March 27, 2008
March 29-30, 2008, weekend

March 28, 2008

INTEREST IN SAUDI DIALOGUE IDEA

The Vatican says it's interested in a proposal by the king of Saudi Arabia to hold interfaith discussions among Christians, Muslims and Jews. I talked about this proposal earlier this week. Hope everyone remembers that the primary purpose of such talks is not conversion.

* * *

ANOTHER WAY TO TRACK RELIGION

Anyone who wants to stay relatively current on developments in a particular field -- oh, say, religion -- needs multiple sources.

InterfaithIf you get all your news from one newspaper, magazine, Web site or broadcast outlet, you'll wind up not only ignorant but probably stuck with a biased sense of what's really happening in the world.

So today I'm happy to introduce you (if you haven't already met) to another publication that can help you understand what's happening in the faith world and how it affects your world and the cosmos. It's called Religion Watch, and is published six times a year. It recently has acquired a new publisher, the Religioscope Institute, the Web site of which is also helpful in keeping folks up to speed on the fast-changing world of faith.

Although Religion Watch limits what non-subscribers can read on its Web site, there's still quite a bit there to give you a good sense of whether it's a publication to which you'd like to subscribe. And even if you don't subscribe, the information available under "Recent Issue" heading is pretty substantial.

I recommend you pay attention to Web site's internal search function called "Trendsetter." That can give you a decent sense of how the magazine covers whatever topic interests you.

In some ways, Religion Watch is like a briefing paper, with stories drawn from many sources. I have been aware of the publication but haven't ever read it much. News of its change from an independent newsletter to its new publisher, however, reminds me that I might want to sign up.

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P.S.: The annual AIDS Walk in Kansas City to raise funds for local AIDS service organizations now is less than a month away. I'll be walking in it. If you'd like to help, click on the "AIDS Walk 2008" link under the "Check this out" headline on the right side of this page and make a pledge. Lots of needy people will be grateful to you.

To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here. (My column tomorrow will talk about marital infidelity and what religion has to say about it.)

Comments

Dolores Lear

Most people on this Blog, and Religious Humans, were raised with a Biased View of their religion. No matter how many other religions they read about, it is seldom that they change.

There is the Bible verse, most of us know: Train up the child in the way they should go, and they will not depart from it.

Adults may change the Church they go to, for a spouse, or dissatisfaction with the minister or congregation, but what we are taught as Children, stays with most in Adulthood.

Or, they fall away from a Church religion all together, but still stand up for the God of their former religion. Some become Atheist and Agnostics, but most start our in some type of religion.

But what has all this to do, with the Physical Life we lead for our Governments? Why do we Kill or support Killing our Human Enemies, our Eco System, and innocent lives?

Is this Serving God and Man as taught in religion? Is this Loving God and our Brothers/Sisters as Ourselves?

Should we follow what is taught, with Human Mouths, and then kill Gods Planet, with out Hands?
How did we get in this mess, with the whole Planet at War with nuclear bombs on land and sea?

Serving GOD/Life with Peaceful Hands, or Worshiping God with War and Pollution, with Killing Hands?

What is a True Child of GOD/LIFE?

Jean

Freedom should be a central issue in the interfaith discussions between Muslims and other religions. Tyranny and oppression will undoubtedly produce better obedience in the short run, but at what cost? Some of those who are mistreated by tyrants will inevitably turn around and treat outsiders the same way. Some will kill Americans because of their freedom to transgress religious law. Some will even kill cartoonists because of a simple image. This is how abused become abusers.

Tyranny begets tyranny. Any overly-strict, punitive system will produce extreme abusers. This rears its ugly head among Christian extremists, too, who end up feeling that it is the right and duty to bash those whom they feel are opposing them. Fortunately the tyranny there is far, far less extreme and so is the resulting reaction.

The irony and futility of tyranny is that those who obey only because of violent threat do not benefit spiritually. Only the few people who voluntarily choose to follow God will find spiritual benefit. So there are no real benefits of tyranny, only to the tyrants that run the system. But there is definitely great harm to many inside the system and many outside through abused who become abusers.

Patricia

If one condemns tyranny, the key is not in unleashing one's judgment and making demands in the interfaith meeting, but rather to come up with working initiatives that may address those things and provide tangible goals. It would seem that support for the proposed Saudi higher education program would be a positive way to do that. Or a thoughtful plan to allow Palestinians greater freedom to cross in and out of territories cut off by the wall in Israel.

We Americans may be in love with freedom, but Iraq is a pretty harrowing example of all the bad things that can happen when we impose our values rapidly and thoughtlessly on others.

Patricia

Regarding your column this week.....I have not seen this "bodies" exhibit at Union Station but saw either it or a very similar staging at the Field in Chicago two years ago.

I appreciate the fact that people want assurances that no families have unwillingly allowed loved ones a post-mortem exhibition that would be against their sensibilities, but I find a good deal of hypocrisy in the religious notion of “glorified bodies” or the demonstrations outside Union Station.

Once a loved one dies, we do not lovingly put the body in a room of our house, wash it, prepare it for death, and sit with it for long hours of contemplation. We send it as fast as possible off to a bunch of strangers to pump it full of chemicals, sanitize it, wig it, pancake make-up it, and open the casket for brief minutes. After a few prayers and brief religious ceremony, we then pay someone to cart it off to a cemetery (most often nowhere close to our home or neighborhood; certainly not in our yard) and plunk it into the ground to be eaten by worms.

When you compare this process to the glory of riding a bicycle into the eternity of human memory or providing organs or education for others, there is even less "body glorification" to be found.

Dolores Lear

We have to consider the word Freedom. Freedom on a Divided Body Birth Human Planet, with Death, is not the same Freedom on a High Tech Science Human Birth Planet, with Peace and without Death.

It is hard to accept Perfect High Tech Humans were on Earth in the beginning. We need to accept this High Tech Science Colonization information, instead of Evolution, before we can stop the Nuclear Bomb 'Arm'ageddon.

Supernatural Creation did not stop War either. It did not change the Killing and Inequality Lifestyle.

Until we understand the Equal Living Sharing Lifestyle before Body Birth and Killing, was just as the Lifestyle in a Spaceship, we will continue with the Nuclear War. Why? What good will Self Defence do in a Nuclear War?

Will anything Change on Earth, until our Ancestors and Jesus return, to Change the Mis-bred Humans that remain, with High Tech Science Regeneration, to Pure-bred Asexual Humans like they did to Jesus?

The New Testament is necessary for all the other religions, so they can understand about Jesus and the Humans that started Perfect Human Life on Earth, and their return. Not as Gods, but Humans.

So now is the waiting game, to see if we will Understand about what we have done to our Home Planet. And what we will do to All Life with our Nuclear Bombs.

It is not the We or the Other Guy, that have been deceived, but All have been deceived, that we need weapons against our Brothers/Sisters.

Why are they the Enemy? Why are we Killing each other? For the Love of God, that said, Do Not Kill? What Kind of Love is That?

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