Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Whys of a Theistic Seeker and Humanist

Growing up in a tiny village in Southeast Nebraska, we were taught that God is Love, Infinite Eternal Love, Goodness, Holiness, and Justice without End.


My childhood and youth were so wonderful, even in the midst of the common troubles and trials that every young human faces, no matter how good their family.

At times, we suffered in minor ways, but my sister and I were blessed beyond measure.

And far better and deeper and wider and higher than everything, than the whole limitless universe was the wonder of God, that despite all of the horror and tragedy and suffering facing all of humanity--in many cases situation so much worse than our minor scrapes--
there was the Infinite Care of the Father who loved every single human being forever.:-)


Of course, early on, despite a powerful conversion experience with God, I asked many confusing questions, deeply troubled by contradictions in life, in the Bible, in Christianity that didn't match the view that Life's essential essence was Love.

#1 Why did so many innocent people die of cancer, terrible tornadoes, earthquakes, and famines?
Especially very young ones, infants, children, young people, before they even had a chance to live their lives and do good?

#2 And why were there so many evil texts in the Bible since it was supposed to be inspired by God?

But living in the wonder of the joy of Christian trust and faith, I could transcend
these deeply troubling questions, even if there seemed to be no answers...

Because we were enveloped in God's infinite love--

That is until I met face to face....

with the leaders of Augustinian-Reformed Christianity, who claimed that our Baptist religion was an aberration, heretical, and that we had never been saved!

I met the first one of thousands of these nay-sayers when I was 17. This Calvinist youth leader also tried to convince us that God will call us Christians to commit immoral actions for God!!

(Note: Thank God, I've already recounted numerous times on this blog doing battle for over 50 years against that many-headed theological hydra, so I don't have to go down into that detailed abyss again here, nor share of how it murdered our faith, our trust, our hope, destroyed our lives. It has destroyed so many millions of humans' lives.)

Instead, in this article, I wish to deal with a few of the deep, puzzling and difficult-to-answer questions that have gouged my mind and my life over the years and still are there today:

One of my questions beginning when I was about 12 years old:

#3 Why didn't God emphasize to all of God's people down through the ages that slavery is inherently evil?

And related questions:
#4 Why does Exodus 21: 20 say, "When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave...if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money"?

And I Peter 2:18 "Household slaves, submit with all fear to your masters, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel"?

Think of the millions of humans killed or tortured and harmed and abused because of these and other verses!!

It was Christian and Muslim leaders, ship captains, merchants, plantation owners, etc. who carried out these rules and command, sure that God blessed their slave-owning, even when they were harsh and cruel, even when many of the slaves died in transit.


#5 If the Ultimate Reality of Existence (God, the Divine, the Spirit) truly has benevolence for all things, all beings, why didn't God reveal to humans 50,000 or 75,000 years ago the lethal danger of germs and viruses?

#6 Why did the Divine even allow destructive germs and viruses to come into existence and to thrive?

#7 Why didn't this loving God protect billions of humans from the Black Death, small pox, malaria, cancer, birth defects, and so forth?

#8 For that matter, why didn't God ease the suffering, even protect, all sentient animals, billions of them from excruciating harm and tortured deaths over the last billion years?


To be continued--



In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

The Revenge of the Politically Incorrect: Don Trumphalism

triumphalism: "excessive exultation over one's success or achievements (used especially in a political context)"

"an attitude or feeling of victory or superiority: as
a : the attitude that one religious creed is superior to all others
b : smug or boastful pride in the success or dominance of one's nation or ideology over others"
Merriam-Webster Dictionary


triumph:
"late 14c., "success in battle, conquest," also "spiritual victory" and "a procession celebrating victory in war," from Old French triumphe (12c., Modern French triomphe), from Latin triumphus "an achievement, a success; celebratory procession for a victorious general or admiral,"

"from Old Latin triumpus, probably via Etruscan from Greek thriambos..."
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=triumph

But beneath the Trump-halism and the Hilary-Everestism:


Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico: "As you have probably noticed, as more polls include my name and show us in double digits..."

"Not only is the news media taking TO Governor Weld [former Republican governor of Massachusetts] and me more, they are now talking ABOUT us more."

"And, of course, that is precisely what we need...the media, and voters, will take note of the fact that 15 percent puts us in the presidential and vice-presidential debates this fall...Being in the debates is a game-changer."

Even though this is impressive: two former conservative/libertarian governors running in the presidential election, what can it really achieve?

Will it throw an odd curve ball?

Could it possibly throw the election, like the infamous election of 1860?

Republican Party Abraham Lincoln 39.8%

Democratic Party Stephen A. Douglas 29.5%

Southern Democratic Party John C. Breckinridge 18.1%

Constitutional Party John Bell 12.6%
--

Who will benefit from the Johnson-Weld run, Clinton or Trump?

Or will the curve be split?

In the current 4-way race, NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll:

Libertarian Party Gary Johnson 10%

Green Party Jill Stein 6%

Democratic Party Hilary Clinton 39%

Republican Party Donald Trump 38%
--

Businessman Ross Perot in 1992 earned 18.9% but that was no cigar.
--

In the divided election of 1912,

Democratic Party Woodrow Wilson 41.8%

Bull Moose Party Theodore Roosevelt 27.4%

Republican Party William Howard Taft 23.2%

Socialist Party Eugene V. Debs 6%
--

Other Third Party Runs:

1968:

American Independent Party, Former Governor George Wallace 13.5%
& General Curtis LeMay

Republican Party Richard Nixon 43.4%

Democratic Party Hubert Humphrey 42.7%
--

1924:
Progressive Party Robert M. La Follette 16.6%
--

1980:

Independent Congress John B. Anderson 6.6%
--


Could the current election get such a severe split this time around, over 100 years later?

Unlikely, but then no one thought Trumphalism was going to defeat the usual standard bearers of the Republican Party in the Primaries.




But where in all of this rhetoric, propaganda, and multi-millions spent, is there any LIGHT?

Daniel Wilcox

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

71 Years Later, Smoke Still Darkening the World

With the dark anniversary of the horrific bombings in Japan coming up in 6 weeks--

By Phill Courtney, Guest columnist
Redland Daily Facts

"Hiroshima, Nagasaki: lessons learned and yet to be learned"

"Seventy-one years ago this month, World War II was ended by what could be described, in objective definitions alone, as two of the most massive terrorist attacks in history: the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by atomic weapons..."



