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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Texas Faith: How do you interpret the Genesis Creation Story?

TEXAS FAITH: How do you interpret the Genesis creation story?
An old Jewish folk tale makes the point. One day God said to Abraham, "If it weren't for me, you wouldn't be here," to which Abraham replied, "True, but if I weren't here there wouldn't be anyone to think about you." To conclude, we created God in our own image and let's give him wisdom as well.

Dallas Morning News shares 15 opinions on the topic including mine at http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/08/texas-faith-how-do-you-interpr.html
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

The simplistic understanding of the Genesis is that God produced the world in six days in a process that created the universe -- planets, water, earth, plants and life -- and wrapped it up with a final product: man in his own image so he can commune with them. Adam and Eve were set on autopilot to keep procreating themselves and we are here today, seven billion of us from that one single couple.

The conservatives among Abrahamic faiths believe that Adam was the outcome of an intelligent design, and was created in the same format as we are today. They believe that the idea of evolution is in conflict with creationism and goes against the very word of God.

Indeed, they have an unquestionable need to believe that what "they know" is precisely what God means; any other point of view is anathema and confusing to them.  The non-Abrahamic faith followers need not gloat; a new idea is usually an abomination to someone or the other including them.

The liberals on the other hand feel secure to explore unfamiliar territories and find new meaning in the theory of evolution. Both attitudes serve the basic motivations of the individuals: security in the cocoon and need to quench the thirst for knowledge. Together we grow into newer areas of knowledge and enrich life.

Our leaders have a personal right to believe in creation or evolution, or both. They are not mutually exclusive. However, they do not have the right to deprive the rights of citizens to their beliefs and shut one or the other. Most see creation as an understandable transition from evolution.
Is it possible that Adam was the first species in the process of evolution that was able to communicate coherently, take care of him and survive against the nature's oddities?
He was able to survive the fires, storms, blizzards, floods and furies of nature. Did God feel pleased with this new species that was fit enough to survive and become a permanent fixture of the universe unlike the others that faded into oblivion?

Did God call him "Adam" because he was the first one to stand out on his own?
God's word is all embracing and that is what he may have meant in the Bible, Torah and Qur'aan. I am sure the other scriptures carry similar wisdom. It is rather our shortcoming in understanding the spectrum of God's word by limiting the meanings to suit our security needs. Let's give some leeway to God's word, religion is about what we are conditioned to believe.

An old Jewish folk tale makes the point. One day God said to Abraham, "If it weren't for me, you wouldn't be here," to which Abraham replied, "True, but if I weren't here there wouldn't be anyone to think about you." To conclude, we created God in our own image and let's give him wisdom as well.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer and a frequent guest on Hannity show and nationally syndicated Radio shows including local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Over 1000 articles have been published on Pluralism, politics, Islam, India, Israel, Palestine, justice and civil societies.  Two of his books are poised to be released this fall on Pluralism and Islam. He is available to speak at your place of worship, work, school, college, seminars or conferences. His work is encapsulated in 27 blogs, four websites and several forums indexed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/ and www.TheGhousediary.com

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