Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Texas Faith: Do we need a new national conversation about marriage?

Humanity is diverse, that's God's intentional creation. The male/ female ratio has always remained around 50/50 with +/- 2 points variation on either side. The world would never be 100% male or female, likewise the world would never be 100% Gay, it will be a natural 10-15% of the population. Mike Ghouse
Texas Faith: Do we need a new national conversation about marriage?

By Bill McKenzie / Editorial Columnist
Dallas Morning News, Published on February 5, 2012

Ten panelists contributed to this forum, to read the contributions from all the panelists, please visit - http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2013/02/texas-faith-do-we-need-a-new-national-conversation-about-marriage.html/

Has the conversation about marriage reached a dead-end in our country, as Blankenhorn suggests? If it has, please explain what you would like this conversation to now include. If you think we don't need a new conversation, please explain.

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas, and Speaker on interfaith matters, diversity and pluralism

The conversation on marriage has just opened up, and we are far from reaching the dead-end. But until that time we will need two parallel societies. They will not be in conflict with each other, but each on its own path.

What is missing in the conversation is our untapped ability in understanding the wisdom of God. As humans we are disgustingly selfish, and grind on to the selective verses that suit our insecurities to force the weak (minority) into obedience, as if we gain something.

The conservatives among us, particularly those who are Christians and Muslim, are stuck in the dished-out versions of the Sodom and Gomorrah story. We need to follow Jesus in spirit, and follow the merciful and inclusive God of the Universe (Quran).

God has endowed us with free will. He let Adam make the mistake without slapping him for eating the forbidden fruit. Instead, he kicked us out, and gave us an opportunity to multiply and live out in a bigger world with free will. He wanted us to figure out living with each other without punishing the few, who opt not to multiply.

As a futurist of interfaith trends, I have been struggling to understand sin. I found guidance in Buddhist literature about sin from this analysis, which I read on ReligionFacts.com:

"'Sexual misconduct' has thus traditionally been interpreted to include actions like coercive sex, sexual harassment, child molestation and adultery. As homosexuality is not explicitly mentioned in any of the Buddha's sayings recorded in the Pali Canon (Tripitaka), most interpreters have taken this to mean that homosexuality should be evaluated in the same way as heterosexuality, in accordance with the following principles: I) Intention - Is the act motivated by love, generosity and understanding? And ii) consequential - does the act cause harm and regret (in oneself or others) or benefit and joy?"

As a pluralist, I draw upon different religious scriptures, and here is a corollary from Quran about carrying on a civil dialogue. "Respectfully, I do not practice what you practice, and you do not practice what I practice, so you live with your belief as I do with mine, as long as we understand our differences and not harm each other."

The dialogue must continue until we learn to respect the otherness of others and live in harmony. No one's belief should be thrust on the other. That kind of freedom is a hallmark of civil societies.
 …
The phobias that acknowledging and accepting the gay sexual orientation will cause more people to become gay is as ridiculous as saying eating Chicken will make you a Chicken. The sooner we accept this, the quicker we can put this fear behind and move on with our lives, instead of harassing and denigrating fellow humans. Thank God, I am blessed to be friends with all of God's creation including many gay and lesbian friends. The alarmist attitude will evaporate one day, why not junk it now? Indeed, it's a blessing to be free.
…..

References:

 New York Times piece on Blankenhorn. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/us/in-shift-blankenhorn-forges-a-pro-marriage-coalition-for-all.html?_r=0

American Values, marriage a new conversation
http://www.americanvalues.org/marriage-a-new-conversation/index.php

Buddhism about Homosexuality
http://www.religionfacts.com/homosexuality/buddhism.htm

Quran about Civil Dialogue
http://www.religionfacts.com/homosexuality/buddhism.htm
. . . . . . .

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place and standing up for others as an activist. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.

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About Me

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Mike has a dream, a dream that one day in our life time; we all will wake up to a cohesive world, where no human lives in tension, apprehension or fear of the other. Indeed, that was the dream of all the spiritual masters of the world, and that is what the creator wants; all pieces of his creation to function coherently.   

Nothing in the universe will happen by itself, all of us have to do our share of the work to restore the harmony within our self, with our bodies and with people around us. Don’t you think God knows this? Yet through every religion, we are told to ask for it.

Our founding fathers believed, “That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” And that dream was refreshed by Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Mike is available to speak to your groups, conduct workshops on building cohesive work places and living a meaningful life, and move towards living in harmony, one person at a time.