"...terrorism...can be defined as a way to emotionally influence an audience for the purpose of obtaining an objective."

"Terrorism is terrorism, regardless of its motivations, which can be viewed as both benevolent and malevolent depending on who’s doing the viewing."

"When looked at this way, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were classic examples. The Japanese people—and, most important, their emperor—were terrorized into surrendering; thereby obtaining what is now widely seen as a benevolent end: the additional lives that were potentially saved by avoiding an invasion of Japan."
--

"...while I’m sympathetic to those who favored their use, including several World War II veterans I’ve talked to, we might remember that there is no consensus now, nor was there even back then, as to whether or not they should have been used."

"...President Harry Truman had no doubts...never had a second thought...and maintained that he hadn’t lost a moment’s sleep over the tens of thousands of non-combatants he’d ordered incinerated, calling the bombings “the greatest thing in history.”
--


"...a couple of other presidents...Herbert Hoover said that “the use of the atomic bomb, with its indiscriminate killing of women and children, revolts my soul,”

"...Dwight Eisenhower..."the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing..."

"...Admiral William D. Leahy, former chief of staff to presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Truman...“we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the dark ages...wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”

Read the whole article at the RedlandDailyFacts online.

Phill Courtney is a resident of Redlands. He can be reached at pjcourtney@earthlink.net.

http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/events/20150821/hiroshima-nagasaki-lessons-learned-and-yet-to-be-learned


Work against the ocean of darkness,

Daniel Wilocx

Learning to Listen--"Listening to the Other"

from MUSALAHA, a movement and organization working toward reconciliation
in Palestine/Israel

This also speaks to what we need in the U.S. now! between various political,
religious, and philosophical enemies.

"This weekend, June 17-18, 2016 was a highlight in my work in reconciliation. More often than not, recruiting for events is very challenging, and in our anything-can-change last-minute culture, it is difficult to get people to commit to a weekend-long meeting. Why would people take their precious weekends to stare into a mirror, and perhaps see things that need to change?"


"Listening to the Other"


"The Ahlan women’s group is different...We started the weekend with a barbeque, allowing families to join us for a few hours and be involved in what we are trying to accomplish..."

"Ronza, Musalaha’s West Bank Women’s Coordinator, and a facilitator in the Ahlan group, took us through a series of ice breaker games..it was her first time to lead one of Musalaha’s joint Israeli-Palestinian groups.
--

"Later, when the husbands left, our 28 women gathered and we started a teaching on “Listening to the Other,” which covered how to listen without preconceived notions or judgments...

"...on putting our thoughts on hold and being present in order to be able to hear the person in front of us. This conversation will only happen once. Be in the moment. You don’t get do-overs in life, so make the most of it and listen."

"Rula also taught us not to listen in order to answer."

"How many times do we sit on the edge of our chairs, hoping the other person takes a break to breathe so that we can start our rebuttal?"

"Toward the end of the conference, many of the women expressed their gratitude...Some women came from a small town outside of Ramallah – a place most Israelis have never heard of, let alone visited...."

-Hedva Haymov

"We seek to accomplish through the following:

To train women in leadership and reconciliation
To multiply our women’s Israeli and/or Palestinian groups in different regions
To impact our societies through community projects
To empower women through education, community development, democracy, networking, project management, and social change
To establish women’s groups in remote regions"

Read the whole story at
https://www.musalaha.org/articles/discovering-my-culture-by-learning-about-the-others-culture/
--



In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Friday, June 24, 2016

But the Cesspool....

Chairman Mao:
"All political power comes from the barrel of a gun."


When you are cast down by negative circumstances, even despair,
"Swing Low"*
to this true story...



The brown filth mucked up
To his shins, over a foot deep,

And buried his calloused and ulcered feet,
As he shoveled the human feces
Out of the reeking prison tank

For 60,000 lost souls where
He had been lowered by smirking guards.

But the cesspool mattered reek of all this?


At least the yellowed pus seeping
From his ankle was hidden
In the dung

But the dark brown stench
Caused an acrid backwash in his mouth.

His hands sweat with offal grime as
He slopped the feces out of his pitted world,

Punished with Red-Guarded re-education
By this fecal matter, revolting

To the norm of all learning from
Mao’s Red Book and Mao's black-teethed mouthings,




Tattooed beyond mental recovery in
The comrades’ dialectical brains.

But the cesspool mattered reek of all this?

Where the obscenities refuse to die
Where so many humans suffocate, confined

To suffering in the waste of others’ feculent ways.
This learned Chinese man, coerced








To live within the dung gate and clean
Sludge of human manure,



Created this fetid sewer into his reverent garden;
The septic tank became a place
of praise,

Ceaseless worship with every slimed shovel,
One hell-gated spiritual oasis.

Yes, the cesspool mattered reek of all this.

His fielded visions, not the Mandarin facts,
Nor the clich├ęs of Western affluence,

But of the order of Elie Wiesel’s prayer
In the effluent night of Bergen-Belsen

Where the excrement of cultural dominance
Floods to its all-time low—ever present–

Where the obscenities refuse to die
And cadaverous worms eat tissued body parts.

To give timeless eternal thanks
Despite the ordures of such polluted nights,

To live in hope while shoveling feces
Or your neighbors’ poisoned ashes


Surrounded and feet deep
In the filth;

Yes, the cesspool mattered reek of all this.

The answer that seems so reeking
Pollyannaish if it weren’t Existential–

A lighted match of faith in that bottomless pit
Of long history’s shit of evil acts,

The complete excrement of mystery;
Then the man ‘crosses’ the tank,

Finally wholly empty,
To be lifted up by a psalm

Of compost and fertilizer
Winging up in the Spirit of Ultimate Truth.

Swing low...

Sweet savored pool of fragrant myrrh
And frankincense.



-Daniel Wilcox

"Swing low..." Negro spiritual

*Factual background from a news article
by Dan Wooding, British journalist,
and Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang
and Jon Haliday
--

First published in
different form in
Liturgical Credo,
then in the poetry
collection, selah river


In the Light which defies the "Ocean of Darkness,"*

Daniel Wilcox


*George Fox

Don't Miss This Must-Read Article!


