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Monday, December 9, 2013
Gee Dad, God can be worshipped in so many ways! Lessons in Pluralism
GEE DAD, GOD CAN BE WORSHIPED IN SO MANY WAYS. LESSONS IN PLURALISM
I am pleased to share the wisdom of a seven year old girl, my daughter.
Who wants to raise their child as a bigot? Some of us recklessly do.
When we hear hate spout out of the mouths of men and women in politics
or religion against Jews, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, Hindus,
Blacks, Mormons, Gays and Lesbians, Hispanics or Immigrants, we just
shake our heads with disbelief, that is of course, if we are not bigots
I must give credit to face book, a great equalizer
for humanity. Even though the hate mongers and bigots don't survive on
the face book, they still continue to rant with a few or no friends
liking their hate material. They still don't get the message - hate is
not natural. .
When she was visiting the Baptist Church, as a
father, I just advised her, if the Pastor by any chance denigrates
other faiths, he is not being truthful and you don't need to listen to
him. She was around 9 then, and argued with me, a part of our routine to
argue as equals, "Dad, if he does not say bad things about other
religions, why would people to go his Church when they can go somewhere
else? I know it, don't worry Dad, I won't hate anyone".
my kids to every place of worship, so they were raised with familiarity
of fellow humans with no bigotry towards others. At each place of
worship, I would summarize to her what they were saying…over the years, I
learned that, all she wanted to hear, a six year old, was a simplified
version of the talk. I had gotten it down well - a standard reply -
"Sweetie, they are telling that we must thank God, that God gives us
life, ability to breath and live…" Mind you, I was an atheist then, but
One day, we were in DFW Hindu Temple
joining the group singing Bhajans (Chanting) in the sanctuary. In the
middle of a Bhajan, she leans over me, and asks the standard question,
"Dad, what are they singing"… out came my standard reply. To that,
oblivious to the crowd, she gets up, and throws her hands up in the air,
and cheerfully announces "Gee Dad, God can be worshiped in so many
ways" to the amazement of the devotees!
That, my friends is
pluralism. "Respecting the otherness of others." Thank God she ain't a
bigot today. She is a rationalist and would question any one's ill-will
or hate towards the other. If nothing else in my life, I have feel good
about raising my kids with no bigotry. Like me, she would defend any
faith, we won't let any one put down a faith, any faith - individuals
yes, but not their faith.
I am writing a fuller article with Religion News with a few more anecdotes with my daughter. Meanwhile, enjoy this. ...........................................................................................................
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics,
peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He
is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic
solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com.
He believes in Standing up for others and a book with the same title is
coming up. 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 all his work through many links.