Pluralism News from Center for Pluralism – March 18, 2018
Pluralism is simply defined as “Respecting the otherness of others” i.e., you are who you are, and I am who I am. Together we learn to acknowledge our differences and commonalities and figure out how to live in harmony. No one needs to compromise his or her faith or political beliefs. Pluralism News is the weekly publication of the Center for Pluralism. We are about Pluralism in politics, religion, society, culture, and business. You can access this anytime through www.PluralismNews.com.
We are blessed with success in following Mother Teresa’s wisdom – she says, “If you want to make peace with your enemies or perceived enemies, talk with them.” I have been saddened the way the new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denigrates fellow Americans; it is time for us to engage with him. Knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance of the otherness of other. Positive engagement has higher chances of producing results than griping and complaining. I am looking for volunteer youths, who are sincere about serving fellow Americans to join us in our efforts to make America safe for everyone. We have to learn to deal with those who are opposed to us (anyone of us). Please note the scope of our work is reaching out to every American from Atheist to Zoroastrian and every one in between.
As independent Americans, we will do our share of work in the 2018 elections. Our goal is to strip the Republicans and Democrats with the supermajority and give each party a bare majority in each house. Most of the evil decisions are made when the President, Senate and the house are from the same parties. It is time to start breaking the evil of Majoritarian attitudes and limits these politicians to two terms, let them serve and not build power bases by selling themselves to the NRA and Oil producers.
Ambassador Sam Brownback
Despite the apparent chaotic occurrences around us, solid good things are happening. Sam Brownback is the Ambassador for religious freedom, a conservative but a firm believer in one’s freedom. I have met with him four times in a month’s time and will be seeing him again this week to discuss the following;
We need a drastic change in our policies; if we keep absorbing the refugees elsewhere in different lands as they are being chased out of their own homes, we are essentially legitimizing the oppressors to throw anyone out without consequences. What we need to do is create safe zones for the affected people in both regions and then work with the affected parties to restore sanity and harmony and build cohesive societies. It is not only cost-effective and preserves the social equilibrium of each nation, but upholds the most cherished values of humanity, and that is dignity.
The refugees endure humiliating experience, first to be thrown out of their own homes and then rejection from nation after nation. We must ensure the vulnerable to live in their place and their private lands; they belong there, it is their land.
Religious freedom paves for prosperity
What makes you invest in a community or a nation? Obviously, profits and security for your investments are the driving engines. If a country is chaotic with civil strife and religious conflicts, it is bound to create chaotic situations caused by lynching, harassment, and discrimination of people. South Africa has faced it, and if unchecked, India may encounter it. It is in our interest to work for religious freedom across the globe. If you make life difficult for one community, all will be paying for it.
Capitalizing on Department of State’s guest program
Over the years, through the visitors’ program, I have met groups from nearly 56 Muslim majority nations in addition to Muslims and Christians from Russia, China, UK and other countries. The groups included religious clergy, ministers, and educators.
What was exciting about the program was the visitor’s willingness to learn and practice pluralism in their respective nations. The Saudi delegates saw the adverse effects of 30 some mistranslated verses of Quran for political reasons, and they talked to the publishers. Since then many corrections have been made. The Algerian professor wrote a book on Pluralism in Islam in Arabic, and I asked them to have it translated into English. The Russians felt that our ideas could help in Chechnya. We just dropped the ball.
Our role at the Center for Pluralism was to orient the visitors with the pluralistic landscape of America, how we honor free speech, and how we stand up for each other. We presented them with a booklet on the initiatives we take in peace times, and how we handle conflicts with concrete examples.
Summary of Religious freedom violations in South Asia
There is a dire need to address the violations of religious and political freedoms in South Asia comprising the nations of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
A critical note – when a reference is made to the Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, India, Russia or others, it is not “all” people of that faith or country. It is usually a small percent of disaffected people from among the majority who feel threatened about their future and their way of life.
