Monthly Archives: June 2012

Shahadah

This is the First Pillar of Islam. Every religion has a declaration of faith; shahadah is the Muslim statement of faith. It expresses the two simple, fundamental beliefs that make one a Muslim. The words are:

لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله

La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah.

There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.

These words must be sincerely said. One must say before two Muslims to become a member of the Muslim community. It represents acceptance of Allah and Islam in its entirety. It must be recited aloud and correctly. It must also be said with full understanding and internal assent at least once in every Muslim’s life.

“The shahada  is also recited in the muzzein’s call to prayer, included in the salat (daily ritual prayer) and incorporated in Sufi contemplative prayer. It is also recited in the moments before death.” (Anonymous).

Bibliography

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Come Fairies!

“Come fairies, take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.” ~ W. B. Yeats

Wu Xing

 

Wu Xing is the five states of change. Western thought developed the elements as substances. Indian though developed elements as emanations. Chinese philosophy developed the five elements, Wu Xing, as dynamic states of change. Wu Xing, in Chinese thought, includes science, philosophy, medicine, astrology, and Feng Shui.

Although the term is usually translated as “five elements,” this is incorrect. Wu means “five.” However, there is no simple translation for Xing. Xing can also be translated as: “agents,” “qualities,” “properties,” “states of change,” “courses,” “phases,” and “elementals.” Master Joseph Yu explains:

“Wu Xing” is actually the short form of “Wu zhong liu xing zhi chi” or “the five types of chi dominating at different times”. Water dominates in winter, wood in spring, fire in summer, metal in autumn. At the intersection between two seasons, the transitional period is dominated by earth. It is customary in Chinese writing to summarize a longer phrase into a couple of characters. Sometimes the meaning is completely lost in the abbreviated form if the original phrase is not referred to. Wu Xing is one such example.

Earth

  • Symbol: Cube, square
  • Colors: Yellow and brown
  • Season: late summer, between seasons
  • Direction: Center
  • Movement: Attracts and concentrates
  • Astrology: Dragon, Rat, Ox
  • Emotional/Physical Attributes: Meditation, stability, spleen, stomach, humidity, and sweetness

Metal

  • Symbol: Sphere, round
  • Colors: White, gold, and silver
  • Season: Autumn
  • Direction: West
  • Movement: Pierce inwards
  • Astrology: Monkey, Rooster, Dog
  • Emotional/Physical Attributes: Worry, sorrow, sharp, pointing, lungs, large intestine, dry, and pungant

Wood

  • Symbol: Rod, beam, rectangle
  • Colors: Green and blue
  • Season: Spring
  • Direction: East
  • Movement: Grows upwards
  • Astrology: Tiger, Rabbit Dragon
  • Emotional/Physical Attributes: Anger, endurance, liver, gall bladder, wind, and sour

Fire

  • Symbol: Triangle
  • Colors: Red, orange, purple, and pink
  • Season: Summer
  • Direction: South
  • Movement: Spreads in all directions
  • Astrology: Snake, Horse, Sheep
  • Emotional/Physical Attributes: Joy, bitter, radiance, heat, heart, and small intestine

Water

  • Symbol: Waves, curves
  • Colors: Black and dark blue
  • Season: Winter
  • Direction: North
  • Movement: Runs downward
  • Astrology: Pig, Rat, Ox
  • Emotional/Physical Attributes: Fear, liberal, kidney, bladder, cold, and saltiness

They are all interconnected. They can create and destroy. Each element has negative and positive aspects (yin and yang).

Mother and Father God

If any of you have read Sylvia Browne’s books, you know that she often refers to a Mother God and a Father God. Why does she say this when she is Christian? Aren’t Christians supposed to believe in one god? I can only come up with one explanation: God is made up of both masculine and feminine energies. I believe she refers to each energy by naming them Father God and Mother God, respectively.

Why do Christians always refer to God as “Him,” “He,” or “Lord?” When you look at this way, it is very easy to believe that God is male. We must remember that God created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27), male and female. This leads me to then ask, how could He have created both males and females when God is a He? The answer: He is made up ofbothmale and female energies. The main reason we refer to God as “He” is that we first read this in the Bible. In the Bible, Hebrew has almost no gender neutral words, which means that it was easier to call God “Him.”