Thanks to Sean Hannity, Fox News, Syndicated Radio shows, Dallas Morning News, Huffington Post, and a variety of News Papers here and abroad for giving him a strong National and local presence. Mike has appeared in over 100 shows on Fox News and over 50 times on nationally syndicated radio shows.

He has  written nearly 3000 articles, and bulk of them are published in Dallas Morning News, Huffington Post, New Age Islam, Op-ed News , Arab Daily News, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, and several other News papers and periodicals around the world. Of the 2800, 1000+ were on Islam, 1000+ on Pluralism and the rest were on politics, India, Pakistan, Israel-Palestine, Motivational and other topics.

Currently Mike is working on  making a film based on a compelling true story of building a cohesive America, and writing a book on human rights - "Standing up for others"- standing up from Atheists to Zoroastrians and every one in between.  

Please watch the 10 Minutes trailer of the documentary in  making https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMXsTo4VYh8

God has blessed him with an aptitude for mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill in everything he does,  that is think, talk and act, and he has been a life time volunteer, and it is a joy to maintain a healthy balance between earning a living and serving the public. 

 
He has spoken at international forums including the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, in Melbourne, Australia, Middle East Peace Initiative, in Jerusalem, the International Leadership conference, in Hawaii, and in Washington, Many Universities including SMU, Rice and others, World's Philanthropy organization's annual conference in Washington and elsewhere.

He is a member of the Texas Faith panel at Dallas Morning News and writes on issues facing the nation every week and offers pluralistic solutions. He writes regularly at Huffington post, Op-ed News, Arab Daily News and several other papers worldwide.  

Mike was a commissioner at City of Carrollton,  and president of many a organizations including North Texas Cricket Association, Indian Creek Home owners Association,  and Dallas Fashions for Charity etc. A founding member of the board at Memnosyne Foundation, and board of director at Dallas Peace Center, Dallas Home Builders Association and several other organizations.

God has made him an instrument in establishing several annual public events to bring Americans of different religions, ethnicities and races together on common grounds of building a safe, secure and a cohesive America, among them are Unity Day USA, Holocaust and Genocides, Thanksgiving Celebrations. We have and plan to hold workshops and conferences on issues like religion, racism, Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, LGBT, gender pluralism and other issues. 

Concerned by the political, civil, religious, racial, sexual orientation and economic divisiveness, Mike has initiated and formed the America Together Foundation (ATF), a non-profit entity committed to building a cohesive America, where no American has to live with anxiety, apprehension, or fear of the other. The focus of the foundation is that ‘one must be free to live his or her life to the fullest’.

He firmly believes in our immortal declaration of independence.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

He believes in Conflict mitigation and goodwill nurturance that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) chose in dealing with issues of the day, and he has successfully employed that ideal in dealing with Pastor Robert Jeffress of Dallas who denigrated Quran, which led to a Quran conference in creating goodwill among non-Muslim clergy. The conference details are at www.QuraanConference.com 

When Pastor Terry Jones announced burning 3000 copies of Quran, Mike was out there in Florida and gathered up the civil, political and religious leaders to peacefully offer prayer as an alternative instead of burning Qurans to avenge the 9/11 Victims. A message was sent to the world that freedom of speech is an important American value and respecting what is sacred to others is an important value as well. A movie is being considered that will change the perceptions about Muslims and change within Muslims in dealing with the conflicts. Full story is at:http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2014/04/reestablishing-right-muslim-attitudes.html 

Mike was further involved with the conflicts at the Ground Zero Mosque, Peter King Hearings and other conflicts, and had offered pluralistic solutions. There is a blog for each one of these conflicts.

As much work as he has done with interfaith communities, he has a strong presence in the intra-faith dialogue as well. Having  moderated two major intra-faith conferences at Rice University and in Dallas, and  two Sharia conferences were held to allay the Sharia Phobia.  He has prayed in all mosques, and wrote a blog on Ramadan sharing the practices in each tradition. There is a blog for it – www.RamadanExclusive.com 

Mike started the Radio for Desi community in Dallas in 1996 with three hours on Saturdays,   and passed it on to others, and now we have three 24/7 Radio Stations in Dallas. It was always loaded with interfaith programs. Mike ran a program called wisdom of religion, all religions for two years – where 520 Hours of Radio talk was done – 100 hours + for Islam, Hinduism and Christianity each, and 50 hours each for Baha’i, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Atheism, interfaith and other traditions.  The idea was to education and to learn about others, as God has willed in Quran 49:13 and other verses.  Similarly 26 workshops were also conducted.