Get disturbed and urged to think deeply across current theological, political, and cultural divides.

Read this bridge article promoting "progressive Quakerism"!


FAQS FOR FRIENDS– PART #9: JESUS & THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

by Chuck Fager

http://afriendlyletter.com/faqs-friends-part-9-last-part/#more-6038

"...What’s Jesus Got to Do With the Golden Gate Bridge?"

"...one of the most agreeable years of my life was spent in San Francisco, from mid-1976 to mid-1977. Never mind that I was poor, even officially homeless for part of the time, because life was good. I had steady work as a reporter..."

"...a Progressive Quaker perspective, is inextricably tied up with my memories of one of San Francisco’s signal glories, the Golden Gate Bridge.

"Suppose the Golden Gate Bridge connected, not Marin County and San Francisco, but earth and heaven..."

"This idea is not as silly as it sounds. At the old Lake Street Friends meetinghouse...a large window opened on a view of the bridge. On numerous First Day mornings during that year I sat and contemplated the scene."

"Often enough the great arched span was caressed and then obscured by rolling sweeps of fog, and it was easy to imagine that the far end came down in some dimension much stranger than Marin County."

"Thus, solid as the bridge looked, and was, not everyone who set foot on it made it to the promised land at the other end. There was no guarantee: to get across, one had first to find the bridge, then walk or drive straight, stay in lane, and keep going."

"And it was not long thereafter when it came to me that the bridge could serve as a parable of the work of Christ, as understood by early Quakers, and Progressive Christian Quakers today."

With this powerful metaphor and vivid image,
so begins a very deep, insightful, and inclusive article by Chuck Fager
on the matters of reality, identity, purpose, ethics, religion, and philosophy.

I tend to be skeptical of "progressive"-labeled writing
(for a host of reasons, but that's not the 'angles'here).

And I don't much care for long hyphenated words for Quakers,
or anyone else for that matter.
But given the extreme divides and contradictions within Quakerism
(and most worldviews for that matter), it is probably necessary as shorthand.

Don't miss this article.

See if it is, indeed, one of those deep moments of witnessing in meeting.



In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Do You Have a One Trek Mind? The Trouble with Trumples? Boldly Go Where No...

Are you Lost in Space?

Electoral Space: the final frontier.

These are the voyages of the U.S. Starship Enterprise.

Its four-year mission:




to explore strange new ways,
to seek out new political life and new uncivilization,
to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Welcome to The Twilight Zone in The Outer Limits, Will Rogers!

Oh-Be-the-Won! Captain 'Kurt.'

You are our last hope, Yodi!







In the Lighthearted,

Daniel Wilcox

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Part #2: Review of Meetings by Chuck Fager

from Amazon's website:
"Chuck Fager’s transition from a conservative Catholic, pro-military youth to an active peace witness and a lengthy period of “spiritual formation” among progressive Quakers...a special religious coming of age in the mid-1970s...in a continuing time of tumult and change."

"The result is both a compelling story of our time, and the narrative of a unique personal quest for meaning, transcendence, and a useful life."

Yes, no, and maybe not.


I've finished the book. Chuck does deliver some intriguing stories from his life as he promised. Kudos for that.

And at times, stories of his intellectual quest do come through clearly. His account of professor Milton Mayer of the University of Chicago is powerful and moving.

Furthermore, Chuck's recounting of those radical days of the late 60's and early 70's, and his involvement, will bring back many memories of that best of times, worst of times.

But overall this book appears to be at first-read weaker than some of his other books. Unlike those, this one seems fragmentary, more of a starting outline. There are key stories like wall pegs; now hang deep personal reflections on them.

Yes, the book has up appealing and shocking stories, but Chuck doesn't show how they relate to his interior life, doesn't put them in the context of his personal life, and doesn't reflect on them in relationship to his spiritual belief and life.

The reader feels unconnected and is filled with many questions unanswered.

For instance, there is the fascinating story of his discovering a missal like the ones of his childhood.

But after the very detailed nuanced narrative of how he comes across the book at the Saint Vincent de Paul thrift store, he just leaves the aged ritual book stuck on a shelf in a plastic bag.


We don't know how he felt and thought about religious ritual, and Catholic ritual especially, about how filled with superstition it seems, about it relationship to Church history, about cannon law, about hell and purgatory in relationship to himself and all humans.

This is so unlike his recent posts on the same sexuality controversy in North Carolina Yearly Meeting, where even in those brief blog posts, Chuck ferrets out the motives, reasonings, etc. of the not-so Friendly leaders in that tribulation, that ocean of darkness.

Here's another particular example of a disconnected story from Chuck's book:
Suddenly, half way through his autobiography, we learn that his wife, Tish, has a severe drinking problem, and he moves out. Then he speaks of his own "sin."

Wait a minute!

We readers didn't even know he had met a girl, gotten married, had a kid, developed relationship problems, etc.

We have no idea about his views of sexuality.

Or his coming of age as a teen guy in the late 1950's.

Or how his wife developed her alcoholism, and why they couldn't work this out.

Meetings is a short autobiography so Chuck didn't have time or space to go into great detail, but a short 2-page lead-in on his youth and girls, his views on sexuality, and his life relating to women was very necessary.

And we get only a very brief glimpse of his relationship with his mother. And we learn nothing of his relationships with his siblings. We don't know about his views, his ethical and spiritual wrestlings.

All of those aspects are very important in understanding the sudden split, of his moving out to a friend's.

And how did he meet Tish, and their marriage?
Was it a Roman Catholic wedding?
Was she a practicing Catholic?
What were their views on birth control?

And most importantly: What are his reflections of how his spiritual and religious experience relates to his sexuality and marriage?

Then there is a girlfriend, called Sylvia. Again, we have no idea who, why, when or how this relates to his religious life.

Even more importantly, he fails to reflect on all of this and other unexplained vague statements about "sin."

And he mentions having sex after his wife and him split? Does he mean he engaged in fornication?

Does he go to confession? Or not? Why or why not?

At another point in the book, Chuck states that his class ring, "the red and gold band" is much more important than his wedding rings!!

He wrote that the ring took on "much more important" meanings.

Again, as a reader, I am left confused.

