B U L L E T I N

Happy New Year!

1. New Year Message - A purposeful life – Huffington post
2. A Note about Sean Hannity, Stuart Varney and Fox News –request
3. Note about Bridgette Gabriel’s comment on Fox News – upon request
4. American Muslims are proud of taking the right step - Link
5. Moderate Muslims Speak out? Link

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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.
. . . .
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. 

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 inaugural pluralistic 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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Texas Faith: President Obama’s Inaugural benediction and Pastor Giglio

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S INAUGURAL BENEDICTION AND PASTOR GIGLIOShould the pastor who once gave anti-gay marriage sermon been removed from Obama’s inaugural? Published in Dallas Morning News on 01/15/2013

Although the inaugural benediction may be a small ritual, it has the power to set the inclusive tone for the nation. 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 catalyst 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.”Continue - http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/01/texas-faith-president-obamas-inaugural.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.

By inviting religious conservatives to be part of a broad faith-based community, Obama seemed to be saying that while we don’t agree on everything, there are areas of common ground that Americans can share. Giglio was picked because of his work against human trafficking. Obama can have whomever he wants at his inauguration – but what if he had kept Giglio on the program and showcased the broad diversity of our faith? Would that have been a strong message about bridging the religious divide in our politics?


Which invites this question: In removing Giglio from the program, did the Obama inaugural do the right thing? What good comes from his absence? And what good — or bad– would have come had Giglio stayed on to deliver the benediction?

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas
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 catalyst 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.”

Reverend Giglio’s withdrawal from delivering the benediction was the right thing to do, although it may be a small ritual, it has the power to set the inclusive tone for the nation.

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 prayers.

Our nation has come a long way in fulfilling our immortal declaration, “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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Indeed, it was the consent of an overwhelming majority of Gays and Lesbians, Native and African Americans, women and men, Hindus and Muslims, Atheists and Wicca, Hispanics and Pagans, and others that the president derives his powers from, and he has the mandate to shape an inclusive America. Rev. Giglio’s comment about Gays and Lesbians was anathema to such a mandate, and his withdrawal bodes well in nurturing the inclusiveness.

However, had Giglio stayed on to deliver his benediction, representing his exclusive tradition, it would have sent negative vibes of betrayal to the very people who gave their overwhelming supported to bring the change.

On the positive note, we would have learned to live with our differences; that is our tradition. As long as it did not mean to impose our religious views on others, it would have done some good to the nation, including an exclusive individual to deliver the benediction would have added another feather in Obama’s hat of pluralism.

I am composing an ideal benediction for President Obama’s second term, and would be available at the WWW.FoundationforPluralism.com by Friday.


Ten panelists contributed to this forum, to read the full intro and the contributions from the panelists, please visit - http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2013/01/texas-faith-should-the-pastor-who-once-gave-anti-gay-marriage-sermon-been-removed-from-obamas-inaugural.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.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Condemning the silence of Muslim Majority in Pakistan

Condemning the silence of Muslim Majority in Pakistan

.......... On the other hand, i
f you ever feel that the “other minority” community deserves to be persecuted, or “they asked for it” then you have a problem! You need help, please ask God to drain the solid waste from your system, it is dangerous for you, and you are your own enemy with that load of crap in you. Continued: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2013/01/condemning-silence-of-muslims-in.html


The majoritarian attitudes are the root cause of much of the evil in the world; Pakistan is no exception, indeed, the problem is exemplified with the silence by the government of Pakistan, I cannot believe a Government cannot reign in on extremists and bring law and order to the nation.

First they came for Ahmadiyya,
I remained silent because I am not an Ahmadi;

then they came after Hindu women,
it did not matter to me, I am neither a Hindu nor a woman;

They did not spare the Christians,
they lied and framed the blasphemy charges,

they turned towards the Shia,
singling out and murdering them in the public;

the evil men are coming after me, a mini-Sunni*
where the hell are my fellow Muslims?

The only way things will change is if all of us, each one of us, speaks up against injustice and killing of fellow beings, no matter who it is.


The least you can do is condemn all such acts in your daily conversations, nothing more. Where ever you get a chance express yourselves, there is an energy that builds from there….

On the other hand, if you feel that the “other” community deserves to be persecuted, or “they asked for it” then you have a problem! You need help, please ask God to drain the sewer from your heart, it is dangerous for you, and you are your own enemy with that load of crap in you.


As a Sunni Muslim, I am embarrassed at these evil men, not only for harming fellow beings but also for maligning a religion that we consider to be a Rahmat (mercy) to mankind, these men are making liars out of us. I condemn the silence of the Majority in Pakistan. I hope every one of you feels the energy to condemn this in your daily conversations and pray for peace and sanity, in the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Thank you.

Muslims Together dreaming of building a cohesive world.