Now that it’s translated in English, why do we still call the Lord “Him?” My theory is that who wants to worship the all-powerful It? I don’t know many people who would be okay with always saying “I believe It created the world and you should believe in It too.” Would you want to worship a being that you refer to as “It?” I wouldn’t.

Referring to the energies as Mother God and Father God is okay. You could also call God “He” or “She.” However you refer to God is between you and God. I don’t think God minds what you call Him. It’s your choice. God bless you all!

The Planet Needs . . .

“The planet does not need ‘successful’ people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these needs have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.” ~ David Orr

AotW: Archangel Gabriel

Meaning: “God is my strength”

Other Names: St. Gabriel, the Archangel; Jibra’il

Archangel Gabriel is the main messenger of God. She gives strenght and courage to people. She also helps them with creativity and communication. A few more things she is helpful with are fertility, pregnancy, and adopting a child. Gabriel is one of only two angels mentioned in the Bible by name. She is best known for telling the mothers of Jesus and John the Baptist that they would be born. She also dictated the Qur’an to Muhammad.

Gabriel is often shown holding a trumpet, as legend says she will on Judgement Day. In Renaissance art, Gabriel is usually shown in the Anunciation. She is also often shown with Archangel Michael.

Legend says that Gabriel selects the souls from heaven to be born into the material world and spends the nine months, as the fetus is developing, informing the new person of what he or she will need to know on Earth. Then she silences the child before birth by pressing her finger onto the child’s lips, thus producing the cleft below a person’s nose. Another legend says that Gabriel will blow the horn announcing the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Prayer:

Blessed Saint Gabriel, Archangel
We beseech you to intercede for us at the throne of divine mercy:
As you announced the mystery of the Incarnation to Mary,
so through your prayers
may we receive strength of faith and courage of spirit,
and thus find favor with God
and redemption through Christ Our Lord.
May we sing the praise of God our Savior
with the angels and saints in heaven
forever and ever.
Amen.

Biblical References:

  • “And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.” ~ Daniel 8:16 (KJV)
  • “And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God;Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.” ~ Daniel 9:20-22
  • “And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.For with God nothing shall be impossible.And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” ~ Luke 1:10-38

Apocryphal References:

  • “And then Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel looked down from heaven and saw much blood being shed upon the earth, and all lawlessness being wrought upon the earth. And they said one to another: ‘The earth made without inhabitant cries the voice of their cryingst up to the gates of heaven.” ~ Enoch 9:1-2 (http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/ethiopian/enoch/index.html)
  • “. . . And to Gabriel said the Lord: Proceed against the bastards and the reprobates, and against the children of fornication: and destroy [the children of fornication and] the children of the Watchers from amongst men [and cause them to go forth]: send them one against the other that they may destroy each other in battle: for length of days shall they not have. And no request that they (i.e. their fathers) make of thee shall be granted unto their fathers on their behalf; for they hope to live an eternal life, and that each one of them will live five hundred years. . . .” ~ Enoch 10:9-11
  • “. . . Gabriel, one of the holy angels, who is over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim. Remiel, one of the holy angels, whom God set over those who rise.” ~ Enoch 20:7-8
  • “. . . And he said to me: This first is Michael, the merciful and long-suffering: and the second, who is set over all the diseases and all the wounds of the children of men, is Raphael: and the third, who is set over all the powers, is Gabriel: and the fourth, who is set over the repentance unto hope of those who inherit eternal life, is named Phanuel. And these are the four angels of the Lord of Spirits and the four voices I heard in those days.” ~ Enoch 40:9-10
  • “And Michael, and Gabriel, and Raphael, and Phanuel shall take hold of them on that great day, and cast them on that day into the burning furnace, that the Lord of Spirits may take vengeance on them for their unrighteousness in becoming subject to Satan and leading astray those who dwell on the earth.” ~ Enoch 54:6
  • “. . . And Michael, and Raphael, and Gabriel, and Phanuel, And the holy angels who are above the heavens, Go in and out of that house. And they came forth from that house, And Michael and Gabriel, Raphael and Phanuel, And many holy angels without number.” ~ Enoch 71:8-9
  • “And these blessings which went forth out of my mouth were well pleasing before that Head of Days. And that Head of Days came with Michael and Gabriel, Raphael and Phanuel, thousands and ten thousands of angels without number.” ~ Enoch 71:12

