Essentials


#91

Which raises an interesting point, that was brought to me years ago - by a Buddhist scholar. He said that many who become imans (i.e. Islamic clerics), actually are uneducated. Imaging a similar situation, where many of our priests and ministers just purchased an online ordination certificate and are preaching to us, on how to conduct our lives, what the bible says, etc.
The other point is my friendship with Muslims, is limited to those in the US, who are professionals (i.e. doctors). I’m very much opposed to an Islamic state or country (i.e. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, etc.). Just as I’m opposed to dictatorships - like North Korea. Church and state should be separated - period. End of Story.

the “big picture” is this:

While they say there are only two divisions - Sunni and Shiite - in reality, they are as divided as any religion. The Islamic scholars - for example - are debating which Hadith to accept and reject. Which to include and exclude.
The secular Academic scholars have a different picture of what Islam is saying or trying to say.
The popular imans - often not educated - often mix tribal customs, with what they think Islam is saying


#92

Not quite the end of story. Initially, the separation of church and state was not for the purpose of keeping the church out of the state, but for keeping the state from interfering with the church.


#93

Aha


#94

I just posted a very interesting article in the ‘Controversial’ part of the Forum. Having to do with the ‘same God’ question, Islam and Christian.


#95

I’m very much opposed to an Islamic state or country (i.e. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, etc.). Just as I’m opposed to dictatorships - like North Korea. Church and state should be separated - period. End of Story.

OK I agree but i’m sure you know in Islam their is no separation between church and state because Islam is not just a religion it is also “state” in the sense of it’s Sharia law which is the law of state as well as church.


#96

Yes, I’m very familiar with it. Actually, I’ve been advising the head of the Anglican church I attend. The local Islamic center (actually, a Pentecostal church they took over - near where I live) invited them for fellowship. I’m giving him information, so he can make an informed decision. But here is the US, church and state are separate (however we want to spin it - chicken or egg scenario). And I’ll fight, to keep it that way. :exclamation: :smiley:


#97

The local Islamic center (actually, a Pentecostal church they took over - near where I live) invited them for fellowship.

Sorry if i’m beating a dead horse but I did want to comment on this. Islam taking over a church as opposed to a neutral site is common and is looked at as a conquest. Islam giving up a religious spot or land it occupied is a major insult to the religion.


#98

The only point I find in common with Islam, is with their Sufi mystical movement. There they focus on God as all around and capable of striving for union. But many orthodox Muslims don’t like the Sufis. I don’t judge folks on what religion they belong to. I’m more concerned with how they try to emulate Christ - even if they belong to the Christian faith.

Actually, I hung around Muslims and Christians (Roman Catholics and Assembly of God) both - as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, West Africa. The Muslims were ivory carvers, traders in artwork, etc. I was a guest of a Muslim in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I was treated well by them, even through I was not Muslim. And my homeopathic physician has a Muslim family (even though he is agnostic and scientific). I even went to the son’s wedding (he is a physician).

And to make Steve feel better, I’ll share this video and article from the Christian site Patheos today:

Summit Lecture Series: A Muslims Journey to Christ with Nabeel Qureshi, part 6

And if you watch the first two minutes, you understand:

My liking of the Indigenous folks, regarding their visions and dreams
My deceased mom’s lifelong gift of prophesy

And if this vision stuff is working for the average Muslim - why NOT the Christian? :question: Is it because you no longer believe in it? :question: T**hink about this - seriously. :exclamation:
**
Having said that, I’m all for cooperation among western intelligence services (i.e. Europe, Indian, Chinese, US, Canada, Israel, and Russia), to keep tabs on what the “radical” Islamic elements are up to (of course, things will be smooth sailing, if Trump is elected US president :unamused: See Jerry Falwell, Jr Endorses Donald Trump for President; Trump Still Leads in Evangelical Support).


#99

And to make Steve feel better, I’ll share this video and article from the Christian site Patheos today:

Summit Lecture Series:

Nabeel is an awesome guy, I have seen him many times. I have no issue with individual muslims, they are just people like everyone else.
Most are unfamiliar with the militant aspects of Islam and are cultural muslims even if they pray five times a day. But when the women start wearing these black outfits covering everything except two slits for their eyes then it’s time to pay attention.


#100

A friend of mine sent me this video link today. I found it interesting, so I would share it here - for better or worse:


#101

Sorry if this is getting too off topic, but why are you pro separation of church and state, Randy?

Also, I thought you lived in England.


#102

Hi, Gaz. I spent 4 months in London - many decades ago. It’s a fascinating city, full of museums, theater and diverse food cultures. When I’m not in Gallifrey or the Twilight zone, I hang around the Chicago area. :smiley:

http://lh3.ggpht.com/wltWsgG2vZ98OQJTnqDF7yaA4k-W20eUVuykMPEhFk2dSzJGwpa3mqnMyuBn7467N449eXotziNaABD84UjTatdptw=s400

Church and state separation are part of the US constitution. I neither want the government interfering in church matters (i.e. how we worship, etc). Or the opposite. An Islamic state (i.e. church in the loose sense), dictating how we run our lives by religious law. It’s a simple enough matter.

http://f.tqn.com/y/politicalhumor/1/S/6/M/6/Church-State-Separation.jpg

On another matter, I recommended 2 sources for Islam:

You just need to read the book What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James W. White (available via your local US public library - or equivalent in other countries). Thew author is Christian.

