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Things changed for me in 2008, and I switched to writing at www.TheGhousediary.com or TheGhousediary.blogspot.com

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ghouse speaks at Red River Unitarian Church Feb. 5

Mike Ghouse to speak at Red River Unitarian Universalist Church Feb. 5

By Red River Unitarian Universalist Church
Jan 30, 2012
Red River Unitarian Universalist Church will hear Mike Ghouse speak on the topic “Welcome to My World: The World of Pluralism” at 11:15 a.m. on February 5.
Mr. Ghouse was a speaker and moderator at the 2009 Parliament of World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia, and spoke at the Universal Peace Federation’s peace initiative in Jerusalem in August 2010. He often speaks at UU churches about pluralism, a worldview that advocates inclusivism, tolerance, ecumenism, and diversity among the world’s religions.

At 10:00 that morning, Adult Forum will discuss plans for increasing RRUU’s effectiveness in its community, presented by the church’s “Let’s Grow Group.”
RRUU meets at 515 N. Burnett Ave. in Denison, and all are welcome to attend its services and forums. Nursery care is provided.

More information about the church is at www.rruu.org.

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TODAY’S SERMON: ESSENCE OF RELIGION
February 5, 2012, Unitarian Universalist Church

The questions about what is religion, why are they so many and what is the purpose of religion will always linger. If we were to step back from each one of our faiths and see the purpose it serves, we may discover that the essence of the religion is to bring peace to oneself and peace with others. In essence, religion is about building cohesive individuals and societies.

Religion is about humility and not arrogance, humility builds relationships and arrogance kills it. Indeed the spirituality and arrogance are inversely proportional to each other.

Mike’s sermon today revolves around the topic and we hope you walk out with the feeling that truth is same in different manifestations and that your tradition is as beautiful as every tradition out there.

The Unitarian Universalists have understood the essence of religion; they live it.

The Unitarian Church is located in Sherman Texas, if you wish to attend as my guest, please let me know.

About

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, and an activist committed to building cohesive societies, and offers pluralistic solutions to the media and the public on current issues.

Mike is a frequent guest on Fox News, “The Hannity Show”, and on nationally syndicated radio shows along with Dallas TV, print and radio networks, and occasional interviews on NPR.

He has spoken at international forums including the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia; the Middle East Peace Initiative in Jerusalem; and the International Leadership Conference in Hawaii, Chicago and Washington.

He is a member of the Texas Faith panel at The Dallas Morning News and writes about issues facing the nation every week. He writes for the Huffington Post regularly, and occasionally for the Washington Post and other daily newspapers and magazines around the world. In 2011 Mike published over 300 articles on a variety of subjects. Two books are poised to be released this year on Pluralism and Islam in America.

Mike was a commissioner for the City of Carrollton and president of many organizations including Home Owners Association, North Texas Cricket Association, and a board member of several non-profits such as the Dallas Peace Center.

Mike is a collaborator and much of his work revolves around the subjects of pluralism, interfaith movement, politics, justice, cohesive societies, Islam, India, hope and world peace. Mike’s work is reflected in four websites and 30 blogs indexed at www.mikeghouse.net, and he writes daily at www.TheGhousediary.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Obama or Sundry who?

The public wants to see a formidable challenge to Obama, sadly there is none at this time.

Newt is not a man of his own, he lives under the shadow of Reagan, the name Reagan is his security blanket, and he can’t live without it. He hides under the label conservative; he ain't any conservative with his record.

Romney has a chance but the Evangelical leadership will exhibit their bigotry towards him, he ain’t Christian enough, as if they are following the teachings of Jesus.

Santorum will do anything to get elected; he is making every effort to wean out the clapping crowds from Gingrich to his war drums. Santorum will ruin us completely, just as Bush did.

Ron Paul is by far the best among Republicans, who can beat Obama, but his ideas need to be tested out and we don’t have the time for it. He does not have a support system to implement his ideas even if he gathers enough people, it will take time for them to distinguish between pragmatism and idealism, and their trials and errors will drown America.