We readers don't need lots of private details, but we do need to understand--to feel and experience and think what he did.

I don't expect an autobiographical writer to completely bare his soul or his very private life, but without some details, some description, and extensive inner reflection, the reader is left confused and unmoved.

If Chuck does a revision--
I did about 7 on one of my book after its first edition--
he needs to keep in mind the old very truism of writing:
Show, don't tell.

And in a religious autobiography, REFLECT on your motives, your inner directions, your shadow, and how all parts of your life relate to the spiritual.

And Chuck needs to remember that in many cases, he didn't even tell.

He's right, "any religion that's worth it is built around stories."

And he ought to have added, any religion that's worth it reflects on its stories.

Shows potential.

Evaluation: C-

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Yes and No--Review of Meeting: A Religious Autobiography by Chuck Fager

from Meetings: A Religious Autobiography by Chuck Fager:

“I’ve been trying to lose my religion for years now, but it refuses to go away. Just when I think I’ve shaken it – put it firmly behind me, a piece of my obscurantist past no longer suited to the faithless life I now lead – it turns up again, dogging me...”
Daphne Merkin

Chuck Fager:
"Daphne Merkin wrote that in the New Yorker, and it made me smile with recognition. As I undertake to unpack in these pages, losing “my” religion was also a major goal of my early adulthood.

But for me there turned out to be a difference between religion” and “Religion”: shaking off the church of my youth was possible; but then “Religion” proved not so easy to discard. Everywhere I turned, it kept coming at me."

"Partly this was no more than inclination and predilection: even shorn of belief, feeling the prickles of a theological buzz-cut as when rubbing my scalp after visiting the barbershop, the stubble of religion was still there, and was soon growing again, combed differently perhaps, but not to be held back. I was still interested in the subject."

"I only know to approach the answers through stories: and one lesson has been that any religion worth its salt is built around stories..."
from Meetings: A Religious Autobiography by Chuck Fager.
Available on Amazon,
https://www.createspace.com/6272748
--

My Response--
Introduction:
First let me say: During a deep, dark, despairing time in the past, Chuck personally encouraged me to not give up, to instead overcome despair. He did this by sharing his own personal story dealing with despair and overcoming that dragon.

Eventually, Chuck even made it into one of my published books, my speculative/alternative history science fiction novel, The Feeling of the Earth. In that book he appears as a minor character, Charles Faber, working at Quaker House. A friendly thank you.

I doubt that I am in his new autobiography--haven't finished it yet--since I was only one of millions of past commas in his long life. He probably doesn't remember our email exchange during my time of the "ocean of darkness." Nor should he. But I am very thankful for his encouragement and direction.

Second, let us all thank him for his decisive witness
for many years against war,
racism and intolerance.


And for his compassionate work for years
with those in the military at Quaker House,
in Fayetteville, North Carolina.








Now for the Yes and No.

Background
(Skip this if you want to jump immediately to the thesis of theism
versus nontheism and everything inbetween):

I admit to being a Friends' member-at-large, no longer officially related to the society.

I resigned from my local meeting of the Society of Friends in 2009. And since then have become a practitioner of the Society of the Swimming Pool:-)

Why exactly?

And what does this have to do with Chuck Fager's stories and spiritual reflections,
and my Yes and No to religion and Quakers in particular?

Patience...Though only the Divine seems privy to that virtue.

For a number of reasons, I've decided to give you the long version of this
(contrary to strong advice from my spouse to always give her and others
the "short version," the very short version!)

Religiously, I've been a part of the Quaker movement for nearly 50 years. First at Backbench Young Adult Friends Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the fall of 1967. I was newly arrived on the East Coast to begin my service at a mental hospital after being drafted as a conscientious objector.

I don't remember if our meeting belonged to the Hicksite or Orthodox wing of the Quakers. Hard to say, there are many 'angles' in Quakerism, like in other religions. Yes I know I mixed my letters;-). It matters little now.

Then later I became a active member of California Yearly Meeting and then of Pacific Yearly Meeting.

When we didn't live near a Quaker meeting, my wife and I drove 2 1/2 hours into Phoenix for a while to attend 2 Friends meetings there.

But some Friends supported killing! So we changed to a progressive Mennonite Church when in Phoenix.

Later, we were avid members of California Yearly Meeting, but were troubled that it de-emphasized some key ways of Friends.

I tried to affect this when I was a member and teaching the Quaker history and spirituality class at our local meeting.

But then California Yearly Meeting's leaders came out in support of nuclear weapons in 1981. And our local meeting hired a fighter pilot as our released minister, etc.

So we resigned and moved on.

Later I resigned (but didn't become resigned to these severe losses) from Pacific Yearly Meeting when our "peace committee" opposed involvement in Christian Peacemakers in Iraq, etc.

Even most upsetting, some Quaker leaders came out in support of nontheism and self-identified as nontheists!

How can a religious/spiritual group whose central focus for 350 years has been on worship and ethics possibly come to think there is no Truth to seek and worship, and to act upon?!

Besides, haven't they read key books of deep spiritual experience by George Fox, John Woolman,Thomas Kelly, and so forth? Were those central thinkers deluded?

Sometimes, what this comes down to is a difficult question of very important philosophical semantics.

But most of the time, this whole issue and Friends is filled with contradictions, like what is characteristic of most religion.

Why am I recovering from religiousness, but being "dogged" by it?

And why, do I now belong to the swimming pool?

And I am not 'lyin' in the den,
but only a brief primate named Daniel in the swirl of the vast cosmos, seeking...

So when it comes to religion, all ideas spiritual, ethical, and philosophical, and the Society of Friends, here's a few of my answers:

YES

#1
See above for my thankfulness, for Chuck's many years of service helping others and for many other Friends who have been an inspiration, direction, and guidance.

#2
Chuck is to be commended for his vivid, user-Friendly;-) prose articles, blog, and other writings. One never gets bored with bland, obtuse, meandering prose when an article has the Fager name.

To use a wholly incorrect metaphor, as a writer and thinker, he shoots to the target.

Speaking of humor, Chuck majors in that with a wry angle. Yes, his off-the-wall sort of humor is hilarious.

