Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

“THE CONSENTING FUNDAMENTALIST,” (PART 01)

August 21, 2012

OK, the title of this post is kind of a play on Mohsin Hamid’s “the Reluctant fundamentalist,” (smile) But, I am exploring fundamentalism (in the context of both christianity and Islam) and giving a picture and nonprofessional psychological theories). All of these opinions and theories are directly related to my own experience, but “might” be able to be applied to the experiences of others. I’d love to hear your opinions and thoughtt on the matter.
There are at least four main schools of thought in Suni Islam (I don’t know how many different schools are in shia’ Islam) and hundreds of different strands of christianity. All have different rules and Holy reasons to support their beliefs. I don’t know enough about the other religions to include them in this post, so I won’t.
what makes a person gravitate to a specific type of religion? All would pronounce that “God/ Allah” led them to this particular religion, but I believe that it is more complex than this. We are all looking for “something.” God/Allah gives us that “something” in the form of the religion that we choose. Many people, including me, go through phases and stages of fundamentalism to liberalism. I am not immune from this unsettling practice and will recount my own experiences later in this and other successive posts. but, I do think that there are certain characteristics that make fundamentalism (whether in christianity or Islam) attractive, just as there are characteristics of more liberal approaches to religion which are also very appealing. I am not naive or arrogant enough to think that I am the first who has wondered about such a thing. so, my first thought is to search the internet. I found psychological articles, but forgot DH’s password to our local library, so I can’t read them. (I hate my memory). Many of the books cited, however, either focus on Islam, Violence or Homosexuals in the context of Christianity. I have found two interesting titles that are yet to be translated into formats that I can readily access. the two titles are:
Religious Fundamentalism and Social Identity
By Peter Herriot
Published January 25th 2007 by Routledge – 144 pages
The psychology of religious fundamentalism
RW Hood, PC Hill, WP Williamson – 2005 – books.google.com
If anyone has read them, please give your comments and opinions.
—-
I am a rules person. I have always been. I put on my seatbelt regularly, don’t litter, won’t purposefully Jay-walk (sometimes my dog and/or myself have a problem with walking straight) and generally feel guilty when I do break a law, even if I find it a bit mundain. DH is not necessarily a rules person. If he can get away with not obeying them, he will. But, maybe this is dependent on the specific authoritarian. He finds American Government a bit ambiguous (as he probably does Pakistani Government) and tends not to follow rules, if he can do this without serious consequence to himself. He doesn’t disobey rules as a result of some philosophical or hunamistic epiphany. He disobeys when he feels they are not necessary. Yes, this does make him a bit arrogant. As if, he always knows the best or right thing to do and he will never suffer consequences from not obeying the rule. There are also parts of Islam that he finds difficult to follow. I won’t elaborate here, but sufficed to say, he is the last person that needs to adopt a strict fundamentalist approach. Stop! when I say that he might be adopting a “fundamentalist approach,” don’t call the FBI. This has nothing to do with violence or AntiAmerican sentaments. Yet, there certainly are more strict segments of Islam and he seems to gravitate to them. He is from the Suni School of Hanifi, and although I will elaborate about the schools of Islam — at least, touch on some of the differences and leave the rest to other more knowledgeable people in a later post; just know that Hanifis are pretty strict about some things: the role of women seems to be one of them. but, I’m jumping the gun a bit. Let me go back to my own understanding and experiences.
I understand this draw to a fundamentalistic approach, somewhat. when I was raising my children, (those Adult ones that I talk about occasionally), I admit, I was quite the fundamentalist. Let me elaborate.
*We would do devotion at least once a day — many times twice.
*When my children got into trouble, part of their punishment always required them to read, write or explain passages in the bible which supported my reasoning for the punishment.
*Only christian music (and only certain kinds of christian music because much of it sounded much too secular for me) was to be played on Sunday… … and only positive uplifting music for the rest of the week.
*No drinking, smoking, tattoos, substance use, piercings or tabacco use and limited contact with those who do because we wouldn’t want them to influence you.
*no premarrital sex, (which included any contact with certain private body parts and intimate kissing) and only group dating when you are teens(fifteen and up).
* no celebration of Halloween.
* no movies over PG rating soon turned into — no TV.
* no swearing or saying some words that aren’t actually swear words, but have negative connotations.
*dressing modestly meant not showing cleveage; nothing above midcalf (including splits); no spaghetti strap or bear shoulder and no too tight clothing.
*no working on sunday.
*eat healthy, which means limited sugar and preservatives.
*The Parent’s decision is the final one: while you might try a good debate, there is no questioning.
Those are the only ones that I can think of at the moment, but I am sure that my family would say that I was quite conservative. We attended a baptist church which affiliated itself with Southern Baptist, but in some circumstances, made every attempt to be as conservative as posible. It was only recently that the church had supported interracial marriage, yet, I know that many – most – of the members would (outwardly support interracial marriage — but wouldn’t want their child to engage in such a practice).
