Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Religious symbols

 

 

 

I want to warn you before you read this blog I am writing currently. I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT RELIGION and questionable controversial text in the Bible, Torah, and the Quran. If you don’t read this with an open mind and an inkling of curiosity you may be offended. This blog is a way to fuel my curiosity and show my findings for someone who is also curious. I will be respectful in the right that anything read in these passages and texts does not take away the significance, power and sheer awesomeness of these religious tomes.

Christianity

Adam and Eve -“In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.”In this passage Adam is both male and female. In Hebrew Adam means “man” as in humans not a singular male person. The word Adam was derived from the Hebrew word אדם meaning “to be red” referring to the ruddy colour of human skin. Eve in Hebrew was derived from חוה(chawah) which means “to breathe” or חיה (chayah) which means “to live”. So this passage could very well be talking about making the human race not one man and woman. 

Another piece of this story that has been up for debate is Adam and Eve is not the story of creation for mankind in the physical world, but rather the creation of humans in spirit. According to orthodoxcatholicnew.com the story of Adam and Eve is an allegory meaning that it has a message, usually a whole string of truths one leading to another which is somewhat a theme in Genesis. The Garden eastward in “Eden” is usually identified with  paradise which is described as a spiritual realm(2 Cor. 12. 2 – 4). The site uses Genesis 2 and 3 to make their point that Adam was in a spiritual state before entering Earth-life. This concept was not widely accepted until around the time of Alexander the Great. In some Pagan writings there are references made for this new intellection.

Christ and the original Apostles, who loathed the idea of the Hellenization of Jewish thought. This was a foreign idea incongruous to what they were being taught. Origen the great Christian scholar of the 3rd century wrote this about the subject:”Who would be so childish as to think that God was like a human gardener and planted a paradise in Eden facing the east, and in it made a real visible tree, so that one could acquire life by eating its fruit with real teeth or, again, could participate in good and evil by eating what he took from the other tree? And if the text says that God walked in the garden in the evening, or Adam hid himself under the tree, I cannot think that anyone would dispute that these things are said in the figurative sense, in an effort to reveal certain mysteries by means of an apparent historical tale and not by something that actually took place. . . . . ” (First Principles – 4: 16 by Origen of Alexandria)

Genesis 2:4 sums up the physical creation with “These are the generations of the heavens and earth…..” “generations” in Hebrew translates to “Toledath” which means “the origins of”. The interpretation is “this is the book of origins of the heavens and earth…” This information refers back to all the preceding chapters before it.

Islam

Different Verses in the Qur’an

1. Punishment for stealing As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise.” Qur’an-5:38- (5:39) But if the thief has repented and returned all the stolen goods and has mended himself, then truly Allah turns to him in forgiveness; surely Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. –

According to a (astudyofthequran.org) article says that the issue of cutting off a thief’s hand would not come up at all. In a truly Islamic state there would be social justice and the state would act as a trustee for the people. In the Qur’an, hunger, injustice and poverty would be eliminated and wealth would be used for the prosperity of the people not one single interest.

2. Does the Qur’an sanction the beating of women? (4:34) […]as for those women on whose part ye fear rebellion (nushuz), admonish them and banish them to beds apart, (and last) beat (adriboo) them. Then, if they obey you, seek not a way against them. (4:35) And if ye fear a breach between them twain (the man and the wife), appoint an arbiter from his folk and an arbiter from her folk. If they desire amendment Allah will make them of one mind. Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Aware.

Below are passages that give the true understanding of the role of women and their importance.

(2:228) […]the rights of the wives (with regard to their husbands) are equal to their (husbands’) rights with regard to them, although men have a degree (of advantage) over them. Allah is Almighty, Wise.

Physical strength is given to the man for the role he plays as a dominant role as a maintainer and as a counter measure the woman is given economic dependence in the sense that the woman’s earnings are entirely her own. The earnings are not to be mixed with the family’s earnings.

(33:35) Lo! Men who surrender unto Allah, and women who surrender, and men who believe and women who believe, and men who obey and women who obey, and men who speak the truth and women who speak the truth, and men who persevere (in righteousness) and women who persevere, and men who are humble and women who are humble, and men who give alms and women who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast, and men who guard their modesty and women who guard (their modesty), and men who remember Allah much and women who remember — Allah hath prepared for them forgiveness and a reward.

3. Polygamy in Islam 

(4:2,3) Give unto orphans their wealth, exchange not the good for the bad (in your management thereof) nor absorb their wealth. Lo! That would be a great sin. And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hand possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice.

