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1. New Year Message - A purposeful life – Huffington post
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4. American Muslims are proud of taking the right step - Link
5. Moderate Muslims Speak out? Link

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Texas Faith: Do we need a new national conversation about marriage?

Humanity is diverse, that's God's intentional creation. The male/ female ratio has always remained around 50/50 with +/- 2 points variation on either side. The world would never be 100% male or female, likewise the world would never be 100% Gay, it will be a natural 10-15% of the population. Mike Ghouse


Texas Faith: Do we need a new national conversation about marriage?

By Bill McKenzie / Editorial Columnist
Dallas Morning News, Published on February 5, 2012

Ten panelists contributed to this forum, to read the contributions from all the panelists, please visit - http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2013/02/texas-faith-do-we-need-a-new-national-conversation-about-marriage.html/

Has the conversation about marriage reached a dead-end in our country, as Blankenhorn suggests? If it has, please explain what you would like this conversation to now include. If you think we don't need a new conversation, please explain.

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas, and Speaker on interfaith matters, diversity and pluralism

The conversation on marriage has just opened up, and we are far from reaching the dead-end. But until that time we will need two parallel societies. They will not be in conflict with each other, but each on its own path.

What is missing in the conversation is our untapped ability in understanding the wisdom of God. As humans we are disgustingly selfish, and grind on to the selective verses that suit our insecurities to force the weak (minority) into obedience, as if we gain something.

The conservatives among us, particularly those who are Christians and Muslim, are stuck in the dished-out versions of the Sodom and Gomorrah story. We need to follow Jesus in spirit, and follow the merciful and inclusive God of the Universe (Quran).

God has endowed us with free will. He let Adam make the mistake without slapping him for eating the forbidden fruit. Instead, he kicked us out, and gave us an opportunity to multiply and live out in a bigger world with free will. He wanted us to figure out living with each other without punishing the few, who opt not to multiply.

As a futurist of interfaith trends, I have been struggling to understand sin. I found guidance in Buddhist literature about sin from this analysis, which I read on ReligionFacts.com:

"'Sexual misconduct' has thus traditionally been interpreted to include actions like coercive sex, sexual harassment, child molestation and adultery. As homosexuality is not explicitly mentioned in any of the Buddha's sayings recorded in the Pali Canon (Tripitaka), most interpreters have taken this to mean that homosexuality should be evaluated in the same way as heterosexuality, in accordance with the following principles: I) Intention - Is the act motivated by love, generosity and understanding? And ii) consequential - does the act cause harm and regret (in oneself or others) or benefit and joy?"

As a pluralist, I draw upon different religious scriptures, and here is a corollary from Quran about carrying on a civil dialogue. "Respectfully, I do not practice what you practice, and you do not practice what I practice, so you live with your belief as I do with mine, as long as we understand our differences and not harm each other."

The dialogue must continue until we learn to respect the otherness of others and live in harmony. No one's belief should be thrust on the other. That kind of freedom is a hallmark of civil societies.
 …
The phobias that acknowledging and accepting the gay sexual orientation will cause more people to become gay is as ridiculous as saying eating Chicken will make you a Chicken. The sooner we accept this, the quicker we can put this fear behind and move on with our lives, instead of harassing and denigrating fellow humans. Thank God, I am blessed to be friends with all of God's creation including many gay and lesbian friends. The alarmist attitude will evaporate one day, why not junk it now? Indeed, it's a blessing to be free.
…..

References:

 New York Times piece on Blankenhorn. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/us/in-shift-blankenhorn-forges-a-pro-marriage-coalition-for-all.html?_r=0

American Values, marriage a new conversation
http://www.americanvalues.org/marriage-a-new-conversation/index.php

Buddhism about Homosexuality
http://www.religionfacts.com/homosexuality/buddhism.htm

Quran about Civil Dialogue
http://www.religionfacts.com/homosexuality/buddhism.htm
 

. . . . . . . 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.

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