So, I ask myself, “what drew me to this conservative / fundamentalist lifestyle? (I’ll get to the “How did it effect your children?” and “why did I leave” questions later). I have always been drawn to the “simple” lifestyle. I rarely go shopping, don’t eat out much and am not very materialistic. I enjoy the simple things like spending time with family, card and board games and believe that relationships and communication is the key to a happy life. I wanted my children, above all, to have a good strong character. I did not want them to be caught up in the glammor and glitz of the world or think that dishonesty, deception or jealousy/envy were “just normal.” I was looking for simplicity and peace. (In fact, I continue to look for such things and even dabbled in quakerism to find it). I was looking for order, security and absolutes. Absolutes are a good way TO ACHIEVE stability. In a world of ambiguity and “shades of grey,” many people search for a solid foundation to stand on: one that does not waffle or crumble. and, I felt that I had to give this to my children, also. My life was chaotic, understandably so, after a breakup with my current husband and a move to a very small town where resources and transportation was limited. My children felt insecure. I was looking for a set of guidelines inwhich I could use to help myself and my children adjust. My own family was kind of fragmented on their support and was still dealing with the consequences of my children’s skin color. That is to say, they were still adjusting to public scrutiny and formulating their own opinions about my children’s racial and cultural heritage. surely, Jesus wouldn’t support racism or ableism or discrimination or socioeconomic preferences or…. … —
so, I looked to christianity — fundamentalist christianity for the answers. After all, God Loves everyone and if Love was the central foundation, how could we actually go wrong?? Familial peace and justice was the goal(nevermind that peace and justice have a difficult time coexisting, sometimes), success was an extra perk. You also find that the more fundamentalist a group is, the more close-knit they are. I longed for a close-knit family. It is natural to want to be a respected member of a community. You want to be “part of the whole.” with my own family being so fragmented, I wanted a family that I could count on; a family that shared my concerns and values; a family that really cared for the well being of my children; and a famly that respected me as an individual and benefitted from my contributions. I don’t think that I ever achieved my goal for “family,” and there are many contributors to these ends. to summarize, my disability, my political ideology, my views on social issues such as poverty and racism and communal hipocrasy were the most dominant factors.
Here was another problem. While I whole-heartedly supported those individual rules, especially those spoke about in the “Sermon on the Mount,” and those that advocated for justice and social equality; I didn’t realize that there was a hierarchy. In many christian circles, conservative politics trumps any other conservative values. For example: Let’s say that to negate materialism and support a simple and honest living, you limit the amount of things that you buy your children. You teach them to work for things they want. But, because you supremely believe in the ideology of capitalism, you don’t begrudge businesses from “doing whatever they must,” to make their money. Personally, you talk about giving and charity, but politically, you support cutting social programs. While “Jesus loves the little children,” the unspoken community mindset was that he must love some children more than others because racism was summarily ignored(unless it was perpetrated with malice and visible contempt), socioeconomic disparages were minimized and international concerns were met with either pity, apathy or an opportunity to convert. There might even be a time, as there was for my own daughter, where you (as in the entire community/ church family that I allowed to help raise my children), supported her decision to get on Birth control between the ages of fifteen and sixteen (the support was secret and without my knowledge), but, “you” outwardly and politically spoke out against teens having premaritral sex and “planned Parenthood.” You advocated for abstenance and scorned those who supported birth control, yet, privately, —- Well, — just this once!!!! You, the community, talked about those lazy welfare people and how the bible looks down on laziness. Yet, You would hire an affluent college student from a socioeconomic background similar to your own, as opposed to a person you supposed was “on welfare.” — and, that included myself. I could never find employment in that small town. This Hierarchy of values actually meant that those who were most accepted in the group were those who first and foremost, held similar political views. the values concerning individual living was largely left to the “individual.” I was looking for an “Acts” community. And, while I admit that no community is perfect, I found that noone really wanted to change, even if they saw where the Bible might mandate such a change. The other part of this reason is that “noone,” (at least as far as I know — with the exception of christ) has or will live the religion as purely as it has been defined in a Holy text. But, I found that many people were politically right wing, yet personally (and quite privately) they desired the exceptions that a more liberal approach would afford them. I also realized, much to my dismay that the more close knit a community seems to be, the more exclusive it also is. You can’t be “close” and “inclusive” at the same time because this “bond” relies on a shared value set — one that you would not have if you included most everyone. So, (although sometimes unspoken) there were definitely qualifications to be met for inclusion. And, at one time, I was willing to pay that price for belonging. For that time in my life, I was willing to sacrifice some of my own personal beliefs so that our family would be accepted in such a community.
(TO BE CONTINUED)