Mike Ghouse
www.WorldMuslimCongress.com

* Mini-Sunni to denote the factions within Sunni who declare each other in less than kind words. Shame on all of them!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

TEXAS FAITH: How do we create the common good in Texas?

Texas Faith: How do we create the common good in Texas?
Published in Dallas Morning News on 01/09/2012


Charity does not have to be Godly, noble or a drag on the well to do, but it certainly insures everyone in the society to function effectively. Pulling people up from ditches on to a level playing field can be viewed as an act of charity or an act of responsible investment in human capital. Governor Perry needs to move on with the affordable care act or move away from being a hindrance to the public good.

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.

Continue - http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/01/texas-faith-how-do-we-create-common.html

So, as we start 2013, and the Texas Legislature begins its every-other-year session, let’s discuss that topic. More specifically: How do you think the state can create a greater sense of the common good?

For some, this will mean greater attention to poverty issues or those left behind. Texas often ranks high among states when it comes to providing various social services, such as mental health care. And high doesn’t mean good. It means we rank 45th, 46th, 47th, etc. in a comparison of states when it comes to spending for a social service.

At the same time, Texas’ economy is in a better place than that of most states. A recent survey of CEOs ranked Texas as the best place to do business. The result of the business-friendly attitude for workers is that Texas has shown a good ability to create jobs. Because we have a fairly robust economy, jobless figures here are better than those of most states.

So, there are two sides to the Texas question. And with those two parts in mind, I’d like to hear how you think Texas can create a greater sense of the common good.


MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

Pulling people up from ditches onto a level playing field can be viewed as an act of charity or an act of responsible investment in human capital. The reality is, it adds to the common good in broadening a consumer base that will propel economic growth, and uplift everyone in the process. Charity does not have to be godly, noble or a drag on the well-to-do, but certainly insures every one in the society can function effectively.

The mother of all good is a good economy. This can be better understood by the housing industry, a barometer of economic health of a nation. There was a time when people could not purchase a home unless they had the cash. All of that changed with the creation of Federal Housing Administration in 1934. With less than 5% down, you could buy your home. Indeed, 20 homes were bought for the same money in place of cash for one.

Everything multiplies with it; the economists call it a multiplier effect. Building 400 homes instead of twenty homes creates jobs, rolls the lumber off the mills, appliances are manufactured, brick runs through the kilns, and masons, carpenters, plumbers, roofers, electricians and others get to work. Add to that the services it generates, such as gas companies, public schools and grocery stores. All those services generate additional tax revenues.

Indeed, our common good was created out of thin air, and we can do more of it in Texas by encouraging and uplifting small businesses through insured loans to otherwise unqualified borrowers but great entrepreneurs. Bangladesh is a story of success through micro-loans, and we can replicate that model. The more people we can have on a level playing field, the better off all of us would be.

We need both short and long term solutions. President Obama has articulated the long term goals as an investment in producing outstanding students in science, math, engineering and medicine to continue to have a lead in innovation to improve our quality of life.

The short term goals include re-training the unemployed and under-employed. Once they get the skills, they can support the services the state needs.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, a good investment in a healthy America will keep Texans working and producing with the least loss of sickness. That will add to the GDP and the state’s revenues. Governor Perry needs to move on with the program or move away from being a hindrance to the public good.

The answer has got to be a comprehensive approach to feeling good about ourselves and those around us. We need to build a society where no Texan – whether that person is a woman, an African- American, gay or lesbian, atheist, Muslim, Jew, Sikh, Hindu or an immigrant — feels threatened in the pursuit of his or her happiness.

Our well-being is nurtured by the well-being of what surrounds us, namely people and the environment.

For other contributions, please visit - http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2013/01/texas-faith-how-do-we-create-the-common-good-in-texas.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.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

HAPPY 2013: Commitment is the key to a successful life

The best thing you can do for yourselves is to spend an hour between today and tomorrow with a pen and a piece of paper or its equivalent to reflect on your life. The best place to go is your library or wherever you can find quietness.

Lay the foundation for your 2013. Your best investment for 2013 would be an hour invested in yourselves and your family. The best way to go about is, to have an attitude, whether you achieve or not, but you are going to have a blue print as a guidance, rather than a stick to beat yourselves up.

When you draw the outlines tonight, at least you know where you are going, because you wrote it down instead of “I know it-I know it- bullshit” – let’s bring some discipline in our lives.

Yasmeen and I will be doing this tonight and asking our family and friends, and the people we know to make that effort, we are asking you to do the same tonight or tomorrow.


Write 7 headlines and start filling bullets in to each item

1) Health: broad and narrow goals with possible contingencies

2) Family: Time for each other, family and friends – an approximation of time you will spend per day, week or year. You will find pleasant surprises.