Qur’an References:

  • “Say, ‘Anyone who opposes Gabriel should know that he has brought down this (Quran) into your heart, in accordance with GOD’s will, confirming previous scriptures, and providing guidance and good news for the believers.’ Anyone who opposes GOD, and His angels, and His messengers, and Gabriel and Michael, should know that GOD opposes the disbelievers.” Sura 2:97-98 (http://www.quran-islam.org/main_topics/quran_in_english_(P1223).html)
  • “When our messengers went to Abraham with good news, they said, “Peace.” He said, “Peace,” and soon brought a roasted calf.” ~ Sura 11:69 (Some believe this is a reference)
  • “The Honest Spirit (Gabriel) came down with it.” ~ Sura 26:193
  • “If the two of you repent to GOD, then your hearts have listened. But if you band together against him, then GOD is his ally, and so is Gabriel and the righteous believers. Also, the angels are his helpers.” ~ Sura 66:4

Baha’i References:

  • “Even as in the ‘Beginning that hath no beginnings’ the term ‘last’ is truly applicable unto Him who is the Educator of the visible and of the invisible, in like manner, are the terms ‘first’ and ‘last’ applicable unto His Manifestations. They are at the same time the Exponents of both the ‘first’ and the ‘last.’ Whilst established upon the seat of the ‘first,’ they occupy the throne of the ‘last.’ Were a discerning eye to be found, it will readily perceive that the exponents of the ‘first’ and the ‘last,’ of the ‘manifest’ and the ‘hidden,’ of the ‘beginning’ and the ‘seal’ are none other than these holy Beings, these Essences of Detachment, these divine Souls. And wert thou to soar in the holy realm of ‘God was alone, there was none else besides Him,’ thou wilt find in that Court all these names utterly non-existent and completely forgotten. Then will thine eyes no longer be obscured by these veils, these terms, and allusions. How ethereal and lofty is this station, unto which even Gabriel, unshepherded, can never attain, and the Bird of Heaven, unassisted, can never reach!” ~ The Kitáb-i-Íqán (page 163-164, verse 174)
  • “Yea, in the writings and utterances of the Mirrors reflecting the sun of the Muḥammadan Dispensation mention hath been made of ‘Modification by the exalted beings’ and ‘alteration by the disdainful.’ Such passages, however, refer only to particular cases. Among them is the story of Ibn-i-Suríyá. When the people of Khaybar asked the focal center of the Muḥammadan Revelation concerning the penalty of adultery committed between a married man and a married woman, Muḥammad answered and said: ‘The law of God is death by stoning.’ Whereupon they protested saying: ‘No such law hath been revealed in the Pentateuch.’ Muḥammad answered and said: ‘Whom do ye regard among your rabbis as being a recognized authority and having a sure knowledge of the truth?’ They agreed upon Ibn-i-Suríyá. Thereupon Muḥammad summoned him and said: ‘I adjure thee by God Who clove the sea for you, caused manna to descend upon you, and the cloud to overshadow you, Who delivered you from Pharaoh and his people, and exalted you above all human beings, to tell us what Moses hath decreed concerning adultery between a married man and a married woman.’ He made reply: ‘O Muḥammad! death by stoning is the law.’ Muḥammad observed: ‘Why is it then that this law is annulled and hath ceased to operate among the Jews?’ He answered and said: ‘When Nebuchadnezzar delivered Jerusalem to the flames, and put the Jews to death, only a few survived. The divines of that age, considering the extremely limited number of the Jews, and the multitude of the Amalekites, took counsel together, and came to the conclusion that were they to enforce the law of the Pentateuch, every survivor who hath been delivered from the hand of Nebuchadnezzar would have to be put to death according to the verdict of the Book. Owing to such considerations, they totally repealed the penalty of death.’ Meanwhile Gabriel inspired Muḥammad’s illumined heart with these words: ‘They pervert the text of the Word of God.'” ~ The Kitáb-i-Íqán (page 84-86, verse 92)
  • “We shall cite in this connection only one verse of that Book. Shouldst thou observe it with a discerning eye, thou wilt, all the remaining days of thy life, lament and bewail the injury of Muḥammad, that wronged and oppressed Messenger of God. That verse was revealed at a time when Muḥammad languished weary and sorrowful beneath the weight of the opposition of the people, and of their unceasing torture. In the midst of His agony, the Voice of Gabriel, calling from the Sadratu’l-Muntahá, was heard saying: ‘But if their opposition be grievous to Thee—if Thou canst, seek out an opening into the earth or a ladder into heaven.’ The implication of this utterance is that His case had no remedy, that they would not withhold their hands from Him unless He should hide Himself beneath the depths of the earth, or take His flight unto heaven.” ~ The Kitáb-i-Íqán (page 109-110, verse 116)
  • “Nay, by ‘trumpet’ is meant the trumpet-call of Muḥammad’s Revelation, which was sounded in the heart of the universe, and by ‘resurrection’ is meant His own rise to proclaim the Cause of God. He bade the erring and wayward arise and speed out of the sepulchres of their bodies, arrayed them with the beauteous robe of faith, and quickened them with the breath of a new and wondrous life. Thus at the hour when Muḥammad, that divine Beauty, purposed to unveil one of the mysteries hidden in the symbolic terms ‘resurrection,’ ‘judgment,’ ‘paradise,’ and ‘hell,’ Gabriel, the Voice of Inspiration, was heard saying: ‘Erelong will they wag their heads at Thee, and say, ‘When shall this be?’ Say: ‘Perchance it is nigh.’’ The implications of this verse alone suffice the peoples of the world, were they to ponder it in their hearts.” ~ The Kitáb-i-Íqán (page 116-117, verse 123)

