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Posts tagged ‘Personal choice’

Christians, secularism, morals and values

Our western society has been under much pressure lately. Many could see that humans are hard- and soft-wired towards co-operation as much as competition. One may wonder if there is such a thing as the common good of society, shared morals and values, and that individuals need common rules for living together and contributing to the overall health of their society. {A relentlessly upbeat take on citizenship: My Review of Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship}

After a long time that people had it very easy, they now come tested again. They once again have to become aware that

Nothing is easy, all goes slowly, we carry time as a very heavy burden, but little by little we see clearly and advance… Living spiritual life — as opposed to religious life — is very difficult because spiritual life happens within whereas religion comes from outside oneself. {Advancing in spiritual life}

Though today many seem to forget that the religious life, coming from outside, when forced to some some one has no value and is just an empty box. Religion has to be chosen by the person himself or herself. For adults it is the own choice to belong to a certain religion. For an adult it is also the own choice how they live that religion. The best can this be seen in West Europe were lots of people say they are Catholic but where the majority does not live up to Catholic rules, and where even more than 90% even does not belief all the Catholic dogma‘s and do not affirm to the Catholic sacraments. they have come to an age where they made themselves a religion for their own. But they also should come to see that there are others who sincerely belief in God and want to serve that God (Allah, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah) to their best efforts.

Several people have lots of questions of life and death and want to have something to hold an and look for some spirituality. This spirituality is different than the religiosity.

Spiritual life, although it has a unique goal throughout the world which is the Union of All that is the Creator and all creatures, takes place in a wide variation of form and thought, because there is a constant rapport between spiritual life which is unique with the variable environment of the moment. {Advancing in spiritual life}

People have looked for different ways to come to see, meet and have a relationship with each other and with that Creator of the universe. Thousands of forms have been found to bring themselves to higher spheres and to try to make contact with the inner self and with creation and Creator. Lots of techniques found day light for humans to find ways to bring their body and soul in unison.  Many techniques are daily used by people all over the world to keep their body and soul healthy and to become a human which is in balance.

That balance is brought in danger by many factors and mostly by the impacts from outside world.

Man and woman in swimsuits, ca. 1910; she is exiting a bathing machine

At the beginning of the 21st century man in the West clearly has a troubled mind about tohorah or ritual purity, modesty, personality, self-expression, freedom or liberty, morals and values. Living in a place where the population in previous years was brought up under Judeo Christian values, those values seem long forgotten, and some, like the French some have chosen to oblige totally different moral values.

France’s Burkini Ban

Under the pressure of Islamic terrorists, people in the West have gotten such a fear which seems to trouble their mind so much they can not think straight any more. So, many suddenly start looking to see danger everywhere, even in women wearing certain clothes.

Normally you would think we are living in a multicultural society where it should be possible that

We do not need to like or love our fellow citizens. But we have to respect them and engage with them. {A relentlessly upbeat take on citizenship: My Review of Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship}

At the moment the world shows that respect is totally gone. There does seem to be no respect at all for people who have chosen an other way of thinking and living than theirs. It looks like today everybody has to agree with the same and has to be cut from the same cloth or has to be the same buffoon.

Lots of people are not willing any more to think about certain matters or to do some more research about certain things, to come to know more about it. Everything seems to be of the same cut and everybody is tarred with the same brush.

Take for example Islamic people living here in the West. Lots of people consider them a danger for our society because they hear a lot about those Islamic terrorists and have recently seen that those fundamentalist Muslims created havoc in our own regions killing many citizens.  Lots of people do forget they also killed many Muslims, Jews, atheists, Christians and other believers and that they really have nothing to do with the real Islam. They also do not seem to know that in the East even Sunni‘s came to fight against those so called Sunni Muslims of Daesh.

Women wearing hijab

In Europe we may find today a very big issue about Muslim faith, they way those people cloth, namely the hijab (headscarf) or turban, burka (full body cloak) or burqa and burkini or burqini becoming the symbol of Islam and all that there is about Islam. It has come so far that we see that a garment now defines Islam. But only a name could make them afraid to and have them saying a bukhara (Bukhoro or Bokhara) should be forbidden though then we shall not be able to eat any Bukhara Chutney (Plum Sauce) any more.

A cloth, has become Islam. The issue is that modesty and virtue have been reduced to the abundance or lack of abundance of a garment. And that indeed is a shame. {Tell me I’m wrong about the hijab  + Maniza Naqvi is wrong on so many levels about the hijab}

For us still the idea exist that the Ummah or Muslim community is still much too silent and does not show enough the world that those terrorists are misusing the name of Allah and are not real Islam.

