More Spiritual Sharings

3/22/10 – Perfect peacefulness (comprising love, forgiveness, joy, and acceptance of all-that-is, all others, and oneself) is both cause and effect of spiritual wisdom, and vice-versa. Neither peace nor spiritual understanding is ever found apart from the other.


3/21/10 – When we ask our guiding spirit for another way to see all that is troubling us, and attentively await his answer, we can be sure we will always receive a brand-new, unexpected, surprising perception which will miraculously change everything.


3/20/10 – Power lies in all of us working peacefully together, and in none of us alone, because opposition weakens power, and weak power is a contradiction in terms. All that’s ever missing in any situation is our own willingness to share our love with all.


3/19/10 – Whatever thought, activity or task we do mindfully, joyfully, and in a spirit of love is a right choice, blessed by God, because we were created as one, to together create and extend love, learn and teach love, give and receive love, in all its forms.


3/18/10 – When we ask to know God’s will for us, we realize that what he wants for us is what we want—to lean upon his strength, grace and guidance, to be free from sacrifice, guilt, fear and weakness, and to be his own unique, powerful, loving expressions.


3/17/10 – When we’re feeling discouraged, we can give each one of our challenges over to God, remember that he celebrates, appreciates, loves, accepts and forgives us all unconditionally now, and begin again to faithfully accept, express and extend his love.


3/16/10 – We can give, receive, be and do more, when we seek and trust God’s guidance and miraculous outcomes, let go of guilt and fear, see only love or requests for it, and then surrender to God’s strength and healing as it works powerfully through us now.


3/15/10 – The term, “good,” comprises every expression of having, giving or receiving love, while the term, “evil,” comprises every expression of the fear of not having, giving or receiving love.


3/14/10- We can choose to joyfully contribute to God’s eternal process of creating, extending and expanding a loving spiritual reality, or stray temporarily into fearful, preoccupations; but we can change neither his outcomes nor his infinite patience.


3/13/10 – False humility is the illusion that we are weak and alone. True humility is the realization that we are powerful to the extent that we remember to ask for and rely upon God’s love, guidance and strength.


3/12/10 – Our purpose here is to share unconditional love in all its forms with all others. What should others’ purpose toward us be? We won’t ask that question anymore, when we learn to fulfill our own purpose perfectly, since we’ll already know the answer.


3/11/10 – We can’t solve our problems alone, because we’re feeling guilty, separate, inadequate, unlovable and unloving. But when we bring them openly to God, he solves them by freeing us to love ourselves and others unconditionally, as he loves all.


3/10/10 – Heaven is mindfulness, awareness and appreciation of the bountiful creation and eternal justice and love we all are and share; while hell is the misery of obliviousness to our one eternal, rich, abundant, innocent life and love, so generously given to all.


3/9/10 – We want to feel safe and loved, so we hurry to learn; but then we want to be right about what we’ve learned. Better to accept humbly how little we know, keep learning and loving, cherish our truths and welcome others’, and love the questions.


3/8/10 – Our bodies are useless for any purpose other than communicating love in all its forms. When we realize this, and when we have learned to use them only for loving, we’ll discover that we can communicate love just as freely and completely without them.


3/7/10 – To know what we “believe,” we can consider how we spend our lives. Beliefs which divide us from God and man mostly serve to depress, limit and harm us, while beliefs that draw us closer to love of God and all creation inspire joy, power and freedom.


3/6/10 – Our beliefs limit us to endure angry, fearful, separate lives weighted with guilt, resentment, hurry, competition, division, frustration, dread, suffering and despair, or they free us to celebrate joy, wholeness and peace, as one perfect, eternally-lovable creation.


3/5/10 – The eternal holy present is all there is, our only time to know God’s calming guidance, perspective and strength, our only time to live faithfully and fearlessly as innocent, loving, invaluable, beloved equals sharing peace, joy, purpose and oneness.


3/4/10 – Happiness is a choice about who we are. We can remind ourselves and others of our reality as joyful, peaceful, powerful, loving, beloved, eternal, innocent children of God, or suffer and die as hurried, vicious, vulnerable, sinful, guilty, punished mortals.


3/3/10 – We have no needs, changes or corrections to make, except to ask that God’s changeless, eternal peace and love might continuously see, greet, bless and give through us to that same changeless, eternal peace and love in others, in a limitless, endless cycle.


3/2/10 – Did a judgmental God create unequal, inadequate, guilty, helpless, miserable, doomed sinners, forever cast away from him? Or did a loving God create equal, innocent, lovable, beloved, loving, powerful, eternally joyous spirits, forever one with him?


3/1/10 – Meaning and peace always come from sharing our own unique, loving gifts with others—unless we use our gifts to gratify our egos, to inflate our little separate sense of self, or to build false concepts of superiority, specialness, difference or vindication.


2/28/10 – When we’re feeling afraid, defensive, confused, judgmental and alone, we can ask God to shine away the nothingness of our fears, and give us instead the loving, unifying perspectives which alone bring understanding and meaning to our relationships.


2/27/10 – Instead of seeing fearful, guilty, sorrowful bodies struggling toward death, we can ask to see now only the goodness, purity, innocence and eternal perfection in all, and thus remember with joy that we too are exactly as we were created and meant to be.


2/26/10 – We are boundlessly empowered when we use our unique talents, interests and abilities to support peace, healing and unity, to give and receive love and joy, and to encourage everyone else’s equal power to do the same.


2/25/10 – Relationships thrive when we recognize and appreciate one another as equally loved, innocent, eternal brothers and sisters, with no needs but to walk together in the holy present, joyfully learning, giving and receiving God’s boundless love.


2/24/10 – We are God’s expression, invulnerable in our eternal innocence and perfection, as we were meant to be. We witness our oneness when we entrust our problems, the instant they arise, to him who solves them, not with everyday illusions, but with truth.


2/23/10 – When I ask my guiding spirit to “decide for me,” I can then relax, confident that my priorities and energies will be directed thoughtfully and lovingly, and that I will have a busy, productive, peaceful day, keeping the highest interests of all in mind.


2/22/10 – Spiritual health, like physical health, thrives on discipline and vigilance. We can share God’s peace when we practice his presence, accept his love and grace, seek understanding and inspiration, and fully appreciate ourselves and all his beloved children.


2/21/10 – Peace, joy and love come to us when we share it. We can act out our cultural delusions of separation, lack, competition, pain, guilt, loss, death and retribution, or we can lovingly appreciate and enjoy our eternal oneness with God and his beloved creation.


2/20/10 – When we put all needs and all gifts under God’s guidance, and let go of everything but love—all guilt, fear, sacrifice, resentment, doubt, confusion—we can see and appreciate God in all his perfect, beloved children, and know all things are possible.


2/19/10 – At any moment, we can ask for and receive our guiding spirit’s help to see and accept ourselves and others with love, understanding and appreciation.


2/18/10 – God is one truth, one love, one meaning, one joy, one answer to all things. When we give, see, accept and love all things as he does, we will also understand and appreciate ourselves.


2/17/10 – When we ask our guiding spirit to help us stay lovingly in each present moment, we can let go of all our fears, and all negative thoughts about yesterdays and tomorrows.


2/16/10 – Our lives, as they unfold in all their beauty, complexity, pain, glory and tragedy, are God’s will, even when things seem to go wrong. Our job is to love and let-love. Our guilt and fear add nothing to life, but our love, acceptance and joy add a lot.


2/15/10 – God is the love in which I see everyone with full appreciation. I can let go of my fearful imaginings, and choose to see only through his loving, accepting, forgiving eyes all the beauty, purity and holiness that is his own beloved, eternal, perfect creation.


2/14/10 – I am God’s completion. His will and mine are the same—to share his joy and peace, not suffer pain. When I surrender to his guidance, and let him teach me to forgive, help, trust and appreciate every person in my life, I am choosing his peace and joy.


2/13/10 – God created us to learn about his love, communicate his love and extend his love, Nothing else matters or lasts. When we lose our way, God merely waits patiently for our return, saving all his love for us all, eternally.


2/12/10 – When we feel separated from others—attacked, unappreciated, resentful—we can remember to seek within the calm, certain reassurance of our shared spiritual reality as one eternal creation, one gift, one mind, one truth, one purpose, one love.


2/11/10 – There is never a shortage of love in any person or situation, but sometimes we let fear, guilt and judgment crowd love out. We can look at, and then surrender, all such concerns to God, who remembers that nothing except love matters, or means anything.


Sharing Spiritual Inspiration and Insights

Every day that I can, I meditate/pray/(or whatever word you want to call it) as early as I can. Usually I have personal questions or issues that seem pressing that day, so I attempt to articulate those questions as part of my meditation. Then I do some reading from a variety of inspiring sources. Then I summarize what I learned from that day’s meditations, questions and reading in a brief Spiritual Sharing.


I hope you will feel free to substitute (for the word “God” in the following meditations) your word that best describes or names the source of your experience of spiritual power, insight and understanding—whether God, guiding spirit, intuition, the unknowable, conscience, Hashem, inner knowing, natural understanding, deity, the Universe, friend, light, the Ineffable, creator, a favorite deity, I-Am-That-I-Am, or any other word or name that works for you. The many different linguistic, cultural, religious and experiential names we assign to our various but often uniquely personal spiritual experience and understanding of our higher power cannot change whatever may be its essence and nature.


It’s possible that I may someday attempt to publish this year’s worth of mediations. Thank you for your help, and for feedback too!



Daily Spiritual Sharing:


2/10/10 – We can help others best by recognizing that we don’t know how to—but God does. We can be fully present, accepting and loving. We can ask to see clearly, allow God to work through us appreciatively, encouragingly and forgivingly, and not interfere.


2/9/10 – When we limit the number of times we turn to our guiding spirit for insight, inspiration and help, we limit the number of daily problems, large and small, that we can resolve.


2/8/10 – Our happiness and strength arise from our undivided efforts to see, accept and lift ourselves and all others as God’s one perfect, unconditionally-beloved, eternal creation, to whom he has given everything, and with whom he is well-pleased.


2/7/10 – All apparent angry attacks and defensiveness conceal fearful pleas for healing and help. When we ask for God’s grace and vision, he lifts every imagined illusion and barrier to the love that sees only goodness and unity, and sets all things right.