I lost him when he says to the dying patient; you are on your own. He assumes that every American is healthy and can survive on his or her own without any one’s help. Being a gynecologist he should know that a baby cannot walk out on his own from a mother’s womb or no one can jump into a grave and cover himself or herself up with the dirt.

So the game is wide open. If Obama can muster up courage and push the congress to present the job bill, extend payroll tax cuts and energize manufacturing sector and re-train Americans instead of assigning the jobs overseas. He will make it. He has got to speak to the America public and ask them to demand the “Republicans” to listen to their needs.

I am a moderate Republican and I cannot relate with any of the war mongers in the top echelon of my party. None of them is capable of talking jobs, peace and prosperity to “all” Americans.

As an America I would like to see the majority in house and the senate rest in two different parties, let them fight and argue but not make unilateral decisions. Have we not made the most egregious and disastrous unilateral decisions when it was Democratic or Republican majority in both the houses?

The debates are good and Obama needs to be challenged to become a doer or the Republicans must learn that we are all in this together as one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America, where no Americans has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer and offers pluralistic solutions on current issues. His work is listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

Newt, you can run but you can't hide

Mitt Romney, Brian Williams and John King wanted simple answers, what did Newt do? Instead of answering, he attacks them and let them spin and fend themselves; King almost felt like it was a crime to do the follow up, Romney recovered at least once but Williams moved on. So, Newt goes Scot free and the supporters laud him. They will keep lauding and keep building Newt to be a farce, fake thing and deliver it to the Tiger.

Tiger will not let this goat frighten him, he would say, Newt first answer the question, answer it now! I am not going to let you get away...with your pranks, baby cranks.

If Newt acts like a baby and responds, "I am not going to answer that", then Obama will "tell" him, I need an answer now, even if you don’t want to answer me, you owe it to the American public, and you can’t do the same to them as you did to two of your wives.

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America, where no Americans has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer and offers pluralistic solutions on current issues. His work is listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Texas Faith: What do you think about Tebowing?

Tebow told Fox Sports last fall that he knows about the criticism, but he's more focused on those who draw inspiration from his public prayers. Said Tebow: "It's not my job to see people's reasons behind it, but I know [of a kid] with cancer that tweeted me, 'Tebowing while I'm chemoing' -- how cool is that?" Tebow said. "That's worth it right now. If that gives him any encouragement or puts a smile on his face, or gives him encouragement to pray, that's completely awesome."

With this phenomenon swirling around us, and the Super Bowl approaching, here is this week's question: What is your view about his public praying and the Tebowing phenomenon that has built up around it?

Eleven Texas Faith panelists respond, please visit Dallas Morning News at http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/01/texas-faith-what-do-you-think.html
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

Tebowing phenomenon has several parallels in our society.

When things are not going well, hope is the only thing that drives the average person to live-on, and look forward to the light at the end of a tunnel. We are in a tunnel now with the highest unemployment a generation has witnessed in a long time; someone we know closely does not have a job, lost his or her house, and is struggling to take care of the family to keep a roof above the head.

God is the last resort for those who believe in divine intervention, we expect miracles, and we day-dream about a positive change in our lives. When someone like Tim Tebow expresses that call to God in public, we feel it in our guts and we relate with it.

We are an untapped reservoir of kindness, and were looking to release that energy. When Tebow rested his knee on the ground with millions of us watching, he instantly became a catalyst and has released that energy in us, and emotionally, we connected with him. This is something we wanted to do, but did not know how.

The last such phenomenon was witnessed on the evening of Tuesday November 4, 2008 by most Americans regardless of their political, ethnic or religious affiliation. I choked and felt the tears in my eyes, the tears of Joy. I was happy to think of the prospect of America becoming a great nation once again, in those few bare seconds I was imagining prosperity knocking on every American door fulfilling the dream of millions of Americans with a Job, health and education for their children. A sense of safety permeated through my body, getting the chills to know that in a few hours the Obama presidency would be a reality. America once again will be a strong, healthy and a prosperous nation. I was still trying to understand my feelings of joy when someone on NPR said it was like "birthing", birthing it was.

