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Merry Christmas from a devout Muslim

By Khaled Elomar 

As a devout Muslim, I keep hearing from others that wishing anyone a Merry Christmas is Blasphemous.

In my opinion, and that is purely my opinion, I don’t believe it is Sacrilegious if your intentions are correct and pure. You need not agree with me at all. I am not seeking to change your opposing point of view. The main objective of this post is to stop you from referring to me or anyone like me as a Mushrik (an associate with Allah) by alleging that I have agreed to the concept of Associating a Partner with Allah swt.

I do not intend to offend anyone with the below. If I do, I profusely and unconditionally extend my unlimited apology to those that feel offended by my unbiased and neutral perception of the topic.

There are several points to cover in order to convey my opinion and explanation. One needs to understand;

• Islamic Interactions with the People of The Book (Ahl Al Kitaab) – Christians and Jews. This part deals with the Understanding and Appreciating the principles and morals of the Quran and Prophecies (Ahadeeth) that permit/condone honest dialect and relationships with Ahl Al Kitaab.

1. Islamic Greeting and Reciprocation Majority of scholars reported that greeting Non-Muslims with “Peace Be Upon You” (Assalamu Alaykum) is not permitted. Imam Muslim reported that the Prophet pbuh said, “Don’t start with the (salam) Islamic greeting when encountering Jews or Christians.”

The Hanafies say that if a Christian or Jew, the people of the book, greet a Muslim person with Asslamu Alaykom, it is permitted to return salam and others say it’s obligatory.

Ibn Abbass said, “Whoever says Assalamu Alakum to you, you have to return his greeting even if he was a Majos (fire-worshipper). He was referring to a verse from the Quran (Chapter An-Nesa’ verse 86), which is translated to; … “When a courteous greeting is offered to you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or at least of equal courtesy.” … So when a Non-Muslim says to me Ramadan Kareem or Eid Mubarak in good gesture and not because he/she are about to convert/revert to Islam, it is obligatory for me to return the gesture and be courteous to wish them a Merry Christmas; and that does not mean that I am agreeing with the “reasons” of Christmas nor “associating” an entity with Allah swt.

2. Marrying into Ahl Al Kitaab – Christians or Jews.

It is permissible for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman if she is Christian or Jewish. The evidence for that is the Chapter Al-Maa’idah verse 4 in which Allah swt says: … “Made lawful to you this day are At Tayyibaat [all kinds of Halal (lawful) foods, which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits)]. The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them. (Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time when you have given their dowry (Mahr) desiring chastity (i.e. taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girlfriends” …

One of the obligations of marrying a Non-Muslim woman, who chooses to remain on her faith, is that you escort her, walk her, drive her etc to her place of worship. So is driving your Non-Muslim wife to a Church or Synagogue associating you with Non-Islamic practices? I doubt that very much …

3. Actions are Measured and Judged by Intent: On the authority of Omar bin Al-Khattab (ra), who said: I heard the messenger of Allah pbuh say: “Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended” Me wishing people a Merry Christmas is not associating an entity with Allah. My intentions are simply implementing what I am ordained and obliged to do which is;

  • Make Dawah
  • Be courteous to people
  • Respect others
  • Reciprocate with the same or better means
  • Show Love and Tolerance to others and simply
  • Being a Human

By the will of Allah swt, my actions, understanding and implementation of Islam has reverted a few people to Islam (Alhamdulilah) … Contrary to what some people say that I am committing Kufr or Shirk … My intentions are clear and pure. Whatever I do, I will be judged for those actions as so will you. So, when you judge me and call me a Mushrik or Kaffir for saying Merry Christmas you will be judged for those false, unfounded and completely unacceptable judgements.

Allah will judge you and I. We are not here to judge one another.

So, in conclusion, to all my non-Muslim friends, on behalf of my family and I, I extend to you all a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year. Stay Human, stay Loving and remain Strong for Humanity.