2/6/10 – We get angry at others because we feel guilty about what we’ve done to them, not the other way around. And so we try to make ourselves feel better by dumping our guilt feelings on them, imagining we can rid ourselves of our guilt that way. We can’t.


2/5/10 – Human culture projects its fearful interpretation upon everyone’s actions, while spiritual guidance leads us to a more peaceful, loving vision. Thus, we can reactively interpret behavior as aggressive, or we can ask to see it as offering—or requesting—love.


2/4/10 – When we notice someone who frightens us—someone apparently sick or sad or desperate or angry—we can ask our guiding spirit for another way of seeing that person, not let our fear interfere, surrender the encounter to peace and inspiration, and relax.


2/3/10 – When we ask for clarity and guidance, we find out that what we need and want the most, but may have temporarily lost sight of, is exactly what God wills for us too. We are wholly supported in accomplishing this shared will—surely, safely, serenely, joyfully.


2/2/10 – We don’t understand our own needs. Our guiding spirit does, and will supply them, when we let go of our own ideas of what they are, and stop hurrying to fulfill them. Instead, we can be willing to ask, and receive.


2/1/10 – Gifts given resentfully, guiltily and fearfully, without loving thoughts, are unwelcome sacrifices, angry attacks, tradeoffs, payments for something. We imagine someone is demanding sacrifices of us, but we’re demanding them of ourselves.


1/31/10 – We are God’s one perfect beloved eternal expression. Bodies are for communicating unity, acceptance and love, and were never meant to be permanent. God bountifully comforts, inspires and strengthens the willing. Of what shall we be afraid?


1/30/10 – We can relate to one another as to God, and he to us—one good, whole, perfect creation, one value, one mind, one love, one request and one answer. We are his loving eyes and willing hands, and through us he extends his appreciation and meets every need.


1/29/10 – All our guiding spirit asks of us is our willingness that it be our guide. We don’t need to be strong, or sure, or wise, but merely willing.


1/28/10 – Our one real choice is whether or not to invite and follow our inner guidance. When we surrender to it, we’re happy, and when we don’t, we lose our way. This one powerful choice offers us vision, release from guilt and fear, and clarity of purpose.


1/27/10 – When we dedicate each situation, interaction and perceived conflict to a peaceful outcome, and look on everyone with appreciation and acceptance now, we can be assured that all will play their parts well, and that God will meet everyone’s needs.


1/26/10 – When things go wrong, we need do nothing. We can rest quietly, calmly, patiently, fearlessly, harmlessly—accepting and trusting in God’s peaceful, healing light, hope, inspiration, vision, power, insights, strength, and unconditional love.


1/25/10 – What if spirituality reveals a powerful higher reality not contradictory to science but unexplained by it? What if we share one transcendent mind and love? What if the universe is within, nothing is without, and we dream eternally in the heart of God?


1/24/10 – How do we know what’s the right thing to do? What makes us feel good. What makes us feel peaceful, loving, loved, at one with all of life. What relaxes, heals, warms us, lets us breathe, brings smiles and laughter, what feels right, what makes us happy.


1/23/10 – We can only give love, which is who and what we are—one love, one mind with our creator and his creation. Nothing else is eternal. Our bodies are temporary, a means of loving. We can choose to give and receive love only now. Nothing else matters.


1/22/10 – We create our own little separate realities by projecting our fears about the world outward onto others, and then letting their responses reinforce our beliefs. When we express and see instead only one loving, eternal reality, love’s witnesses appear.


1/21/10 – As we give now to our brother, and thus to ourselves and everyone, the eternal gifts we’ve received of peace, acceptance, love, appreciation and forgiveness, our eyes mirror our freedom from fear, past and future, change, mistakes, guilt, hurry, and time.


1/20/10 – Each of us creates his own little harmful, hostile, confusing, insane personal and cultural world of senseless mental fantasies and meaningless projections of guilt, judgment and fear—when all we ever need and want is to be in the circle of God’s love.


1/19/10 – God’s justice comprises his peace, life abundant, and life eternal. His love is unconditional, his forgiveness and patience infinite. We can be ignorant, confused, misguided, willful, crazy, dangerous and cruel, but never irredeemably “bad” or “evil.”


1/18/10 – When we feel inadequate, we’re judging God himself to be difficult, angry, impossible to please. God loves us now and always with unconditional love and infinite appreciation for our smallest gifts, which ripple perfectly through his beloved creation.


1/17/10 – Instead of letting guilt and fear hold us back from the love we could be giving and receiving, we can use them as reminders to ask God to share with us—and through us—his comforting vision of one unified, beloved, forgiven, eternally perfect creation.


1/16/10 – We can experience the power and the memory of God anytime that we want nothing else. We can ask for it, welcome it, and then await the coming of God’s bright, beautiful, revealing, comforting, illuminating, reassuring, guiding, restful presence. 


1/15/09 – What if this life isn’t the only “chance” we get? What if somehow we go on forever in an eternal present, one with all creation and its accepting, loving creator, just as he intended? Why cling blindly to a tragic cultural vision of a brief, hurried, guilty life?


1/14/10 – When we let God work powerfully and lovingly through us, he heals our illusion that we are separate, divided, competing mortals, and shows us that we are forever one in him—free to be, do, have and share everything we need and want.


1/13/10 – When we ask God for guidance, he who sees his creation as one, equal, beloved and eternal, will move us away from all sense of isolation, guilt and fear, and toward choices that are in the best interests of everyone and everything—that is, our own.


1/12/10 – We can ask God to share with us his vision of one perfect creation all equally and forever blessed with everything we could want and need, and for the healing strength we need to free ourselves now from all guilty illusions of a past that is, after all, gone.


1/11/10 – We are most powerful when we merely accept everything and everyone as-is, without opposing, comparing or defending, letting the goals of acceptance and peace inspire all our relationships, interactions, decisions, conflicts and endeavors.


1/10/10 – God helps us drop our cultural blindfolds—the judgment, guilt and fear which fog and obscure our sight of others and ourselves as-we-are and were meant to be—his unique, beloved, beautiful, human, muddled, messy, forgiven, perfect creation.


1/9/10 – God is not at home in our separateness, but in our relationships. We know his peace when we let go of imagined “safety” barriers of guilt and fear between ourselves and others, choosing instead to rest calmly in immutable innocence and oneness.


1/8/10 – We can walk joyfully along our eternal path of now by walking together with others—neither before nor behind—seeing ourselves as God does, as his one perfect, beloved creation and will, and letting go with him our human blindness to that light.


1/7/10 – We can rest together where time begins and ends, one with another and our peaceful guiding spirit, healed, forgiven, released from past guilt and future fear, filled with the inspiration and creative possibilities inherent in a loving, innocent, eternal now.


1/6/10 – A focus upon one single healing purpose comprising acceptance, appreciation, help, forgiveness and love toward all things offers stability and meaning to life. All other perspectives—on ourselves and each other, our activities and goals—result only in guilt.


1/5/10 – When we humbly accept God’s miraculous healing of all our past errors and imagined future fears, we can once again live joyfully and appreciatively in the present moment, seeing in ourselves and everyone only reflections of his light, grace and love.


1/4/10 – When we see ourselves as temporary, threatened individuals, we compete and attack.When we remember our essence and eternal value as beloved co-creators with God and all, life is joyful, loving, purposeful, cooperative, productive, peaceful, meaningful.


1/3/10 – Giving and receiving acceptance now miraculously changes and heals the past while creating a peaceful, happy future. If we drag our own and others’ past mistakes into our present moments, when will we envision, create and share a different kind of future?


1/2/10 – All that we give is wholly shared, because God’s creation isn’t separate, but one. God’s love is given and received in an eternal creative cycle, to us and through us. Our only limit on giving and receiving is our willingness to ask, receive, give, and appreciate.


1/1/10 – When we accept and mindfully practice union—peace, kindness, acceptance, love—as our highest relationship goal, all our interactions, communications, conflicts, giving, creativity, work, play and all our other priorities feel miraculously supported.


12/31/09 – Who might be harmed if we all consistently chose to project upon one another—and ourselves—a warm, caring, positive, empathetic, optimistic vision of their/our human potential, capacity, and possibilities? Who might benefit?


12/30/09 – All guilty, sad, hard things of the past, all scary possibilities of the future, are just illusions that mess everyone up in the present moment. Everything that is joyous, loving and giving happens now, this moment, when we let all past and future fears go.


We can pass on, encourage, enkindle either fear or love. Let’s choose love. And when we or others forget, we can let it go and choose once again. Love is the most powerful force in the universe, while fear is nothingness. Choose love, and choose love, and choose love.


Fear erases whole-heartedness—all appreciation, all reasonable, loving perspectives, and everything we know to be true, replacing them with insanity, cruelty and chaos. We can always, right now, choose love over fear.


Love isn’t sacrifice. Union can’t be found in bondage. Love is freedom. As we release others from their separations-through-sacrifice, we will find ourselves released to be free, loving and as one, and available to receive their comforting love in return.


“Special” relationships are only harmful when they hold us to guilt about the past and fear of the future. “Special” relationships work only when we give freely of our appreciation and acceptance in the present, and let go of past and future illusions.


People are motivated by only two things: a wish to help, or a wish to be helped. No other interpretation of others’ motivations is ever accurate, and when we guess or assume some other motivation, our response to them will have nothing to do with anyone’s reality.


All we ever need from others is: their permission to love and give to them, or their gracious loving responses to our moments of fear, regardless of what form our fear takes—whether anger, judgment, attack, defensiveness, withdrawal or misunderstanding.


When we learn to interpret others’ every action as either loving, or a request for some kind of loving—whether help, kindness, acceptance, gentleness, appreciation—life gets simple, kind, friendly, relaxed, peaceful. And when we forget, we can begin again, now.


The whole world is as we are. If we send out messages of peace and love and giving, they will return to us. If we send out messages of fear—anger, guilt, attack—they will be returned to us. Love the world and watch it love you back.


We are love—beloved, loving, and eternally one with all and a loving God. When we momentarily forget this visionary truth, we feel alone and guilty, because we have rejected God’s unconditional, universal gift. We can accept and share it once again.


