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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Texas Faith, Is the religious left too nice and without influence?

The future of our society will be shaped by the moderate majority, for the first time in our long history, the moderates have discovered that they don't need to bang their fist on the table, or scream bloody murder to be heard, they have done it effectively at the ballot box, they waited for the left or the right to move towards moderation, and the left jumped on it and got the ride in 2012, and now the right is scrambling for the ride. Continued at: http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/01/texas-faith-is-religious-left-too-nice.html
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Texas Faith, Is the religious left too nice and without influence?

By Bill McKenzie / Editorial Columnist, Dallas Morning News, January, 29, 2103

The Washington Post's Lisa Miller wrote earlier this month about how "nice isn't going to win the battle for the religious left."

Miller noted how the religious left once made the case for issues of great consequence, such as women's suffrage and civil rights. But she contends the religious left needs to greatly improve how it makes its priorities and activities more compelling and newsworthy.

Wrote Miller: "Kumbaya is not a story. Why can't we all just get along is not a story. Since the rise of the religious right in the 1970s in reaction to the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade, the religious left has failed to gain any comparable visibility, traction or voice on major issues in the political sphere.

"News releases from the precincts of the religious left continue to emphasize niceness over moral authority….There's nothing wrong with being polite, of course. But a great, galvanizing, undeniable moral argument is better. 'Civility is a great friend of the status quo,' says Jim Naughton, partner at Canticle Communications, which advises faith-based groups. 'People aren't going to change because you're nice to them.'"

What do you think of her point? Is the religious left indeed without the same influence and profile as the religious right? If so, is it because the religious left has tried more to be civil and nice than to make a compelling moral argument?


MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas


We are conditioned to seeing everything from a binary perspective; left or right.  We lose sight of the critical third dimension; the deadbeat moderate majority. This is the group that is meek, civil and polite, but does act decisively while casting the ballot.

Indeed, the religious left is more influential than the right in pulling the moderate votes.

Obama is reelected with a greater margin over his rival on the right.  The public support for legal abortion is accumulating despite the religious right. Same sex marriage is gaining greater acceptability. Obama care is in, Immigration reforms are underway, and gun safety regulation is gathering momentum. Heck, the wars will end with no desire to engage in another senseless war.

On the other hand, the religious right is losing, not because of inadequacy in their principles, but because of their belligerent, unintelligent pounding on the airwaves, and turning the moderate majority off.

Jim Naughton makes a powerful point that Civility is a great friend of the status quo; he is talking about the moderates, and not the ones on the left. Whether it is the city council meeting, church gathering or in informal gatherings, it is always the people on left or the right who drive the conversation, they have no qualms in speaking out passionately, even though they get shot at alternatively by the other, they don’t lose the enthusiasm for their point of view. Whereas the moderates, keep raising their hand politely, hoping to get their turn, but never get a chance to get their point across, they don’t know how to bang their fist on the table, such an act is rude and stupid to them.

Years ago, a Nun made a remarkable point on Tim Russert’s Meet the press. The right will frighten the public and attempts to win by guaranteeing to take care of them, the left will match their tall claims, while the moderates have difficulty in embellishing and giving false hopes, they lack passion.

America is moving towards the center, the moderate majority is realizing its power to keep things at an even keel; they want an America that is good for every one of her citizens, in fact they made that difference in 2012 through the ballot, as they do not have the passion to speak out. Indeed, Americas’ future will be shaped by the moderates.
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Eleven panelists contributed to this forum, to read the contributions from all the panelists, please visit -  http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2013/01/texas-faith-is-the-religious-left-too-nice-and-without-influence.html/  
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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.

Saudi Arabia, Interfaith and Pluralism

The State Department has listed me as one of the stops for people visiting America to learn about our Religious landscape, interfaith trends, future of religion and pluralism.  Over the last six years, I have had conversations with over 100 visitors from about 30 some nations including China, central Asian, Middle East, Balkans, and North African religious leaders and scholars. 

It is exciting to meet with them; they are a match with our trends. This group is from Saudi Arabia, Imams, Scholars and heads of religious affairs. It is embarrassing that we Americans stereotype the Saudis; indeed they have their percent of fanatics as we have ours.  The first interfaith meeting ever for Saudis was organized here in Dallas in 2003; indeed,  it is a pleasure for me to see them take this further.

Please remember nearly 4 Million Americans are incarcerated, they are indeed Americans, them and the 208 Million of us are judged by the same law books, yet, they broke the law and we, the 99% did not. And no one on the earth can call us criminals for that 1% among us, and that is what bloody stereotyping is; to irrationally judge a people based on the examples of a few. The story is no different for Saudis.