It does not help when we in the West hear about maltreated women in the East. A Saudi 17-year old teenager making the decision to leave her family during a vacation in Turkey this summer; a 20-year old Muslim woman ran away from her family in Saudi in 2014; Hind Al-Otaibi escaping her abusive father who raped and injured her; Sahar Al-Sharif, attempting to escape domestic violence and her abusive brothers by getting married; all Saudi women who are not criminals, but people who have simply made a conscious decision to live! Who can blame them and who can say they have caused any harm? But why should they, when coming to the West put their faith aside and come to cloth themselves like Western people, who in their eyes do have low morals and not good ethics?

Strangely enough it are on those aspects they and western Muslim women become judged, as so called being without good morals and without good values. Today those values in France seem of a totally different sort as the ones in the previous century when they made a fuss when a short or skirt was not long enough or when too much bare skin was visible. Today several French people want to see as much as naked skin as possible though they forbid full nudity because than the excitement is taken away. For them clothing has to be spicy and seducing, otherwise it is not acceptable. That seems to be the moral and ethic attitude of the majority of French people today.

That modesty and virtue have been reduced to the abundance or lack of abundance of a garment for many does not seem to be a problem, but they want to see in the way women prefer to cloth, their inability to make their own proper choice. When women are not clothed like some of the youngsters prefer today they are considered not old fashioned, but are considered to being oppressed.

People also have becoming very narrow-minded thinkers (or would we not better say non-thinkers) limiting their own thoughts not wanting to go against the mainstream.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when talking about Muslim women, rather than talking to Muslim women, is to assume that Muslim women are all the same, think the same, to ignore the diversity of thought, experience, opinion. {Tell me I’m Wrong About the Hijab by Maniza Naqvi}

All Muslims are lumped. For the majority of Europeans they are all the same, from the same wet jar. Many of French or other Europeans, even do not come to see the difference between hijab, burka and burkini. They condemn and reject it without logic thinking and without good fundamental thought.

In case those people, who call themselves Christian, but adhere a trinity, do not want to come up for those women who love God more than man, real Christians, who love only One True God, should speak for those other lovers of God (Allah) and who have chosen to cover their body for God.

Real Christians should show that world which thinks it has good morals, that her morals have become polluted and reprehensible. They should show the world that it are not such good morals when man wants to exploit women as a sex object.

We as Christians should show the world that lovers of God should follow the rules of God and should respect each others and their own body. In the same way we should know that we have to be careful not to tempt others or to bring others to wrong thoughts about our body. We also should consider our body to be holy, i.e. set apart for God and for the one who intensely love and want to share our life with. This means that we should have the right to keep our own body to that person or persons who we want to share our body with or would not mind being seen in our natural skin.

We also should respect those women who want to go so far to cover a lot of their body. We also should show the world that we ought to respect those women for their choice of reserving their bodies just for their beloved.

For some it may look like those women are oppressed by their husband, but did they ever thought it might be the strong women their own choice to believe in certain values which may be much higher than the present values of the world?

Jews, Christians and Muslims should be lovers of God and as such prefer to keep to the Law of God much more than to the preferences of the majority of the world, who have abandoned God. Real lovers of God should know that the world its secularism, does not have to mean they have to follow in all the world their liberties.

Real lovers of God should always have in mind that the Law of God should be on the first place. That Divine Law is part or should be part of the Judeo Christian values our Western world should be keeping to, but many have gotten wrong ideas about those values, because they do not know their Scriptures any more.

It is up to lovers of God to come up for other lovers of God and to show those who have gone astray or do not know God to show the Way to God.

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Preceding article: Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion

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Find also to read about the burqini or burkini:

  1. Women’s Groups Say Gender Equality is a Must for Sustainable Development
  2. Gender connections
  3. Gender equality and women’s rights in the post-2015 agenda
  4. What is Racism??
  5. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  6. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  7. Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised
  8. France and the Burkini
  9. French showing to the whole world their fear and weaknesses
  10. Pew Research: How People in Muslim Countries Believe Women Should Dress
  11. Allowing dress code according liberty of religion
  12. The Dress Code for Women in the Quran
  13. Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”
  14. Coverings Worn by Muslim Women
  15. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  16. Islamism Rises from Europe’s Secularism
  17. You are what you wear
  18. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast
  19. Not limiting others but sharing peace with all
  20. What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?
  21. A charter for a truly free world and why we need it
  22. When will it stop
  23. ‘I try to keep my hate in check. If you can’t hate, you can’t love.’
  24. Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”
  25. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  26. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  27. Colour-blindness and road code
  28. Man’s own fault and the choice to flee from fear
  29. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth

