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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy Lent, a Muslim perspective


As a token of solidarity, today, I join my Christian friends and give up drinking soda for the next 40 days to honor their practice.
Lent reminds me of 3o days of Muslim Ramadan of Muslims; 7 days for Jain Paryushan of Jains; 8 days of Jewish Passover; and 9 days of Hindu Navaratri. The essence of all these events is renewal of the soul and reflection on life. I am happy that these actions are designed to make better humans out of us.
Every faith is composed of a set of unique rituals to bring discipline and peace to human life. Fasting is one of the key elements of observing Lent.
The spirit and intent of Lent lies in a human transformation in a forty days long inner spiritual journey of finding oneself in tune with spirituality.
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Mike Ghouse is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a speaker thinker and a writer and a frequent guest on Fox TV with Sean Hannity and a regular on National syndicated Radio shows talking on Pluralism, Politics, Islam, Justice and cohesive societies. His work is all listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

TEXAS FAITH: When the pew and the pulpit don't see eye-to-eye?



There is a difference between the pew and the pulpit on this matter. Of course, that is not the first time a divide has been seen between the leaders of a religious tradition and those who adhere to that faith. What I would like to hear from you all this week is how such a divide gets resolved in your tradition. I recognize that sometimes they aren't resolved, but I would like you to elaborate upon this question.

Indeed, there is a great difference between the pew and the pulpit and most certainly a few issues get resolved and a few go to the holding pen to be unleashed whenever the opportunity arises to get even.
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Mike Ghouse is a writer, thinker and a speaker on pluralism, politics, Islam, peace and building a cohesive America, links to details at www.MikeGhouse.net

Israel Palestine commitment, part 2 of 3

Israel Palestine commitment, part 2

Israel's security and justice to the Palestinians are directly proportional to each other. Hundred percent security for Israel comes with 100 percent justice to the Palestinians. A majority of people in the conflict understand this, but the leadership runs aground with short sighted false perceptions.

Huffington post on Israel Palestine solutions : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/commitment-to-israelpales_b_1263793.html

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Mike Ghouse is a writer, thinker and a speaker on pluralism, politics, Islam, peace and building a cohesive America, links to details at www.MikeGhouse.net.

Israel Palestine commitment, part 2

Israel's security and justice to the Palestinians are directly proportional to each other. Hundred percent security for Israel comes with 100 percent justice to the Palestinians. A majority of people in the conflict understand this, but the leadership runs aground with short sighted false perceptions.

Huffington post on Israel Palestine solutions : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/commitment-to-israelpales_b_1263793.html

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Mike Ghouse is a writer, thinker and a speaker on pluralism, politics, Islam, peace and building a cohesive America, links to details at www.MikeGhouse.net

TEXAS FAITH: When the pew and the pulpit don't see eye-to-eye?

There is a difference between the pew and the pulpit on this matter. Of course, that is not the first time a divide has been seen between the leaders of a religious tradition and those who adhere to that faith. What I would like to hear from you all this week is how such a divide gets resolved in your tradition. I recognize that sometimes they aren't resolved, but I would like you to elaborate upon this question.

Indeed, there is a great difference between the pew and the pulpit and most certainly a few issues get resolved and a few go to the holding pen to be unleashed whenever the opportunity arises to get even.
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Mike Ghouse is a writer, thinker and a speaker on pluralism, politics, Islam, peace and building a cohesive America, links to details at www.MikeGhouse.net

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TEXAS FAITH: Across religious spectrum, voters are increasingly identifying themselves as Republican. Why?

Every religious group is clamoring to have their personal religious interests take precedence over the interests of America. In the long run it is not sustainable and does not bode well for America. There are two critical factors in the play to explain the voter shift towards Republicans; unemployment and religion.

TEXAS FAITH: Across religious spectrum, voters increasingly identifying themselves as Republican. Why?

Across almost every major religious group, the share of voters identifying with or leaning toward the GOP has either grown or held steady. So what's going on? Why has the number of religious voters identifying themselves as Democrats declined - and as Republicans risen? Why do you think this is happening?

We asked our panel of Texas Faith experts to weigh in. Their responses follow:
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

There are two critical factors in the play to explain the voter shift towards Republicans; unemployment and religion.

Every religious group is clamoring to have their personal religious interests take precedence over the interests of America. In the long run it is not sustainable and does not bode well for America.

There is a positive correlation between the swap among unaffiliated Independents and Democrats. The 4% loss to Democrats comes from the 4% gain to the unaffiliated independents; there is also an identical 4% increase in Republican leaning independents from 39% to 43%. The major contributing factor seems to be the unemployment. Per the department of Labor, the unemployment grew from 6% in July 2008 to 9.2% in July of 2011 and the shift has occurred during the same period. Disenchantment factor seems to be in the play.