The pressure and pain of continual judgment and fear—from within and without—wears us all down. God sees us only now, as innocent, perfect and beloved. When we ask his help to see ourselves and others as he sees us, all judgment and weariness disappear.


God wants us to accept ourselves, him and one another, as a loving circle of support. He wants us to let go of all our illusions of a condemning, angry, vengeful, impatient, impossible, unforgiving God who expects us to understand and know everything already.


Instead of focusing on guilt, vengeance, resentment and anger, we can stop attaching demands, bondage or expectations to our “special” relationships, and instead seek, see and accept in ourselves only our own highest, holiest, loving and forgiven innocence.


Right now, there is no such thing as conflicting needs or confusing motivations or angry illusions. Right now, we have no need but to share God’s mysterious, incomprehensible, irrational, unexplainable, ineffable, eternal, unconditional love, acceptance, appreciation.


The cause of fear is illusion—that we are separate, defective, competing, imperfect, mortal selves, hurrying to be superior to others before we die. The cure for fear is accepting that we are eternal, equal, one, and unconditionally loved by God.


12/29/09 – I am committed to being, knowing, seeing, sharing, expressing, honoring, welcoming, embracing, accepting and appreciating only God’s one whole eternal, infinite, perfect, loving, powerful, sane, peaceful, innocent, meaningful creation.


12/28/09 – All the sad, guilty, hard things of the past, all the scary possibilities of the future, are just illusions that mess everyone up in the present moment. Everything that is joyous, loving and giving happens now, when we let past and future fears go.


12/27/09 – When we’re upset, the only way to return to peace and love is to be peaceful and loving. We’re never upset for the reasons we think—injustice, who is right, unfairness, unkindness, selfishness, anger, weariness—but because we’re afraid.


12/26/09 – All our fears are about “past” and “future”—mere verbiage, concepts, words about time which never occur. Only an eternal series of nows really happens. With God, we can handle anything now. Now is also the only time we can change past and future.


12/25/09 – The only gifts which are loving, useful, and acceptable to others and God are those offered in appreciation and love, never those given out of fear, selfishness, guilt or sacrifice.


12/24/09 – We are one creation, eternal, infinite, equal, unlimited, whole, unshakeable, miraculous, powerful, peaceful, beloved—and usually asleep in dreams of separateness, dreaming we are competing, joyless, suffering, sinful, finite mortals.


12/23/09 – We can be only goodness. We can inhale, exhale, think, ask for, receive, see, know, share, speak, hear, accept, teach, learn, express, envision, feel, choose, create—only goodness.


12/22/09 – Sacrifice isn’t love. It’s the opposite of love—an attempt to kill it, control it, and replace it with guilt. Giving freely with God’s strength and guidance of our highest self at each moment—to ourselves, to all—is love.


12/21/09 – We are free to see God in everyone—expressed as unlimited, innocent, joyous, good, beautiful, loving, gifted, abundant, wise, eternal be-ing, one, in and with all.


12/20/09 – A God of love, our source and nature, never created fear, evil and guilt, but only eternal love, which we can embrace or postpone, but never change. God’s beloved eternal creations honor him and each other by creatively extending his love in his image.


12/19/09 – When we let go of another’s wickedness, cluelessness, obtuseness, mistakes and attacks, we forgive ourselves too, and peace and truth dawn on us both. When we appreciate rather than condemn, innocence is reflected from wherever we bestowed it.


12/18/09 – Why act out human suffering, despair, anger, resentment, guilt, defensiveness, loss, limitation and death, when God offers his beloved eternal children forgiveness, joy, wisdom, strength, guidance, peace, love and endless abundance, forever?


12/17/09 – The only goals that bring satisfaction, healing, peace and love are those which offer these continually to ourselves and others. We can lean on God’s strength, live our faith, trust his loving guidance, and let all weakness, guilt, anger and fear go.


12/16/09 – We can practice willingness to see things God’s way anytime, so when we most need his perspective—in moments of conflict, panic, confusion, fear, weariness, anger—we will remember to ask for it, certain of its healing, transforming power.


12/15/09 – If we were mere mortals, we might reasonably feel doubt, guilt, weakness and defensiveness. But God is real, and well-pleased with his beloved children. We can choose to live, express and see only this strong, certain faith in ourselves and in everyone.


12/14/09 – When we have learned to always choose love over fear in every situation, we will be free to focus on creatively choosing how best and most usefully to express that love from moment to moment.


12/13/09 – As God’s willing, human, eternal creation, we put our trust in his strength, guidance and unconditional forgiveness, and devote each moment to courageously, joyously, uniquely, humbly and powerfully expressing and sharing his boundless love.


12/12/09 – We exhale panic, confusion, frustration, resentment and helplessness; inhale God’s perspective, guidance and strength; and focus confidently, trustingly, calmly, lovingly and completely upon doing the next right thing with his holy gift of now.


12/11/09 – We can heal the walls between ourselves and others when we let go with God all our present and past guilt, sins, mistakes and errors—and see others as equally free of theirs. Accepting and sharing God’s forgiveness releases us to love and be loved anew.


12/10/09 – Our everyday priorities, activities and interests are rewarding and meaningful only in context and service to our highest spiritual goals—peace, love, understanding and acceptance of God’s will (“what-is”), forgiveness, and our oneness with God and man.


12/9/09 – We are God’s will, forever loved, learning and forgiven. Our loving thoughts are infinitely transformative, creative, powerful and eternal. We ask God to express himself joyfully through us now, letting go with him distracting imaginings of past guilt.


12/8/09 – Giving and receiving love joyfully reminds us of our oneness with God and his eternally loving creation. Guilt, suffering, attack, deprivation, need, unfairness and death are all fearful, meaningless, ephemeral illusions of separation from this holy relationship.


12/7/09 – We are eternally learning, loving and forgiven spirits. Time itself, as well as suffering, aging, everyday concerns, wars, catastrophes, mistakes, and all our everyday choices are urgent only insofar as they postpone or hasten our peace, joy and oneness.


12/6/09 – We learn—and teach—best from approaching the good, not from avoiding the bad. God helps us focus on what brings joy, not pain.


12/5/09 – All relationships are reflections of our relationship with God. We are his eternal creation and expression, sharing one mind, one love, one purpose.


12/4/09 – When we feel tension building with someone, we can remember to turn the relationship over to God, dedicate it and the conflict to the goal of peace, be honest, gentle, forgiving and appreciative of both, listen calmly, and ask thoughtful questions.


12/3/09 – Strain, weariness, and confusion disappear when we share with God his undivided will to love, lift, forgive, help and comfort all his children, to recognize only our eternal goodness, and to support only our eternal greatness.


12/2/09 – When we feel fearful, confused, dispirited, hopeless, uncertain, pulled in various directions, unloved and unlovable, we can be sure we are not communing with God, nor relying upon his guidance and strength.


12/1/09 – Union is always universal and unconditional completion, extendable infinitely and lovingly to everyone. Separate, special, exclusive “unions” are counterproductive, disappointing, impossible oxymora.


11/30/09 – What few know, and even those few too often forget, is that in God’s eyes, we are all exactly the same, equally and eternally blessed with an infinite amount of love, forgiveness and appreciation to share with others.


11/29/09 – All we ever need remember to do in any situation is ask God to share with us his unique perspective on our every sorrow, trouble, challenge, pain, guilt, fury, conflict, frustration and fear, and then peacefully await his sure, clear answer.


11/28/09 – Guilt is insane and blasphemous when God has joyfully offered to each of us, his prodigal sons and daughters, immediate and unconditional love and forgiveness for all the mistakes we would leave behind us.


11/27/09 – The light and joy in others’ eyes strengthens our faith by reminding us that God works lovingly and powerfully through us.


11/26 – When we refuse to see shortcomings in others, and instead see only their eternal value as God’s beloved children, we remember our own lovability, value and oneness as an essential and indispensible part of God’s one, single, unified, eternal, perfect creation.


11/25/09 – When we learn to see only the joyous, beloved and loving eternal spirit in everyone, we will see a beautiful world where death, suffering and time are irrelevant,


11/24/09 – Instead of seeing cruelty, evil, error, ignorance, obliviousness, selfishness and foolishness, we can choose to see in others only the beloved and learning spiritual beings they are, acting only upon one of two goals: either offering others love, or asking for it.


11/23/09 – We can rest our faith, peace and love in the powerful, unconditional, universal love that God channels though us, instead of in our demands and expectations for others’ behavior.


11/22/09 – In quietness and peace, we allow God’s forgiving miracles to work through us, and do not interfere,


11/21/09 – We each made our own weird, private, personal, completely insane and incommunicable worlds of fear, so we can release them to God, and decide to share with others only our love, which is always perfectly understood by everyone.


11/20/09 – Even if we can’t understand it, we can accept and use the unshakable grace and faith we are granted, along with our desire to be holy, share God’s will, and be wholly helpful, kind and forgiving.


11/19/09 – When we start our day asking for God’s strength and guidance, we can then listen, trust, work and rest peacefully.


11/18/09 – When we feel tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, we can let go and let God’s inexhaustible and certain strength and power work through us.


11/17/09 – When we feel defensive, we can ask to see ourselves as the eternally lovable, loving, forgiven creation God sees.


11/16/09 – We can accept, forgive and love ourselves when we are willing to allow each present moment just to be what it is.


11/15/09 – All God’s children are forever safe, unconditionally loved and joyously supported. Our bodies are temporary, our spirits eternal.


11/14/09 – When we are frozen in fear and guilt from past pain, we can ask to see things differently, as God sees, who loves his whole creation unconditionally and eternally now, as-is, just as he created us to be. Then we can let go and let God, and rest in his peace.


11/13/09 – Spiritual sight is always wholly helpful, because love attracts love to itself by offering and seeing it everywhere. When we ask continually for spiritual light, all paths work. When other perspectives distract us, even our sincerest efforts come to nothing.


11/12/09 – We want only to ask for, accept, give, receive and see the eternal light, peace, love, strength, joy and forgiveness of God in all that we do, in everyone, and in everything.


11/11/09 – When we carry guilt around, we’re seeing ourselves and the world as hopelessly unteachable and unforgivably mortal. We can choose instead to accept, affirm and see all about us as unconditionally loved and loving, learning, forgiven, eternal.