Now there is only one more thing to say: I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Much Love and Respect,

Khaled

41 comments

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  1. nonsibicunctis

    Your whole argument is actually moot.

    There is no evidence to suggest that any god exists, let alone the supposed monotheist god shared by Islam and Christianity.
    The edicts to which you refer were contrived by human beings and have been used to indoctrinate millions for the purposes of controlling them – hence the frequent and almost continuous alliance of Church and State
    “Merry Christmas” is not a religious greeting today and probably never was.
    December 25th does not align with the actual date of Jesus’s supposed birth
    Mass hypocrisy occurs each year when people sing carols and hyms and represent (wrongly) the nativity and such – whereas, in reality they rarely attend a church, or pray or give any particular attention to their supposed faith save, perhaps, at a wedding or funeral
    In the western world, at least, the celebration of Christmas is predominantly an unhealthy over-indulgence that wastes enormous amounts of resources, encourages gluttony, encourages hypocrisy as people (often relatives) come together and pretend to like one another when they actually don’t
    It is an occasion that encourages material desire on the part of chlldren who are taught generally to want rather than to give
    It is a time when probably the majority of parents lie to their children by pretending that there is a ‘Santa Claus’
    The enormous amounts of money spent on this indulgence could do an enormous amount or worthwhile and compassionate work to relieve the suffering or difficult lives of millions in the majority world. Were that to happen, there may be some point in celebrating ‘Christmas’
    Most greetings of “Merry Christmas” have no particular feeling behind them; they are simply a convention at this time of year and worth no more than the “good morning” or “hello” that is given at other times of the year

    Put simply, the whole event is an example of just how self indulgent, ignorant, wasteful, and irrational human beings can be. It is a worthless time that does more harm than good.

    With the exception of a few, devout Christians (who are still delusional) for whom Christmas represents a deeply ingrained religious event at which they give tribute or acknowledge the birth of their hero and which I can respect because they know no better and are too ignorant to ever know any better, Christmas is a sham devoted virtually entirely to materialism, consumerism and profit-making.

    Of course, I will be demeaned and ridiculed, even reviled by some, for writing this – the irony being that those same people will have, on other occasions accused me of being an old-fashioned, died in the wool, traditionalist who opposes change and believes in outmoded concepts, processes and behaviours.

    But, o.k. go for it guys – assuming that this gets published for my last post in answer to the admonitions of the female in-crowd was not published as far as I can tell but perhaps a technical glitch prevented its arrival or something. I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter for as Jonathan Swift once said: “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.” Of course, that is just as true in relation to women.

  2. Michael Taylor

    Thank you for your wishes and your blessings, Khaled. May you and your family share a beautiful day together.

  3. Joseph Carli

    nonsibi[sed]cunctus….Everybody loves a parade!…and if there is fireworks as an extra…!!!..BONUS!

  4. nonsibicunctis

    I apologise for my comment appearing twice. I think it happened because of something I must have done while editing it. I tried to delete the second copy but the system wouldn’t allow it.

  5. nonsibicunctis

    Hi Joseph,

    Yes, I’d agree that, strictly speaking, the phrase I use as a nom de plume ought to include the ‘sed’. However, on investigating the matter before I started to use it I discovered that both versions are used and considered acceptable, i.e. those with and those without the inclusion of the ‘sed’. Given my purpose for using it and that I learned it that way from a school motto, I opted to omit the ‘sed’. Perhaps that was a poor decision but, if that is the case, at least I can claim mitigation on the grounds that the Latin Master at my school as well as many others have made the same error.

    It’s interesting that you mention fireworks for they are another pet hate of mine. Firstly, I rue the suffering, harm and even fatality that is the lot of many animals unfortunate enough to be in their vicinity. Secondly, I find it a sad indictment of our society that we will literally burn obscene amounts of money for a few minutes of ‘oohs and ahhhs’. For instance, Sydney spent over $7 million on its New Year’s Eve display in 2015 [About $45,000 per minute] and at that time its expenditure on pyrotechnics was rising at 40% per year. Melbourne spent $3 million in the same year.