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Hear the Call of III (International Interfaith Initiative)

January 25, 2011

For the last year, I had tried to find interfaith resources and people in interfaith marriages. I found a wonderful group of Muslim/Christian couples. The problem is that their meetings are in Southall, London. Obviously, that is not going to work. I have written on interfaith issues in previous posts and if I was more technically savvy like most of you, I would point you to their links. SORRY! I just don’t know how! And, dh is not interested. (smile)
I even thought about starting a “meetup group” or something similar for
‘intercultural’ couples. This came from a desire for both of us to feel strong in our faith. I wanted a place where we could unabashedly explore and express our faith with others who held similar desires, yet were open to their partner’s faith. But, I had to “find” the couples, first.
There were a few problems with finding interfaith couples that live in Indianapolis or the surrounding areas.
I could not find any interfaith couples at all. Now, I found the Dovetail magazine which talked about interfaith families. But, there was no ‘interfaith family’ in Indiana that I could talk with. And, even if there were: it is most likely one might be catholic or agnostic or atheist. In this case, they don’t have the same challenges as a Muslim and a Christian might have. I have also discovered that
1. just because one is a part of a minority faith, does not necessarily mean that they will accept others from less prominent faiths. Now, I say this, but I know that there are more than six million Muslims (maybe 8 million, my reporting might be off; but at least, six), in the USA. [So, i guess “minority faith status” might be kind of relative], Yet, as I have reported, imran and I have not made lasting connections with either the people at a mosque or at a church. Is some of this disconnectedness due to our status as an “interfaith family?” I don’t have enough experiences with mosque going individuals to make a definitive guess, but I do know that in the case of church going people, the word “interfaith,” is rarely spoken and definitely somehow not applied to Christian/Muslim couples.
2. this is the Midwest, people don’t really like to talk about their faith, unless they are certain that they will be supported. Interfaith is kind of a taboo subject.
3. did I mention that we have trouble with transportation? so searching the state is just not an option for us.
4. ‘faith’ is so subjective. What might be important to me in my faith, might not be as important to you in yours.
5. We are talking about “Muslim” here. At best, his religion is ignored and at worst, it is criticized.
So, here we sit!
And, when Rev Michael and Barb Slater from editors of the “Together magazine and who are CoChairs of the National Association of InterChurch and Interfaith Families
http://www.NAIIFOnline.org
Posted a desire for a Muslim/Christian couple to join the board, I was thrilled.
Now, of course, DH and I are newly married, so I did not suggest us, specifically. But, the thought of another couple bringing their wisdom to bear on such a sensitive subject and the fact that they actually were open to such a Christian/Muslim couple frankly, thrills me to no end. Before now, they had focused more on varying cultures and traditions within more similar faiths. Some will argue that Christianity and Islam are similar, but let’s not get into that debate.
And, to my Hindu, Buddhist and other faith friends (I can’t spell sorry), I realize that, as of yet, Hinduism and other such faiths are not included. I am not sure of the reason, but as of now, the farthest I have seen “interfaith initiatives” go is to Judiism.
So, here’s my Q:
Is there any interfaith couple “Specifically Muslim/Christian,” who would be willing to serve on their board? I have just received information about membership and specifically board membership. We (due to our zealousness concerning interfaith issues and probably because they don’t know any other Muslim/christian couple [passionate or not]), have been extended an invitation to be a board couple. It sounds quite intriguing (to me) and not too burdensome (to DH). yet, I still wonder if “we” are “qualified” to do so.
Whether it be “US” or “SOMEONE ELSE,” , this is an opportunity for the Christian/Muslim couple to be heard. Hey, why not throw a bit of culture (Pakistani) and disability (Blindness) into the mix. I am all for diversity. And it would be a great learning experience and opportunity for us! But, honestly, I admit that another couple might be more qualified for the position and might do a better job at being an effective mouthpiece to show the positive side of an interfaith(Christian/Muslim) marriage, present an objective viewpoint concerning the struggles that an interfaith family faces and give suggestions and tips for those contemplating such an endeavor. They also might be able to dispell the myth of the spiritually stunted confused child; similar to the stereotypes you hear about when people talk about bicultural or multicultural or biracial children. The myth lives on despite the many who can prove its obsurdity!
… …. …
And, just as I was about to post this, DH sends me an email detailing plans from the International Interfaith Initiative to host some seminars at our Indiana Interchurch Center.
What????
We have an Indiana Interchurch Center?
There are five upcoming events in Februrary, alone. Hmmm, maybe February is “interfaith month,” which also happens to be the month in which DH has a birthday. (smile) He received this information from a Muslim email list that he belongs to. It seems that the members of the Muslim Email listserv are a bit more open to interfaith initiatives than their Christian counterparts. Now, I am under no illusions. “interfaith,” does not always mean “interfaith families.” And, I remember how much “interfaith dialog,” and “interfaith celebrating,” went on at the last “interfaith event” that was held close to the Thanksgiving holiday. But, it is a start!

