Essentials

Discussions pertaining to scripture and theology from a philosophical approach.

Re: Essentials

Postby qaz » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:19 pm

randylkemp wrote:Yes, I'm very familiar with it. Actually, I've been advising the head of the Anglican church I attend. The local Islamic center (actually, a Pentecostal church they took over - near where I live) invited them for fellowship. I'm giving him information, so he can make an informed decision. But here is the US, church and state are separate (however we want to spin it - chicken or egg scenario). And I'll fight, to keep it that way. :!: :D


Sorry if this is getting too off topic, but why are you pro separation of church and state, Randy?

Also, I thought you lived in England.
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Re: Essentials

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:07 am

qaz wrote:
randylkemp wrote:Yes, I'm very familiar with it. Actually, I've been advising the head of the Anglican church I attend. The local Islamic center (actually, a Pentecostal church they took over - near where I live) invited them for fellowship. I'm giving him information, so he can make an informed decision. But here is the US, church and state are separate (however we want to spin it - chicken or egg scenario). And I'll fight, to keep it that way. :!: :D


Sorry if this is getting too off topic, but why are you pro separation of church and state, Randy?

Also, I thought you lived in England.


Hi, Gaz. I spent 4 months in London - many decades ago. It's a fascinating city, full of museums, theater and diverse food cultures. When I'm not in Gallifrey or the Twilight zone, I hang around the Chicago area. :D

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Church and state separation are part of the US constitution. I neither want the government interfering in church matters (i.e. how we worship, etc). Or the opposite. An Islamic state (i.e. church in the loose sense), dictating how we run our lives by religious law. It's a simple enough matter.

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On another matter, I recommended 2 sources for Islam:

    Islamic Spirituality: The Role of Religious Law, by a professor in religious studies. He's at the College of Dupage (with a PhD from Yale). He's also an Orthodox Christian. Unforunately, there was some technical difficulties, 50 minutes into the presentation. But I'm sure it's recorded properly. You can watch the rebroadcast, about a week later (i.e. perhaps around Feb. 5,2016), at Theosophical Society rebroadcasts
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Re: Essentials

Postby steve7150 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:49 am

Church and state separation are part of the US constitution.








Actually I don't think it precisely is although the constitution prohibits the State from imposing any religion. I think the phrase was used by Jefferson in a letter.
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Re: Essentials

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:58 am

steve7150 wrote:Church and state separation are part of the US constitution.

Actually I don't think it precisely is although the constitution prohibits the State from imposing any religion. I think the phrase was used by Jefferson in a letter.


Actually, it's "word play" .

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While Jefferson used those "exact words", the first amendment implies it. And the Supreme Court has repeated affirmed it. Here's what Wiki says in Separation of church and state in the United States

"Separation of church and state" is a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson and others expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Either way, the "separation" phrase has since been repeatedly used by the Supreme Court of the United States.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that and Article VI specifies that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." The modern concept of a wholly secular government is sometimes credited to the writings of English philosopher John Locke, but the phrase "separation of church and state" in this context is generally traced to a January 1, 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, addressed to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper.

Echoing the language of the founder of the first Baptist church in America, Roger Williams—who had written in 1644 of "[A] hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world"—Jefferson wrote, "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."[1]

Jefferson's metaphor of a wall of separation has been cited repeatedly by the U.S. Supreme Court. In Reynolds v. United States (1879) the Court wrote that Jefferson's comments "may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [First] Amendment." In Everson v. Board of Education (1947), Justice Hugo Black wrote: "In the words of Thomas Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state."[2]

However, the Court has not always interpreted the constitutional principle as absolute, and the proper extent of separation between government and religion in the U.S. remains an ongoing subject of impassioned debate.[3][4][5][6]


But sometimes, the battles take years through the courts - before reaching the supreme court. Like:

    The native American battle to practice their religious ceremonies
    The Universal Life Church battle to recognize the validity of online ordinations

Both battles were finally won, at the supreme court level.

Now let's bring up a point Steve made before. Is it acceptable for a Muslim woman to be completed covered? Or we might go to the opposite extreme. Is it acceptable for a woman to be completely nude - at a nudist colony? Actually, they are variations of the same question.

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Perhaps we might get into a battle between US workplace conventions and Muslim conventions. Then it's up to the courts to decide - not us. In both examples above, the Muslim woman and the nudist colonist woman - buy into the dress (or undress) conventions. But we probably want to impose some convention - between the 2 extremes.