11/10/09 – Whenever we consistently ask for and apply God’s guidance, we are his accepting, forgiving, loving expression, and our lives work. When we decide to go it alone for a bit, our lives fall apart. God merely waits in infinite patience and love for our return to joy.


11/9/09 – Knowing how divided our minds are, why would we choose to direct ourselves, rely upon our own strength, or be our own teachers? We can resign now, and surrender our every need and undivided attention to our constant, clear, unlimited Teacher.


11/8/09 – With God’s consistent guidance, strength and love peacefully flowing through us, we can let go of all attacks—our own attacks upon ourselves, our attacks on others, and others’ attacks on us.


11/7/09 – When we’re feeling afraid, overwhelmed, confused, weak and estranged from God and man, we can surrender our simple willingness to allow God’s strength and loving purpose to work peacefully and powerfully through us.


11/6/09 – Our decisions—to hand over our fearful thoughts to God, and to share with others only our loving ones—increase our loving thoughts and reduce our fearful ones.


11/5/09 –We can remember God’s power, light, love, and healing forgiveness whenever we use and share that power with everyone.


11/4/09 – We begin our day by turning it over to God’s guidance, and promise to ask again for that guidance at each difficult moment.


11/3/09 – Our loving, appreciative responses to others’ fears are reminders that we are all unified in God’s love, and that we need never fear loss or separation from that love.


11/2/09 – As we humbly ask for God’s love, healing and forgiveness to flow through us, we are one with him, and become his perfect answer to every problem.


11/1/09 – When we trust God enough to ask him, often, for understanding, meaning, help, love—and for the answer to every problem—he will remind us that his answer already lies in us.


10/31/09 – In an eternal, but also in a practical sense, “reality” is not “out there” but rather “in here”—in the loving thoughts we all share with each other and with God. A “realist” then, is aware only of the love that is everyone, everything, everywhere.


10/30/09 – We recognize and nurture our own limitless value when we see and nurture that same equal and limitless value in everyone.


10/29/09 – Living joyfully in the light of God’s unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness of our humanity is co-conditional and inextricably intertwined with joyfully sharing that same unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness with all his children.


10/28/09 – We are exactly alike in our interdependence upon each other and our Source as a loving whole. We are completely unique in freely channeling that love through our lives, relationships, creations, productions, expressions.


10/27/09 – The way to God is to see everything and everyone, including yourself, with love and without blame. God and his creation comprise a perfect, eternal, loving whole. What is not love doesn’t exist, last, or matter.


10/26/09 – God answers prayers for peace and rest by removing our fearful, negative thoughts and replacing them with powerful, positive thoughts we use to encourage others.


10/25/09 – All God needs from us is one second of willingness, when things feel scary, to let him stoke our tiny sputtering spark of love into a bonfire.


A Very Good Save-the-World Software Development Idea. Please Help Yourself! :-)

Will some brilliant programmer please step up and design a google-type software program that can linguistically analyze and determine a speaker/writer’s cooperative tone and intent?


Your new program could identify and distinguish among those writers/speakers whose communications promote a sense of division, partisanship, negativity, polarization, blame, attack, incivility, rudeness, destructiveness, unfriendly competition, bickering and hate—and those promoting a sense of positivity, creativity, life-affirmation, support, harmony, acceptance, forgiveness, productivity, civility, courtesy, equality of opportunity, caring, cooperation and unity.


Your software could have endless useful and profitable applications. For immediate profitability, please consider using your product for security purposes, to helpfully ward off unfriendly attacks and attackers (of whatever kind) upon individuals and enterprises (of whatever kind.)


Imagine leaders young and old in every field vying for their communications to be screened and certified via your software. Why not simultaneously award a “Truth-bearer” (or some other such logo) “gold seal of approval” identifying individuals and organizations as positive communicators, healers, light-bearers?


Your prestigious and desirable software “accreditation” could motivate many people to investigate and understand the important distinctions between peaceful and contentious communication purposes, and to recognize and encourage humanity-unifying goals as non-threatening and potentially beneficial to all earthlings, while discouraging communications with adversarial, hostile ends. Your software would also surely stoke national dialogue, while heightening awareness about the many distinct (although often confusingly-disguised) differences between helpful and harmful human communications. Your software would take care not to exclude any gentle, friendly, cooperative practitioner of any ideology, religion, political party, nation, organization, affiliation, etc.


One important goal of your software would be to educate. Hopefully, everyone would eventually become enlightened enough to merit universal inclusivity (by acting as good, positive communicators) according to your accrediting software, which might also be developed Wikipedically, or perhaps Amazon-style—i.e., open-sourced, by inviting motivated reviewers and voters opportunities not only to build your site, but also to offer feedback opportunities and provide needed talent to shape and debug upgrades and develop next-generation software.


Recipients of your approving nods (such as Nobel prize winners and mild-mannered third-graders) could proudly display and announce their cherished new affiliation and certification on their websites, on Facebook, business cards, in TV commercials and advertising, on coffee cups, tee-shirts, shopping bags….


Additionally, your software could assist web surfers to more-judiciously select helpfully-screened websites, products and opinions as the very ones they will most benefit from investigating. Perhaps your software could also eventually include a function which would recognize and refute inappropriate co-opters of your symbol of acceptance and stamp of approval—an iterative process that would call out abusers while encouraging more awareness and discussion.


Your software will stimulate lively dialogue; increase the impact and number of creative, thought-provoking, and controversial-but-civil exchanges; reduce (by virtue of indifference and neglect) the quantity and influence of divisive communications arising anywhere in the world; universally improve facility in verbal and mental processing of complexities, innuendo and nuances; and inspire us all to pull together cooperatively to resolve our common personal, local and global problems.


While you're programming, please give extra points for humor?


And if you're not a programmer, but merely a earthlinged, godlinged promosapient like me, please pass this idea on to any similarly-inclined programming/software folk or foundations, or to whomever might be interested!


Thank you…. 🙂


Nancy Pace




















































































Roadmap to Peace

Peaceful political arrangements in the Middle East are a good place to start, but real and lasting peace will come only when, one-by-one, we in the United States and Iran and Iraq and China and Israel and Palestine and everywhere else, we Christians and Jews and Muslims and Buddhists and atheists alike, first humbly strive to embrace peace in our own hearts, endure injustices without adding to their sum, renounce violent resolution of conflicts, and offer to all others in this and every nation that same forgiveness, acceptance, and love we so long for ourselves (the universal “Golden Rule.”)

Is Islamic Extremism ‘the Problem’? Is Endless War ‘the Answer’? How Can We Stop Terrorism?

We can’t just turn the other cheek to angry Islamic extremists, and we can’t fight an endless, economy-breaking, un-winnable war against terrorists either. Talk show simpletons say “just nuke ‘em all,” but even President Bush admits that America must “change the conditions that moved nineteen kids to come on airplanes to murder our citizens.”


And we’d be upset too, if Islamic nations had done to our country what we’ve done to them. To the world’s Muslims, our attacks have not been isolated incidents, but part of a long chain of conspiracies in a war upon Islam itself.


Western powers have indeed killed and wounded millions of Muslims during the last century, blighting their livelihoods and dreams with little consideration for justice, political freedom, and tolerance. Most of us in the West aren’t even aware of this tragic history of Western interference in Islamic nations. Our mainstream press has tiptoed around topics unpopular with their corporate sponsors, and TV and radio send out a torrent of xenophobia from reckless demagogues portraying Islam as a destructive ideology that has brought all its problems upon itself.


Americans express outrage at attacks on American soldiers, but turn a deaf ear to the pleas of millions of Iraqi war refugees desperate for asylum from our wars. We express indignation when an Israeli dies, but can’t be bothered to count—much less mourn—the untold Muslim victims of our Middle East wars. This double standard would shock us if the oceans of propaganda we swim in daily did not prevent our awareness of it.


Terrorism, like war, is a continuation of politics “by other means.” Grieving and jobless Muslim youth “join up” with terrorist forces in hopes of prevailing against regional and international foes, just as American youths patriotically join the armed services to donate their young bodies in service to their government’s many goals, and end up killing innocent strangers, or dying, or being maimed, only for the mercenary protection and expansion of far-flung corporate/economic interests.


Our country has never been invaded by Muslims, nor, credibly, by anyone else. We spend an annual military budget larger than the next fourteen largest nations combined–in total, 45% of the entire military spending in the whole world–on attacks on and within the homelands of foreigners who have never come anywhere near our homes. We have over 600 military bases all over the world. All this pretense of “defense” of America…even though former Secretary of State Madeline Albright guilelessly admitted after 9/11 that “…’homeland security’ is something people hadn’t really thought of before.”


For years, we’ve been instructed that our wars against Islam were fought defensively in response to 1400 years of aggressions in adherence to obscure Islamic scriptures urging global conquest and the spread of Islam by the sword. Few Americans realize that the Crusades were an unimaginably cruel and bloody centuries-long Western invasion of Islamic lands, or that for more than three hundred years, English adventurers penetrating Middle Eastern society have drawn up elaborate plans for assuming control through colonization, plans later pursued by a newly imperialistic America.


Some think our attacks on Islam well-intentioned—i.e., we hope to save misguided Muslims from themselves—so blind are we to the failings of our own brash young culture, and to the glories and losses of ancient Islamic ones. Of course Muslims/Arabs long for many changes of various kinds—but only those changes which arise from their own efforts, not from external interference, and certainly not from foreign aggressors. Americans wouldn’t appreciate foreign occupiers telling us how to live either. Different cultures with long separate traditions and histories, with different assumptions about values, beliefs, practices and ideals, have no business forcing themselves on other cultures. Many Muslim women, for instance, await the day they can move about more freely without their coverings; nevertheless, without exception, there are no Muslim women who want strangers to come from far away to shoot their fathers, sons and brothers in order to secure their “rights” for them.


In today’s brave new world of the internet, freedom of information is no longer a luxury, but a requirement for economic growth—so change will come to every remote corner of the globe, faster than puny humanity can thoughtfully adapt to it. The important question is not “Will things change?” but “How will things change?” While some people will always be more resistant to change than others, change will come to everyone, everywhere, inevitably. No one can stop it. We will all ultimately influence one another, for the better or for the worse, as we choose.


