Believing in Jesus is NOT a Religion, and God is NOT a ChristianWritten by Ina Bliss
What are major misconceptions by ignorant atheists [Less than 4% of world population (www.adherents.com)]? The ‘fact’ that we are primarily body, and spirituality comes second is first and most important mistake of all with biggest consequence of falsehood. When they talk about Jesus’(and His so-called Church’s) violence against human body, they misconstrue that human life is ‘sacred’. Wrong, people. Our spiritual life is sacred, and human (3-dimensional) life is temporary. We will all inevitably return to spiritual realm, whether you like it or not. You may go through ‘hell’ on earth already, for love and happiness are ONLY possible with and through Jesus, and that is still law.
But, you don’t have to, for our Creator has sent Him to us as His first-born, for our support and guidance. Jesus was here to present a wake-up call: “Hey, y’all, forget ten commandments; they did not work. You are (wo)men, you remain sinners, period.
“Watch me! First, I am going into desert and not eat for 40 days, so that I can be extremely exhausted and challenged by temptation. What am I showing you and my heavenly father? That my body means squat, and I am here to demonstrate a higher cause.
“When I perform a wonder next, such as making a blind man see, I really mean to get humanity to understand that there is a ‘third’ eye for spiritual realm and understanding. I am frustrated that my ministry is limited to physical stuff, and have to go away by myself to pray, many times.
“Finally I am going to die a bloody death on cross, because I once and for all want to take your attention away(!) from ‘SIN’ by ‘taking it upon myself’, and let you watch my ascension back to spiritual realm later.
"I proclaimed my NEW covenant of LOVE & HOPE. But, did you guys get it? NO! To most, it meant, yeah, right, they tell us that this dude went up. But I ain’t believing that. Or, maybe it was possible for Him, due to His connections, but I’m not made from same stuff.
Islam as a Religion of Tolerance and ModerationWritten by David F. Duncan
Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl has been described as "the most important and influential Islamic thinker in modern age." An accomplished Islamic jurist and scholar, he received formal training in Islamic jurisprudence in Egypt and Kuwait as well as holding degrees from Yale, Princeton, and University of Pennsylvania School of Law. He is currently Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Fellow in Islamic Law at UCLA School of Law. Before joining faculty at UCLA, he taught Islamic law at University of Texas at Austin Law School, Yale Law School and Princeton University.
In extended essay that begins his book, The Place of Tolerance in Islam, Dr. Abou El Fadl argues that post-September 11th image of Islam as a reactionary, intolerant, and violent religion does not accurately represent real traditional belief of Muslims. To contrary, he declares his "unwavering conviction that I belong to a great moral humanistic tradition." Traditional Islamic jurists, he writes, "tolerated and even celebrated divergent opinions and schools of thought."
During first centuries of Islam, clerics underwent a lengthy and intellectually demanding training that included an open discussion of differing viewpoints and interpretations. This training prepared them to be community leaders and judges in disputes between their coreligionists. As secular authority in Muslim states grew increasingly powerful, centralized, and autocratic, Muslim clergy lost much of their authority, producing "a profound vacuum in religious authority" and "a state of virtual anarchy in modern Islam."
As Muslim clergy were increasingly marginalized, great centers of learning at which they were trained became equally marginalized and more and more clerics were self-declared holy men with little or no formmal training. Consequently, amateurish interpretations of Islam, exemplified by those of Osama bin Laden, gained sway over theologically illiterate Muslims justifiably angry at poverty and powerlessness they experienced in comparison to citizens of U.S. and other Western nations.
Dr. Abou El Fadl is particularly critical of Wahhabism -- a puritanical revision of Islam propagated by Saudi monarchy. While Wahhabism claims to be "straight path" of Islam, it is, according to Abou El Fadl, an abberant form of Islam, forged in 18th-century slaughter of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. To call it "fundamentalist," he asserts, is misleading, since it flouts fundamental Islamic truths and distorts Islam by rejecting "any attempt to interpret divine law historically or contextually."
He quotes specific passages to show that Quran declares diversity among peoples to be Allah's divine intent. Further, contrary to what you may have been taught in a high school history class, Quran opposes forced conversion of others to Islam, as practiced by Taliban. In fact, Quran explicitly states that Jews and Christians as well as Muslimswill go to Heaven.