While the Republican base has remained even at 28% in the survey period, the loss has occurred in the Democratic Party, moving away towards independents. Which throws a challenge to the Democratic Party that it was a performance based change and the gain will shift back with new and improved results, which is yet to be surveyed.

Not sure, how big a factor unemployment is when you review the new analysis in the same survey that claims, "the share of voters identifying with or leaning toward the GOP has either grown or held steady in every major religious group."

The biggest gain for the Republican leaning registered voters comes from Mormons, Jews and White Catholics respectively. That is 12, 9 and 8 points. Is it easy to draw conclusions?

Is Romney a factor for a 12% gain for the Republicans among Mormons? That is the highest singular gain among all religious groups.

What percent of the 9% Jewish shift towards Republicans is attributable to Democratic President's stance towards Iran? What percentage goes towards his call for the 1967 borders and stopping the settlements?

The White Catholics have the third largest leaning towards Republicans with 8%. Is it the abortion issue or the same sex marriage? We cannot entertain political candidacy as Gingrich and Santorum had not announced their candidacy during the entire survey period, where as Mormons know Romney was going to run.

America was founded on liberty from religious persecution and we should consciously not let a religious ideology dominate the nation, we are the final frontier land of freedom and we should preserve it, unless we have the promised moon colony ready to flee.

Let people have the freedom to choose and not let the government regulate what we eat, drink, wear, believe or who we marry.
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Additional Notes: I am glad to see the spread in party identification – 34% identify themselves as Democrats with an additional 14% independents who lean towards Democrats giving them a 48% political share, where as 28% identify themselves as Republicans with an additional 16% who lean towards Republicans giving them a share of 44% and that leaves an 8% true independents. Where are you in this affiliation game?
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Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer speaker and an activist of pluralism, interfaith, co-existence, peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His websites and Blogs are listed on http://www.mikeghouse.net/

Monday, February 6, 2012

A commitment to Israel and Palestine dialouge

Who am I to worry about Israelis and Palestinians? What inspires me to be involved in the Israel Palestine conflict? The following is the story of my struggle to see a cohesive world, the story will take you through different emotions but at the end, I hope you feel a sense of completeness of the story. Please let me know. Thank you.


I believe at the heart of the world peace is the Israel Palestine conflict, it is the mother of all conflicts, and if we can find a solution to this, peace is on the horizon ready to shine on us.

Until we can see our own faults, peace for both people becomes a forlorn hope. The burden to find solutions falls on all of us, but particularly Jews, Muslims and Christians.

HUFFINGTON: Continue 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

TEXAS FAITH: How do we create a common good today?

We hear plenty about how political bodies can shape it, but I'd especially like to hear what other institutions could play a role. And how they could shape the common good, or perhaps are shaping it.

Ten Panelists respond:

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

Fifty years ago, President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country" and President Obama's theme in the 2012 State of the Union -- "Government and citizens are responsible together for the common good, even as they celebrate individualism and free markets." -- completes that equation.

Indeed, welding two of the greatest statements from the last fifty years can shape the common good and uplift the American spirit from the doldrums. Each one of us is individually responsible to achieve that with the state as a mere catalyst.

One of the few things that made us a great nation is the belief in "Live and let live." It is an epitome of responsible capitalism. We have slipped away from that. Some of the Americans who made it big on Wall Street were consumed by greed and messed up the goose that gave them the golden eggs. Instead of walking away with millions in bonuses, they could have reinvested that money in keeping the jobs of fellow employees. Then they would have continued picking the Golden Eggs, kept the jobs, survived the corporations and kept the economy going.

A few among us have been misled for perceived political gains of someone else, and attack those who have made it. Instead of denigrating Mitt Romney for cashing in on his investments, we should applaud and look up to him as a model of prosperity. Isn't that the American Dream?

The biggest victim of the bad economy is our attitude. It is tearing the social fabric of America. Our belief in "live and let live" has become corrosive, and we have let a few politicians shamelessly divide us.

Together as Americans, we can restore America individually and collectively. Chief Seattle, a Native American said this perfectly, "All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the webs, he does it to himself."

We have to ask ourselves, what I am doing as an individual to maintain the harmony and cohesiveness of one nation under God with liberty and Justice for all.

We must question our politicians and the clergy who deviate from our foundational value, which is: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Isn't that ideal the one that has made us a great nation? We need to align ourselves with it. Martin Luther King Jr. expressed it so well that we must be judged by the content of our character rather than the external manifestations.

Yes, we can restore the common goodness and uplift the soul of America by asking and correcting ourselves, whenever we feel less of the other Americans regardless of their religion, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity or economic status. The question is what have I done to preserve the cohesiveness of America?

To view all the ten responses, please visit Dallas Morning News’s Religion Blog at:
http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/01/texas-faith-how-do-we-create-a.html
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Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer speaker and an activist of pluralism, interfaith, co-existence, peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His websites and Blogs are listed on http://www.mikeghouse.net/