As long as we strove to live up to our ideals, America was a beacon to the world, effectively marketing our highest values of freedom and human rights worldwide. However, since we’ve begun to rely primarily upon our military, and not our moral strength during the last century, since we have used our might primarily to support the greedy ambitions of unscrupulous corporate profiteers, we have temporarily lost our persuasive influence for positive international change.


We now have only a “shrewd” Secretary of State who refuses dialogue with opposing states, and who bribes and bullies our nervous “allies” into tolerating our unfair international practices. Where is our strong, cabinet-level U.S. Department of Peace, promoting global peace and harmony? Where are our official national ambassadors of compassion and justice, sharing our expertise, riches and good will with all nations and all peoples? How do the puny efforts grounded in our highest patriotic and religious ideals and heritage stack up against our unlimited expenditures for endless war?


The literate class in the Muslim world certainly blames the U.S. for oppressing Muslim states. As cruelly and certainly as war kills both body and spirit, so do economic and political exploitations kill, maim and warp lives. Western nations have been meddling politically, financially and militarily throughout the twentieth century, repressing democratic movements and political freedoms throughout all Arab nations, propping up Western-friendly dictators, failing to promote good governance and economic advancement, and neglecting to address rapidly-changing social, demographic and economic developmental challenges. Islamic extremism will continue to thrive until Muslim youth everywhere are offered real hope of political and economic improvements.


During the twentieth century, U.S.-based international corporations backed by powerful military forces reliably insured a steady flow of oil westward at bargain basement prices, while suppressing the economic development and progress of the countries which owned that finite, precious resource. Increasingly, our goal has been military and economic hegemony in the Middle East, by way of incursions into Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel/Palestine, Somalia, Western Sudan, Kashmir, the Philippines, Bosnia, Chechnya, Assam, and East Timor. Besides fighting to insure “our” cheap, reliable oil “supply,” we’ve insisted on favorable trade advantages, prevented the spread of nuclear weapons (with the exception, of course, of our own thousands of weapons, and those of our allies) and supported and protected our friend Israel, in part because such support offers us a conveniently aggressive military wedge/base into the Middle East.


Angry Muslims believe that we want to weaken and divide the Arab world, shake the foundations of Islamic belief, and dismantle the structures of Muslim society—their culture, traditions, and their approaches to justice, government, rights, and freedom, however controversial. They believe we want to lead their young people astray, control and limit their use of and profit from their resources, and emasculate and neutralize all opposition to our agenda by spreading our competing western values and influence.


Many Muslims believe that we in the West very much want to keep their countries backward, afflicted, poor and miserable, so we can more easily exploit their riches—their oil, land and human resources. They attribute America’s historical political and economic success not to a morally, economically and politically superior system of government, but to a two-hundred year exploitation of the richest swath of virgin territory and resources that the world has ever known, on the backs of slaves and slaughtered Native Americans, using a form of government primarily supportive of the growth of wealth (the U.S. was originally settled by capitalist business ventures in Jamestown, Plymouth, etc.) and backed up by a growing military force which turned next to support for similar profitable exploitations in the third world.


The West’s war against Islam is considered criminally immoral by the millions of peaceful/innocent non-“enemy” Muslims who have been the “collateral damage” of western aggressions. Like Americans, Arabs have the right to keep and/or sell their resources whenever and at whatever price they prefer. They feel their only hope is to resist and endure Western onslaughts until their undeserved suffering redemptively earns them international sympathy and respect—and/or breaks the American economy—as their resistance broke the national economies of the late great Soviet and British empires.


Muslims pray that the U.S. will lose their political will for unending war, that media backlash from our allies will eventually convince us of endless war’s tragic and wasteful effects. A survey of 47 major nations by Pew Research recently demonstrated that “global public opinion (is) increasingly wary of the world’s dominant nations (and) disapproving of their leaders. Anti-Americanism is extensive, as it has been for the past five years…. Global support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism is shrinking, and distrust of American leadership and foreign policy is growing. Not only is there worldwide support for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, but there also is considerable opposition to U.S. and NATO operations in Afghanistan.”


The biggest problem with fighting an endless war on terrorism is that such a war does nothing at all to resolve the terrorist problem, while creating more terrorists. Wars on terrorism are wars no one wins and everyone loses.


Nevertheless, U.S. war profiteers continue to press for expanded wars throughout the Middle East and elsewhere, opportunistically portraying Islam not as a peaceful religion practiced variously by a billion people, not as a tolerant, moderate, ancient faith with a rich tradition of scholarship, compatible with political democracy and religious pluralism, but instead, as a fundamentalist terrorist cult different from all other religions in its aggressive global political agenda, solely responsible for atrocities, civil wars, attacks on Americans, the 9/11 tragedy, and for disgusting practices such as stonings and beheadings–an “evil religion” deserving of annihilation by “the pure gospel of Jesus Christ.”


Stereotypes of Islam as a monolithic religion predisposed to violence simplify the realities of a complex, multi-faceted religion. Some Islamists, like some fundamentalist Christians, pervert what is in essence a peaceful religion, through violent cults bent on universal conversion and conquest—but we can’t blame the whole of either Islam or of Christianity for such aberrations. As in Christianity, there is simply too much diversity within Islam, which has its own versions of Jesus Freaks and criminally violent cults, but also its spiritual mystics and its vast majority of family-centered, civic-minded, peaceful—if very human—communities. As with Christianity, the educated (or uneducated) conscience of each individual Muslim determines his interpretation about “what is Islam” and what is “true Muslim practice.” Like Christians, Muslims can find congregations and leaders who support just about any strain of peaceful or reactionary religious practice, in both secular and Islamic societies.


Millions of Christians currently live in Arab countries, sharing very much the same culture as their Muslim counterparts, just as Muslims in America share much of our American culture. Unarguably, some Muslim leaders are intransigent and fearful, and some fundamentalist Muslims are as crazy as loons—just like some of our own crazy leaders and fundamentalist Christians, who would nuke whole Arab nations right now. But just because each culture has its crazies doesn’t give anyone the right to attack all Christians or all Muslims in “self-defense.” No society can prevent all senseless, tragic injustices, but we do not have to add to their sum.


Some Muslims believe an Islamic state best-suited to achieving Islamic ideals, just as Americans are partial to their own familiar political systems–however imperfect all these political systems are. Some Muslims see Al-Qaeda jihadists as legitimate martyrs, just as we honor the sacrifices and good intentions of our own fallen soldiers even when their wars are discredited. Some Muslims believe stoning and beheading to be true Islamic practices, just as some of our own Christians sects still practice exorcism, voodoo and other bloody or satanic rituals. Most otherwise-peaceful Christians would react violently if America were invaded, just as, during wartime in Arab lands, otherwise-peaceful sects react with what appears to be religiously-inspired violence, making it difficult to consistently distinguish among essentially peaceful groups.


Religion can be misused in any land, whether Christian or Jewish or Muslim—to win votes, to gain political power and control, to further various nationalist and ethnic motives. Just as political electioneering in America relies upon familiar, emotion-stirring patriotic and Judeo/Christian words and images, politics in Arab lands come clothed in the garb of Islam. Like our own neoconservative opportunists, radical Islamic opportunists urge their political ideologies and associated plans—whether for a utopian future embracing Sharia law and rejecting secularism and all things foreign, or for world domination and a global empire run by international corporations—all these unscrupulous politicians (whether clerical or secular) urge their dark visions using religion as a motivator for change, and not the other way around.


In their worst forms, both Islam and Christianity encourage violence and persecution. At best, both are cooperative, tolerant religions. Surprisingly, within contemporary American society, Muslims often seem to be almost more christian than Christians, since modern Christianity has stripped down (to the distress of some and the satisfaction of others) under the influences of modern media, academia and consumer economics to the two primary commandments of “love God and love your neighbor”—while encouraging widely varying interpretations about what these two commandments might mean.


Like most traditional Christian congregations, most American Muslim congregations resist the blandishments of Western media and money which are making so many inroads into modern Christian lifestyles. Most Muslim congregations in America remain deeply devoted to traditional moral principles and values, to avoidance of evaluating people on the basis of what they produce and consume, and—for better or worse—to clearly-defined gender expectations, including a firm rejection of sodomy, pornography, gay lifestyles, abortion and birth control. American Muslims also strongly commit to generous giving, to volunteerism, large families, and to other related traditions embraced by many Christians. Islam’s firm resistance to the biblically-forbidden practice of usury (lending at interest) has long remained a thorn in the side of American capitalists.


Some Christians are concerned that American Muslims will parlay their success in resisting modern/Western temptations in order to lure new converts from Christianity, and thus conquer the West via a sort of stealth attack through immigration without assimilation. Unfortunately, such paranoia is often stoked by demagogic Christian ministers fearful of losing their congregations (and their livelihoods), pastors who might better serve their flocks, their Saviour, and God by trusting in them and turning their examples and service toward higher, more inclusive, more loving goals.


If we stop “warring” on terrorism, we can still firmly resist the crime of terrorism wherever it occurs in the world, by partnering with criminal justice organizations in all governments, most especially those in need of our good example and support.


The very best way to reverse Islamic terrorism, though, is step-by-step, the same way it was created, by reversing the causes of anti-Americanism and extremist violence. Step-by-step, we can move away from a foreign policy of violence-based international competition toward one embracing non-violent global cooperation. Neither approach to ending terrorism is simple, obvious or guaranteed. But only one has any chance of succeeding.


Our first step can be to recognize Islam’s highest priority, after the practice of their faith: to repel aggressors whom they fear will corrupt their religion or Muslim way of life. Out of respect for this principle, Western powers can withdraw their unwelcome pressure and influence along with their troops, and attend instead to the business and pleasure of dwelling and working in Islamic lands, as polite, invited guests respectful of different cultures and traditions.


We can find ways to work against religious and ethnic xenophobia, educating ourselves about historic predations in Arab lands, and promoting understanding and acceptance of Islamic perspectives.


A change of heart toward Islam can support expenditures for reparations to Iraqis and other injured parties, which will go a long way toward rebuilding good will and positive relationships among nations.