Interfaith (continued)

April 29, 2010

Hello,
It is time to begin to unravel the Interfaith questions that I have had, yet have been hesitant to blog about.
This “interfaith” discussion has plagued my existance for months.
I have not written about it because, frankly, it is too raw and I wanted a bit of prospective on it before writing.
sometimes, I am not sure if I have any prospective at all — and this is after months, yet, I must write and hopefully, in that way, process some of the
thoughts and questions that I have.
since not many are reading anyway, I am not likely to encounter opposition — although that means that I won’t encounter wise thought either.
And, I must admit that it is helpful for me to see my writing posted and then analyze it again.
For better or worse, here are some thoughts.
Today, I’ll focus on the view of Muslims in the USA and how Church folk see them.
I will try to untangle that stereotype from the actual character of Muslims that I know. 
Portions of a letter that I sent to a friend:
“intertwining politics and religion.” 
Hi Hannah,
(the name has been changed because although it is my letter, it is to my friend and I wanted to protect her identity)
You talked about each side projecting anxious messages about the other: especially when it seems that they might be reaching for a more peaceful dialog.
Yes, I agree. It is certainly prevalent here in the USA.
I know that Christians are afraid that if they are “too peaceful,” or “too understanding,” they will be friends of the world and Satan, in particular. Someone
or something must be the force of opposition that we struggle against. The bible does say that the world will be against us and that we need not fellowship
with Believers.(I will find the biblical quotes in a later post)
It seems, though that there must always be two groups of people: the good and Evil. So, for many reasons,
Muslims have been chosen as that evil group. And, it worked/works for many reasons:
1. it use to be that “Muslim,” also meant “those of different less progressive countries, those of different colors and so the “them,” was easy to oppose
because the “they” were not any of “us” —  not in color and/or  nationality. 
2. Politics and oil fueled the fire
3. we are big “freedom fighters,” (now, no one knows why we have not taken up the cause for liberation in Zimbabwe as Robert Mugabe rules– I guess no oil
or diamonds in Zimbabwe — ), but since cultural ideas (the oppression of women) are mixed with religion, we feel it necessary to fight for those women
which also puts us at odds with Muslim men.  
    For me, it is easy to stand against these. Most people can’t distinguish between cultural practice and Quranic commands. There are now many White American
Muslims, so the “enemy” that they think that they are fighting is harder to recognize: not to mention that there are Arab Christians. Yes, I do believe
that the majority of people who claim to be Christians (sorry to say) are listening to political preachers and fundamentalist evangelists who are guided
by greed and propelled by certain political groups. Some are guided by scripture and their interpretation of it.  Most people that I know either do not
know muslims or don’t interact with
them on a regular basis. And, why would they? they don’t want to be seen as befriending the world.
{James 4:4
You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s
friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God.}
 So, if they must interact with Muslims, they are cordial at best.   
Strangely, though, those who have no faith at all, seem to be much more friendly and accepting of Muslims.
In some sense, they empathize with the Muslim because the Muslim, much like themselves have been judged and deemed without or even Anti  God. thus,   they
negate faith altogether and become supportive.    
I moved to a larger City. This means: more diversity, more access to pub transportation, more feeling like a number, yet more ability to connect with likeminded
invividuals. That “connecting with likeminded individuals” is a myth because I have yet to find them. Admittedly, I have not visited a mosque, where Muslims
worship, but I was looking among my own faith.  I either find those who are so rigid that the concept of an interfaith relationship is unthinkable: or
those who
believe that “Faith” is unimportant to a relationship. These extremes have harpooned me.