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Further of interest

  1. Religious Dress in Catholicism
  2. ISIS is Islamic, but most of Islam is not ISIS
  3. What if this existence is not real?
  4. The Dark Side is Strong with this One
  5. The More Things Change . . .
  6. What not to wear
  7. How Much Cover is Too Much, or Too Little? The French bathing suit controversy as represented in original source material
  8. What Not To Wear: A Short History Of Regulating Female Dress From Ancient Sparta To The Burkini
  9. Tell me what you wear
  10. Burkini Ban: Nice
  11. France’s Burkini Ban
  12. The reason you aren’t succeeding as a woman? Thats because you bleed apparently.
  13. Reviewing Channel 4’s Investigation into ISIS Sympathisers
  14. Should France launch air strikes against ISIS after Friday’s attack?
  15. The Islamic State responds to Pope Francis: “We are making a religious war, and we hate you
  16. ISIS tells the Socialist Pope that the Islamic State is in a war against the infidels approved by Allah.
  17. ISIS Responds to Pope Francis: This IS a Religious War and WE HATE YOU
  18. I Stand with Humanity ! I Stand against Terrorism #PrayforParis
  19. The Written Stuff vs.The Not Written Stuff: Sex Education From An Islamic Perspective Part I
  20. Is the Woman in Hijab oppressed? Who is a free woman ?
  21. What Hijab Means to me, Hashtag #Hijabtome
  22. Why I never wore a Hijab so far?
  23. At what point does a ban become a chance to publicly humiliate?
  24. And the Debate about Burkini Ban continues #burkiniban
  25. The Swimsuit Issue
  26. Stripped Down Make-up and Full Cover Suits.
  27. Nawaz: Both Sides Are Wrong in the Burkini Wars – The Daily Beast
  28. Burkini ban overturned
  29. What a lot of Berk(a)s
  30. I got 99 problems and the burkini is one of them…really?
  31. Bombs in a burkini?
  32. Bretons bathe fully clothed as Muslim asked to leave beach
  33. My Burkini and I
  34. This is why.
  35. The Story In A Rug
  36. You’ve Got to BurKining Me!
  37. Ramadan Kareem!
  38. Requiem
  39. What Can You Learn Through Someone Or Something Shivered? — Michael J. Fite
  40. Finding yourself
  41. Beauty Eclipsed: Day 8 – Focus inward
  42. Beauty Eclipsed #9: Surface vs Core
  43. A Journey From Being Alone To Alone
  44. Own, Apologize, Repair: Coming Back to Integrity
  45. Counter-Activism…or… Subverting Democracy
  46. The world in trouble
  47. i know why the caged bird shrieks…
  48. Darkness
  49. What do we do?
  50. The New Testament Church Part 2
  51. Peace
  52. De-Stress Your Mind & Body
  53. Let a young woman accept as a life companion only one who posseses pure,manly traits of character,one who is diligent,aspiring,one who loves and fear God.
  54. Why I wear the iron maiden: One woman on dressing modestly in everyday life
  55. Turn away from companions who will lead you in wrong paths.
  56. How legitimate is Christian Head-covering?
  57. Misnomer
  58. Why We Are Not Meant To Live Our Lives Naked
  59. There Is No Biblical Reason Why Women Can’t Go Topless?
  60. Power Of Happiness
  61. Being Grateful and Being Sorry—Are You Humble Enough To Do Both?
  62. …make this gift count.

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Shunning amidst a crisis

Regularly people can find instead of the usual sports fans or concert goers, the Jehovah’s Witnesses descending on regional arenas in Sunday best.

The agenda for this year’s series of conventions focus on some of the more controversial aspects of the faith that bring sharply into focus some darker period of our guestwriter’s life when she/he (on the photo we see a she) faced the harsh reality of wanting to leave the religion in which she was never baptised as this would have meant that instead of just fading away, she would now be ‘disfellowshipped’. But her not being part any more of that religious group may perhaps brought her to use some words which should not be part of the language of a Christian. Therefore we apologise for those words which some youngsters also use like they have no meaning at all, or which they use simply to ad more strength to what they want to bring over, though it weakens their saying and shows more their frutstration.