We can expand our diplomatic missions to so-called “hostile” nations, spending the money freed from foreign wars on more diplomacy and open dialogue, which will increase mutual understanding and respect, and diminish the likelihood of future wars.


We can demonstrate our good will by welcoming Iraqi refugees into the U.S., helping them create peaceful Muslim communities, and integrate into American civic life.


We can reform our own political system so that the will and welfare of the people can be heard above the demands of big business, the wealthy, corporations, lobbyists, and the military-industrial complex.


We can offer our generous support across the world only for indigenous, peaceful, representative political movements and leaders, whether or not they follow our familiar western parliamentary and constitutional models. We can promote dialogue and better understanding with regional and national organizations which have turned to violence under the pressure of wars and occupations, and together find peaceful, just solutions to conflicts.


We can work together to reduce the spread of nuclear and conventional weapons, first reducing our own to provide a convincing example.


We can purchase land in exchange for peace in Israel/Palestine, and offer our financial assistance only to peaceful leaders on all sides who reject the politics of fear and violence, who respect all ancestries, beliefs, and traditions, and who embrace inclusivity and equitability.


We can work toward respectful, peaceful, just and equitable trade relations with all nations.


We can build good will by respecting local ownership of resources, and offer our principled support in resolving problems of development, production and distribution.


We can work to redirect and downsize our military forces to those necessary only for homeland defense, reduce the global spread of arms, and end the global influence of our own home-grown American military/industrial complex.


We can generously fund the establishment and stated goals of the proposed cabinet-level U.S. Department of Peace


We can reform and rebuild the U.N. into a universally trusted and respected world body, effective in furthering its noble goals.


We can fully fund national peacekeeping armies to work with the U.N. to prevent the rise of national and regional military powers, wars of aggression, war crimes, and violent interferences with the sovereignty of nations.


We can create a U.S. military health system, a sort of national Doctors Without Borders, maintaining its readiness for national emergencies (such as acts of terrorism, pandemics, natural disasters, and military invasions) by sending it everywhere else on the globe where such emergencies may occur.


We can support the most-cherished projects of the peoples of all nations whom we have formerly distrusted, misunderstood, and feared.


We can work together to build a world culture of peace and non-violent conflict resolution, a culture that fits comfortably within all religious and secular systems, that is tolerant of all religions and ideologies, that can be gradually institutionalized into international law, universally taught, and culturally supported through exchanges.


Please send your comments to . Thx! 🙂







Lick ‘Em or Join ‘Em? Predictions and Warnings About Republican and Democratic Campaign Strategies for 2008

I predict that unscrupulous and frightened campaign schemers and strategists within the Republican Party (such as Karl Rove) will convince their followers of the necessity of focusing the 2008 presidential campaign on xenophobia—fear of outsiders. Like all good fascists throughout history, they’ll find themselves “reluctantly forced” to flood the airwaves and internet with compelling commercials, “information,” “news stories,” “facts” and “statistics,” convincing a nervous American public that the only thing standing between “us” and a fatal, up-close-and-personal, all-out collision with a horde of terrible “others” so not-like-us as to be sub-human, is to vote Republican.


Unless the Democratic party immediately plans strong opposing strategies to defang and declaw this deep-pocketed “terrorize and divide” media onslaught before it “takes,” Republicans—and the corporatocracy—will win in ‘08. They have already begun their incessant, highly effective drumbeat of fear.


Right-wing talk-show extremists—politicians, preachers, “experts,” business leaders—terrorists all—are already terrorizing the public with their visions of danger, scarcity, and death, hammering their variations on their single essential theme: “If you don’t vote Republican, you and your loved ones, sooner than you think, will be left alone to live and die, poor and horribly, because of  “outsiders.’”


A host of demagogic hacks have already been at it for quite some time, arguing their “common-sense practicalities” of greed and hate, urging the xenophobic exclusion, rejection, marginalization, and dehumanization of Muslims, “illegals,” many legal immigrants, all non-English speakers, non-Christians, “strange people,” “different” people, foreigners in general, and non-traditional Americans in particular—that is, everyone they want us to fear and hate, especially those whose national resources the corporatocracy covets.


Presenting themselves as tough-guy loners and unselfish freedom-fighters, they glamorize pre-emptive, retaliatory, and vengeful violence, justify torture, cruelty, and state terrorism, and rationalize putting the constitution on hold. They talk about our ever-more sadistic, cruel, irrational new adversaries, and invent new even-badder-guys (to keep war profiteers smiling) whenever the terrifying old enemies (whether the Krauts, Japs, Reds, Gooks, Slopes, Ragheads, terrorists, etc.…) no longer terrify.


Americans are increasingly urged by such effective and costly advertising to join whatever shaky, convenient and temporary political alliances-of-the-day can be scraped up, to fight pointless no-holds-barred trillion-dollar wars against everyone-not-like-us who is trying to steal “our” (Middle-Eastern, African, South American, East Asian…) oil, gold, plutonium, copper, etc.


We’re incessantly warned of the imminent dangers of diversity—the perils that follow welcoming foreigners, the menaces lurking in helping the poor, the risks inherent in sharing our neighborhoods and lives with those of different colors, religions, political beliefs, traditions, heritages, nationalities, and ethnicities.


We’re urged to wedge ourselves, however inappropriately and temporarily, within the fat-cat Republican-insider club, in hopes of staying alive and safe for at least a little while longer within their smug, prosperous ranks. They’ll meanwhile insist that we also embrace every political decision that widens the gap between haves and have-nots, and that promotes the interests of the wealthy at the expense of “them”—that is, “us”—while urging us, one more time, to look away in fear from the real political issues that matter most to people everywhere, the issues without borders, for at least just long enough for the Republicans to be re-elected for four more catastrophic years.


Yes, Virginia, there really are some very bad terrorists out there, and not a few of them are currently holding top positions in the Republican Party.


One of the toughest sub-plots in planning an effective, pre-emptive anti-fear campaign strategy to carry us through the 2008 campaign will be making our message of unity and inclusiveness so convincing and compelling that it will win over even current Republican leaders and gather them back into our forgiving, accepting fold, along with the rest of the world’s lost lambs. Yes, that means even Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and George Bush….


Most of the complexity and confusion in politics these days arises from misunderstandings about a competitive concept of “us” and “them.”
There is no “them.” There is only “us.”
Barack Obama is right about Hillary’s foreign policy: it’s a rehash of the same-old Bush/Cheney fear-and-greed nonsense, the same tired politics of in-crowds fighting to hold back the great-unwashed.
Unfortunately, too many of us still warily regard ourselves as alone and under attack in the world, when in reality, we are all one, a big happy eternal family, inseparable parts of a spiritual whole, even though we often don't recognize this truth. The great-unwashed are not “them;” they are “us,” and cannot be held back, nor should they be. When parts of our family can’t go much longer without food, when they need energy to stay warm or cool and to move their bodies to necessary places, when we feel separated at the level of basic needs of physical organisms, then we need national political leaders like Mandela, Gandhi and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who see us all as one, who represent all of “us,” who can lead all people everywhere to deeper recognition of their wholeness.
Even the “haves” today are coming reluctantly to realize they can no longer hide behind their bodyguards, or the gates of private schools and guarded enclaves, because technology has shrunk our planet down to a marble. The world’s problems now hit home faster than ever.
The great threats mankind faces today ignore borders, arising as they do from a sense of disunity. These threats, which cannot be solved competitively, but only through global cooperation, include nuclear proliferation, organized crime, poverty, infectious diseases and unsupportive health conditions and attitudes, environmental degradation, armed conflicts of all kinds, including wars both within and among nations, terrorism, the global arms trade, mass migrations, injustice, hopelessness, hunger, greed, natural disasters, ignorance, addiction, prejudice, pornography, homelessness, hate, fear, anxiety, civic alienation, loss of conscience, excessive taxation, crumbling infrastructures, more and more “enemies,” violence itself…. The list of threats without borders is long and continues to grow rapidly.
Our catastrophic and costly bumbling-world-cop approach to stemming the inexorable insistence of the world’s irrepressible have-nots only further burdens our children and grandchildren with unpayable debts for political wars of greed and fear which have a great many losers, and no winners.
The only way to lick ‘em is to join ‘em. Instead of holding at arm’s length the world’s hungry, envious and angry, instead of arming dictators or beating enemies into submission or bombing them flat, we can change the way we feel and act toward “others.” We can learn to view all people as our brothers and sisters, and to see all hostile actions as a cry for help.
We can follow the second commandment—“Love your neighbor as your self.” The best way to get rid of an enemy has always been to turn that enemy into a friend. Following Jesus’ example, we cannot give up until we have found and taken in even that last lost lamb, knowing tihat if we lose that one, if we leave behind even one “outsider,” then all are lost.
Our only real scarcity is our temporary scarcity of trust in our own and one another’s caring. There are plenty of goods, there is plenty of love and generosity, plenty of appreciation and gratitude for kindnesses large and small, plenty of everything that is needed to go around, when we learn to pull together. As Jesus taught us when he shared the loaves and fishes, there will be enough for all of us when we all give of what we have….
Our identity as a nation cannot rest upon a dusty list of yesterday’s ideals. We create our national identity every day; it emerges moment-to-moment from our chosen relations with the earth, water, and sky, with other species, with our families and neighbors, co-workers and leaders, fellow-citizens and those in every land across the globe, including the powerful and the poor, the wealthy and the weak, the sick and the old, the fearful and the vengeful; yes, even Republicans….
How we choose to view and treat others—however well or ill—inevitably comes from how we see ourselves. And how we see ourselves determines how we will see and treat others. If we see ourselves as spiritually isolated and threatened, then that’s how we’ll see others. If we know our best selves to be caring, accepting and forgiving, we will know that people everywhere are the same, even if some of us have leaders who are temporarily insane.


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Rachel Corrie Uncensored, Bullies and Martyrs, Lambs and Lions, AIPAC, and Messianic Voices Off

I was privileged to recently attend a one-woman play called My Name is Rachel Corrie, about a young American tragically killed by an Israeli bulldozer as she protected Palestinian homes from destruction. Art-upon-art lavishly swirled in layer upon layer, as a dedicated actor-artist nurtured a compelling script crafted by two talented playwright-artists from the lyric insights of writer-activist Corrie—herself one of God’s great artistic creations….