Birthing it is. Tebowing has unleashed hope in us, and I hope and pray that our economy recovers and absorbs the unemployed among us to take care of our families. I have interacted with several of my friends from Atheists to Zoroastrians and every one in between; most of them see it as a positive change. Tebow has made us conscious of the need for humility and need for prayers.

Let's pray that all our presidential candidates including the incumbent, to make an effort to visit every place of worship across the width and breadth of our land and kneel in humility towards the creator and sincerely beg to remove the ill-will towards each other. Can we do that? Yes we can, we are in this together and no American should feel apprehensive, discomfort or fear of the other. May God open our hearts and minds towards each other to look with kindness and goodwill, and give hope to each other, Amen!
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Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America, where no Americans has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer and offers pluralistic solutions on current issues. His work is listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Standing with Christians

Jesus Christ’ ultimate dream was to create a kingdom of heaven on the earth; it is the idea where no human has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other under one God. It is the same idea repeated and revived by several great reformers of the world including but not limited to Zarathustra, Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, Muhammad, Nanak, Bahaullah, Gandhi, MLK and others.

Then the best among us would be someone who works towards this goal and believes in the Golden rule, "treat others as you would want to be treated."

I am greatful to God for the blessing and encouragement to stand for others. As an example I am setting a site to list some of my work from an Atheist to Zoroastrian and every one in between.

The following lists a few items of standing up with Christians, as usual the right wingers in other faiths have harassed me for doing this or even demanding why I did not do it for them, by God, given my little life, as a volunteer, I have done as much as I can.

My mentors in pluralism are Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa and I dedicate this collection to them:

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An appeal to Indonesian Muslims
Friday, December 18, 2009 will be noted as a sad day in the history of Indonesia. On this day, a group of people on their way out from attending an Islamic New Year parade attacked the Santo Albertus Church under construction in Bekasi. http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2009/12/appeal-to-indonesian-muslims.html
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Religious conflict in India
Eleven Churches have been razed to ground following a reported attack on Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, a political party leader. Shamefully this is a normal thing in India and it needs to be stopped before it escalates.
http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2007/12/orissa-religious-conflict.html
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As peace makers, we cannot cause people to dig in their heels and take positions, we have to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill for the ultimate good of all. I hope, you understand the avoidance of such language in the petition. http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2011/01/appeal-for-justice-to-pakistani-asia.html
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A Muslim’s Christmas, Huffington PostAs a Muslim I will be celebrating Christmas, recommitting myself to listen to Jesus and follow his path. And in my Islamic tradition, I will reflect on chapter 19 of Quraan, dedicated to Maryam, Mother Mary, and pray on his birthday. I will pray that we all honor his message of creating peace and building cohesive societies where no one has to be apprehensive of the other. Amen!Continued: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/a-muslims-christmas_b_1167258.html

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A tribute to JesusThis column is dedicated to Rev. Petra Weldes of the Center for Spiritual Living in Dallas. Some of my conversation with her inspired me to write this tribute to Jesus and what it means to be religious.http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2009/12/tribute-to-jesus.html

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Iran’s death penalty for Christian pastor violates treaties, KoranIndeed there is absolutely no punishment for apostasy in Quraan; one is free to become a Muslim and free to leave the faith. After all no one is to bear the burden of the other, he alone is responsible for his belief.

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Muslims condemn Blasphemy attack in Kerala
Evil continues to thrive, when good people do nothing about it. Our role as Muslims is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill and work towards building social cohesion, so all the humanity can co-exist in harmony. http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2010/07/muslims-condemn-blasphemy-attack-in.html

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Where is the Muslim outrage?
Mike Ghouse, November 30, 2007
As a Muslim I am outraged at this nonsense going on in Sudan and Saudi Arabia.When Prophet Muhammad’s cartoons were published, few Muslims around the world were outraged to the point of becoming destructive. They burned the embassy in Syria and destroyed property elsewhere. http://www.mikeghouse.net/Articles/Where-is-the-Muslim-Outrage.asp