Actually, I never believed that Islam was a violent religion or one that oppressed women. I continue to remind people of the christian Crusades, puritans,
Salem witch trials, American Slavery and even how we use our weapons today. Islam has nothing on us: so to speak.     
____________
Personal trials with faith and the world,
I have a dear friend — she use to be a dear friend and I called her my sister.
When I told her about Imran and I, she was supportive. Yet, over time, she has told me that God dictates that she is honest with me.  Which means that she
is quite uncomfortable with the fact that I am going to marry a Muslim. In fact, she seems to become more rigid by the day.
First, she was concerned,
then uncomfortable,
then oppositional.
So, I wonder: Where is this coming from?
Well, I don’t think that this is solely her interpretation of the bible. I don’t think that she is only standing on biblical principle.
Yet, let’s assume for a moment that she is.
The scriptures that she quotes include:
(From the Amplified bible)
2Corinthians 6:14-17
14Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers [do not make mismated alliances with them or come under a different yoke with them, inconsistent with your
faith]. For what partnership have right living and right standing with God with iniquity and lawlessness? Or how can light have fellowship with darkness? 
15What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial [the devil]? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?   
16What agreement [can there be between] a temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in and with and
among them and will walk in and with and among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
17So, come out from among [unbelievers], and separate (sever) yourselves from them, says the Lord, and touch not [any] unclean thing; then I will receive
you kindly and treat you with favor,
&
2John 1:7-11
7 For many imposters (seducers, deceivers, and false leaders) have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge (confess, admit) the coming of
Jesus
Christ (the Messiah) in bodily form. Such a one is the imposter (the seducer, the deceiver, the false leader, the antagonist of Christ) and the antichrist.   
8Look to yourselves (take care) that you may not lose (throw away or destroy) all that we and you have labored for, but that you may [persevere until you]
win and receive back a perfect reward [in full].   
9Anyone who runs on ahead [of God] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ [who is not content with what He taught] does not have God; but he who continues
to live in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ [does have God], he has both the Father and the Son.   
10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine [is disloyal to what Jesus Christ taught], do not receive him [do not accept him, do not welcome
or admit him] into [your] house or bid him Godspeed or give him any encouragement.   
11For he who wishes him success [who encourages him, wishing him Godspeed] is a partaker in his evil doings.   
____
Ok, now, it seems to me that John is telling the members of the Church of Syria not to accept those who were taught about christ and now deceive people
by teaching something different.
In any case, I find many more scriptures concerning our acting in love and kindness. Of course, this brings up the  question:
“is there actually inconsistencies in the bible?”
I will discuss this also further in a following post.
Just know that these are the scriptures that she condemns me with .
So, I would be marrying an unbeliever.
This is true.
But, that exact group of people that we are not to “socialize or fellowship with,”  is debateable. 
The first quoted verse, the one in 2Corinthians is the one most often quoted.
But, I continue to look for a deeper, more clear meaning of these bible scriptures.
Maybe I just don’t want to admit that  this is the true meaning and I am looking for justification.
Yet, when I remember how the bible was used to steel land, condone slavery, oppress wives,  depict dark-skinned people  as inferior, blame the disabled
for their disabilities and justify the killing of those in far off  lands, it leaves me questioning popular interpretation and compels me to search for
something more substantial.  