After the play, I was grateful to Rachel and her parents, to the actor and playwrights, to the director and leaders of the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, for collaborating so beautifully to share Corrie’s insights as she matured into a loving, idealistic, modern-day David out to slay her Goliath-of the-moment.


Rachel Corrie had no affection for bullies. Burning with a wish to stand up to power and deadly violence, she seemed born to resist injustice. I think she would have been just as eager to oppose Palestinians attacking innocent Israelis, were she drawn to their plight first.


I was saddened to think that some who cherish holocaust narratives like The Diary of Anne Frank would try to censor Rachel’s inspired voice and words for partisan reasons. I doubt any peaceful Jew seeing this play would urge such censorship.


But after it opened successfully in London, extremist Jewish organizations protested its further production, and it was dropped in New York City, Florida, and Boston. The Shepherdstown festival lost a $100,000 pledge and risked a boycott for their decision to stage it. During production, the protest in West Virginia continued in several purchased and prominent playbill pages presenting the Israeli-extremist side of the story, including six touching photos of Israeli “Rachels” tragically killed by Palestinian violence (implying an erroneous six-to-one death toll of Israelis to Palestinians,) along with a dehumanizing and demonizing suggestion about how all Palestinians want only to kill Israelis and put an end to Israel, while all Israelis want only peace.


Christians, Jews, and Muslims have found relative safety from prejudice in America, and I can understand why each of these groups would want to zealously guard such hard-earned respite, especially in view of their respective ghastly historical memories of exploitation and persecution. Which is why, wherever Muslims in America gather to air grievances, polite, respectful Jews show up to tell their side of the story.


American Muslims, however, rarely feel welcome to speak at Jewish events which accede to violent solutions in Israel/Palestine. In both America and Israel, the Jewish-extremist viewpoint is so well-funded and orchestrated as to saturate media and government; it also has much to answer for, in egging on the Bush administration’s current war on Islam, or should I say on Iraq, or should I say on terror…all of which have worked out to be pretty much the same thing. To the extent that nearly every influential comment opposing extremist policies in Israel is instantly reprimanded, often with accompanying accusations about the speaker’s anti-semitism—to that extent is the Palestinian/Islamic world-view grossly under-represented and out-of-balance in America, and of course in Israel/Palestine.


Considering all the pre-play controversy, I was nervous myself about attending it, and hoped I wouldn’t be thought anti-Semitic. I still hope to avoid that charge, although I welcome the labels of pro-peace and anti-violence.


The voice in the Israeli-Islamic conflict consistently drowned out in America and Israel is the moderate/peaceful Islamic voice, although peaceful Muslims are working hard to change this. AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, and other American Jewish organizations are too vigilant for their own good, defending themselves too assertively against slights both perceived and real, and attacking perceived attackers. An anti-Jewish backlash in reaction to such strategies, and to Israel’s typical knee-jerk disproportionate violent responses to aggression seems sadly inevitable.


Peaceful Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other Americans are often so aggressively intimidated by their own extremist factions that they rarely speak out publicly against the vengeful actions, bloody rhetoric, and sheer barbarism of all they see, on all sides. Caught within the context of a violent century’s heightened emotions, most moderates—peaceful Jews and Christians and Muslims and citizens of all nationalities everywhere—are too frightened even to say “Enough” to the extremist voices within their own groups.


As long as demagogues and partisan extremists freely pressure and intimidate moderates, worldwide anti-Islamism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Americanism will continue to grow. And if the hot-blooded AIPAC successfully pushes extremists in America and Israel into another bloodbath, this time against Iran, the potential for anti-Semitic, anti-American, and anti-Islamic blowback upon moderates in all these groups everywhere will be as terrible as the cataclysmic impact upon the direct victims of the war.


The Bible does not say “the lamb shall lie down with the lion,” but,“ the lion shall lie down with the lamb”—meaning, the powerful shall offer peace to weaker opponents as a wise first step toward peaceful resolution of conflicts. Even the mega-powerful United States is finally learning that everyone’s interests are best served when the mighty dare to humble themselves to acceptance and generosity toward weaker “others,” and truly begin to see—and treat—their neighbor as they would want to be treated, to love their neighbor as their own self. Our learning curve in America, meanwhile, has been excruciating for Muslims worldwide.


In the peaceable kingdom, the powerful will “lie down with” (a tender, intimate metaphor) all their lambish neighbors. This means that the biggest and toughest of the terrorizing thugs on every block, whether they be the American or Chinese nations, whether Iranian, Jew, or Muslim, Irish or British, a strong band of criminals, a tough group of insurgents, whether militias, tribes, national armies, navies, air forces, or even the marines, all the mighty and powerful will come to realize that their job is to protect the weak from those who would hurt them, and not to push the weak around in order to prevail in conflicts, however troublesome or longstanding.


Lambs, too, are opening their eyes to the fact that the terrible lions they so fear may in fact be more fearful themselves than fierce, and desperately in need of peaceful perspectives from ancient cultures and wise elders willing to patiently remove the painful thorns of ignorance and fear from their dripping paws.


Extremist Jewish leaders preaching the wisdom of ten-eyes-for-an-eye, and depicting Israel as a tiny beleaguered island within a vast sea of murderous Muslims all wanting to kill Jews and “erase Israel from the map” (please see the writings of Arash Norouzi) are as repellently manipulative as extremist Palestinian leaders claiming to be nothing more than a defenseless band of ragtag refugees confronting the combined wrath of the world’s largest and most powerful military forces, or American Christian-extremists sounding the alarm of American invasion from rapacious outsiders and infidels, or American patriots bristling with nuclear arms, self-righteously claiming to be the potential victims of nations working frantically to develop even a single one.


Violence, or violent extremism, or terrorism—that is, resorting to violence to resolve conflicts—turns out to be “the problem” itself, and not, as many have tried to persuade us, any particular ideology, ethnicity, religious tradition, or national affiliation. The burning question is always: who is committed to non-violent resolution of conflicts, and who isn’t?


Whether Bin Laden or Bush, Communism or Capitalism, Shiite or Sunni, Hamas or Abbas, Judaism or Islam, the U.S. or Iran, Saddam or Arafat, Hirohito or Mao or Eisenhower or Hitler—it is increasingly evident that “the good guys” are the ones who are committed to resolving conflicts non-violently, while “the bad guys” are the extremist zealots who turn to the use of violence to resolve their conflicts, whether through conventional warfare, street-fighting, or assassination, whether by suicide-bombing, napalm, nuclear weapons, torture, or IEDs. The choice of violent extremism IS the problem; and violent extremists ARE the terrorists.


Disproportionate retaliation against aggression makes sense only for cornered wild animals fighting for survival against overwhelming odds. Unfortunately, this is the very vision offered up by violent extremist leaders, regardless of affiliation, who deliberately stoke up fears and urge violent responses by perceiving all situations through dire scaredy-cat doomsday lenses.


Fortunately, the world seems to be developing new improved crap-detectors, and violent tactics in our small, interconnected, and media-rich world don’t play so well in Peoria anymore. People now recognize man’s-inhumane-violence-to-man for what it is, regardless of context, and despite all the varied ideological, ethnic, religious, and national colors and flavors that violence so often comes wrapped up in—whether it be bulldozed homes, the shattered bodies of innocent children, or maimed and traumatized young soldiers from every land.


The sanctity of human life has finally emerged to be the world’s highest human value, rising ever more clearly above even the most rabble-rousing words of demagogues and ideologues bent upon stirring their fellow-citizens to torture and murder.


In the promised land we are approaching, constructive criticism of the policies and actions of various peoples and organizations won’t be called anti-semitic or anti-American or anti-Islamic or un-patriotic. Instead, powerful, messianic, moderate voices of Jewry and Christendom and Islam and all other isms will speak freely and softly of peace, cooperation, and compromise in all our holy lands, where we will all work side-by-side, undivided by ancestry or belief or tradition, letting go of old grudges and offering olive branches of reconciliation, as we non-violently resolve each day’s natural conflicts freshly and openly, as they arise.


May we learn without having to endure more lessons from ever-greater tragedies, wars, and environmental catastrophes, and may we all awaken together to begin with a convert’s zeal our great shared task of peacefully saving our tiny blue planet, and all our brothers, every one.


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Barack Obama, The Unforgiven, the Race Tightrope, and the Blame Game

In a very interesting Washington Post editorial (July 6th, “Obama’s Tightrope,” copied below), Amina Luqman argues that Barack Obama must present voters with only the whitest of credentials and speaking styles, and avoid blaming whites for black problems—while other candidates, particularly Hillary Clinton, remain free to stir up blacks by criticizing whites, and by using the passionate, rhythmic cadences and stirring challenges traditionally relied upon by black politicians and preachers. As Luqman watched the presidential debate at Howard University, “up seemed down and everything seemed out of sync” to her, because of this flip-flop in the rhetorical styles of these two candidates.


I don’t think Obama walks a race tightrope. I think he walks and talks and thinks just exactly how he walks and talks and thinks, and he doesn’t attack anyone, white or black, because that’s who he is. Somehow, Obama has learned not to bother with blaming anyone for anything, because blaming is a waste of time and spirit and resources, and besides, it only invites retaliation, which must then be defended against. Instead, Obama consistently accepts, “as-is,” all others, black and white, American and “other.”


Obama knows that everyone makes mistakes, and that the greater one’s power, the greater the potential for and impact of their mistakes. As Dr. King did, Obama encourages his audiences to move forward together to find solutions to unsolvable problems, to clean up impossible messes, to do better than the last generation, and he knows we can’t do it while carrying a burden of past guilt.


Not-blaming is a deliberate, habitual practice of Obama’s. He shares with King the best, most productive kind of humility: self-acceptance born merely—and spectacularly—from realization that they are God’s creatures, which is to say, imperfectly perfect, perfectly lovable, and forgiven.


In The Unforgiven, Clint Eastwood’s compadre regrets killing someone, but justifies it to himself by saying, “Well, he had it coming.” Eastwood answers him with, “We all have it coming.” We've all made mistakes, but it makes no sense to demand retribution for every mistake. Unless we’re delusional (as most of us are, now and then, including me) we can recognize our culpability in many things without insisting that each sin be punished.