Take the preface of his new book where he compares religion to hair:"...shorn of belief, feeling the prickles of a theological buzz-cut as when rubbing my scalp after visiting the barbershop, the stubble of religion was still there, and was soon growing again, combed differently perhaps, but not to be held back."

LOL, but what an apt metaphor!

Not that I know this personally. I've kept my hair long
(except for one buzz-cut at Christmas 1967) for many years and, basically, a beard since the late 60's.

But I know plenty of shavers and short-hairers, including my father, relatives, and friends for whom keeping that hair back is a never ending chore.

Even an early morning shave begins to look shady by afternoon!

#3
The liberal Quaker religion which Chuck has explained in great detail in his books such as Quaker Theology, Remaking Friends: How Progressive Friends, Some Quaker FAQs, Without Apology
is winsome, positive, and has contributed to the furtherance of compassion, justice, and truth.

What's not to like about it and other forms of liberal religion
which have a lot in common with Friends?

Well, that is in the NO part.

The YES section, to be continued--

NO

#1
We both grew up in the Vietnam generation, but my life actually took a very different turn from Chuck's.

He wrote in the Preface of his new book, "losing “my” religion was also a major goal of my early adulthood"!

Exactly, the opposite for me.

To reverse a phrase from C.S. Lewis,* I was dragged kicking and screaming from religion, desperately trying to hang on to that center of my life. Maybe, its time I write my own story, too.

Take a look at this ironic story from Chuck. In 1976, he was writing for the San Francisco Bay Guardian as a journalist feature writer of odd stories.

When he studied the very popular anti-tradition simple-life book of E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful, Chuck discovered that many of Schumacher's views come from Roman Catholic writers, though the academic speaks of "Buddhist Economics."

So when Chuck interviewed the thinker, he thought he had a "gotcha" question:
"Dr. Schumacher, wouldn't it have been more accurate...to have called your program 'Christian,' or even Catholic economics?"

...[E.F. Schumacher] "threw back his head and laughed..."But if I had called it 'Christian Economics,' nobody would have paid any attention."

Chuck got his story: "Exposed: E.F. Schumacher Is A Vatican Agent."

"The Bay Guardian's readers ate it up. The editors loved it. But the whole adventure still left me looking to stretch a skimpy paycheck at the St. Vincent thrift store."
--

What an ironic story. How wry is the fact that while Fager was dissing an academic over Roman Catholicism, he himself was regularly frequenting and economically supporting a Roman Catholic institution dedicated to the poor?!

And Chuck himself was poor, though not by choice, like the 'Poor Brothers' of that faith.

Chuck has played us a story comic song worthy of Samuel Clemens or Kurt Vonnegut's ironic wit.

Rather a thrifty combination of prose meaning, irony, humor, and contradictions.

But let's get deeper into Chuck's religious and philosophical views.

#2
Chuck writes about a holy relic card he found in a missal at the Saint Paul thrift store, ..."that the card had been brushed up against something, which had in turn touched something else, which touched something else, in a sequence repeated..."

"All of these were links in a sacred chain stretching back through twenty centuries, to one which had purportedly touched something which had been in contact with the actual cross on which Jesus hung and breathed his last..."
--

I don't think there is a better summation of religion, especially the Christian religion, than that description. Except, of course, Protestant Evangelicals and Fundamentalists--while rejecting relics as superstition--attach a similar extreme importance to the literal Bible.

This example is one of the two key reasons why I think religion in general, and Christianity in particular, is untrue. There is way too much superstition, illusion, and delusion.

As for Chuck's comments and points, to be continued--

P.S. One last gag:-)
I'm surprised that Chuck at this point didn't wise off with a comment on his autobiographical life--calling his autobiography--From Missals to Anti-missles.;-=)

But then his humor isn't as ridiculously corny-bad as mine. He was born in Kansas, not Nebraska, the Cornhusker state, like me:-)

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

* Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis, a spiritual autobiography: “the most dejected, reluctant convert in all of England . . . drug into the kingdom kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape.”

Stand Up for Human Rights Against the Israeli Government and Settlers

Israeli lawyer uses inside knowledge against settler group

Published June 21, 2016 Associated Press

(AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

from The Associated Press:

"This May 17, 2016 photo shows construction on land owned by Palestinian Mohammad Abu Ta’a, in east Jerusalem. Abu Ta’a discovered some years ago that the Israeli government had expropriated the piece of land in Jerusalem belonging to his family and handed it over to a leading organization that oversees Jewish settlement building in the West Bank."

"Now, the Palestinian landowner is fighting back in an unusual way -- enlisting Israeli lawyer Stephen Berman whose inside knowledge of the system is helping Abu Ta’a expose the settler organization’s property grab."

"JERUSALEM – A few years ago, Mohammad Abu Ta'a discovered that some storage trailers had disappeared from a plot of land in Jerusalem belonging to his family. Then, the family received a letter informing them they were now trespassers."

"When the Palestinian landowner contacted Israeli land authorities, he was told the government had expropriated the land and handed it over to a leading organization that oversees Jewish settlement building in the West Bank. That group, Amana, is now building its new headquarters on the land."
--

"Following a paper trail of old maps and land registry documents, Berman said he uncovered how Israeli civil servants, stretching back decades, abused their power to seize control of the tiny but attractive triangle of real estate from the Abu Ta'a family in east Jerusalem and give it to Amana, a 40-year-old organization that spearheads the construction of Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank."

"The organization, which has been investigated multiple times for fraudulent real estate deals, has helped plan and build numerous government-sanctioned Jewish settlements and unauthorized outposts."

"An investigative program on Israel's Channel 10 TV in February reported that Israeli police investigated 15 West Bank land acquisitions where settlement outposts were built and found that Amana's subsidiary had forged documents for 14 of them. The subsidiary denied the claims."

"The Amana organization is a settler organization that deals with construction of settlements ... many times on stolen Palestinian land," said Hagit Ofran of the anti-settlement watchdog group Peace Now. "We are not surprised to see them stealing land also in Jerusalem."

"The trouble here is that the government is helping the settlers to take over this land," Ofran added.

[Stolen land] ...expropriated land went into building the Israeli national police headquarters, government ministries and large Jewish neighborhoods, which the international community considers illegal settlements."