    I don’t have the costs of all the other displays around the country but there would be hundreds of them each year. A small display will cost in the region of $4,000 to $7,000 and a larger display about $4000 per minute. The annual Fourth of July celebrations in the US see around 14,000 events across the nation. The smaller local events will cost anything from around $2,000 USD to over $20,000 USD. Macy’s annual show costs at least $6 million USD just for the fireworks. There will be quite probably at least another half million in expenditure on safety, policing, preparation, technicians, fire and ambulance stand-by, coordination and such.

    Then there are all the other displays for which clubs, insitutions and society finds an excuse – the Olympics, a Sorts Grand Final, a Royal Visit, a Tourist Attraction and so on.

    The total amount of money going up in colour and smoke must be quite a hefty sum. I’m quite sure that it would solve much of the disadvantage in our and other nations. Whether that disadvantages is homelessness, inability to obtain medical care, lack of clean drinking water, starvation, absence of hygiene facilities or whatever, inroads could be made into alleviating at least some of it if only we changed the hedonistic and over indulgent materialist culture that we have.

    Setting priorities i something that all individuals, businesses, institutions and governments need to do. I live in a regional centre with a population of about 75,000 – 95,000 depending on who defines the area of responsibility. Within that area we have around 1,500 people who are homeless. Yet, regularly, throughout the year, the local golf club has entertainment evenings accompanied by firework displays. It claims that this is o.k. because it donates to charity. It is a poor rationale because it could do that without the expenditure on fireworks and the harm to domestic animals and wildlife. It is not the only organisation that caters to this superficially titillating entertainment.

    Well, I’m sorry and understand that many will see me as a spoil-sport or downer but I can’t accept that we have our priorities right when we put personal entertainment in front of eliminating poverty, hardship, illness and suffering. In my view, it is time that our society lifted its game and re-ordered its priorities. In my view, fireworks is pretty far down the list, as pretty as they may be.

  6. Karen Kyle

    nonsibuncuctis………What a killjoy.And what a high moral plane you do occupy. I am amazed that you find living on planet earth with the rest of us possible.

  7. Barry Thompson

    Not for himself but for all.
    Much of what you wrote resonated with me. I seem to be getting more cynical as I age (72).
    Thank you for your comments.

  8. DrakeN

    @ nonsibicunctis
    I’m with you all the way.

    For some folk, though, the opportunity to meet and party with friends and relatives whose company they enjoy is invaluable.
    Everything else is but dross.

    @Karen Kyle
    Does your self-righteousness know no bounds?
    High moral plane, indeed.
    Such an elevated sense of your own importance.

    Like Barry Thomptson, I’m a septuagenarian whose experience and education leads to increasing skepticism of the worthiness of a large portion of the human race.

    Fortunately, there are a few people whose friendship and support I value immensely and thoroughly enjoy. They are mainly younger folk who are less indoctrinated than most. That said there is a small cohort of us oldies who enjoy taking the time to educate ourselves and to take the time to discuss the vagraries of human behaviour. The opportunity that the free time associated with retirement presents in order to stand back and observe and analyse the machininations of the mundane is quite profound if one cares to take advantage of it.

    Regardless, I do wish you all the very best for the other 364/5 days of each year as well 😉

  9. John Hermann

    It is my understanding that Jesus is regarded as a major prophet within the Islamic faith. If that is correct, then I see no obvious reason why his birth should not be celebrated by both Muslims and Christians alike.

  10. Jon Chesterson

    Merry Christmas Khaled, one and all and yes it all comes down to respect and appreciation, at least on one level since those who believe in God are never going to agree with those who don’t, but respect and appreciation is a common language for the human spirit.

    Neither shall I quiver over which greeting for we can respect the intent, the person and their beliefs, and by the way I know of no human who hasn’t entertained a delusion or two or indeed still does, be it delusion or fantasy, we were all born with imagination. However I will not slide into the commercial decadence and hypocrisy of ‘happy holidays’. That is where my cup endeth!

