can agree with the attributes ascribed to that energy, it was to mitigate the conflicts of your God vs. my god and agree to the idea of our God, hence we are one family (Hinduism – Vasudaiva Kutumubukum and other religions have expressed it in the format the Golden rule, what is good for me has got to be good for the other for both of us to co-exist without apprehension.


We are all learning to see the depth and meaning of God and the search continues, and I am happy for those who believe in absolutes and appreciate those who are on their journey.


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Nityanands Das;


Even if there were multiple causes leading to creation, life evolved from one single act. I believe the people of religion call that cause or the causer with many different names including God. However, the atheist may be content with not giving it a name to that cause; they may not even have the desire to create a system around it.


Monotheism is a belief in that singular energy, whereas polytheism is seeing that one causer in multiple forms. We all create God in our own image, to some it is absolutely one and to some they see different aspects of the same causer, as Hinduism calls it Demi-Gods, or Devas. Both systems work for the believers.


To believe that Monotheistic format is absolutely right and the other ain't reflects the arrogance of the believer. What is the need for such assertion? Monotheistic belief is to lead societies into coherence and reduce conflicts by accepting that we are all diverse people from one source and it is in our interest to maintain that cohesiveness. The polytheistic belief accepts the diversity to begin with, that in itself leads to cohesive societies. It is not the belief in one, none or many Gods that is the problem in the society; rather it is the greed and insecurities of the individuals that is the problem. Both the systems are designed to help the individual gain his own balance and balance in relating with others, they are good systems, most people get it and a few don't. Those who don't get, tend to be intolerant. It is our responsibility to share with them the purpose of life – to live without apprehension or live in balance, to the religious it means in devotion of God where one feels secure.


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Dear Nityananda Chandra Das;


"To claim God supreme is not arrogance but rather a humble recognition of the truth of our position in relation to God. ". Mr. Das, I fully agree with your comment, however to claim Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism or… other faith is superior, or monotheism is superior to polytheism, then it amounts to arrogance. No faith is superior; each faith is beautiful to the believer. Why one's faith has to be superior?


Indeed, our humility is realized when we realize the superiority of God. Humility is essential to build cohesive societies.


Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam. Mike's work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and you can find all of his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hannity Radio: Sean Hannity, Pamela Geller and Mike Ghouse

Nationally syndicated Radio show by Hannity
Live at 2:00 PM EST and will be relayed again at 5:00PM EST,
Monday, September 19, 2011


I will be on the Hannity Show again this evening on Fox TV at 9:30 PM EST.


The topic was Iran, but we jumped to Palestine Statehood.   Sixty three years have been squandered with no signs of peace in the Middle East.  Recognition of Palestine will put an end to the phobias and fears. The Jewish anxieties will subside when they realize for the second time in their history (first one was creation of Israel) that they are able to live a life of justice, which is a central tenet of Judaism that they had abandoned for security. It will free their psyche. It will have a dominos effect, one by one, the Arab nations will recognize Israel’s right to exist over a few years. It simply means acceptance of Israel and a welcome call to the neighborhood.


Much, rather little of my talk was based on:


2.      MR. PRESIDENT, YOU MUST VOTE FOR PALESTINE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNYmI6MlhZw

3.      YES TO PALESTINE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WA2NlDU-LM
 

4.      History of the conflict – 44 minutes worth watching
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WA2NlDU-LM


Pamela Geller is out to promote her new book, and hate mongering ensures sales. She does not give rat’s tail about Israel – like Madoff and others.
 

I have debated not going on the show, but that will give them a free ride without any one questioning it. Once, they wanted me to say words in support of Brotherhood and I am opposed to their ideology. I said, I will not do it – so what do they do? Go get that idiot Anjum Choudhary who said he will fly Islam’s flag on white house. So, I go.
 

Pamela Geller was attacking Palestinians and lying about them.

She said President Abbas said he will not recognize Israel – I countered that that he is the one supported by Israel and Palestine all along and represents the moderate majority.

The have been acknowledging the existence of Israel all along – when they talk with each other, they refer to them as Israelis and Palestinians.


Quoted Mother Teresa – If you want peace, talk with your enemy and not the others.  They were too quick to draw that I will not demand Palestinian to say they recognize Israel, I asked both Israel and Palestine. It is all about propaganda.

She brought up that some idiot said there will not allow Jews in Palestinian, I countered that a Rabbi has said to kill the Palestinians, and it is in Jerusalem post – neither is valid representation of either people.
 