Mike is a human rights activist, and his book standing up for others will be out soon. He is also producing a feature film “Sacred" to be released and a documentary "Americans together" to be released in the next few years.

All about him is listed in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com - Mike is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.  

About Mike

1. Google Profile - over 10 Million views – https://plus.google.com/108969690090944956820/about

2. Personal Curriculum vitae: http://www.mikeghouse.net/MikeGhouse-CV-03.12.14.pdf

3. Comprehensive Profile - http://mikeghouse.net/Profile.asp

4. Muslim Speaker  http://mikeghouse.net/MuslimSpeaker.MikeGhouse.asp

5. Pluralism Speaker  http://www.mikeghouse.net/InterfaithSpeaker_MikeGhouse.asp

6. Motivational Speaker: http://www.mikeghouse.net/Motivational.speeches.Speaker.MikeGhouse.asp

7. Speaker on Israel - http://israel-palestine-dialogue.blogspot.com/2014/12/speaker-on-israel-mike-ghouse.html

8. Speaker on India - http://MikeGhouseforindia.blogspot.com

9. Disclosures – Almost everything about me is at: http://mikeghouse.net/Discolosure.asp

10. Michami Dukadam - Starting life all over again - 
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/11/michami-dukadam-starting-life-over-with.html


Human Rights | Standing up for Humanity

Standing up for Jews, Hindus, Christians, Atheists, Sikhs, Gays and Lesbians,
Coming up for Jains, Zoroastrians, Native Americans, Pagans and Muslims

Other write ups

Dallas Morning News - Defending Islam 
http://www.dallasnews.com/news/columnists/steve-blow/20100919-In-defense-of-Islam-pursuing-9397.ece

Times of India 
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/From-Muslims-in-America-a-novel-protest-against-quran-burning/articleshow/21982162.cms

Saudi Gazette about Mike
http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2015/07/united-voices-for-america-saudi-gazette.html

Washington Post
http://www.religionnews.com/2013/09/09/commentary-pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-burning-qurans/#comment-353607

Dallas Observer on my Radio Show - front page big piece
http://mikeghouse.net/Aboutus/Dallas-Observer-on-MikeGhouse.htm

Dallas Morning News - Wisdom of Religion Radio Show
http://www.foundationforpluralism.com/Articles/Religious-tolerance-in-action-DallasNews-December2004.asp

9/11 and My personal story ( over 2 Million Reads)
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2014/09/911-my-personal-journey-from-2001.html

My Name is Mike Ghouse
http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-name-is-mike-ghouse.html

Holocaust and the Muslim guy
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/holocaust-and-the-muslim-_b_4629509.html#es_share_ended

Indian American Pluralist
http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2012/12/mike-ghouse-indian-american-pluralist.html

 
Significant achievements:

Unity Day USA - a major annual event that brings Americans together for 13 years
www.UnitydayUSA.com

Holocaust and Genocides - annual event to reflect on Holocaust and Genocides for the last 12 years www.HolocaustandGenocides.com

 Thanksgiving Celebrations - annual event of cultural expression for the last 18 years www.ThanksgivingCelebrations.org

Quran Burning Situation in Florida and a film in the making
A new paradigm in changing perceptions about Muslims, a movie is being made on the actual story - http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2014/04/reestablishing-right-muslim-attitudes.html

Quran Conference - A completely new successful system created to clarify the challenged verses http://quraanconference.com/

Sharia Conference - A seminal Article on Sharia and conferences
https://www.ShariaLaws.com

Quran Today - A successful Blog demystifying myths about Quranic verses
http://www.QuraanToday.com

Ramadan Cohesion - Never before in the history of Muslims, a Muslim has visited all the mosques of all different denominations to build understanding between different traditions. http://ramadanexclusive.blogspot.com/

Ground Zero Mosque involvement from day 1 
http://Groundzeromosque.blogspot.com

Involvement with Peter King Hearings 
http://peterkinghearings.blogspot.com/

Israel Palestine Blog - to see both sides of the issue and a commitment to find solutions
www.IsraelPalestineDialogue.com

Blasphemy Laws - Tackling the laws that have creeped into Islam, and are unislamic http://blasphemylaws.blogspot.com

More about him in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net 

Followers