peeling off the label

April 28, 2010

Anyone would tell you that I dislike labels for a plethora of reasons. I feel that they are constrictive, misleading and one way that we as a society limit and impersonalize people. Furthermore, rarely, can we escape the stigma of a bad one, yet we can easily be excluded from a supposedly positive label. While “blind,” might tell you that I am unable to see, it does not necessarily mean that I count my steps, am a good musician, feel faces of others to understand what they look like, am mentally incapable of understanding complex thought and/or wear sunglasses to hide my eyes. In fact, “Blind,” (unless one uses the adjective [totally]) does not mean that one has “no sight.” It means that one has less sight than the normal and probably due to this limitation has to make some modification in the way that they view the world. I know blind people who are able to drive in certain circumstances. So, for this reason, and many others, I find myself rejecting labels and the people that feel it necessary to use them.

Yet, I have a need to find a lable to describe my specific brand of christianity. I find myself searching for a label that will fit: not because I want a box to fit into, but because I want to find likeminded people to fit into the box with me. Sometimes, not having a specific label, means not having somewhere to belong. It means, not being able to proudly proclaim something and having others affirm you in your stance. Yes, the thing about labels is that many have been put into the category that you are placed into. It is easy to suggest that I create my own space and my own definition of what I am and what I believe. Yes, that is forward thinking and a good suggestion, as far as it goes. But, within that creation and definition, one stands alone and is many times misunderstood. What that suggestion is really saying is “Do your own thing and don’t be afraid to stand alone until someone else finds themselves in a similar situation and joins you — in which case, you will be creating your own label for you and others to fit into and inversely reject.” People don’t like a fluid concept of belonging. They feel much more comfortable understanding “who” belongs and “who does not. And, there are certain criteria for one to “belong” anywhere. I must be “blind,” to be integrated into the blind community. I must adhere to certain idiologies, if I am going to claim to support a specific political party. So, where does this new brand of faith leave me?

I have searched for a church from the time that I arrived in Indianapolis. Actually, the last thing that I did on my computer before I packed it up was to search for churches. One of the first things that I did when I arrived in this city was to start calling churches. Because of my interfaith connections, I had lots of questions to ask them about interfaith issues, as well as issues pertaining to disability, transportation, beliefs and so on. I left many messages. No church seemed to have a secretary and the ones that did, took a message and promised to give me a return call. The calls never came. An amazing thing is that Imran came down to see me one week later and found a Muslim taxi driver to drive him to my house for a small visit. He, with one call, found a Muslim man to help him, yet, my calling all week yielded nothing.

What is that saying?

I must admit to being a bit fearful of churches. Most are fundamentalist and know nothing about Islam and would certainly condemn me for dating a Muslim. It does not matter that there is other points of sin within the church that they do not deal with. And, who really cares, accept for the point that any mention of “Islam,” or “Muslim,” yields such a strong reaction that it is overkill. But, honestly, there is just too much for most people to accept. First, I am blind. Imran is blind. He is a Muslim. I have friends of many different cultures and am open to learning new languages, cultural customs, etc. I believe in the sanctity of life. I adhere to a more “socialist” brand of Christianity than most Americans are comfortable with. I need transportation to participate in worship and church functions. Oh, I am unemployed, so am not of the socioeconomic background that would allow me to lavish gifts of gratitude on those who assist me. That is more than enough for me not to fit into their religious community. So, I look online. And, I find myself trying to craft a new label for myself: one that adequately explains my spiritual beliefs and one that I can comfortably live by.

Check out my written articles and comment at:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/487125/jan_wright.html
“Bonds of the Heart should never be broken!”
“Dil kay rishton kay bandhan kabhi naheen tootnay chahiay hain!” — Urdu translation

random post

April 27, 2010

Ok, I am resigned to the fact that no one reads this blog.
Maybe my children will read it after I am gone.
I have not yet elaborated on how depressing it is to not have a job when you are 40 and have moved to a larger city for just that reason.
And, I have yet to update any readers — (yeah right) on my relationship with Imran.
But, I must broaden my blog’s scope to include some of my thoughts because it is just too time consuming to make another blog.
Although, I reserve the right to do just this very thing in the future, if I so desire.
I posted the following message on facebook:
” The NY Post video of a man who helps a woman being mugged. He is then stabbed and dies on the pavement. 25+ people walked by. R you less likely to come
to someone’s aid in a city? R you’re less likely to help than years ago? R we morally required to help someone in need? Christian response? story:
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/hugo_wouldn_have_done_that_family_FKNTR0IUj3tsYhB5uSzfEL