She talked about Islamism taking over America – I countered that she is exaggerating it, and too much of hot air in it that needs to be released.
 

No will be happy about going on Fox, but I am content that a few points were made.  A few Muslim organizations do not want me to go on Fox… but they don’t go either.  I get a lot of emails from the viewers and listeners appreciating pointing to another point of view. If even 100 people see another point of view or question the veracity of Geller. I have done my job, a job no one wants to do.
 

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam. Mike's work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and you can find all of his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

President Obama, you must vote for Palestine now

Since President Truman, none of the American presidents have had the balls to take a stand and do the right thing; facilitate a lasting solution for the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The talk of two states remains a hoax without recognition of Palestine as a nation. It is a necessity for the security of Israel to recognize Palestine; it will tie the loose ends.



Two videos:..


MR. PRESIDENT, YOU MUST VOTE FOR PALESTINE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNYmI6MlhZw


Sixty three years have been squandered with no signs of genuine security for the Jews; they have been living with an unsettling fear and have been on-the-run for their whole history. Not a week goes by where Anti-Semitism is not countered in Europe, it is there in Latin America and it is there in Asia.
The Jews have not been able to breathe freely. There is a genuine phobia that someday a segment of radical Christians will uproot them as Germany did in the recent past and Spain some five hundred years ago, those were the only nations where the Jews felt home twice in their history but were betrayed both the times.

Shamelessly, anti-Semitism continues to operate under the radar in the United States. Not a month passes here in the United States without the markings of Anti-Semitism. Some one’s house is painted with Swastika, someone yells at them “you people” or opens the fire in the Holocaust Museum or demonstrates hateful placards like “Christ Killers”, there are still a few Christians out there who cannot shake this off from their chests.

Shame on our civilization that one group of people has to live in apprehensions of the other. It is just not the Jews but many a minorities in the world live in fears of the other. Shouldn’t we feel bad about it? Are we evil that someone has to be afraid of us? It has got to change.

Recognition of Palestine will put an end to the phobias and fears. The Jewish anxieties will subside when they realize for the second time in their history (first one was creation of Israel) that they are able to live a life of justice, which is a central tenet of Judaism that they had abandoned for security. It will free their psyche. It will have a domino effect, one by one, the Arab nations will recognize Israel’s right to exist over a few years. It simply means acceptance of Israel and a welcome call to the neighborhood.

The real enemies of Israel are those who are milking monies in the name of Israel. It is business to them, they are the Madoffs whose sincerity to Israel is doubtful but loyalty to cashing in the name of Israel is certain. They are manipulators and constantly coerce our congress and senate and get their way. Heck, they have made it worse for Israel by aggravating the conflicts.

The Judeo-Christian phrase was thrown around 40's to make up for the guilt. A whole industry of opportunists was born from that. The two faced support for Jews by Billy Graham, Richard Nixon, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, Glenn Beck and other chest thumpers had ulterior motives. They wanted to cash in on the name of Israel and perhaps convert them or pre-empt God for the Armageddon.

Jews need sincerity and not duplicity to feel secure. A genuine security is like a child in mother’s lap; safe and free from fears. Jews need to feel there is a home for them, where they can chat with friends in a cafĂ© and carry on conversations without any fear, have zero fears for their school going children or ride the bus without fear. More than that, Jews can live their life again as they wanted to; to be a just people.

All of that is possible once the Palestinians feel justice is finally served to them. Shame on our cvilization, we have not cared for the lives of Palestinians, they are deprived of the very basics of life; a home and a nationality. We have stripped them from their hopes, it will change with this recognition.

President Obama has an opportunity to finalizing the transaction for Israel which was opened by President Truman. Prior to President Truman’s decision to recognize Israel, he was vehemently opposed by many in his administration including the Secretary of State George Marshall, Truman was threatened that his administration will be wrecked, indeed “the wise men” firmly opposed recognition of Israel. Did Truman budge?

President Obama will be equally hounded by Fox News and the right wingers. He has a choice to stand up and act with courage and become a one term president with balls and leave a lasting legacy of bringing genuine security to Israel and hope for the Palestinians.



If President Obama vetoes for Palestinian Statehood, he will do more damage to America’s stature in the community of nations besides keeping Israel in the state of anxiety until another Truman is born.