3) Income: all the work, education, business, professional activities that add to your income

4) Volunteer: It would enrich your life, if you can give at least 1 hour a week, three hours a week would be ideal. You can double your joy if you serve others, that is volunteer at a school, hospital, city hall, shelter, goodwill, salvation army, soup kitchens, church, temple, synagogue or Mosque, and make sure you don’t belong to the group or faith you are serving. There should be nothing in return to be true service.

5) Spirituality – Time for reflection about life, God, religious and humanitarian services.

6) Self-improvement – Reading books, taking courses to make yourselves an all round person.

7) Questions – No matter what you are reading or hearing, including religious, business or political talk, unless you question and see another point of view, your life would be incomplete if you do not see another point of view.

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The next step is to review last year’s high and low points within each one of the headings, and if you don't like to see the low points again, write down, and if you want a few changes for 2013, make notes and then ponder how you can get there. There is nothing more peaceful than knowing yourselves, make the commitment and just do it.

Thanks for the friendship, and thanks for sharing your thoughts, ideas, likes, comments in 2012. For some of us, thank God 2012 is over and for some, it was a great year.

I hope you find the following message meaningful. If you have the space, please feel free to share on your facebook, twitter, like and comment.- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/charting-a-successful-life-in-2013-with-a-firm-commitment_b_2372394.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Wish you and your loved ones, the very best of 2013.
Please review the work we do at– www.americaTogetherfoundation.com and www.FoundationforPluralism.com and if you like what we are doing, please consider contributing $50, $100, $1000, $5000 or whatever your budget allows, we all can aspire to build a great society. Please Donate: www.AmericatogetherFoundation.com/donate



We are committed to build a cohesive America, where no one has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of the other.

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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.

Texas Faith: The future of religion in America

Interfaith friendships are on rise, and so are interfaith marriages. In an informal survey, nearly 35% of Muslims and Hindus marry outsides their faiths. The Pew religious landscape pegs it at 31% for the Jewish community, and the General Social Survey points it to 25 percent for the whole nation. Hence, affiliations with universal places of worship to accommodate their special needs are on rise – continued http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/01/texas-faith-future-of-religion-in.html

TEXAS FAITH: The future of religion in America
Published by Dallas Morning News on 12/31/12

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,

For all the responses, please visit - http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2012/12/texas-faith-the-future-of-religion-in-america.html/


Frank Newport, Gallup’s editor-in-chief, has written a new book, God is Alive and Well: The Future of Religion in America. One of his main conclusions deals with the communal aspect of religion. Here’s what the public opinion analyst writes about the data his organization has collected:

“The religion of tomorrow may increasingly emphasize informal aspects of community and less hierarchy. Growth will come to branded churches to the extent that they emulate nondenominational approaches and highlight community, togetherness, and social fabric ties. Religious leaders will recognize that the social lives of today’s potential parishioners are more and more involved with ad hoc groupings, informal networking, and interaction with those who share affinities. Americans will increasingly recognize that the social and community aspects of religion are very valuable.”

Here, then, is the question for discussion:

How do you see the future for religion in America, especially the communal aspect? If Newport is right, how do you see your tradition adapting to the religion of tomorrow?

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

Frank Newport has captured the essence of tomorrow’s communal aspect of America very well. Indeed, there is a parallel experience at Facebook, the center of our new universe, where we function in a similar pattern in a different social setting.

The message of Pluralism and inclusiveness in both religion and politics has delivered over 10,000 Facebook friends to me, and the number is still growing with subscribers. While at the same time, Facebook has made it easier for one to create his or her own group to cater to fulfill his or her narrow interests as well, thus there is an explosive growth and formation of innumerable ad hoc groups.

I see the awakening of liberties in each individual to run from exclusive theological teachings and move towards inclusive non-denominational churches.

There is rarely a school, workplace, playground or social settings in urban areas where one is not exposed, and is not connected with people of different faiths and cultures. Indeed, it is comfortable to be a part of a congregation where such values are embraced to fulfill of our communal needs. Indeed, we are built to live in harmony with others and are drawn towards inclusiveness.

Interfaith friendships are on rise, and so are interfaith marriages. In an informal survey, nearly 35% of Muslims and Hindus marry outsides their faiths. The Pew religious landscape pegs it at 31% for the Jewish community, and the General Social Survey points it to 25 percent for the whole nation.

Religion is a part of 85% of Americans. Nearly a 1/3rd of all Americans are marrying outside their faith. Hence, affiliations with universal places of worship to accommodate their special needs are on rise.

There is also the pleasure principle at work, where we are drawn toward our comfort zone for our individual needs. Ad hoc groupings are also increasing to share affinities within religion, social networking, music, politics, cuisines, hobbies, humor, poetry, gun control etc. And Facebook has become instrumental in the formation of smaller self-interest groups.

The shift is toward connecting a piece of an individual with a similar piece of the other. instead of the whole that may come with pain from conflict.

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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.