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Meus Violatus Fidem (4)



Much of what I am about to say will offend you in one way or another. For this I am sorry. I am simply taking an opportunity to express my particular set of beliefs and my viewpoint. You dont have to agree with me, but if you are unable to accept any criticism of your religious beliefs, I suggest that you dont read what I have to say. Pax et Bonum.

For many years now I have fought to maintain some semblance of faith while struggling with doubt on the existence of God and with the particular doctrine and dogma that I grew up with. By every definition of the word, I am an Apostate. Almost a decade ago I refuted my belief in the brand of Christianity that I was born into. For a time I even denied the existence of God completely. But my own conscience would not let me stay this way, so I attempted to find a religion that best suited me. I went to a Synagogue, I went to a Mosque, I went to Buddhist meditations, I even tried some not so well known faiths that I will not discuss any further. To make a long story short, I did not find anything that led me to believe that any other faith (or lack of faith) was any better or held more truth than Christianity. So, over the past 9 months I have slowly come back towards a faith that I once renounced. But I am still angry, I still doubt, and I still do not accept a literal translation of the Bible. So, even though I proclaim myself a christian, in most christians eyes I am nothing more than a heretic and doubter.

via Meus Violatus Fidem (4).

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By: Mackie Dalton Smith

July 21, 2011 Posted by | Philosophy, religion | | Leave a comment

Passover Laws and Customs – Jewish World – Israel News – Israel National News

Passover (Pesach) will take place this year between sunset on Monday, 18 April, and sunset on Monday, 25 April. The first and seventh days are marked as Sabbath-like holy days (Yom Tov) in which work is forbidden.

via Passover Laws and Customs – Jewish World – Israel News – Israel National News.

April 18, 2011 Posted by | culture, history, religion | 1 Comment

Harvard Law fellow set to lead Tibetans – The Boston Globe



Lobsang Sangay grew up in a Tibetan refugee settlement in Darjeeling, India. His parents sold one of the family’s three cows to pay for his school fees. He went on to university and then law school in Delhi, before winning a Fulbright scholarship that brought him to Harvard.

via Harvard Law fellow set to lead Tibetans – The Boston Globe.

March 22, 2011 Posted by | buisness, culture, religion, social | | Leave a comment

» Confessions of a hijabi | The Dawn Blog | Pakistan, Cricket, Politics, Terrorism, Satire, Food, Culture and Entertainment



I watched the much talked about My Name is Khan the other day. The brilliant depiction of an autistic person by Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar’s surprisingly taut direction made for a good film. I had been warned by friends to keep tissues handy, as many friends had their eyeliners washed away as they sniffled through the film.

I have never been emotionally vulnerable and usually don’t cry in public, so although the film was stirring, it did not send me scrambling through my handbag for those back-up tissues. That is, except for one scene. And in that one scene, I felt a lump form in my throat as I reached for that tissue paper. On screen, actress Sonya Jehan – who plays Khan’s sister-in-law, a working woman who wears a hijab while living on the West Coast of the United States – is walking down a hallway when her hijab is pulled off. This is yet another expression of resentment against Muslims in the wake of the 9/11 attacks that the film portrays. After the insult, Jehan’s character decides to no longer cover her head in public.

via » Confessions of a hijabi | The Dawn Blog | Pakistan, Cricket, Politics, Terrorism, Satire, Food, Culture and Entertainment.

March 17, 2011 Posted by | global, Islam, Muslim, religion | Leave a comment

Reverse Thinking

March 16, 2011 Posted by | entertainment, religion | Leave a comment

Pope allows married father of two to be ordained Catholic priest in church in Germany



A married father of two in Germany was ordained as a Catholic priest on Tuesday, a rare move by the church, which typically requires priests to be single and to take a vow of chastity.

Harm Klueting, 61, a professor of theology at universities in Cologne and Switzerland, and his wife served as clerics in the Lutheran church before they converted to Catholicism several years ago.

via Pope allows married father of two to be ordained Catholic priest in church in Germany.

February 23, 2011 Posted by | religion, Rome | 1 Comment

Appeal sought in US Sharia case – Americas – Al Jazeera English


Appeal sought in US Sharia case – Americas – Al Jazeera English.

The Oklahoma State Election Board has voted to ask the attorney general to appeal a court’s decision to grant a preliminary injunction on a ban preventing the use of Sharia and other international laws in the state.

The vote comes after the state legislator who wrote the proposal on Tuesday lashed out at the judge who blocked it, calling her a “liberal, activist judge”.

The Associated Press reported that Rex Duncan, a former Republican state representative, criticised US district judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange’s ruling this week to grant a preliminary injunction, preventing the state from certifying the results of the November 2 election.

More than 70 per cent of voters approved State Question 755 (the “Save Our State Amendment” proposition), which would place the Islamic (Sharia) law ban into the state constitution. The question proposed to preemptively ban “considering or using” international law and Sharia.

Duncan said “one would surmise that her [judge’s] sympathies were with the plaintiff”.

“But hers won’t be the final order on the matter,” he added.

The plaintiff, Muneer Awad, is a Muslim living in Oklahoma who claims the proposed ban is unconstitutional.

Along with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Oklahoma, Awad sued to block the law from taking effect. He argues the ban on Islamic law likely would affect every aspect of his life as well as the execution of his will after his death.

Duncan has charged that Muslim rights groups such as the CAIR want to hijack the US legal system.

Precedent-setting potential

He said he has also heard from legislators in as many as a dozen US states who are interested in introducing similar bills intended to prevent foreign laws from being used, although he declined to say which states.