Feast of St. John the Baptist

Today, June 24, 2012, is the Feast of St. John the Baptist. This is celebrated as the birthday, or nativity, of John the Baptist. We have no evidence that this is his actual birthday, but it’s like celebrating Jesus’ birth on Christmas. This day is generally observed by the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Lutheran, and Anglican churches.

Life and Death of John

Many Christians interpret that John the Baptist was born to be a preparation for the coming of Jesus. The circumstances of his birth were miraculous, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:5-25). John’s parents, Zecharias (a.k.a. Zechariah) and Elisabeth (a.k.a. Elizabeth), never had children and were beyond the age of being able to have children. Zecharias, a Jewish priest, was chosen by lot to burn incense in the temple of the Lord. While he was doing this, Archangel Gabriel appeared to him. Gabriel told him that Elisabeth will bear him a son, who will be named John. Since Zecharias did not believe Gabriel’s message, he was struck dumb until John’s birth. After nine months, John was born (Luke 1:57-66). The people came to circumcise him. They wanted to name him after his father. Elisabeth told them he would be called John. They told her that there were no Johns in her family, so they asked Zecharias. Zecharias took a tablet and wrote that he shall be called John. At that moment, he was able to speak again. After all of this, Zecharias praised the Lord and was prophesied the future ministry of John (Luke 1:67-80).

At the Anunciation [of Jesus’ birth], Gabriel came to the Virgin Mary and told her that she would be with child. She would name him Jesus. The Archangel also told her that her cousin, Elisabeth, was six months pregnant (Luke 1:36). Mary paid a visit to Elisabeth (Luke 1:39-45). After she gave her salutation to Elisabeth, John leaped in her womb. Elisabeth was then filled with the Holy Ghost and blesses Mary. This can be interpreted as John’s first act of prophecy.

Later in life, John the Baptist started baptizing people in the name of the Lord. He eventually baptized his cousin, Jesus. Heaven opens when Jesus rises out of the water and God gives his blessing to the Son of God. See Matthew 3; Mark 1:4-11; Luke 3:1-22; and John 1:6-34. He was eventually beheaded thanks to Herod.