If you want to do your own research into Islam, look at the Christian site: Answering Islam
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Re: Essentials

Postby steve7150 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:22 pm

Perhaps we might get into a battle between US workplace conventions and Muslim conventions. Then it's up to the courts to decide - not us. In both examples above, the Muslim woman and the nudist colonist woman - buy into the dress (or undress) conventions. But we probably want to impose some convention - between the 2 extremes.





We are starting to hear about the praying five times a day and the issues about how this effects the workplace. This is personal time off and if some get it shouldn't everyone? If you cater to one religion what about the others? Of course the idea of praying five times a day Mohammed got from the Psalms.
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Re: Essentials

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:04 am

steve7150 wrote:Perhaps we might get into a battle between US workplace conventions and Muslim conventions. Then it's up to the courts to decide - not us. In both examples above, the Muslim woman and the nudist colonist woman - buy into the dress (or undress) conventions. But we probably want to impose some convention - between the 2 extremes.

We are starting to hear about the praying five times a day and the issues about how this effects the workplace. This is personal time off and if some get it shouldn't everyone? If you cater to one religion what about the others? Of course the idea of praying five times a day Mohammed got from the Psalms.


Well Steve, if we ever discover space aliens and they come to visit us, I hope the US president won't appoint you, as our interplanetary ambassador :lol:

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This is a matter for the courts. Muslims in the US can go through the state and federal court systems - all the way to the Supreme Court. Just like the Native Americans and Universal Life Church did - in my previous examples. That is the place to decide these matters - not:

    Personal opinion
    polling
    Or a Trump position - to ban all Muslims from entering
    Or a Steve position - he just doesn't like what they believe and practice - from what I gather :lol:

It's like - I don't like them - I'll think of a reason later :!: :lol:



Praying five times a day did come from the sayings of Mohammad. And Muslims look on him as the "perfect example" - to decide how to behave and what laws to make. As a Christian, I look at Christ as a perfect example - for obvious reasons.

Now why do Muslims pray, five times a day?


Early in building his base for Islam, Muhammad had a dream or night vision that was so unbelievable, when he related to his followers, many turned away from his teaching. He quickly received a revelation explaining that the vision was a test of faith for his disciples. Muhammad learned his lesson, and never made this kind of extravagant claim again.

In this dream, Muhammad mounted "a white animal which was smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey" called "the Buraq." He flew from Mecca to Jerusalem and from there ascended to heaven. He was escorted by Moses through seven heavens into the presence of God. There, at Moses instigation, Muhammad plead with God to reduce the number of daily manditory prayers from fifty to five.

The night vision explains why Muslims pray five times a day. It is attested to in the Qur'an as being a true happening, though it is not recorded in the Qur'an. To read the description of the event, we must again turn to the Ahadith.


Another source says an angel appearance:


Sometime after that first visit, the Angel came one day and taught the Prophet how to perform ablution before prayer, i.e., wash hands, mouth, nostrils and entire face, then wash arms up to the elbows, then pass wet hands on the head, and, finally, wash the feet. The angel also taught him how to stand bare-footed in prayer, to bow down and to prostrate before the Lord-God. Some eleven years later, the Prophet was summoned in a miraculous celestial journey by night from Makkah to Jerusalem and then into the heavens to the special Divine presence. He then received the obligation of ‘five times daily prayers’ directly from the Lord-God Himself, and he returned to announce to all those who had faith in Allah Most High that the institution of (five times daily) prayers was the vehicle through which they, too, could journey to the divine presence.


Since there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, I prefer to strive for peaceful coexistence - wherever possible. Same to for the other faith traditions. Currently, there are 7.4 people in the world. That means that about 22% of the world's population is Muslim. And if I look at Christ as an example, then how did he respond - in the parable of the good Samaritan? Or in the woman, about to be stoned? How should I try to respond to my Muslim neighbor - if I follow Christ, as my example? :?:

So my answer to Muslims? Let's strive for peaceful coexistence. Settle your issues through the US or other country's court systems - like everyone else. And if the peaceful coexistence and court systems don't work, then I would look for the Clint Eastwood Westerns solution. :lol:



I believe ALL problems in Islam could be solved, if they followed this simple formula. Instead of just going first to what the Iman (i.e. cleric) says, use this hierarchy:

    Sufi (mystic)
    Scholar
    Iman

As long as the first can answer your question, then you don't need to go down the chain. The answers just need to be in harmony with scripture and sacred tradition.