Remember, I only have 400 characters to post.
Not one person responded.
Yet, people will comment to status changes such as
from Christine:
” Ace the cat just tried to drink water out of my cup. ewwwww,”
(12 comments)
or
From Amanda:
” wants a PS2 (or 3) so she can play Happy Feet, lol.”
(3 comments)
from Mary:
” This is my year.the 1st is my angel 2nd watch my space.”
(3 comments)
from Pam:
” As slow as Farmville is, you might as well have DIAL-UP!!!!”
(7 comments)
from Cheree:
” Bummer, stasia couldn’tget her bunny rabbits today bcit turnsout we cant have caged animals inthe apt however dogs are aloud so im still thinking about
adopting a dog, any suggestions on small very kid friendly doggies????”
(9 comments)
from Jasmine:
” Just sitting here in the bathroom while Kenity is playing in the tub. I’m def getting a headache and I already know she’s going to keep me up all night.”
(7 comments)
From Tabrani:
” Seringkali orang merasa kecewa terhadap sebuah media peneribitan ketika tulisannya tidak dimuat atau ditolak. Penolakan itu, sebaiknay kita jadikan sebagai
pembelajaran bagi diri kita. namun jangan pernah cepat menyerah. Kirim lagi dan teruslah menulis dan kirimkan.Pasti akan dimuat nanti”
(6 comments)
Ok, Tabrani is from Indonesia and only a few know what Tabrani said. Sometimes, he writes in English, but this was not one of them. .
But, you get my point.
I have wondered if it was just me
(maybe I tend to grate on people’s nerves).
Or, whether it is people in general.
I still don’t know.
And, yet, just today “The Cop,” (that is how he has introduced himself), has offered to mow my yard (a 30minute job on a riding lawn mower) and would not accept payment.
I am certainly greatful and am looking for a way to help make his life a bit easier.
Yet, I can’t understand that mob mentality.
And, it seems that facebook is a clear representation of the streets of New York. No one even comments, much less cares.
Oh Lord, help me to respond when a need arises. Help me not to be so myopically focussed as to not see what is going on right in front of me.And, give me the courage and boldness to act in truth and love.
In Jesus Precious name!

Now, let’s see where the test comes from.
I do notice that every time I am convicted about something, I am tested on whether my actions support my words.
I am hoping to pass the test and in that way feel a bit of success that I have done what is required of me as a Christian… … and a human!

Conversion

February 9, 2010

01/10/2010
Ok, so as I am reading blogs like:
Gori Girl,
the Gori Wife Life,
Southern Masala
and Susie’s Big Adventure,
it occurs to me that if their husband is Muslim, the women have converted to Islam.
So, people might ask me why I have not converted to Islam, as my friendly bloggers have done.
Here it is in a nutshell,
my Christianity consists of the following:
Christ was perfect. Even Muslims believe that he was faltless. Of course, they believe what the Quran says about Jesus, not what the Bible says about him, and obviously, the Quran says considerably less than the bible says.
But, nonetheless, Christ was perfect. Now, there is the debate about “sonship” and I have read lengthy discussions and discertations on the subject.
But, what it all comes down to is this:
I want to behave and conduct my life as Christ conducted his life. I want to (as closely as I can) follow in his footsteps. And, I will continue to do so.
I will pray to God and Yes, I do acknowledge that we (The Christians, Muslims and the Jews) pray to the same God.
I will respect my Muslim life partner.
But, I will follow Christ.
And, we will live harmoniously because, Imran (I still will use his name and not an initial) respects my beliefs and supports my choices as well as how I behave and act in certain situations. and, I don’t try to control his beliefs or actions.
if/when we do disagree, I note that for the most part, most of our disagreements could be had between myself and other christians. so, it is not specifically religion that divides us, it is our own personal views.
In fact, I have found many Islamic passages that would support most of my actions. At least, those that are not connected to prayer, communion or church.
To convert would be to betray christ and I won’t do that. This is the bottom line.