Read the whole unjust theft story at
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/06/21/israeli-lawyer-uses-inside-knowledge-against-settler-group.html


In the Light for Justice and Human Rights,

Daniel Wilcox

Friday, June 17, 2016

Write for Human Rights Prisoner of Conscience, Nabeel Rajab in Bahrain

from Amnesty International:

"URGENT ACTION
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER CHARGED AND DETAINED
Bahraini human rights defender and prisoner of conscience, Nabeel Rajab,
was arrested on 13 June. He has been charged with “spreading false information and rumours in the aim of discrediting the State..."


Nabeel Rajab was arrested at home in the village of Bani Jamra, west of the capital Manama, on 13 June by 15 policemen in civilian clothing after the neighbourhood was surrounded by riot police at about 5am.

They showed him a warrant to search his house, for his arrest and for his transfer to the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID),
without giving any reason. His phone and computer were confiscated and he was taken to the East Rifa’ police station...He has been under a travel ban since November 2014.

--
Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:
Calling on the Bahraini authorities to release Nabeel Rajab immediately and unconditionally and drop the charges
against him, as they relate solely to his peaceful exercise
of his right to freedom of expression;

Urging them to uphold the right to freedom of expression and repeal laws that criminalize the peaceful exercise
of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly including Article 216 of the Penal Code.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 28 JULY 2016 TO:
King
Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O. Box 555
Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1766 4587 (keep trying)

Salutation: Your Majesty
Minister of Interior
Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa
Ministry of Interior
P.O. Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1723 2661
Email: info@interior.gov.bh

Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs
Shaikh Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah Al Khalifa
Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs
P. O. Box 450, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1753 1284
Email:
http://www.moj.gov.bh/en/default76a7.html?
action=category&ID=159
Twitter: @Khaled_Bin_Ali
Also send copies to:
H.E. Ambassador Shaikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Khalifa,
Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain, 3502 International Dr. NW, Washington DC 20008

Nabeel Rajab is the President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.

He previously served a two-year sentence in Jaw prison, for taking part in an “illegal gathering”, “disturbing public order”
and “calling for and taking part in demonstrations” in the capital, Manama, “without prior notification”. He was released in May 2014.

Repression is on the increase in Bahrain. On 12 June 2016 a group of five activists, including a former prisoner of conscience, were
prevented from leaving Bahrain to attend the UN Human Rights Council’s 32nd session in Geneva and the main opposition party, alWefaq,
was suspended on 14 June."
--

Please stand with those who are falsely imprisoned because of their stand for human rights and freedom of speech.

Thank you.


In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Freedom to Choose

At tragic times like the present when destruction, heartbreak,
debacle, and slaughter 'reign' down--
when the ocean of darkness
seems endless and abyss'd,
remember the gravely etched truth
of the psychologist Victor Frankl who lived at Auschwitz:
















The wonder of being human, of being consciously aware, of experiencing
and living in the transcendent, of seeking the good,
of sensing the 'ought' of every ethical truth
is that each of us understands
(except for determinists of course)
that every human, everyone of us, all of us--
no matter how difficult our troubled life path,
no matter what our difficult circumstances,
no matter our weeping heartache,
no matter how chasmic deep our tragedy--

we are free to choose alternatives in the very midst of the evils,
to reject the horrific wrongs,
to song hope and justice,
to turn toward the Light,
to reach out to others and empathize,
to act compassionate,
and
to care
hell
down
and
out.



"I am not...my circumstances, I am...my decisions."
Educator Stephen Covey












"Any person, regardless of the circumstances, can decide what shall become of them--mentally and spiritually.
Victor Frankl

"I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become."
Psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl G. Jung

Let us choose each moment.


In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Remix: Babbling On, Again, River


*Remix: Babbling On, Again, River

Down by the time-out-of-mind, parched riverbed of Babeled loss,
Endless deserts in the stream and all the oaks of Bashon felled;
Yes, we lay down and lamented, drowned in canyon-wasted grief.

By the rivers of Babylon we lay down and wept,
Down upon the wine-soaked, weeping streams,
Up on the willows there, we hung down our lamented lyres

We remembered childhood’s delightful savor, a songed psalm
There, despairing, amidst burned hulks of the cedars, gaunt, stickly,
Hanged like forsaken, wind-blown, broken guitars of skin and bones,

By the rivers of Babylon we lay down and wept,
Down upon the wine-soaked, weeping streams
Up on the willows there, we hung down our lamented lyres

Stringless, passed-over balladeers of rifting sorrow and regret;
Yet despite the worst woes, and the obscene curses of power
With no oaked help on to which to hang our emaciated hopes,

By the rivers of Babylon we lay down and wept,
Down upon the wine-soaked, weeping streams,
Up on the willows there, we hung down our lamented lyres

We still spoke--seraph-serenading a tender, riffed “Shalom,
Peace be on you,” amidst their ‘popular’ trees of derision,
Hates, and damns; yes, despite all to sheol, we blessed enemies;

By the rivers of Babylon we rose up and blessed,
Down upon the wine-soaked, redeeming streams,
Up on the willows there, we sung out our laurelled lyres

We chose to live transcendent, streaming in the River of Life,
And to ‘rock’ our foes’ crying infants to gentle, tender sleep,*
Cradled in the infinite love of God’s mighty-welling heart.

Up in that eternal river flowing out of the heart of God,
Up upon the milk and honey'd rejoicing stream of becoming,
Up on the eternal Tree of Life, we sang the glorious truth


*A Remix of Psalm 137:9

-Daniel Wilcox

First pub. in Eunoia Review
in different form


In the LIGHT,

Daniel Wilcox

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Ex-wife of Muslim Shooter Says, "He Beat Me." What Does the Quran Order?

"According to public records, [Omar Mateen] had a permit to carry a concealed weapon and was a licensed security guard. He had worked for G4S, a security company. His ex-wife said that at one point Mateen worked as a guard at a nearby facility for juvenile delinquents.

The ex-wife said her parents intervened when they learned Mateen had assaulted her. Her father confirmed the account and said that the marriage lasted only a few months.

Her parents flew to Fort Pierce and pulled her out of the house, leaving all her belongings behind. The ex-wife she said never had contact with Mateen again despite attempts by him to reach her.

“They literally saved my life,” she said of her parents.

According to Florida court records, the two formally divorced in 2011.