One of the toughest discussions we had was about conversions, they were taken back to hear me say, that I don’t ask anyone to become a Muslim, as I respect the other religions equally. I do not consider any faith to be less than adequate. The pluralism /interfaith workshops we conduct, is to bring people together to know each other, so we have least conflicts in the society.  There is no intent to convert any one, and no one will get away, claiming his or religion is superior to the others, and I will take the stand and many like me will speak up. Indeed it is a cardinal sin to have such intent in interfaith dialogue. The purpose of dialogue is to learn about each other and not bent on converting the other, or score keeping.

It took them time, but they were open to the idea. I said, if people like to become Muslims because they like my attitudes, even then I ask them to spend the time in learning their own faith than Islam, despite that about a dozen chose to become Muslims, that was their choice. They asked me a lot of questions about Islam, and as an Individual, I am required to learn about my faith, that was the call from the prophet in his last sermon. They appreciated the bluntness, and said a lot of people, say otherwise to appease them.

This is not the first time, the Imams from Egypt, Chad, Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, China…some 30 nations have concurred their belief in Prophet’s mission of respecting the otherness of others, and almost every one quoted Prophet’s last sermon and the Madinah treaty, first of its kind that endorsed pluralistic governance, the kind that India, UK and Indonesia follow, where the follower of every faith has an option to seek justice by his or her own religious cannons.

There is a lot of goodness out there; we just have to make an effort to invoke it. The purpose of religion is to bring humility to an individual, to know himself and get along with others with least conflicts, ultimately, each one of us is responsible for a cohesive society, where no one has to live in fear of the other.  url - http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/01/saudis-and-pluralism.html


............ Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Genocides, Sikhs, Jews, Hindus, Muslims and their attitudes

There is a shameless cruelty in our societies when it comes to acknowledging other people's suffering. Either we shy away or refuse to acknowledge the sufferings of others, worrying that it will devalue our own and/or it amounts to infidelity to our own cause.
 
   One of the immortal dialogue clips from a 1958 Bollywood movie "Yahudi" is included in the article, where the Jew challenges the roman emperor,  "Tumhara khoon, khoon, aur mera Khoon pani?"

    A Muslim shouts, "Why are you commemorating Holocaust of Jews?
    A Jewish speaker did not want to hear about Gaza massacre
    A Muslim initiative was asked to be removed from the publicity material
    A Hindu friend jumps for not including the Kashmiri pundit while it was
    A Pakistani says Bangladesh genocide talk equals defaming Pakistan
    A Sikh Genocide talk, amounts to shaming the mother land

I submit to you, that the human atrocities are pent up frustrations and unresolved issues that reach a boiling point and explode into massacres and genocides. As civilized societies, we need to bring a closure to the issues through forgiveness, apology and restoration of justice. The least we can do in the process of healing is to know and acknowledge every one's pain. 

Full article at Huffington post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/holocaust-remembrance-and-recognizing-all-genocides_b_2547164.html

.................Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Republicans Need to back from attacking Hillary Clinton

It will be to their detriment and ultimately to the detriment of the nation. 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is being grilled by the house foreign relations committee… as an American, I applaud this process; no one is free from Criticism, and she needs to answer all the questions diligently. This is how democracy works and I am proud of our democracy. Hillary needs to answer and she will tell the truth, but don't play dirty politics, it will be to the detriment of Republicans. 


However I condemn the dirty politics played by a few stinking Republicans, just a few dirty rats, they could not get over the idea of a Black man heading the nation and to show that they are not, they are sticking the worst guys in our face like that bigot Allen West and others.  A majority of Americans are happy that we have one of the greatest presidents.

They tried to nail Obama over Benghazi including McCain, the American public said, screw you Republicans, and sure as hell voted for Obama with a higher margin ever.

Now they will do everything to derail Hillary's chances, and are attempting to stick Benghazi on Hillary, it will not stick; the Americans already have their middle finger ready to show to my fellow Republicans who have 26% approval rating. Do the idiots get it? No. We have four Americans dead, while the CIA is working on finding the criminals; Republicans are bent on making Hillary the scape goat. She is firm and fair, and in the end Republicans (those) will pay for it dearly in 2014.

Hillary is the most capable national and international leader now, thank God, she is a woman, and we need a woman president to complete American transaction of living the vision of the immortal declaration by our founding fathers, that all men are created equal.  That will make America God's own country, where every American is treated fairly. There is not a Republican who can match her abilities to run this nation. If there is one, it would be either John Huntsman or Colin Powell and other radicals will not make it, unless they are sensitized and are given lessons in math and biology.