    Nonsibicunctis, some will call you humbug and you foresee the justification of that story, just as Dickens wrote it, but still it was the same old truth, as I think you sound. He did not write about the birth of Jesus, he wrote about how we treat one another, which was what Jesus allegedly lived and talked about, doctrines and prayers aside. And yes Christmas is as much a pagan event as it is christian. Christians don’t own it any more than anyone else, and if they say they do, they are very much feeding their own ignorance, fantasy or delusion. Alas capitalism and commercialism thinks it now owns it, and that mortifying ritual starts as early as September… August even. Little wonder we get disillusioned as well. I too get despondent how the haves, they celebrate with one two three four christmas trees or more, when the vast majority around the world go without, stay without and many die never knowing why they were even born, having never even seen a christmas tree, and this year they burnt like wildfire in California.

    I don’t believe this is high moral ground and killjoy Karen. It is truth, it is reality, it is a sad and tragic reflection of the absence of humanity which all the prophets and those of us who still have human blood in our veins without tripping over fireworks, magical puddings and reindeer do seriously grieve over. And so we should… Humbug! I think not, while I have no pleasure in taking away anyone else’s pleasure, faith or imagination, particularly children. But in maintaining that spirit, justifying the existence of my soul or just harmless fun (if there is such a thing and there may be), I cannot ignore those I have never met, nor likely ever meet in abject poverty, loneliness and pain… I know they exist in their billions, and that is before we even think of the animal kingdom which is undergoing the biggest mass extinction we have ever known in recordable and geological history. High moral ground, I think not. It is the shadow side of being human, and it too is human nature just as the quest for happiness and pleasure, save too much indulgence or taken at the expense of someone’s else’s freedom or pleasure… and there is the nut we deny.

    It’s not about sides, it is about our innate capacity to share someone else’s happiness or burden, and one doesn’t come without the other, we cannot afford to be too selective, we can afford empathy, we can afford to be generous, and we can afford to mirror tolerance for all things good, and challenge that which would cause harm by intent, blind eyes or deaf ears, especially those more vulnerable than us, who don’t have the luxury of choice.

  11. Joseph Carli

    Karen Kyle… ” I am amazed that you find living on planet earth with the rest of us possible.”…..speaking for myself and not Cunctus…..: It is a toleration I accept as a trade off…

    Nonsibi. . . I was just fooling around…I did a year of Latin at uni..and I like to think I can be insufferably boring…you ask others on this site..they’ll back me up!

  12. George Theodoridis

    Oh, I do love a good piece of dogma! Since I became an atheist (at the late age of 13) I miss all those “thou shalt nots,” said from sour-dour faces at least a dozen times in the couple of hours during Sunday School.
    Thou shalt not do this and thou shalt not do that…
    I have asked twice the question “why not?” Both times to a priest, one of whom was -still is- my uncle, the other a total stranger. I am still wearing the priests’ answers: two indelibly drawn slaps on my face for daring to ask that fateful question. I would have been around 6 and 8 respectively at the time.
    I could not read Tsiolkas’ book The Slap, for this very reason; and for this very reason, I will not pass through a church’s threshold unless I really, really have to.
    Tariq Ali in his Clash Of Fundamentalisms says (among many, many other wonderfully explicatory things) that all religion is politics. Now politics was an inescapable thing back in Aristotle’s time. You lived in a polis and therefore you were responsible for that polis and therefore you were a politician. Like it or not. Your every act was political.
    Until not you but some thug (post Kleisthenes’ Democracy) took over the polis and began to tell you what to do.
    That thug was some sort of religiously inspired fear monger who made you not only believe that there was a god, or ten or twelve or 4,000 of them but, more brutally, that he, the thug, knew what that god was all about or what he wanted and what he always wanted was a sacrifice, not from the money changers but from you, the lowly, the powerless mug.
    This is still the case. From obeying Teiresias to obeying someone who speaks in tongues; from someone who speaks from the pulpit to someone who speaks from minarets we are are given dogmas: thou shalt nots! The more thou shalt nots, the more power over us.
    Thou shalt not greet a non believer this way and thou shalt not say these words…