After learning about what happened in Orlando, she said: “I am still processing. I am definitely lucky.”

After the couple split, a friend of Mateen’s said the young man became steadily more religious. The friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Mateen several years ago went on the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia known as the umrah.


“He was quite religious,” the friend said.

He said Mateen had hoped to become a law enforcement officer but that plan never panned out.

The last time he spoke with Mateen was about three weeks ago. There was no indication when they talked that Mateen intended to carry out the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

The friend said that if Mateen had sympathies for the Islamic State or other terrorist groups, he kept that to himself.

“He never spoke about that stuff,” the friend said.
--
Mateen regularly attended the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, and was there as recently as two days ago, said Imam Shafiq Rahman on Sunday.


Fort Pierce Islamic Center

But Rahman said he did not know Mateen well, even though Mateen had frequented for several years. The imam said Mateen would pray with his father and son, and his three sisters were active volunteers at the mosque, which had about 150 congregants.

“He was the most quiet guy, he never talked to anyone,” Rahman said, gripping a loop of black and red prayer beads as he held forth in a dingy corridor adorned with images of the Arabic alphabet rendered by children who come here for religious instruction.

“He would come and pray and leave. There was no indication at all the he would do something violent.” Mateen never sought any spiritual guidance from him, Rahman said.

Friess reported and Brian E. Crowley contributed to this report from Fort Pierce, Fla. Jennifer Jenkins and Alice Crites contributed from Washington.
dam Goldman reports on terrorism and national security for The Washington Post.

--

Quran 4:34 - "Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great." “beat them”--'to strike'.

Quran 38:44 - "And take in your hand a green branch and beat her with it, and do not break your oath..."


Sitora Yusufiy, the ex-wife of Orlando shooting suspect Omar Mateen, spoke on Sunday outside of her home in Boulder, Colo. Credit Autumn Parry/Daily Camera , via Associated Press






Quran 8 Sura Al-Anfal
12. (Remember) when your Lord inspired the angels, "Verily, I am with you, so keep firm those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes."

13. This is because they defied and disobeyed Allah and His Messenger. And whoever defies and disobeys Allah and His Messenger, then verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.

14. This is the torment, so taste it, and surely for the disbelievers is the torment of the Fire.

15. O you who believe! When you meet those who disbelieve, in a battle-field, never turn your backs to them.

16. And whoever turns his back to them on such a day - unless it be a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own), - he indeed has drawn upon himself wrath from Allah. And his abode is Hell, and worst indeed is that destination!

17. You killed them not, but Allah killed them. And you (Muhammad) threw not when you did throw but Allah threw, that He might test the believers by a fair trial from Him. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
--
Hadith and Sira
Bukhari (72:715) - A woman came to Muhammad and begged her to stop her husband from beating her. Her skin was bruised so badly that it is described as being "greener" than the green veil she was wearing. Muhammad did not admonish her husband, but instead ordered her to return to him and submit to his sexual desires.


Bukhari (72:715) - "Aisha said, 'I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women'" Muhammad's own wife complained of the abuse that the women of her religion suffered relative to other women.

Muslim (4:2127) - Muhammad struck his favorite wife, Aisha, in the chest one evening when she left the house without his permission. Aisha narrates, "He struck me on the chest which caused me pain."

Muslim (9:3506) - Muhammad's fathers-in-law (Abu Bakr and Umar) amused him by slapping his wives (Aisha and Hafsa) for annoying him. According to the Hadith, the prophet of Islam laughed upon hearing this.

Abu Dawud (2141) - "Iyas bin ‘Abd Allah bin Abi Dhubab reported the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) as saying: Do not beat Allah’s handmaidens, but when ‘Umar came to the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them." At first, Muhammad forbade men from beating their wives, but he rescinded this once it was reported that women were becoming emboldened toward their husbands. Beatings in a Muslim marriage are sometimes necessary to keep women in their place.

Abu Dawud (2142) - "The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife."

Abu Dawud (2126) - "A man from the Ansar called Basrah said: 'I married a virgin woman in her veil. When I entered upon her, I found her pregnant. (I mentioned this to the Prophet).' The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: 'She will get the dower, for you made her vagina lawful for you. The child will be your slave. When she has begotten (a child), flog her'" A Muslim thinks he is getting a virgin, then finds out that she is pregnant. Muhammad tells him to treat the woman as a sex slave and then flog her after she delivers the child.

Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 969 - Requires that a married woman be "put in a separate room and beaten lightly" if she "act in a sexual manner toward others." According to the Hadith, this can be for an offense as petty as merely being alone with a man to whom she is not related.

Kash-shaf (the revealer) of al-Zamkhshari (Vol. 1, p. 525) - [Muhammad said] "Hang up your scourge where your wife can see it"

Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradhawi, one of the most respected Muslim clerics in the world, once made the famous (and somewhat ridiculous statement) that "It is forbidden to beat the woman, unless it is necessary." He went on to say that "one may beat only to safeguard Islamic behavior," leaving no doubt that wife-beating is a matter of religious sanction.

Dr. Muzammil Saddiqi, the former president of ISNA (the Islamic Society of North America), a mainstream Muslim organization, says it is important that a wife "recognizes the authority of her husband in the house" and that he may use physical force if he is "sure it would improve the situation."


Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the head of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's most prestigious institution says that "light beatings" and "punching" are part of a program to "reform the wife" (source).

Dr. Jamal Badawi endorses corporal punishment as "another measure that may save the marriage". He isn't clear on how striking a woman will make her more inclined toward staying with her assailant, unless the implication is fear of more serious consequences if she leaves.

Egyptian cleric, Abd al-Rahman Mansour, said in a 2012 televised broadcast that, in addition to discouraging the wife from filing divorce, beatings would inspire the wife to "treat him with kindness and respect, and know that her husband has a higher status than her."

During Ramadan of 2010, another cleric named Sa'd Arafat actually said the woman is "honored" by the beating. No one else seemed terribly surprised or upset by this.

An undercover report from progressive Sweden in 2012 found that 60% of mosques there actually advised beaten women not to report the abuse to the police. These women were also told that they must submit to non-consensual 'sex' with their husbands.

In the birthplace of Islam, about half of Saudi women are beaten at home. "Hands and sticks were found to be used mostly in beating women, following by men’s head cover and to a lesser extent, sharp objects."