The position of the Qur’an in this passage is that you must be able to with just equality, meaning you must be able to provide, financially, emotionally and equally to each new wife you were to marry, that goes for caring and fathering of the children.(4: 129) Ye will not be able to deal equally between (your) wives, however much ye wish (to do so). But turn not altogether away (from one), leaving her in suspense. If ye do good and keep from evil, lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.

There is an argument that suggests both Europe and America has supported polygamy, but  not legalized it in the way Muslim husbands are bound legally to take care of all of his families. If you see the families in Centennial Park that have been featured on Polygamy USA by National Geographic. The families defend their lifestyle choices.

 

Judaism

What the Torah says about says about homosexuality?

Shelly a blogger for Temple Beth Am Tikkan Olam questions the Torah’s teachings and asks if the teachings are being taken too literal. For example they write:Leviticus Chapter 18, Verse 22: which states that “A man should not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, it is to’ebah.” The word “to’ebah” translates to mean “an offensive thing,” not “abomination” as I believe conservatives have mis-translated it. One main argument questioning this passage is why does it only condemn male on male homosexuality and not a woman with a woman?

The second point made in the article is the word” to’ebah” means an offensive thing NOT A SIN. In the entire Torah the word to’ebah is not used to define acts that are forbidden in the scriptures. Whether homosexuality is right or wrong is not questioned in the Torah. One point the author makes is that as long as the homosexual acts are not a mimicking of heterosexual procedure which would be taken offensively, then the Torah accepts homosexuality as a special relationship.

Opposition to Deuteronomy 33-34

So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-Peor; but no man knows his grave till this day. And Moses was 120 years old when he died; his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; and the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him; and the people of Israel listened to him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses. And there has not arisen since in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. In all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land. And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great and awesome deeds which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel. (Deut. 34:5 to 34:12)

According to aish.com the last eight verses pose challenges that the Torah was dictated by God to Moses. The Master has said: “Joshua wrote the book which bears his name and the last eight verses of the Pentateuch. This statement is in agreement with the authority who says that eight verses in the Torah were written by Joshua, as it has been taught: So Moses the servant of the Lord died there. Now is it possible that Moses being dead could have written the words, ‘Moses died there’? The truth is, however, that up to this point Moses wrote, from this point Joshua wrote. This is the opinion of Rabbi Judah, or, according to others, of Rabbi Nehemiah.” [But] Rabbi Shimon said to him: “Can the scroll of the law be short of one word? … No; what we must say is that up to this point the Holy One, blessed be He, dictated and Moses repeated and wrote, and from this point God dictated and Moses wrote with tears.” (Baba Bathra 15a)  – The question here is was Moses or Joshua the spiritual channel for the word of God?

There are eight verses that give challenge to the way to think about who god was speaking to and who wrote the Torah. The website aish.com digs deeper into this mystery that contradicts that Moses wrote the Torah.

As always let me know what you think and give any commentary you may have.

 

 

One Hampton University student says she was surprised when an ordinary school task turned into an “embarrassing” nightmare. Melonna Clarke, 26, a senior dressed in a hijab, a headscarf that many Muslim women wear,waited in line to get her student ID during the first week of classes last month. When she reached the front of the line, the receptionist asked her to step aside. “She said I couldn’t get my photo taken because I was wearing my head scarf,” Clarke told Yahoo Shine.

More on Yahoo Shine: Teen Mom’s Banned Yearbook Photo 

In fact, the only way Clarke could be photographed was if she removed the scarf or provided proof that she was a Muslim. “My reaction was, ‘Are you serious?’” said Clarke. “It was ridiculous, especially because Hampton is a multicultural university. It’s hard enough to walk out of my house every day to face prejudice.” 

More on Yahoo: Another Transgender Student Claims Discrimination Over Bathroom, Locker Room Use 

The school did not return Yahoo Shine’s calls for comment. However, according to the university’s dress code, students who want to wear religious or cultural clothing and headgear must make a written request and go through a review process. “The school has a good diversity policy in place because it has made exceptions to its dress code for people of different faiths,” says sociologist Ruth C. White, Clinical associate professor, school of social work, at the University of Southern California. “And if they make exceptions, it’s fair and reasonable to ask for documentation. Although it may seem discriminatory, it isn’t, because the policy could have outright banned headdress altogether.”

Melonna Clarke/FacebookClarke converted from Christianity to Islam when she was 21 years old but she has only recently become comfortable wearing the headscarf on campus. And because her ID photo has to match her everyday attire, she was required to take a new photo. “It was embarrassing to be refused in the line because of my beliefs, but I began the approval process,” she says. “In the meantime, I could attend classes but I couldn’t enter the library or any other campus locations that required an ID.” 