Islamic Spirituality: The Role of Religious Law, by a professor in religious studies. He’s at the College of Dupage (with a PhD from Yale). He’s also an Orthodox Christian. Unforunately, there was some technical difficulties, 50 minutes into the presentation. But I’m sure it’s recorded properly. You can watch the rebroadcast, about a week later (i.e. perhaps around Feb. 5,2016), at Theosophical Society rebroadcasts


#103

Church and state separation are part of the US constitution.

Actually I don’t think it precisely is although the constitution prohibits the State from imposing any religion. I think the phrase was used by Jefferson in a letter.


#104

Actually, it’s “word play” .

While Jefferson used those “exact words”, the first amendment implies it. And the Supreme Court has repeated affirmed it. Here’s what Wiki says in Separation of church and state in the United States

But sometimes, the battles take years through the courts - before reaching the supreme court. Like:

The native American battle to practice their religious ceremonies
The Universal Life Church battle to recognize the validity of online ordinations

Both battles were finally won, at the supreme court level.

Now let’s bring up a point Steve made before. Is it acceptable for a Muslim woman to be completed covered? Or we might go to the opposite extreme. Is it acceptable for a woman to be completely nude - at a nudist colony? Actually, they are variations of the same question.

Perhaps we might get into a battle between US workplace conventions and Muslim conventions. Then it’s up to the courts to decide - not us. In both examples above, the Muslim woman and the nudist colonist woman - buy into the dress (or undress) conventions. But we probably want to impose some convention - between the 2 extremes.

If you want to do your own research into Islam, look at the Christian site: Answering Islam


#105

Perhaps we might get into a battle between US workplace conventions and Muslim conventions. Then it’s up to the courts to decide - not us. In both examples above, the Muslim woman and the nudist colonist woman - buy into the dress (or undress) conventions. But we probably want to impose some convention - between the 2 extremes.

We are starting to hear about the praying five times a day and the issues about how this effects the workplace. This is personal time off and if some get it shouldn’t everyone? If you cater to one religion what about the others? Of course the idea of praying five times a day Mohammed got from the Psalms.


#106

Well Steve, if we ever discover space aliens and they come to visit us, I hope the US president won’t appoint you, as our interplanetary ambassador :laughing:

This is a matter for the courts. Muslims in the US can go through the state and federal court systems - all the way to the Supreme Court. Just like the Native Americans and Universal Life Church did - in my previous examples. That is the place to decide these matters - not:

Personal opinion
polling
Or a Trump position - to ban all Muslims from entering
Or a Steve position - he just doesn’t like what they believe and practice - from what I gather :laughing:

It’s like - I don’t like them - I’ll think of a reason later :exclamation: :laughing:

Praying five times a day did come from the sayings of Mohammad. And Muslims look on him as the “perfect example” - to decide how to behave and what laws to make. As a Christian, I look at Christ as a perfect example - for obvious reasons.

Now why do Muslims pray, five times a day?

From Why Muslims Pray Five Times A Day

Another source says an angel appearance:

Why do Muslims Pray Five Times a Day?

Since there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, I prefer to strive for peaceful coexistence - wherever possible. Same to for the other faith traditions. Currently, there are 7.4 people in the world. That means that about 22% of the world’s population is Muslim. And if I look at Christ as an example, then how did he respond - in the parable of the good Samaritan? Or in the woman, about to be stoned? How should I try to respond to my Muslim neighbor - if I follow Christ, as my example? :question:

So my answer to Muslims? Let’s strive for peaceful coexistence. Settle your issues through the US or other country’s court systems - like everyone else. And if the peaceful coexistence and court systems don’t work, then I would look for the Clint Eastwood Westerns solution. :laughing:

I believe ALL problems in Islam could be solved, if they followed this simple formula. Instead of just going first to what the Iman (i.e. cleric) says, use this hierarchy:

Sufi (mystic)
Scholar
Iman

As long as the first can answer your question, then you don’t need to go down the chain. The answers just need to be in harmony with scripture and sacred tradition.

Come to think of it. Why can’t we follow the same formula in Christianity?


#107

As long as they or anyone are peaceful then live and let live. Yes praying five times came from Mohammed found in the Hadith who got it from the Psalms. Yes Muslims look at Mohammed as the perfect example and many try to emulate his life.


#108

It is from a dream or an angel appearance, as I just shared in the about answer. Do you have a scholarly source you can refer to - that shows the Psalms as source?


#109

It is from a dream or an angel appearance, as I just shared in the about answer. Do you have a scholarly source you can refer to - that shows the Psalms as source?

I thought I had heard he got it from the Psalms but I googled this and found islam.stackexchange.com/questions and according to them they reference Sahih Al-Bukhari 5.227 from the Hadith which portrays Mohammed conversing with Moses about changing Allah’s mind from requiring 50 prayers a day down to 5. So since this seems accurate I was wrong, my apologies. :blush:


#110

I found this article interesting in foreign policy. It’s called Argument: Islam is a religion of violence.

Here’s a bit about the author. Notice she is both Arabic and connected with Harvard.

Her book Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, has gotten 4.4 out of 5 stars, by about 450 reviewers on Amazon. I placed a hold for it, though my local public library.

I’ll share this segment here, from the original article:

I’ll let you read the entire short article for yourselves. I stand 100% in agreement, with what the article says. But would look at folks providing “object, academic style rebuttal” articles, to the one presented. Let’s end with this paragraph:

My hope and prayers is that the third group, wins out over the first group - in influencing the second group. :exclamation: :slight_smile:

Most Muslims are probably singing this song. :laughing:

So let’s hope that that folks like the Arabic woman from Harvard…along with the Orthodox Christian COD - Yale PhD philosophy professor - can set us all straight.

For folks who asked me about Native American spirituality, here’s a video of medicine man Russell Four Eagles at Native American Healing Tradition