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Afghan blasphemy caseSpokesman says Karzai has last word in Afghan blasphemy case Mike Ghouse Note: It takes conviction to do the right thing and one must subscribe to the idea of nothing but truth. Karzai needs to pardon, rather, apologize for his governments infringement of individual liberty. There is no compulsion in Islam and one needs to be free to practice what one believes. http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/02/afghan-blasphemy-case.html

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Building Respect for Christmas
A handful of Jews, Muslims and others show belligerence towards the celebration of Christmas and have vandalized Christmas trees, shame on them. http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2010/12/building-respect-for-christmas.html

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Citizenship, Islam and AmericaLaw is one thing and practice is the other. As an American and as a Muslim, I have to be critical of both groupings and work toward creating cohesive societies where no citizen has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other. Here is a summary of 2011 and what we can aspire for 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/citizenship-islam-and-ame_b_1174834.html

. . . . Religious Freedom, international coalition

Religions help us sustain peace and balance in the society in the times of our spiritual, physical and societal ups and downs. Living for the sake of others is not a charity or even a noble thing to brag about; it is indeed the pragmatic thing to do.
http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2010/04/religious-freedom-international.html
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Japanese Unificationists Believed to Be Resisting Confinement
http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Articles/Religious_Persecution_in_Japan.asp
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Top Muslim Declares All Christians 'Infidels'

It is quite possible, the Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar university Ali Gomaa did not say anything like the alleged words listed below. These guys at Middle East Forum may have cooked it up. They have done it before and that is their business. http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2011/11/top-muslim-declares-all-christians.html
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Ninth Church Vandalized in MalaysiaWe appeal the Malaysian Government to reign in this immediately.http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2010/01/ninth-church-vandalized-in-malaysia.html

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Muslims, Christians and The Lost TombOne question that concerns me is the depth of the faith, rather paucity of the faith of the believers. One’s faith must be really weak to be frightened by a movie, and I often wonder, how will it offend the faith of millions? It is not just Christians, Muslims will be offended too. That is nearly 3.4 billion people of the world comprising 2.1 Billion Christians and 1.3 billion Muslims. http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2007/03/faith-and-lost-tomb.html
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Spitting on Christians in JerusalemJudging from the title, I hope you did not jump to the conclusion, that Muslims are the ones spitting on Christians. In this case the culprits are extremists from a different tradition.

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A Church in Saudi Arabiahttp://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2008/03/church-in-saudi-arabia.html

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Mike Ghouse committed to building cohesive Societies and offers pluralistic solutions on current issues. His work is all listed at www.MikeGhouse.net
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Texas Faith - which religious leaders have had an impact

Beyond King, which religious leader has had a major impact on American Politics and culture. Ten Texas Faith Panelists share their thoughts, here is Mike’s perspective, to see them all including this, please go to Dallas Morning News:
http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/01/texas-faith-beyond-king-which.html


Mike Ghouse, President, Foundation for Pluralism

I am pleased to share about a few Pluralist individuals who are making a difference in the religious landscape of Dallas Fort Worth.

Pluralism is an attitude of learning to respect the otherness of others, and accepting the God given uniqueness of each one of us. As we do that, conflicts fade and solutions emerge to create a cohesive America where no one has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other.  In the context of religion, we define Religious pluralism as, learning to respect every which way one honors or worships the divine and accepts each path to be a valid one without denigrating any.

Pastor Bob Roberts of Northwood Baptist Church from Keller, Texas was clear when he opened up his church to a thousand Muslims for celebrating Ramadan. He said, you have your beliefs and your faith and I have mine, no matter how you view Jesus.

 I take him as a son of God and my redeemer and the Muslims understood that and still talk about his eloquence. About a year and a half ago, when Pastor Jeffress said his famous line, Quraan is an evil book written by a false prophet; Bob Roberts wrote an op-ed in Dallas Morning News countering the poor understanding of the other Pastor, there were huge discussions on it honoring Bob Roberts for leading the way in accepting the otherness of other.