Come to think of it. Why can't we follow the same formula in Christianity?
Last edited by Holy-Fool-P-Zombie on Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:15 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Essentials

Postby steve7150 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:17 am

As long as they or anyone are peaceful then live and let live. Yes praying five times came from Mohammed found in the Hadith who got it from the Psalms. Yes Muslims look at Mohammed as the perfect example and many try to emulate his life.
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Re: Essentials

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:21 am

steve7150 wrote:As long as they or anyone are peaceful then live and let live. Yes praying five times came from Mohammed found in the Hadith who got it from the Psalms. Yes Muslims look at Mohammed as the perfect example and many try to emulate his life.


It is from a dream or an angel appearance, as I just shared in the about answer. Do you have a scholarly source you can refer to - that shows the Psalms as source?
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Re: Essentials

Postby steve7150 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:18 am

It is from a dream or an angel appearance, as I just shared in the about answer. Do you have a scholarly source you can refer to - that shows the Psalms as source?







I thought I had heard he got it from the Psalms but I googled this and found islam.stackexchange.com/questions and according to them they reference Sahih Al-Bukhari 5.227 from the Hadith which portrays Mohammed conversing with Moses about changing Allah's mind from requiring 50 prayers a day down to 5. So since this seems accurate I was wrong, my apologies. :oops:
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Re: Essentials

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:36 am

I found this article interesting in foreign policy. It's called Argument: Islam is a religion of violence.

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." -- William Arthur Ward


Here's a bit about the author. Notice she is both Arabic and connected with Harvard.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the author of Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now. Follow her on Twitter @Ayaan.


Her book Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, has gotten 4.4 out of 5 stars, by about 450 reviewers on Amazon. I placed a hold for it, though my local public library.

I'll share this segment here, from the original article:

But does this violent extremism stem from Islam’s sacred texts? Or is it the product of circumstance, which has twisted and contorted Islam’s foundations?

To answer this, it’s worth first drawing the important distinction between Islam as a set of ideas and Muslims as adherents. The socioeconomic, political, and cultural circumstances of Muslims are varied across the globe, but I believe that we can distinguish three different groups of Muslims in the world today based on how they envision and practice their faith.

The first group is the most problematic — the fundamentalists who envision a regime based on sharia, Islamic religious law. They argue for an Islam largely or completely unchanged from its original seventh-century version and take it as a requirement of their faith that they impose it on everyone else. I call them “Medina Muslims,” in that they see the forcible imposition of sharia as their religious duty, following the example of the Prophet Mohammed when he was based in Medina. They exploit their fellow Muslims’ respect for sharia law as a divine code that takes precedence over civil laws. It is only after they have laid this foundation that they are able to persuade their recruits to engage in jihad.

The second group — and the clear majority throughout the Muslim world — consists of Muslims who are loyal to the core creed and worship devoutly but are not inclined to practice violence or even intolerance towards non-Muslims. I call this group “mecca Muslims.” The fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts.

More recently, and corresponding with the rise of Islamic terrorism, a third group is emerging within Islam — Muslim reformers or, as I call them, “modifying Muslims” — who promote the separation of religion from politics and other reforms. Although some are apostates, the majority of dissidents are believers, among them clerics who have come to realize that their religion must change if its followers are not to be condemned to an interminable cycle of political violence.

The future of Islam and the world’s relationship with Muslims will be decided by which of the two minority groups — the Medina Muslims and the reformers — wins the support of the meccan majority. That is why focusing on “violent extremism” is to focus on a symptom of a much more profound ideological epidemic that has its root causes in Islamic doctrine.


I'll let you read the entire short article for yourselves. I stand 100% in agreement, with what the article says. But would look at folks providing "object, academic style rebuttal" articles, to the one presented. Let's end with this paragraph:

There lies the duality within Islam. It’s possible to claim, following Mohammed’s example in Mecca, that Islam is a religion of peace. But it’s also possible to claim, as the Islamic State does, that a revelation was sent to Mohammed commanding Muslims to wage jihad until every human being on the planet accepts Islam or a state of subservience, on the basis of his legacy in Medina. The key question is not whether Islam is a religion of peace, but rather, whether Muslims follow the Mohammed of Medina, regardless of whether they are Sunni or Shiite.


My hope and prayers is that the third group, wins out over the first group - in influencing the second group. :!: :)

"Don't wait for other people to be loving, giving, compassionate, grateful, forgiving, generous, or friendly... lead the way!"-- Steve Maraboli


Most Muslims are probably singing this song. :lol:



So let's hope that that folks like the Arabic woman from Harvard...along with the Orthodox Christian COD - Yale PhD philosophy professor - can set us all straight.

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For folks who asked me about Native American spirituality, here's a video of medicine man Russell Four Eagles at Native American Healing Tradition
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