Pointing fingers, assigning blame, piling on, creating scapegoats, and exacting revenge are all of one piece with the same fearful, guilty, hateful politics that keep us so mired down with old problems that we can’t solve anything new. Obama apparently holds to Jesus’ new covenant, which is all about forgiving, forgetting, lightening up and moving on to make things better.


More interested in mercy than in an eye-for-an-eye, Obama will leave worrying about others’ accountability to lesser humans. His positive, present-oriented spirit will bring him all the power he can use, and it will allow him to use all of that power for good. Of course he will make mistakes; all leaders do. Lovers of Shakespeare and classical theatre see demonstrated over and over how every person, however great, has “tragic flaws.”  But because Obama tries to overlook the mistakes of others, he won't let his own mistakes become stumbling blocks that prevent him from pressing boldly on.


We all want second chances to do things right, to use our misdirected and under-utilized knowledge and talents and skills for good. We all want opportunities to redeem ourselves, because most of us eventually do learn from our mistakes. Obama seems to realize that only after he accepts others, as-is, can he accept himself, as-is. His safety, in fact, like Bill Clinton’s, lies in his reluctance to waste time defending himself.


I hope Hillary Clinton won't choose to stir up resentments, although resentments effectively unify antagonists against one another by polarizing and dividing. Radio demagogues also use fear especially well to pit one group against another, and all too many presidential elections have been won by fear-mongering partisans. Unfortunately, accusations and recriminations can't unify a nation, and stirring up ill feelings through blame cannot save one.


Please send comments to Nancy Pace at .




Obama's Tightrope

By Amina Luqman

Friday, July 6, 2007; Page A15


The world felt topsy-turvy as I watched the presidential debate held at Howard University last week. Up seemed down and everything was out of sync as the front-runners for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, spoke. In this debate, as in others, we watched Obama remake the traditional persona of the black candidate and someone else take what might have been his place.


From the outset, it was clear that Barack Obama wasn't going to be Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. For every rhythmic alliteration Jackson would have offered, Obama gave us pauses and sentences in paragraphs. For Sharpton's quick wit and scathing candor, Obama offered even tones and grave calm. There was no push toward applause-filled endings. He begged for contemplation and understanding. Simple became complex, demands became propositions and “they” became “we.”


The average black American onlooker can't help feeling proud but also just a little hurt watching Obama. Proud of his ability to traverse minefields on a national political landscape and hurt by what America demands of black candidates seeking public acceptance and trust. During the debate, black Americans in the audience sat, hands poised, yearning to applaud a black candidate able to articulate our passions and sense of injustice. We wanted to hear that he understood and loved us — not in the general, “we the people” sense but in the specific. Yet we know that with each utterance about injustice, each puff of anger or frustration about racism, we lose the very thing we seek: a viable black candidate. The closer Obama comes to us, the further he would be from winning the nomination and the presidency.


That is a reality of race and national politics in America. Part of Obama's appeal to white America lies in his hopefulness. It's in the way he looks toward a brighter future, and it's in his promise to bring us all along.


Yet the subtext of his appeal is in what he does not say. It's in his ability to declare that things must get better without saying who or what has made them bad. It's how he rarely chastises and how he divides blame and responsibility evenly; white receiving equal parts with black, poor equal parts with rich. The “we” Obama has created leaves blank the space traditional African American candidates would have filled with passion or a clear articulation of the state of black Americans. It's left some black voters unfulfilled and some white voters with a sense of acceptance and absolution from past wrongs and present-day injustices.


We are all watching Obama's tightrope walk, his attempts to appeal to the white majority while maintaining some semblance of integrity regarding the plight of black Americans. It's a heavy burden. In contrast, Hillary Clinton is on relatively sure footing. Obama must tilt away from clarity and passion about issues disproportionately affecting blacks while Clinton is free to perform the black candidate's role. In last week's debate, it was she who took on the traditional black candidate's persona, she who was both passionate and rhythmic in her cadence. Her endings built to crescendos. Be it real or pandering, Clinton can openly connect and show solidarity with black Americans in ways that Obama cannot.


There is no better example than Clinton's comment about the disproportionate effect HIV has on black communities. She said that if “HIV-AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34, there would be an outraged outcry in this country.” For Obama to have said the same words in the same fiery manner could have been political suicide. By forfeit, Clinton essentially becomes the black candidate; it's not a space America would allow Obama to fill.


Not long after Obama announced his candidacy, the buzz in the media was, “Is Obama black enough?” Many black Americans privately laughed at this question. We know that it takes only a slip of the tongue about slavery's legacy or reparations, a hiccup about institutional racism or paying special attention to the needs of black Americans, and suddenly the love would be gone. We know that the question has less to do with black America than with whether white America trusts that Obama is not too black for its political taste.


We laugh at the question of Obama's blackness because we live with a version of Obama's tightrope dance every day. We do the same dance in our workplaces, with our supervisors, our neighbors and our college classmates. In that way we know Obama couldn't be more like us, he couldn't be more black. We along with Obama know that even the most skilled tightrope performance may not be enough to ensure that you land on your feet.


Amina Luqman is a freelance writer. Her e-mail address is







Guns in the Bible?

I am so proud to say that a friend of mine wrote the following wonderful letter-to-the-editor (May 7, 2007 Frederick News-Post); in it, she said at least five things that so needed saying. She and the letter are both amazing!

Guns in the Bible – by Nancy Arnold, Union Bridge

In an April 26 letter, Citizens' defensive use of firearms is God-given right, the writer claims, “Anyone who wishes to deny citizens their God-given right to self-defense through the most effective means, firearms, is guilty of aiding and abetting these tragedies.”

I find that philosophy very disconcerting. In Genesis, the first book of the Bible, God spends his time creating life. As far as I have been able to determine, there are no references to guns in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were not created with semi-automatic weapons in hand. No gun stores were tucked in under the flowering trees in the garden. True enough, Cain, one of Adam and Eve's sons, does murder his brother, but the murder weapon is not mentioned.

I do know that the God-given Sixth Commandment stands against murder, and that Jesus said we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. Maybe if we spent more time loving the angry, unlovable people, we would not find it so necessary to pick up a gun. Maybe, just maybe, we could stop a tragedy before resorting to violence ourselves.

Jesus grieves for Cho and his family as much as he grieves for the victims. To dispute that is to deny what Jesus spent three years teaching, and to deny the sacrifice he made for all of us.

Some Sane Policy Strategies, Both Foreign and Domestic, for a Dazed-and-Confused America

The best strategy for insuring a reasonable share of post-war oil is for the U.S. to follow China’s admirable (and successful) approach to foreign relations: make friends with every country; don’t try to control events; don’t take sides with factions by using bribes and threats and offering weapons (all of which strategies make more enemies, while making conflicts harder to resolve); offer apologies as necessary; and spread goodwill by generously supporting, in every country, only open, popular, peaceful initiatives of selected proven-peaceful leaders with broad-based, loyal coalitions.


We should withdraw our troops from Iraq immediately, leaving U.N. peacekeepers to support the transition, and giving thoughtful consideration to all those we leave behind, financially supporting common goals and peaceful compromises, as well as aiding refugees, rebuilding, and easing resettlement (to the U.S.) of all those U.S.-supporters who might be at post-war risk.


We should abandon our war on terror, and support instead an efficient international crime-fighting network, and a peaceful international campaign to resolve future conflicts before they turn deadly. To accomplish these goals, we need to work to end economic injustice/violence, political and state violence (i.e., all forms of war and lawless incarcerations), and the spread of weapons, fully support world disarmament and other cooperative global peace and environmental initiatives, curb violence in entertainment, and aggressively prosecute hate crimes. We should also build a national and global culture of peace through the stated domestic and global initiatives of the proposed cabinet-level Department of Peace ( .


We clumsily attempted to avenge the loss of three thousand innocents murdered on 9/11 by killing and maiming many thousands more innocents (both ours and theirs) on foreign soil, and are now threatening to waste even more lives (both theirs and ours) by sword-rattling in Iran’s direction. We must find a way to forgive others and ourselves, make no more enemies, and recognize and address the grievances of the many who are presently turning from desperation and despair to violence (i.e., “terrorists”).


We need to attend to the real “illegals” in American life—not the immigrants who daily seek respite and freedom from the world’s violence and injustice on our shores, but the thousands of prisoners rotting forgotten in illegal dungeons throughout Iraq, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Cuba, and elsewhere. We must find a way to bring due process of law to these imprisoned and abandoned “illegals” who have been deprived of their most basic human rights, and also end our inhumane criminalization of the inevitable south-to-north global migrants whose only crime is fleeing poverty and terror–by finding hospitable ways to assimilate them into American life.


We must resist the partisan temptations offered by Monica Goodling’s immunity to attack the very culpable Alberto Gonzales, Condaleeza Rice, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and other Bush administrative and military bunglers, leave vengeance and blame to God and his horde of very willing historians, and focus instead on uncovering truth, taking right action, and reconciling a nation.


Lee Iacocca recently urged the need for courageous leadership during this difficult time. We indeed need true leaders who can move us past our collective darkness toward solving the real problems we must now face: the ravages of disease, injustice, hopelessness, hunger, greed, environmental degradation, corporate accountability, natural disasters, ignorance, addiction, prejudice, nuclear proliferation, global warming, crime, migration, poverty, war, immorality, cruelty, indifference, terrorism, and yes, violence itself.


All the strategies described above depend upon our growing awareness that nothing we may fear is more dangerous than fear itself, and no weapon more effective than love in all its forms—kindness, patience, understanding, acceptance….  It is not hate, but fear which builds up armies and stockpiles nuclear weapons; not hate, but fear which looses destruction upon hapless presumed enemies, and thus upon ourselves. The Golden Rule–treat others as you would be treated–works just as well in international relations as it does with individuals. Just as families and businesses must learn to accept, respect, and support others (just as they are) in order to be successful, so must all political leaders, their party members, and their followers—indeed, all citizens everywhere—learn and teach acceptance, respect, and support for all our brothers everywhere, all God’s beloved children, every one—if we are to survive and thrive together on our tiny blue planet.





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