Let’s recognize Palestine and continue the peace process. It will abate the strife between Jews and Muslims and restore the cordiality that existed prior to the World War I. It is good for Israel, good for Palestine, good for America and good for the Middle East and the World.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive Societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam. Mike's work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and you can find all of his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Texas faith - Should we pray for rain?

The creator has designed a perfect ecological system for the planet earth to sustain on its own; however a few anomalies are built-in as a reminder for us to accept our own imperfections. Rain is one of the major components of that system and every so often, the system breaks down resulting in famines.  

Dallas Morning News
Texas Faith, September 13, 2011


Should Texans or for that matter, others afflicted by drought pray for rain?  If so, how would you pray? And what would you expect? If not, why wouldn’t you pray for rain? 

Rain is a major source of life-giving water. It fills the lakes, runs the rivers, grows the food, tends the plants which produce oxygen and facilitates all that we consume for nourishment and survival. Lack of rain brings disasters.

The creator has designed a perfect ecological system for the planet earth to sustain on its own; however a few anomalies are built-in as a reminder for us to accept our own imperfections. Rain is one of the major components of that system and every so often, the system breaks down resulting in famines.  

We have not had rain for a long time, what are our choices?   When our intellect does not produce alternatives, we turn to the creator; it is our only hope. 

Gov. Rick Perry’s proclamation to pray for rain may have its origins when he was a Commissioner for Agriculture. Indeed Jesus had made frequent references to it, in Matthew 13; four parables were mentioned relating to agriculture.

Doesn’t the creator know his operation has gone bonkers and needs fixing? He does, the mother knows what her children want, the employers know what the employees want, yet we have to ask for it.  So, we pray!

The Native Americans felt the need to appease the creator and initiated rain dances.  The Egyptian prayed for rain so the Nile can flow and they can get their water for sustenance. 

Moses declared in Deuteronomy 11:14 " I will give you the rain of your land…" and laid a condition, “to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul." 

Lord Krishna says, “Beings are nourished by food, food is produced by rain, rain comes from sacrifice, and sacrifice is performed by action” and in chapter 19 of Bhagvad Gita he says “O Arjuna, I control heat, the rain and the drought.” 

Indeed, it is a routine in India for the Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Jains to gather up and sing songs for rain. Even eminent scientist like C.N.R. Rao has inaugurated festivities to Goddess Chamanudeshwari to bless the State with bountiful rain. 

James 5:18, “Then, Elijah prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops”

Martin Lings, a Muslim scholar writes, “In Quraan the ideas of Mercy and water, in particular rain are in a sense inseparable” he compares that to the idea of revelation and the rain, both sent down by all Merciful God and both are spoken of as life giving. He adds that “the divine mercy reaches the uttermost confines of creation.”

In April this year, the Council on American Islamic Relations urged Muslims in Texas mosques to offer special Islamic prayers, called Salatul Istisqa, simply meaning asking God for water. This prayer was offered by Prophet Muhammad during times of drought.  Muslims pray 2 units of optional prayers either personally or in congregation, it is in the same format of daily prayers except the supplications for rain.

As a pluralist, I want to assure that this piece is meant to represent all religious traditions even though they are not mentioned.  May God bless us with rain now, Amen.

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The weekly column called Texas Faith at Dallas Morning News asks the religiously oriented to write about the issues facing the nation from their faith perspective.  I have been blessed to be sharing my take for over a year now. At the morning news, you can read at least ten other takes on the question. http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/09/texas-faith-should-we-pray-for.html

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Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam. Mike's work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and you can find all of his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com

Monday, September 12, 2011

Perry wins the debate in Florida

Republican  Presidential Candidates debate tonite on CNN 
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2011/09/perry-wins-debate-hands-down-monday.html
Please join me on my new speaker page on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mike-Ghouse/268972156462319

Please click LIKE after my name to participate.

I have launched this new page to open up to new friends to join me. The first page has reached the limit of 5000 friends and second is nearing 800... I had better have one new page for new friends Material would be same.


All the eight Republicans participated - Perry, Bachmann, Romney, Paul, Gingrich, Cain, Santorum, Huntsman. 
 

However Bachman, Gingrich, Santorum and Cain are a waste of time, but subtly boosting Perry or Romney. Bachman certainly lifts Romney, Gingrich lifts Perry.
# # #
Tea party activists booed on Ron Paul about War issues and Afghanistan. They booed Perry on inoculation to the teens to presumably protect from potential cervix cancer.