I am a Republican and am embarrassed with the way, a few assess in my party act. I will get on board with Colin Powell, John Huntsman, Chris Christie and a few other great Republicans with whom I relate. We have to be bold to save the GOP from these extremists.

We need to preserve our democracy by having a strong two party system - meaning one house remains with the Republicans and the other with Democrats - both with bare majority - we need them to fight, argue and discuss and do the right thing, rather than slam dunking or becoming a hindrance to the good bills.


Here is what moderate Republican sounds like:

Collin Powell - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2013/01/21/colin-powell-birther_n_2520578.html

John Huntsman - http://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/jon-huntsman-cant-stop-talking-about-the-republic?s=mobile

Christ Christie -


Mike Ghouse - http://republicanmoderates.blogspot.com/2012/11/republican-party-and-mike-ghouse.html

A Blog in the works - http://republicanmoderates.blogspot.com/

Mike Ghouse committed to building a cohesive America, where we all can learn to respect the otherness of others. More at www.MikeGhouse.net and TheGhousediary.com.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Texas Faith: What is America’s common creed and how do we forge it together?

President Obama is one of the best communicators that there is. I am writing a full blown article on how I felt through the inauguration and I am sure some of you can relate with it. However, in this piece at Dallas Morning News, it is about his masterful skills in building bridges between the entrepreneurial individualism of Republicans and Communalism of Democrats. This is our moment in history, and we have to leave a legacy of peace, prosperity and harmony to the next generation.

Published at Dallas Morning News, Monday, January 21, 2013.
Continued at: http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/01/texas-faith-what-is-americas-common.html





Texas Faith is a weekly column at Dallas Morning News moderated by Bill McKenzie and Wayne Slater. At least ten panelists contribute each week including Mike Ghouse.

Throughout his inaugural address today, President Barack Obama emphasized our common creed, we the people and taking action together. In short, his speech was heavy on the communal aspects of our work as Americans. His address contrasts with the individualism you often hear from Republicans. They regularly emphasize enterprenurialism, personal initiative and the power of local communities. So, here is the question I would like you to consider: What is America’s common creed and how do we forge it together?


MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

President Obama is one of the greatest communicators in our modern history. Perhaps he is the first president to have articulated America’s common creed profoundly, clearly and comprehensively as envisioned in the immortal declaration by our Founding Fathers: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

The success of an individual hinges on the success of others around him or her. You cannot build a successful business without the support system and consumers for your goods and services. The president said, “We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class.”

Indeed, the entrepreneurialism of Republicans will bear fruit and multiply when there is an environment for it. It is not a charity, welfare or a noble thing. Instead, it is a genuine investment in human capital that pulls up men and women from the ditches onto a level playing field. That effort allows more people to compete in the marketplace for resources and become “synergists” to each others’ success.

He also articulated the need to be free and to be regulated: “Together we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.”

The president turned the light on a bridge between individualism and the communal aspect of our life. The bridge was always there but had remained in the dark due to the chasm developed through arrogance of bigger majority in the house by each party in the last eight years. Instead of serving the purpose they were elected for their purpose became defeating the other for some.

The message of the president was for all Americans. I hope the elected ones will heed his wisdom and continue to be a catalyst in the pursuit of our happiness.

And here comes the ultimate wisdom from the president: We have always understood that when times change, so must we, that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges, that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”..... ..

Eleven panelists contributed to this forum, to read the contributions from all the panelists, please visit - http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2013/01/texas-faith-what-is-americas-common-creed-and-how-do-we-forge-it-together.html/

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Mike Ghouse is a
speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

President Obama's ideal inaugural Benediction

We are yet to be truthful to our own pledge that we take, that we are, “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. Our benediction should strongly reflect the sentiment of oneness of our nation under God, and shed our hypocrisies of excluding fellow Americans even in our national prayers.

One of the many roles of a president is to shape and nurture the direction of the nation, and president Obama has been a good shepherd. Indeed, he is committed to building an America, where each one of us becomes a nurturer to the other, and eventually, each strand in the web of our society will coalesce in building our nation to function cohesively. The president’s wisdom is crystal clear, “We rise and fall together as one nation.”

I hope this benediction paves the way for us to be inclusive without having to agree. 

Please review this, and if you like it, kindly click like, tweet, share and send to your friends from Huffngton post... and above all, if you could comment in the Huffington post, I would appreciate it.

Continued at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/president-obamas-ideal-inaugural-benediction_b_2481579.html#es_share_ended

REQUEST your likes, tweets, shares and comments at the Huffpost:

 
Thanks

Mike

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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.