In 2016, the Council of Islamic Ideology proposed a bill - ironically named the Protection of Women against Violence Act - that actually included exceptions for "lightly beating" defiant wives.

According to Islamic law, a husband may strike his wife for any one of the following four reasons:
- She does not attempt to make herself beautiful for him (ie. "let's herself go")
- She refuses to meet his sexual demands
- She leaves the house without his permission or for a "legitimate reason"
- She neglects her religious duties
--
Ahmad Al-Tayyeb: "With regard to wife beating... In a nutshell, it appeared as part of a program to reform the wife. [According to the Koran], first 'admonish them,' [then] 'sleep in separate beds, and beat them.'"
--
"The second means of treatment is 'sleeping in separate beds.' Why? Because this targets the honor... A lot could be said about this. The strength of a woman lies in her ability to seduce the man. The man is strong and can do whatever he wants, but the woman has a weapon of her own. This weapon can be targeted. Many women will come back to their senses, when they realize that this is what's involved.
--
"By Allah, even if only one woman out of a million can be reformed by light beatings... It's not really beating, it's more like punching... It's like shoving or poking her. That's what it is."

Respected Quran scholars in the past interpreted verse 4:34 with impressive candor. Tabari said that it means to "admonish them, but if they refused to repent, then tie them up in their homes and beat them until they obey Allah’s commands toward you." Qurtubi told wife-beaters to avoid breaking bones, if possible, but added that "it is not a crime if it leads to death."
https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/wife-beating.aspx
--
“ Nearly half Saudi women are beaten up by their husbands or other family members at home and many of them are hit by sticks and head cover, according to a university study published in local newspapers on Tuesday.

“The study showed that nearly half those covered by social security and more than a third of the female students at the university are beaten up at home,” Dr Lateefa said, quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily Almadina.

“Husbands were found to be beating their wives more than others….they are followed by fathers, then brothers then sons…hands and sticks were found to be used mostly in beating women, following by men’s head cover and to a lesser extent, sharp objects.”http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/179143/saudi-women-beaten-wsticks-and-sharp-objects-daniel-greenfield\

Muslim apologists sometimes say that Muhammad ordered that women not be harmed, but they are actually basing this on what he said before or during a battle, such as in Bukhari (59:447), when Muhammad issued a command for all the men of Quraiza be killed and the women and children taken as slaves. (Having your husband murdered and being forced into sexual slavery apparently doesn't qualify as "harm" under the Islamic model).

But, in fact, there are a number of cases in which Muhammad did have women killed in the most brutal fashion. One was Asma bint Marwan, a mother or five, who wrote a poem criticizing the Medinans for accepting Muhammad after he had ordered the murder of an elderly man. In this case, the prophet's assassins literally pulled a sleeping infant from her breast and stabbed her to death.

After taking Mecca in 630, Muhammad also ordered the murder of a slave girl who had merely made up songs mocking him. The Hadith are rife with accounts of women planted in the ground on Muhammad's command and pelted to death with stones for sexual immorality - yet the prophet of Islam actually encouraged his own men to rape women captured in battle (Abu Dawood 2150, Muslim 3433) and did not punish them for killing non-Muslim women (as Khalid ibn Walid did on several occasions - see Ibn Ishaq 838 and 856).

In summary, according to the Qur'an, Hadith and Islamic law, a woman may indeed have physical harm done to her if the circumstances warrant, with one such allowance being in the case of disobedience. This certainly does not mean that all Muslim men beat their wives, only that Islam permits them to do so."
The Religion of Peace
--

How tragic is humanity and its religions!


Islamic Sharia Law Speaker at Orlando-area Mosque


from the news:

"The Husseini Islamic Center of Sanford, FL invited Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar to speak at their Mosque. Dr. Sekaleshfar says the killing of homosexuals is the compassionate thing to do.

In a 2013 speech Sheikh Sekaleshfar said this regarding gays, “Death is the sentence. We know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about this, death is the sentence … We have to have that compassion for people, with homosexuals, it’s the same, out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.”


When Sheikh Sekaleshfar calls for the death of all homosexuals based on the tenets of Islam it can not be ignored, he is an expert on Shariah Islamiyya or Islamic Law.



Islamic Law also mandates a death sentence for blasphemers and apostates, does Sheikh Sekaleshfar and the Husseini Islamic Center Mosque advocate those legal rulings as well?
--
Equally as troubling is the leadership at the Husseini Islamic Center Mosque never condemn or disagree with the words spoken by their speaker about the killing of gays – silence is consent.

Field Sutton, Channel 9 news, Orlando, Florida
http://www.breitbart.com/video/2016/04/06/united-west-gays-must-die-says-u-s-islamic-scholar/

and


SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. —
...Dr. Farrohk Sekaleshfar...addressed a crowd at the University of Michigan.
Sekaleshfar was blunt in the 2013 speech, admitting that under Islamic law, the punishment for homosexuality was death.

At the same time, he pointed out that it was the act that should be hated, not the person.

“Because the sinner is Allah’s creation,” he said. “You could never hate Allah’s creation.”

Even the punishment for the act of homosexuality is one of love, Sekaleshfar argued.

“We see the physical killing as something brutal, and this is the point when human hatred toward the act has to be done out of love,” he said in the 2013 talk. “You have to be happy for that person ... we believe in an afterlife, we believe in an eternal life … and with this sentence, you will be forgiven and you won’t be accountable in the hereafter.”

In that way, “It’s for his own betterment that he leaves,” Sekaleshfar said.

“We have to have that compassion for people. With homosexuals, it’s the same,” he said. “Out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.”

http://www.wftv.com/news/local/iranian-doctors-planned-talk-on-islam-and-homosexuality-outrages-some-in-sanford/185803158


--


Tragic how a U.S. Muslim leader's call for slaughter is acted out by another Muslim in the same city 3 years later, murdering 50 people.

This is a continuation of the horrific nature of Islam since Muhammad executed at least 500 Jewish men by beheading at the start of the religion.

What is it about the essential nature of religion that it nearly always calls for the murder of others?

And executing same sexual individuals is an act "of love"?!

50 acts of love by Islam today...


Weeping in the Light,

Daniel Wilcox