History of Celebration

This is another holiday that Christianized the pagan festivals of the newly converted Christians (former pagans). The specific holiday that it Christianized was the Summer Solstice.

Have a great day! Have a good feast for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist! Happy Birthday to him!

The First Shaman

“. . . who was the first shaman? How did he or she discover the way to move between our world and the world of the spirits? Who taught that person the proper offerings to make, the right words to chant, the gestures that were suitable, and the movements that would most please the gods? No one. These things come from within, just as the dances do.” ~ Esther Friesner, Spirit’s Princess (pg. 355)

Summer Solstice 2012

Today is the first day of Summer! Other names for today are: Summer Solstice, Litha, Alban Heflin, All-Couples Day, Feast of Epona, Feast of St. John the Baptist, Midsummer, Vestalia, etc. For the rest of this, we will assume the reader is in the Northern Hemisphere.

“Soltice” is derived from two Latin words: sol (meaning sun) and sistere (meaning to cause to stand still). As the summer solstice approaches, the noonday sun rises higher and higher in the sky each day. On the day of the solstice, it rises an imperceptible amount, compared to the previous day. This made it appear to “stand still.” This is also the longest day of the year and the shortest night of the year.

The reason we have a change of seasons is the tilt of the Earth’s axis (23.5°). The North Pole is fixed in a set place. As the Earth revolves around the Sun, the North Pole will point either towards or away from the Sun. Since this is summer, the North Pole is pointing directly at the Sun.

Let’s explore some of the celebrations (ancient and modern) around this time of year:

  • Ancient Celts: Druids, the priestly/professional/diplomatic corps in Celtic countries, celebrated Alban Heruin (“Light of the Shore“). It was midway between the spring Equinox (Alban Eiler; “Light of the Earth“) and the fall Equinox (Alban Elfed; “Light of the Water“). “This midsummer festival celebrates the apex of Light, sometimes symbolized in the crowning of the Oak King, God of the waxing year. At his crowning, the Oak King falls to his darker aspect, the Holly King, God of the waning year…
  • Ancient China: Their summer solstice ceremony celebrated the earth, the feminine, and the yin forces. It complemented the winter solstice which celebrated the heavens, masculinity and yang forces.
  • Ancient Gaul: The Midsummer celebration was called Feast of Epona, named after a mare goddess who personified fertility, sovereignty and agriculture. She was portrayed as a woman riding a mare.
  • Ancient Germanic, Slavic and Celtic Tribes in Europe: Ancient Pagans celebrated Midsummer with bonfires. “It was the night of fire festivals and of love magic, of love oracles and divination. It had to do with lovers and predictions, when pairs of lovers would jump through the luck-bringing flames…” It was believed that the crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump. Through the fire’s power, “…maidens would find out about their future husband, and spirits and demons were banished.” Another function of bonfires was to generate sympathetic magic: giving a boost to the sun’s energy so that it would remain potent throughout the rest of the growing season and guarantee a plentiful harvest.
  • Ancient Rome: The festival of Vestalia lasted from JUN-7 to JUN-15. It was held in honor of the Roman Goddess of the hearth, Vesta. Married women were able to enter the shrine of Vesta during the festival. At other times of the year, only the vestal virgins were permitted inside.
  • Ancient Sweden: A Midsummer tree was set up and decorated in each town. The villagers danced around it. Women and girls would customarily bathe in the local river. This was a magical ritual, intended to bring rain for the crops.
  • Christian Countries: After the conversion of Europe to Christianity, the feast day of St. John the Baptist was set as JUN-24. It “is one of the oldest feasts, if not the oldest feast, introduced into both the Greek and Latin liturgies to honour a saint.16 Curiously, the feast is held on the alleged date of his birth. Other Christian saints’ days are observed on the anniversary of their death. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains that St. John was “filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb…[thus his] birth…should be signalized as a day of triumph.” 16 His feast day is offset a few days after the summer solstice, just as Christmas is fixed a few days after the winter solstice.
  • Essenes: This was a Jewish religious group active in Palestine during the 1st century CE. It was one of about 24 Jewish groups in the country — the only one that used a solar calendar. Other Jewish groups at the time included the Sadducees, Pharisees, Zealots, followers of John, and followers of Yeshua (Jesus). Archaeologists have found that the largest room of the ruins at Qumran (location of the Dead Sea Scrolls) appears to be a sun temple. The room had been considered a dining room by earlier investigators, in spite of the presence of two altars at its eastern end. At the time of the summer solstice, the rays of the setting sun shine at 286 degrees along the building’s longitudinal axis, and illuminate the eastern wall. The room is oriented at exactly the same angle as the Egyptian shrines dedicated to the sun. Two ancient authorities — the historian Josephus and the philosopher Filon of Alexandria — had written that the Essenes were sun worshipers. Until recently, their opinion had been rejected by modern historians.