    What is religion if not a dark cave of thou shalt nots with flashing lights outside its entrance, promising peace and love and a seat next to some god or other?
    What is religion if not a jihad, or a mein kampf, or a “know thyself” – whatever it takes, including the very opposites of peace and love?
    What is religion if not a place where a babel of jumbled words uttered by many jumbled tongues that say nothing but cast marrow-shaking fear in your whole being?

    Kaled, I have no problem wishing you a great, happy and healthy time for the duration of these pagan breaks, nor for any other time of the year and do so with great alacrity and sincerity. but I cannot do so wearing the costumes of a theist because, as much as I love the stage and the theatre, I know that whilst my stage and theatre is a product of imagination, the stage and theatre of the religious pretends or is deluded in thinking that it is a reality of the most divine mind.

    Have a great time now and for the rest of your life.

  13. RomeoCharlie29

    By golly there are a lot of us seppo’s ( Septuagenarians, not yanks) on this site. I. (73) tend to side with the Latin lad on this matter though that is not to denigrate the article’s author. While deploring the essentially monetary emphasis of Christmas, and Easter etc., I also find myself increasingly angry at the way politicians have destroyed so many of the institutions which have been progressively, over decades, set up to protect people, flora and fauna and the environment from the nastiness of exploitative multi-nationals not to mention our own would-be wreckers. I refer of course to those great undoers, the Liberal and National parties from Fraser onwards. As Kaye Lee pointed out so well recently, the liberals have wound back, or eliminated so many of the progressive reforms and institutions initiated by Labor governments under Whitlam, Hawke, Keating and latterly Rudd and Gillard.

    Reading Anne Summers new memoir and she talks of the Whitlam, Hawke and Keating support for the Arts in Australia. Then compare it to the destructive efforts of the Pygmy intellects of Brandis and Fifield. This being just one example of philistinism which is broad-based in the Coalition.

    But don’t get me started.

    My Latin incidentally, is confined to the Carlton motto — mens sana in corpore sano ( not ‘men’s sane in corporeal sand’ as autocorrect would have it, and a few legal phrases picked up from court reporting so to save me resorting to Google translate could I have an explanation for the nom-de-plume, with or without the sed?

  14. Joseph Carli

    Well..I’ve decide I might become a Rosicrucian…I was almost a Bhuddist, y’know..but I am gone off them now…bunch of flower eaters!….so I might become a Rosi’…..Not that I know what the Rosicrucians do..if they actually do anything!..I mean..What IS a Rosicrucian?…all I know about them is those little ads you used to see on the back of the old “Post” magazine….inviting you to learn the secrets of the universe..or something…Does anybody know??….But wait…don’t tell me..I don’t want to know…like those other faiths..let it be one of the mysteries of the universe.

    I just like saying ..: “I’m almost a Rosicrucian, y’know”.

  15. Barry

    Thanks Khaled and Merry Xmas all. John Hermann @ 4:21pm mentions the idea that “Jesus is regarded as a major prophet within the Islamic faith”. Do you have any idea how is it that the average Christian doesn’t understand that fact yet? I have some theories but it would be interesting to hear a Muslim take on the matter.

  16. Diannaart

    Khaled Elomar

    Kul aam wa anatom bekhayr

    Dianna

  17. George Theodoridis

    RomeoCharlie29

    I can’t resist butting in with my ill disciplined love for esoterics.
    The ancient Greeks borrowed or stolen the latin “mens sana in corpore sano” and in their language it looked and still looks like this: νοῦς ὑγιής ἐν σώματι ὑγιεῖ, which, in effect means “for the mind to be healthy, the body must be healthy.”