Poor singing of National Anthem by Diana Nagy. It was embarrassing. Listen to this one we played at Unity day yesterday by Beyonce’. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=OhrrGu2rcZ4

Moderator assured “fair share” of questions. Either Bachman, Gingrich, Santorum, Cain were a waste of time and it was fair not to give them the time or he was not fair.
The debate was really between Perry on one side, Romney, Huntsman on the other, while the others were useful.
Social Security – Somehow criticism did not stick to Perry, even though he was in a defensive position, he played offensive.
Inoculation to teens – Perry stuck with the guns of being pro-lifer first. Bachman hit him hard. Perry, “I am offended that you criticize for $5ooo contribution against 30 millions?” Bachman said “she was offended for the girl not having a choice”. She got a lot of applause. Santorum hits Perry hard on the same note. The tea partiers did not give the claps to Perry, even though he spoke the plain Bubba language. His winning moment was when he said it was wrong for him to pass the executive order instead of going through the legislature. Wasn’t Bush made the same way? Shove it down the throat? Somehow Perry made it through. If he has more mistakes like that, it may be a major issue.

Gingrich was useful to Perry, but he was dishonest about GE not paying taxes… that was because of Bush tax breaks dummy. Don’t blame Obama for that… sorry to say this, there is a shortage of intelligence among Tea Party members. Check the www.MediaMatters.org, they do the fact check immediately.

Bachman – Obama stole from Medicare – stupid as always. Make some sense lady.
Perry – different tone today on Social Security – look in the face, look in the eye..
no one has the courage to say it like it is.


Romney – Perry said ss is ponzi – after 70 years of relying…

Perry was scaring seniors – did the damage
Romney – got right back – it was ponzi that scared
Huntsman – these two are frightening… instead of finding solutions


Newt – made great points – liked his plan but not rhetoric, safe for senior, let the young manage their own


Perry came out as a straight shooter, he won points when he said he was wrong about the vaccines to the teen girls – he should have gone to legislature. But will use the executive order to wipe out Obama care which got him thunderous applause.
Perry said he is pro-life at least thrice. I have watched the dummy Wolfe Blitzer in the past and have written about how he fails to ask the follow up question. Why did he not ask about the state killing the people? What about the death penalty? Of course, it would have given Perry a few more points. Nothing sticks to that son of a Gun.

Perry is crisp with short answers but has a lot of appeal in his tone.
Most of this was tweeted and posted on face book.


Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media and the public. He is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics of pluralism, cohesive societies, Politics, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace. Over a thousand articles have been published on the topics and two of his books are poised to be released on Pluralism and Islam. Mike's work is reflected in 4 website's and 27 Blogs indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and you can find all of his current articles at www.TheGhousediary.com

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Origins of the word Mohammaden

The word was coined in 1143 when the Arabs were conquering the Europeans lands, here is the story;

The only business of the damned kings was to conquer the next land, enslave the other people, rob them of their wealth, take their women folk and live off their taxes.  There are however exceptions to it. When the Arab Kings marched in to France with their armies, the Kings of France, England and Germany were fighting a 1000 year war to annihilate each other… when they saw this new force; they pulled together, their subjects needed to be pulled together as well.

They commissioned the Monastery of Abbey
to mistranslate the Quraan, and they did that in 1143. The y painted Muhammad as a evil man, and his cult called Mohammaden whose army was marching to slaughter every Christian…. That was 1143.  That was the real birth of Islamophobia. http://quraan-today.blogspot.com/2008/03/islamophobia-and-quraan.html

The translation abounds in inaccuracies, several translations have occurred since then multiplying the errors. European knowledge base on Islam is founded on mis-translations. Most of the Christian and Jewish scholars draw their knowledge from it and propagate the same for material gains. The European and American Islamic Scholars need to add a refresh button to their knowledge.


Rusty, Jihad Watch is a product of that false translation. Robert Spencer and I have had debates on this many times. There was a symposium between him, a few others and I called One Islam way back in 2005 – fortunately he has published my criticism in Front Line and I believe it is in Jihad Watch as well. We were on TV and Radio several times together. 
 

As I have written in my piece at Dallas Morning News; "In the Middle Ages, European leaders commissioned a hostile Quran translation to foster warfare against Muslim invaders. Later, Muslim leaders produced another translation to inflame Muslims against Christians and Jews." http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/09/texas-faith-do-jews-christians.html


Mike Ghouse