The hyperbole rebel who last year decided to stop watching TV, particularly the news as she/he felt it just injected her with sludgy negativity. Not only are the only things that are reported hate-filled acts of violence or tragedy, but as a socially savvy gal, it was so clear that there was another agenda being fueled just by the way things were reported or certain people were interviewed or the way some people or groups were discussed. {Welcome y’all}

She/he writes

I would like, through this blog, to remind people that just as you do not know who is under that cat suit, you don’t know who is under that burka or under that Paul’s Boutique bomber jacket. We all have stories. We all have a context and there are many things that unite us all including inner strength, love of family and friends, loyalty and the sheer joy of a sugary donut first thing in the morning. {Welcome y’all}

The person who knows that the antithesis to fear and disgust is exactly that love  {#Prayforenlightenment} when she sits with her coffee and thinks about her parents who will be at that moment sitting in the morning session of the Jehovah’s Witness Convention ‘Remain Loyal to Jehovah’, she looks at that group of which her entire extended family on both sides are in that religion, save for the few who have been ‘led astray’ over the years and she has watched cousins who were baptised shunned by their own parents; an act of cruelty and emotional trauma that has no let-up – not even in times of great celebration, such as family weddings, or great sadness, like terminal illness and death, both of which she has witnessed.

She says she knows from her new found ex-JW friends that the title belies messages about shunning and she wonders what will go through their heads as they watch the videos and listen to the talks about what a worthy thing that is.

What a demonstration of your faith; to cause yourself the pain of separation. To voluntarily cut off your own loved ones. What martyrdom. Job-like. {Why Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t get punk rock}

It was with a grimy horror that she learned about the topic of this year’s Regional Conventions, being held across the UK, which open with the importance of shunning non-believing family members as a means of ‘Staying Loyal to Jehovah’.

The act of shunning, which is to completely disconnect and reject all association, is upheld as a virtue.

She writes

My tragic observation and experience of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is that they close down this emotional listening and only channel into the Watchtower frequency. All explanation for why they feel pain is excused and placated by the meetings, the Watchtower, the assemblies and each other through their exclusivity. Otherwise, what possible explanation could there be for a reasonable person to voluntarily cut off contact with their own child? The pain has to go somewhere, and when stuck in a high control religion which discourages freedom of thought and experiential learning, the pain returns in a loop as misguided zeal. ‘Suffering for love’ the insightful Jamie Catto calls it. It’s present in the very make-up of Christianity; if you suffer, you are just like the Christ! Go you! {Why Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t get punk rock}

For non-Jehovah’s Witnesses that shunning looks incredibly contradictory to the teachings they always get to hear at the door. It might be interesting to hear how those faithful to the organisation consider their attitude worthy of a Christian and how they are brought to accept such an attitude of excluding others, even own family of having contact or conversation.

Day 1 of the convention

video showing a young Jehovah’s Witness, ‘Sonja’, questioning her faith 1 (one of her inalienable human rights) +  she starting a sexual relationship with a non-Jehovah’s Witness.

all sex outside of marriage considered a grave sin = act results in her disfellowshipping from the congregation and shunning by all members, including her own parents > complete rejection lasts for 15 years

As an ex-Jehovah’s Witness herself, the writer can vouch for the pernicious and damaging effect shunning has on families.

shunning = emotional blackmail => psychologically damaging

shunned person = indoctrinated with idea = their choice to take path of sin + reap consequences of withdrawal of love + affection from those closest to them

Watchtower HQ showing Jehovah’s Witnesses holed up in an underground bunker whilst the ‘Great Tribulation’ (the pre-curser to Armageddon) rumbles away outside

When the Jehovah’s Witnesses descend in droves to gather at stadiums around the country, local press are typically supportive of the influx of well-mannered families who bring income to the local economy and clean up meticulously after themselves, but this is unhelpful surface observation of a religion with something altogether more sinister worth talking about.

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Preceding articles:

A Society pleading poverty

Male domination and tyranny giving opportunities to defile the Name of God

Belonging to or being judged by

Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses preach?

Oklahoma City Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Random Observations From My Most Recent JW Convention Experience

You Are The Truth

Jehovah’s Witnesses Circuit Assembly and a Pillar to freedom

Jesus’ footstep followers, irrespective of sectarian lines

Authority from the One God to one mediator between God and men

The Picture of the Governing Body

The Truth About the Watchtower Judicial Committee Process, as Told By a Former Elder

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The Hyperbole Rebel

Jehovah’s Witnesses promote shunning of family members amidst child abuse crisis

If you happen to have been anywhere near any big stadia this summer, you may have noticed that instead of the usual sports fans or concert goers, the Jehovah’s Witnesses descending on regional arenas in Sunday best. You may not know much about the cloistered religion, but they hold to a brand of faith that contains ideas that may surprise you – in the same way stubbing your toe on a doorframe first thing in the morning might surprise you – and the agenda for this year’s series of conventions focus on some of the more controversial aspects of the faith that bring sharply into focus some darker period of my life when I faced the harsh reality of wanting to leave the religion.

It was with a grimy horror that I learned about the topic of this year’s…

View original post 2,439 more words

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