    This aphorism began life with Thales, a pre-Socratic philosopher who gave us, “τίς εὐδαίμων, ὁ τὸ μὲν σῶμα ὑγιής, τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν εὔπορος, τὴν δὲ φύσιν εὐπαίδευτος”
    This being the question, “Who is a happy man then?” and the answer, “it is he who has a healthy body, a fructiferous soul and a well educated nature.”

    Juvenal then, either stole it or borrowed it or even thought of it all over again and he came up with “orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano” which can mean, “look, if you’re gonna ask the gods to give you a strong mind, make sure you also ask them to put inside a strong body?”

    Then the pom John Hulley appeared and gave the sentiment the meaning currently used by the Carlton Footy Club, which is that “a real sportsman had both, a healthy brain as well as a healthy body.”

    So there!
    Sorry but such are the tropes of us septuagenarians!
    As you were!

  18. Shaun Newman

    Dawkins – the god delusion explains my attitude completely.

  19. Miriam English

    Khaled, thank you for the good wishes. I wish you the same. May you and your family be healthy and happy.

    On the topic of wishing different kinds of people well at Solstice, or any other time, I like the atheist/humanist approach: simply try to do well by all people, regardless of their beliefs. It always seems so much easier to just simply do well by others because it is the right thing to do, and be personally accountable for any success or failure to do so, instead of needing to justify it through a tradition or book.

    I’m always surprised at how many rules religious people have to navigate in order to be good people, and sadly, how some use those rules to excuse not being good people (our accidental Prime Minister comes to mind there).

    Khaled, I wish you all the best, and hope that you have a wonderful time with your family and friends at this part of the year and always in the future. Thank you again for your kind thoughts to us all.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Khaled,

    There is so much I would like to discuss with you but I find myself hesitating in how to express myself respectfully. I sense the same hesitation from you. You are careful in how you express yourself. I wish it didn’t have to be this way between us.

    I wish religion didn’t make it hard for us to just talk to each other. Our children are growing up together. We are working together to try to make the world a better place so they can do that with kindness, understanding, tolerance and acceptance of diversity.

    I chose to be a member of my church for many years. I also chose to leave because I became increasingly uncomfortable with the worship side of things.

    I guess that is pretty much what I want to say. I find you an intelligent, thoughtful, compassionate and tolerant man regardless of what any religious text says to either of us.

    I think of your 11 year old son (who is no doubt much older now) and I want him to be happy. In many ways we should learn from our kids. They know the importance of love. It is we adults that teach them to hate. But I firmly believe that if we keep talking to each other and listening, we can remember what we knew when we were kids.

    Peace be with you and best wishes to your family.

  21. LOVO

    Such great and thought provoking comments on Khaled’s article.
    Thank you all for your illuminations.
    I, like many, view religions as man made constructions…..but having said that, my favourite ‘thing’ about Xmas IS.. the drive home afterwards….f#ck I love that bit…no really 😉
    Khaled and nonsibicunctis, I bow in your general directions, though, obviously, for differing reasons…..and yet…..

  22. helvityni

    RomeoCharlie29,

    How refreshing, you actually mention the Arts in Australia..

    Anne Summers was right, none of the Liberal leaders has been interested, to my disappointment, not even Turnbull…

    Mammon matters and wins over ….

  23. George Theodoridis

    helvityni, I remember Don Dunstan very fondly!
    Don and Gough, what a duo of Springs! Crystal clear waters, nourishing, revitalising, thirst quenching – and, mate, were we thirsty back then!

    All those springs, all that crystal clear water all that nourishment, the thirst quenching, the revitalising all that stuff that builds the humaneness in us has now been turned back into sludge and sewer, oil and coal, ignorance and churchy tongues, all putrefying by every passing minute.
    Calling it bullshit insults the bulls!

  24. DrakeN

    Dear Helvitini, have you not recognised that they patently manifest the Black Arts of the Unholy Trinity of Politics, Commerce and Religion in their everyday behaviours ?

