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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pope Mania – Random Notes

Pope Francis | TheGhouseDiary.com
Pope Francis has become one of the most influential individuals in my life since March 2013. He is a genuine pluralist, and no one falls outside the ambit of his love and caring.

I was watching CNN this morning addressing the prisoners in Philadelphia and randomly made a few notes.

Jesus restored dignity to the prisoners, indeed when a man like Pope takes the time to be with the socially condemned, and in the past he has washed their feet – a symbolic gesture of humility… what should go thru the minds of those prisoners?

As a society our systems condemns the wrong doer, and rarely do we make an effort to give him or her their dignity for the sake of giving a normal life, instead we are focused on punishing him or her, which we should, but we should also consider redeeming them.  After all we should listen to Jesus and condemn the sin and not the sinner.

Thank God, and I thank my parents, I have zero prejudice, and limit my dislike to the actions of the individuals but never ‘them’ or those who are related to them.  It pains me to see bias and prejudices against fellow beings. Of course, I am guilty of occasional fractions myself.

I've bashed Ben Carson for his wrong statements but not him, and I am guilty of being excessive at times.  However, the other day I met a Christian academic whom I have put on pedestal for his pluralistic approach to religions, but was sorely disappointed when he put down Carson’s faith – he said, I don’t understand why an intelligent man like Carson would join a cult (Carson’s religion, I believe it is the 7th day Adventist) and that, I have not been able to digest it.

Listening to Pope is reassuring to me and encourages me that I'm ok... sometime I feel I have no place in the society when people around me are loaded with subtle to blatant Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Hinduphobia, Misogyny, Homophobia, Xenophobia and other ills of the society. When will be free, I ask myself with no answers.

You will be redeemed must have a profound effect on the prisoners; it gives them the hope to consider living their lives like all other humans.  Quran invokes regularly not to judge other people’s faith, and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says, one has the opportunity to seek forgiveness till his last breath, it’s between him and God. Quran adds that the person whom God loves most is the one who forgives.  I pray, we all understand the wisdom and make a habit to forgive and seek forgiveness.

Pope Francis is a genuine follower of Jesus, Muhammad and all the great prophets and spiritual leaders who wanted to build cohesive societies.

While this was going on, I said to my wife, if you want to understand me, study this man Pope, I am driven by similar guidance. Then I made the comment, the only thing left for me to find out if he is against death penalty, which I am, of course that is whole another discussion.  Like a miracle, within two minutes the anchor on CNN announced that Pope is against death penalty. That bonded me firmly and I told her that I have to go on a pilgrimage to visit the pope and do my share of work in reconciliation between different faiths.
I have written over 25 pieces about the pope, a few are listed here and in the links within.

1. Muslims welcome Pope Francis | http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2015/09/pope-francis-muslims-welcome-pope.html

3. More about the Pope: http://mikeghouse.net/PopeFrancis.asp

Thank you,

Mike Ghouse

Mike is a social scientist, thinker, writer and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, human rights, foreign policy and building cohesive societies. Mike offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is blessed with a presence on National TV, Radio Media and Press regularly.  More about him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at TheGhouseDiary.com

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