What is Sharia?
Sharia generally refers to rules based on the Quran, the statements and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad combined with  scholarly and legal consensus. These rules tend to be interpreted differently from region to region, community to community, and judge to judge. They can be used as basis of law to govern a country, as a personal code or as a means of settling domestic and commercial disputes.

The move could also complicate the way US courts already recognise some aspects of Sharia, as National Public Radio reported, in business contracts and divorce settlements.

But when pressed, the courts will always rely on US laws over faith-based ones and avoid having to interpret religious laws.

Noah Feldman, a Harvard law professor specialising in US constitutional law and religious studies, told Al Jazeera that the ban in Oklahoma “almost certainly” violates the First Amendment rights of of Muslims.

He called the ban “a surprising piece of legislation that came out of the Islamophobia that has unfortunately surfaced in the US in the past few months”, and said that striking the ban down is the right course of action for the courts to take.

“Under existing law, you cannot endorse or disfavour a particular religion, and the passage of this constitutional amendment is intended to disfavour Islam,” said Feldman, who was unaware of any similar precedent.

“It’s a violation of the free exercise of Muslims in Oklahoma and it’s a violation of the separation between church and state.”

International issue

Sharia and other faith-based laws were used in Ontario, Canada since 1991, allowing Christian, Jewish and Muslim Canadians access to faith-based tribunals to resolve family and domestic disputes.

But a major backlash against specifically the use of Sharia put an end to the practise in 2005, effectively doing away with faith-based courts in the country.

One of Canada’s national newspapers, the Globe and Mailreported at the time that “moderate Muslims” were “overjoyed” and that orthodox Jews and Christian leaders were “disappointed” by the decision.

In Britain, faith-based courts, including ones following Sharia are commonly used and groups in Sweden andHolland have also had debates on the issue, with – in Sweden’s case – Sharia courts operating outside the scope of the law.

December 3, 2010 Posted by | culture, global, government, Muslim, religion, social | Leave a comment

Heavenly illumination: The science and magic of stained glass | Andy Connelly | Science |

Stained glass window made by Stanisław Wyspiań...

Image via Wikipedia Church of St. Francis 1869 Krakow Poland

Heavenly illumination: The science and magic of stained glass | Andy Connelly | Science |

via Heavenly illumination: The science and magic of stained glass | Andy Connelly | Science |

I often find peacefulness in a soaring stone church, a cool open place to sit and contemplate. The giant trunk-like pillars and the gentle play of the light cast through the stained glass create a shaded garden of stone and multicoloured light.

Stained glass windows are never static. In the course of the day they are animated by changing light, their patterns wandering across the floor, inviting your thoughts to wander with them. They were essential to the fabric of ancient churches, illuminating the building and the people within, both literally and spiritually. Images and scenes leaded together into windows shed light on the central drama of Christian salvation. They allowed the light of God into the church.

The history of stained glass dates back to the middle ages and is an often underestimated technical and artistic achievement.

Glass itself is one of the fruits of the art of fire. It is a fusion of the Earth’s rocks: a mixture of sand (silicon oxide), soda (sodium oxide) and lime (calcium oxide) melted at high temperatures. Glass is an enabling material used for more than just drinking vessels and windows. It also allows scientists to observe distant stars and the smallest biological cells, and colourful chemical reactions in test tubes.

The history of glass

The earliest evidence of human interaction with glass was the discovery of flaked obsidian tools and arrow heads dating from more than 200,000 years ago. Obsidian is a volcanic glass formed when hot volcanic lava is rapidly cooled.

October 31, 2010 Posted by | cathedral, culture, global, history, photography, religion, social | , | 1 Comment

The 99: the Islamic superheroes getting into bed with Batman | Books | The Observer

The 99: the Islamic superheroes getting into bed with Batman | Books | The Observer.

Even if you deliberately set out to try to dream up the least probable superhero ever, it’s unlikely that you’d manage to come up with a character as far-fetched as Batina the Hidden. Forget Wonder Worm, or a man born with the powers of a newt, Batina is a superhero of a kind the world hasn’t until now seen. It’s not just that she’s a Muslim woman, from a country best known for harbouring al-Qaida operatives – Yemen – but that she wears an altogether new kind of super-person costume: a burqa.

She, along with her fellow crime-fighters, a vast team of characters from around the world, including Jabbar the Powerful from Saudi Arabia and Hadya the Guide from London, collectively known as “The 99”, are the world’s first Islam-inspired superheroes. And this week, in what is perhaps the ultimate comic-book accolade, they will join forces with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. DC Comics, the US publishinggiant, will publish the first of six special crossover issues in which The 99 will be fighting crime alongside the Justice League of America, the fictional superhero team that includes Superman and Batman.

What’s even more remarkable is that The 99 only came into being in 2007 with some remarkable firsts: the first comic book superheroes to have Muslim names and be directed at an international audience and the first to come out of the Middle East. Crossovers don’t happen often and even less often with characters that are just three years old. Even The 99’s creator and mastermind, a Kuwaiti-born, American-educated psychologist and entrepreneur called Naif al-Mutawa, seems to be having some trouble believing the Superman link-up.


October 23, 2010 Posted by | art, children, culture, entertainment, global, humor, Islam, Muslim, religion, social | , , , , | 1 Comment

Quantum Consciousness and God With Stuart Hameroff, MD

A scientific view of explaining away God as we perceive  him.

October 11, 2010 Posted by | death, health, mental, religion, social | Leave a comment