    Of course you have 😉

  25. helvityni

    ….yes George, Don Dunstan was a modern progressive man, he made us believe that there’s more to life than ‘dollaria’…

  26. DrakeN

    Indeed, George, bovine excrement can be utilised beneficially in reinvigorating the soil from which it originates.

    That which these evil apologies for humans create is diametric opposite – it smothers and kills all of the good that life has to offer.

  27. Diannaart

    http://muslimsdownunder.com

    Extremists rely on spreading myths and false information to divide us. They want us to fear each other, to turn against each other.

    We want to do something about it. But, we need you. We want you to stand united with us, against extremism, against hate, and against ignorance.

    Because together we can make a difference. And our country is stronger when we stand together.

    For the record I am an atheist. And am in despair of so much harm religion (all religions) has caused.

    But most religious people I know are good people. While I believe this is due to the evolution of humans towards social characteristics and not a magical being, I also believe in live and let live.

    Wa Alaykum

  28. helvityni

    DrakeN, my dear farmer dad taught me all about good qualities of the bovine excrement, you are too right , nothing life affirming comes from our selfish politicians who only worry about getting or staying in power, instead of nourishing the masses , us…

  29. Godwin

    Glad you’re feeling better Di

  30. Joseph Carli

    Personally, I like the idea of re-birthing Paganism…I like the notion of the “personal god” that one carries around in one’s pocket and like the perrenial rabbit’s foot, gives it a gentle rub for “good luck” or as a talisman to ward off evil spirits…..Yes…I think the world is ripe for a new Paganism!

    I know I am..and I’m almost a Rosicrucian, y’know..

  31. Vivienne29

    George has the best response. Always a sensible man. Can I just say “I second that’.

  32. helvityni

    ‘Calling it bullshit insults the bulls ‘

    Yes, Viv, and any Matador would totally agree…

  33. vivienne29

    Hi Helvi – Don Dunstan wrote a very neat and precise cookbook. It’s in my collection. Love to you and Gerard.

  34. Josephus

    How we greet one another provided it shows respect is of no consequence; what this religious pundit or that says is also of no consequence. Anyone can marry anyone provided each respects the views of the other.
    Anything else is bigotry and nonsense. Khaled I respect you but am sad that the sayings of long dead people matter to you. Break free of your prison and realise that we are all brothers and sisters and that long ago people worshipped Baal, Thor, Zeus, Emperor Augustus, Mazda, Mithras, you name it. There is no God.

  35. MattersNot

    Josephus re:

    There is no God.

    Wrong! There are lots of them – all created by Man.

  36. helvityni

    Yes, Matters Not, all those Hindu Gods and Goddesses in India, too numerous to name them all here…

    That reminds me of a lovely book by Arundhati Roy; The God of Small Things….

  37. Phil Gorman

    Thank you Khaled; you are a bridge builder not a wall builder. The world sorely needs more bridge builders.

    Whilst I cannot share your religious belief I certainly share your sense of common humanity and mutual respect. I believe the universal “Golden Rule” – “Treat others as you would want them to treat you”, is as good as it gets in human relations.

    With best wishes for a happy new year to you and your family.

    Phil Gorman

  38. Kaye Lee

    I think growing up in freedom allows us to think differently. Increasingly that is so for our children. Will we let them cast off our shackles and lead the way? The great part about is we won’t have a choice…..we should all understand how important they are.

    Our family get-together at Xmas truly looked like the United Nations. That is the face of Australia and I love it.

  39. MattersNot

    Re:

    growing up in freedom allows us to

    One wonder how far the us can be universalised? All Australians? Some Australians? Most? A minority? Aborigines? The rich? The poor? And so on.

    And whether degrees of freedom might also be worth a look. In my (limited) experience, Americans invariably boast about how free America is. Yet, the levels of aject poverty in the richest nation on the planet is mind-bending.

    They tend to comfort themselves via slogans – mantras and all that – which mask so much. Perhaps we can do better by being more objectivally critical? But probably not. Fish and water – and all that.

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