Pastor George Mason of Wilshire Baptist Church has helped me understand and propagate the grace aspect of God, it is not just your actions and deeds that are enough, but God’s ultimate grace is needed for salvation. This is one of the differences in understanding between Muslims and Christians and his teachings have built some bridges of understanding.

The Pastor of the Unification Church, Rev. Sun Myung Moon who is making a genuine difference in the world of Pluralism by practicing respect for other faiths in his congregations and organizations throughout the world.

I am highlighting Pastors Roberts and Mason, because they are Baptists of big Churches. There is a bias against Baptists out there in the market that I hope to remove. Each religion has its own share of bigots and we need to see that clearly.

Indeed, our first Unity Day event’s Christian prayers were led by Late Rev. Roy Harrell another Baptist Minister.  There are many more great pastors I admire for their work; Rev. Bill Matthews, Rev. Petra Weldes, Rev. Diane Baker, Rev. Eric Folkerth, Rev. Dennis Hamilton and several others who are making a difference in our area.

The open mindedness of Swami Nityananda Prabhu of Hare Krishna Hindu Temple; a panelist on this forum is admirable. Where ever I run, people love to talk about his teachings from Bhagvad Gita on my Radio Show, called Wisdom of Religion.  He has indeed opened up minds of non-Hindus to see the wisdom of Hinduism.

Dr. Imam Zia Shaikh of Irving Islamic Center has broken many records of stereotyping Muslims; one of the situations was when he led the Pledge of Allegiance in one of the annual Unity day programs. I was rather surprised to hear from a few calling me up to tell that, they did not expect a Muslim Imam to lead the pledge of Allegiance and they said we will not stereotype Muslims any more.

He is active in interfaith and perhaps one devoted and a committed Muslim who has attended every interfaith program in the last five years and he has demonstrated in respecting the other otherness of other.

 Same goes with Dr. Imam Yusuf Zia Kavakci of Richardson Mosque, who is considered one of the 100 recognized Muslims Scholars in the world. The Muslims in Dallas Fort worth hear and see the open mindedness of these two scholars towards other faiths. Both of them are nurturing the values of pluralism in their congregations; that is thousands of Muslims in our area who are influenced by their teachings.

Each one of them is all about affection for life, non-discriminatory caring. They do not favor one person over the other for the heck of it, instead, they look at the good deeds, which Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] described as the good you can do to other beings, the goodness you bring to God's creation. 

Mike's note: There are many more individuals who have done tremendous work in the Dallas Forth Worth Metroplex, God willing, I hope to write about them as well.


 Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America, where no American has to be apprehensive, uncomfortable or fear the other. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day and a frequent guest on Sean Hannity Show on Fox and a regular guest on National syndicated radio show and Dallas Media. With over 1000 published articles he has two books poised to be released. Most of his work is indexed at www.MikeGhouse.net

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Double standards of Islamic and western societies

This article is an experimental writing, the first five paragraphs are copied and pasted as the next five, the difference is the first set highlights hypocrisy in Muslim majority nations while the same words express the hypocrisy in western democracies.


Law is one thing and practice is the other. As an American and as a Muslim, I have to be critical of both groupings and work toward creating cohesive societies where no citizen has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other. Here is a summary of 2011 and what we can aspire for 2012.

Published at Huffington Post

Published at the Ghouse diary

Published: Indian Muslim Observer and Two Circles

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. A writer, thinker and a speaker. (214) 325-1916 - www.MikeGhouse.net

Double standards of Islamic and western societies


This article is an experimental writing, the first five paragraphs are copied and pasted as the next five, the difference is the first set highlights hypocrisy in Muslim majority nations while the same words express the hypocrisy in western democracies.

Law is one thing and practice is the other. As an American and as a Muslim, I have to be critical of both groupings and work toward creating cohesive societies where no citizen has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other. Here is a summary of 2011 and what we can aspire for 2012.

Published at the Ghouse diary

Published: Indian Muslim Observer and Two Circles
Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. A writer, thinker and a speaker. (214) 325-1916 - www.MikeGhouse.net