So Clarke went to her masjid (place of worship) where she received a letter stating that she was a practicing Muslim and wore the hijab for religious reasons. Then, she delivered the letter to her chaplain who reviewed it and wrote her own letter authorizing Clarke to wear the hijab. The next day, she visited student affairs for final approval. “The woman there told me that the process I had to undergo was excessive and she expedited my case,” says Clarke. 

Five days later, Clarke returned to get her photo taken. “When I got there, the same receptionist actually asked me why I was there,” says Clarke. “I reminded her that she had told me to get approval.”  

Now, Clarke carries her approval papers in her bag. “If I lost my ID or were questioned for any reason, I want them with me as proof that I’m a student,” she says. “I have one friend who refused to get permission to wear her headscarf and although she can attend class, she can’t participate in campus parties, use the gym, or the library.”  

However, the experience has triggered an outpouring of support from her peers. “People are grateful that I’m speaking out against the university’s policies,” she says. “People shouldn’t have to hide who they are.” 

Original Post –http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/muslim-student-asked-to–prove–her-religion-before-taking-school-photo-185447537.html

religion vs scienceI don’t consider myself a deeply religious person. I do pray at night and believe in GOD, but short of that I don’t; go to church, read the bible or anything like that. I do however what to give another explanation behind some of the stories in the bible. I just want to objectively give another perspective on them.

The 10 Plagues of Egypt

– If you have heard of the story behind the 10 plagues then you know the plagues were brought upon Egypt from GOD to punish the Pharaoh for not freeing the Israelites out of slavery. The first plague is the plague of blood. One scientific explanation is the Nile turned red due to high concentrations of iron oxide in the water caused by a volcanic eruption causing a red color.

The plague of frog, gnats and flies – The iron deposits killed the natural sea life nearby. With no sea life the frogs went to the land scouring for food. The dying frogs drew the flies and gnats into the town.

The plague on livestock and boils – The release of the gas from the riverbed led the dead animals and boils. The plague of Hail – The explosion of Santorini which is called the super colossal explosion caused a storm covering Egypt with hail and fiery debris.

The plague of locusts – The heat from the debris from the volcanic explosion attracted the locusts to come out of the ground. The Plague of Darkness – Ash clouds from the Santorini eruption covering the sky.

The Plague of the firstborn – The volcanic eruption brought in iron oxide deposits and also CO2. This gas stays low to the ground and suffocates anything that lives in its path. During this time the Egyptians had a tradition of honor. They would have the firstborns sleeping on a bed extremely low to the ground. The other family member would sleep on the roof or places outside the house. This sleep arrangement became the firstborns tomb.

If you think this was the first and only time an incident happened like this think again. In 1986 another event happened called the Limnic Eruption causing the death of over 1700 people and animals. This event also released the CO2 gas killing anything living at a low altitude.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ – The resurrection of Jesus Christ has been long debate. Was this a fabricated story or was this an actual miracle that the Lord and Savior went through. One evidence piece for the marvelous explanation is the Shroud of Turin.

The human anatomy of the shroud was perfect. Knowledge about anatomy was discovered until the 20th century, but the re-discovery of the shroud goes back to 14th century France.

The image of the shroud was not painted on it was burned on as if to say when Christs died and his body went from mortal to immortal there was a small burst of radiation burning the image into the cloth.

The blood on the cloth was real human blood. The blood went through parts of the cloth. The blood also was not subject to decay which would have started to happen in the 72 hours Christ’s body was in the cloth.

Parting of the Red Sea – To me this is the most interesting story to prove by science. At least with the Shroud of Turin you have physical evidence to test and base your theories on. With the story of Moses raising his staff and parting the sea. It would be hard to prove. One explanation a event called “Wind Setdown” This occurs when wind and tides drive water abnormally far from the coast. It is this explanation that is popular with a science basis of parting the Red Sea. A overnight easterly wind with a speed of 20ms-1 would have created a sea level drop over 2.5 m at the northern end of the Red Sea. Also using the possibility of a submarine ridge creating a bridge to cross this would’ve given the Israelites the opportunity they needed to cross the sea. A drop in the wind speed would’ve made the waters to comeback rapidly. Within as little as four minutes the Pursuing Egyptians would have been drowning in water.

I know religion and science are usually on opposites end of the ring. Like two opposing boxers using their explanations to land blows to the other side. Myself, I see religion and science as someone discovering their face features for the first time. When you look around you know you have something that allows you to see. When something makes a noise you know you have something that allows you to hear. You know you can smell and taste and touch. It isn’t until you see a reflection, either by a mirror or water that you see your own face and notice you have a pair of eyes to see, a nose to help you smell, ears so you can hear, a mouth to eat food and taste and talk with and hands to help you touch grab and use for daily tasks. Science as I see it is the mirror that gives the details behind the questions of who? what? where? and why?. Does it makes the miracles any less miraculous?  Just because you are able to explain an event does not mean you are able to replicate it.

rich or poorWe place so much emphasis to becoming rich in this country and to living the life of luxury. We really avoid asking ourselves “Is this a better quality of life?” Saying if I become rich all my problems in life will be better if not gone is a possible paradox in itself. Now I didn’t say you should be broke and struggling with bills and reaching for the American Dream. I’m just saying lets look at some examples with matching up the two social classes. The rich and the poor.