This group will identify problems and offer recommendations and possible solutions, and they are; if you wish to be a part of the group, please send me an email –firstname.lastname@example.org
- Monitoring to ensure the individual rights of people are protected.
- Facilitate democratic values and hoping for stable political and economic climate
- Secure our long-term interests of the safety of Americans and their investments
What do we do at the Center for Pluralism?
ARTICLES TO READ
Can Pluralism Heal the divides in the Jewish community?
On the significance of Israel for Jewish life, Kurtzer is aiming for nothing less than “a new covenant between Israel and world Jewry, elevating the existing discourse from a crisis-based focus to one rooted in Jewish values and ideas,” according to the group’s website. http://centerforpluralism.com/can-pluralism-heal-the-divides-in-the-jewish-community/
Meaning of the sound OM (Aum)
I am pleased to share the “Aum” or “Om” sound and its essence. Every faith has evolved over a period of time and has gained wider meaning as the societies interact with each other. http://centerforpluralism.com/hindu-the-meaning-of-om-aum/
New document on salvation adds pastoral tone to teaching foundation
The Christian faith “proclaims Jesus as the only Savior of the whole human person and of all humanity,” the text states, which is difficult for the contemporary world to understand, in particular, because of the twin errors of individualism and subjectivism that are prevalent in the modern mentality. http://centerforpluralism.com/new-document-on-salvation-adds-pastoral-tone-to-teaching-foundation/
The number of ex-Muslims in America is rising
According to the Pew Research Centre, 23% of Americans raised as Muslims no longer identify with the faith. Indeed, 40% of Muslims marry non-Muslims, not just ahle-Kitab (People of book) but any good human with any faith or no faith. What do you do, scream at them and lose them or give them freedom and keep them? http://centerforpluralism.com/the-number-of-ex-muslims-in-america-is-rising/
Strong men flock together
The old saying “Birds of the same feathers flock together applies here.” The world is facing an unprecedented number of strong men ruling several countries; all of them have similar traits – they do not respect the news media, don’t tolerant criticism, have a strong grip on their base, don’t care about the harmony in the society, they have a false sense of security by making others insecure. Like the swine flu, mad cow disease, bird flu, there is a strong-man-flu and it is contagious. Putin is the fountainhead and has infected all others like Modi, Trump, Netanyahu, Xi Jinping, Prince Salman, Kim Jong Un, Erdogan and a few others are popping. I am surprised the writers forgot to include Netanyahu on the list. I hope we develop systems to rope them in to be secure people causing security and peace, let’s pray that these men start talking peace instead of bullying the others. http://centerforpluralism.com/leaders-of-the-same-feathers-flock-together/
More articles at www.CenterforPluralism.com or www.PluralismNews.com
I am offended by your attitude.
If you criticize America, I have a problem, not with you but with your attitude. But, I have no problem if you criticize the governments run by Republicans or Democrats. Governments come and go, Presidents come and go, but America remains a nation, and a nation is made up of people, and the Americans have come a long way – to the point of respecting the otherness of others, giving dignity to each one of God’s creation. We do have a percent of bad guys like all other nations, but they are less than one percent of the population. The country is not the same as the government. We have had crooks as presidents, religious men, teachers, generals, business and civic leaders; they are exceptions and not the rule. So, if you criticize America, you are barking at the wrong tree, you are wasting your time. Criticize the individuals; I am okay with it, and not their nation, religion or race. If not, be ready to engage in a dialogue. If you cannot, take a hike.
Marriage is indeed an expression of a commitment to s relationship between two individuals. The men and women who take the bold step to become one regardless of their origins, faiths, races, and ethnicities must be applauded. They are setting an example of how to live in harmony despite their differences. Interfaith marriages are becoming the new norm of the society. In a few years, one out of two marriages would be of interfaith. Yes, this is across the board, whether you are a Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Baha’i, Atheist or the other. According to the Pew survey, 40% of people of faiths will be marrying a person of another faith; it is higher among Jews, it is 50%. Details at – www.InterfaithMarriages.org
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