Very interesting and powerful. Summer has always been important to us (Robinson). Enjoy this time. Have a happy solstice!

Bibligraphy

Robinson, B.A. “Overview. Viewpoints. Why? Summer Solstice Celebrations: Ancient and Modern.” Summer Solstice Celebrations of Christianity, Judaism, Neopaganism, Etc. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, 28 May 2000. Web. 20 June 2012. http://www.religioustolerance.org/summer_solstice.htm.

Unwarranted Taunting and Violence Mar Arab Festival

A man with children dance in a circle, while International Yemen singer, Abdul Rahman, sings on Saturday, June 16, 2012. This was on Warren Avenue during the 2012 Arab International Festival in Dearborn. Thousands attended the annual event for fun, music, and food.

Let’s discuss a recent article in the news: Christian Taunts and Violence Mar Arab Festival in Michigan(Dolak). Christian protesters traveled across the country to Dearborn, Michigan, where they taunted the attendees and went so far as to sever a pig’s head. They held the head for three days at the 17th annual Arab International Festival. Long story short, violence broke out between festival goers and Christian protesters by Sunday.

There were three things that the protesters and signs were noted to saying:

  • “You’re going to burn in hell.”
  • “Muhammad [Islam’s prophet] is a . . . liar, false prophet, murderer, and child molesting pervert.”
  • “Islam is a religion of blood and murder.”

It’s one thing to disagree with the beliefs of another religion, which is fine. It’s another thing to attack them (verbally, written, physically, etc.), which is not okay.

“You’re going to burn in hell.”

This has been said too many times throughout history. Why people have this belief, let alone say it, is beyond me.

This was said by a missionary. I don’t know about you, but saying or yelling this at me is not going to get me to convert to that faith. I’m not one of those people who joins a religion because someone threatened me. Also, most other faiths don’t believe in hell.

Anyway, this was not the time or the place to even attempt saying this. This was a festival to bring people together, not to tear them apart.

“Muhammad is a . . . liar, false prophet, murderer, and child molesting pervert.”

Believe what you want about Muhammad. He may or may not be a prophet. I’m not here to argue either. Muhammad is the Muslim prophet. Any violence associated with Muhammad you find online has to do with survival. The pagans of the land wanted him and his followers dead (“Muhammad”).

“Islam is a religion of blood and murder.”

This statement is completely false. Islam is a religion of peace and love. This comes from people falsely thinking that every Muslim is just like the extremists.

Christians also need to take a look at their own history. Christianity is full of blood and murder. Let’s begin to list a few:

  • Spanish Inquisition
  • Salem Witch Trials
  • Deaths because of “heresy”
  • Stoning that is commanded as punishment for breaking certain commandments.
  • Every war, battle, and conflict done in the name of God

This list goes on.

Conlusion

Kaseeem Allie said (Dolak):

This festival is designed for people to have fun, to celebrate and enjoy their background and cultures. And for someone to come in and make something negative out of it is very unfortunate.

The Christians who were part of the protest give Christians a bad name. Shame on those of you who were part of the protest. You could have chosen to learn about Islam, or you could have avoided the festival entirely. There was no need for this.

Stop the hatred. Stop the violence. Stop the ignorance.

Start loving. Start understanding. Start being respectful.

Bibliography