Health Matters – Our neighbors to the north(Canada) did a study in 2011 comparing the two classes concerning healthiness. Nancy Gross a McGill Geography professor found that over the course of a full lifetime there is no indication of an accelerated aging for those lower on the social ladder. The two classes are pretty much dead even over the length of time even if at the beginning those in a lower social class start out less healthy. The bad part is the study brings to light that if they start out less healthy the lower social class never really gains traction over their lifetime while those who are wealthier pretty much have good health their whole lives.

In a little contradiction to my last paragraph in England there is a study saying there is going to be a gap over the next ten years between the rich and the poor. In the University of Liverpool they performed a study from 1998 to 2008 looking for if changes in the economic climate would have a semblant effect on life expectancy. What they found was in an economy where unemployment is decreasing and household income is increasing both male and female life expectancy increased. They came up with a correlation that implies for every 1% decrease in unemployment there is a 2.2 months  for males and 1.7 months  for females of life expectancy added.

Education –

The gap between the social classes is widening as a whole. Since the 1960’s the gap has grown 40% between those of a wealthier social status as compared to a less wealthy income status. Amazingly this study also recognizes that the gap between white and black kids are actually narrowing among the same social groups. One reason being looked at for the gap in social groups is the attention on kids from high income families. The research shows the parents have more time for math tutors, ballet, weekend sports, and other extra curriculum activities. The low income families which is now more and more single parent households have less time and resources for such activities. A study started in 1972 and continued until 2007 found that parents originally spent fives times more per household on high income family kids than low income kids. Another study by Meredith Philips an associate professor of public policy and sociology of the University of California used a survey data that affluent children spend more than 1,300 hours more than low income children before age 6 in places other than there homes. They spend their time in care centers, museums, schools, shopping malls etc.

By the time the kids start school high income kids spend more than 400 hours more than poor kids in literacy activities. There have been proposals to help narrow the gap for poor kids. Honestly this has been suggested for generations and it nothing new or thought provoking. The ideas are to help single parent households and children through programs like family –nurse partnership and other programs that would help give those kids with less income households a better edge on education. These programs would be government funded so don’t hold your breath at all for the this to become reality. Like I said before this is not a new idea.

Drugs –

Now this I did find interesting. A study tested in Alameda and Contra Costa California found that kids of parents with higher income are more likely to become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Some theories are the pressures to succeed in the family and also some families are disconnected from each other as well. Affluent kids have more access to disposable income to buy fake ID’s or pay someone for drugs or alcohol. This trend is not new or even bound to US borders. In the UK the same issue is and has already happened. Hans K. Rausing father and grandfather made billions in the UK building Tetra Pak the Swedish packaging company. Hans and his wife Eva both battled addiction and have been in rehab a few times. It’s believed that the lack of ambition combined with easy accessibility to money have left individuals like this without a way to live up to expectations in their generations.

Another example would be a gentleman by the name of Gottfried Von Bismarck who was the great great grandson of an Iron Chancellor in Prussia who helped build the German empire in the 19th century. It was rumored that this fellow would use cocaine every hour on the hour. It was probable that he never got over the death of his friend Olivia Channon who he met at college who was another aristocrat who died of a heroine overdose. It is a shame though that we as a culture are taught to aspire to great heights, but never is the realization that the same prestige, fortune and fame will be the debilitating factor for the next generation.

Religion –

Religion plays a more circadian role in poorer countries than those in wealthy countries. A survey done in 2009 by Gallup took 114 countries and examined the comparison with wealthy and poor countries and ties to a religious denomination. They found that countries like Niger, Yemen, Bangladesh had a 98% rate where the people said religion was an important factor. In places where the income per capita was $2,000 or lower the percentage of religious importance was 95%. While areas like UK showed only 27%, France 30%, Japan 24%, US 65%. Gallup suggests that the religion is more of a coping mechanism for daily life and family.

I don’t know if my report to you helped you access who has a better quality of life. If you look at it from a education perspective than being rich you literally born into learning and giving more opportunity for success from the time you can talk. On the other hand your children may suffer from your success and not be able to find their identity because they have to live up to yours. Health wise its pretty dead even and if you live in a poorer country you have a greater chance of being more devotional. I’ll let you decide.