• Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Freehold Residents, You do not Need This Book

    I am really offended by this. Our local daily, the Des Moines Register, did a story about false religions near Freehold.

    Students at nearby Drake University, in between sexual orgies, have compiled pictures and stories about 15 religions practiced around us, 14 of them being completely phony. Children will find this story in the trash and worry that Jesus will be killed again.

    I've called, complained and pleaded with the Register not to write stories about fake religions. There is no need to provide people with harmful information:

    These Drake students sought out Des Moines' faith traditions and published a book on what they found

    Daniel P. Finney , dafinney@dmreg.com 10:02 a.m. CT Jan. 28,

    Drake University faculty and students have spent two years assembling a coffee table book on religious faiths represented in the Des Moines area.

    Some years ago, when I was a reporter, my editor dispatched me to talk to Iraqi refugees about a new wave of violence sparked by a terrorist uprising.
    I sat in a room inside the Zion Lutheran Church in Beaverdale with two families who fled Iraq for America after assisting the U.S. military during the Iraq war.
    One of the men paced the room angrily as then-President Barack Obama described the violence as a Sunni insurgency. He stopped and looked at me.

    "Do you even know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites?" he asked.
    I stammered. The best I could manage was that the two groups of Muslims practiced their faith differently. That was true, but hardly a complete explanation.
    The man sighed and asked, "How can you write about this? You do not know any of us."
    The moment proved a stinging lesson: My understanding of religions (outside of my own passing familiarity with the traditions of my Methodist upbringing) was woefully inadequate.
    What's worse, the families I talked to that day were not people who lived far away in a country I would never visit. They were my people in my own hometown, and I had never bothered to understand their faith. I was embarrassed and ashamed.
    I thought of that moment when I visited a Drake University class earlier this month. The students are in the final stages of assembling a coffee-table book about religions in the Des Moines metro.
    The book is titled, "A Spectrum of Faith: Religions of the World in America's Heartland." More than 65 students worked on the book over two years. The book profiles 15 faith communities in central Iowa, including Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Christians.
    It features beautiful photographs by Bob Blanchard, who began capturing the imagery of the region's diverse religious traditions. The book will cost $30, and profits will benefit the Des Moines Area Religious Council's food pantries and other humanitarian programs.
    ): Shradha Humagai dance during a bhajan service of the Hindu Cultural and Educational Center. Bob Blanchard/Special to the Register

    Rabbi Kaufman delivers the children’s sermon during the Shabbat service at Temple B’nai Jeshurun. Bob Blanchard/Special to the Register

    Harinder Kaur (left) and Tirlochan Kaur (right) listening to kirtan music at the gurdwara (temple) of the Iowa Sikh Association. Bob Blanchard/Special to the Register

    Chanters Angela Sweet (left) and Dr. William Bitsas (right) chant hymns during the divine liturgy service at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George. Bob Blanchard/Special to the Register

    Adijana Dizdarevic (left) and Lejla Mehmedovoc (right) perform supplication (du’a) during one of the daily payers (salat) at Ezan Islamic and Educational Center. Bob Blanchard/Special to the Register

    A view of the 2014 dedication ceremony at Tu Vien Hong Duc for their statue of Quan Âm, the bodhisattva of compassion. Bob Blanchard/Special to the Register
    "Religion is difficult to approach for people," said Dustin Eubanks, a Drake junior from Waukee. "This means people are not aware of the faiths, livelihoods and religious practices around them."
    Students reported and wrote passages for the book. They visited
    "I was blind before this class," said Ellen Judge, a senior from Des Moines. "I was raised Catholic, and I thought that's the way the world is. This book is a celebration of diversity, and my own interest in learning more has only intensified."
    I admired the earnestness and eagerness of the students, as I often do when I visit classrooms. The young people I meet often lack the cynicism and closed-mindedness that seems to beset our national dialogue and culture.
    I've written many times that I believe the young people in high schools and colleges I've met over the last two years in this job are both kinder and smarter than my generation.
    As with an unfamiliar religion, there is a tendency to look warily at the next generation. I rarely observe the repeated complaints about today's youth: that they are soft, pampered and entitled.
    These Drake students were exactly what I wish I had been when I was a Drake student — curious, adventurous and disciplined. They spoke carefully about each of the faiths they observed.
    They emphasized that though the experience of learning new traditions was exciting, they didn't want their final product to feel like a bunch of kids who went on safari, dabbling in the exotic for course credit.
    "You don't want to fetishize others because they are new to us," said Sydney Schulte, a senior from Des Moines. "The goal is to broaden understanding and help eliminate misunderstanding."
    That sentiment truly moved me. If there's one thing clear about these muddled times, it's that we Americans don't understand each other very well.
    As the prison warden from "Cool Hand Luke" admonished Paul Newman's character: "What we've got here is failure to communicate."
    Of course, one book won't wipe away decades of misunderstanding, fear and loathing between faiths, cultures and Americans as a whole.
    But on the matter of faith, one or two books have proven to be powerful tools in the shaping of our shared morals and values.
    There is a reason the official seal of Drake University includes a burning lamp in front of an open book: Knowledge kills ignorance and illuminates awareness.
    PhotoDaniel P. Finney, metro columnist for the Des Moines Register. Follow him at @newsmanone on Twitter. (Photo: The Register / Staff photo)

    Daniel P. Finney, The Register's Metro Voice columnist, is a Drake University alumnus who grew up in Winterset and east Des Moines. Reach him at 515-284-8144 or dafinney@dmreg.com. Twitter: @newsmanone.
    'Spectrum of Faith'

    To preorder a copy of "A Spectrum of Faith: Religions of the World in America's Heartland," visit www.dmarcunited.org/book.
    Isaiah 24:1-3 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty (2)...as the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. (3) The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken his word.

  • #2
    Re: Freehold Residents, You do not Need This Book

    Thank you for this timely warning, Mr. Mayor. With all the protesters running around finding some semantic detail to get worked up over, terrorists are getting more and more bold in their refusal to capitulate to the Will of God, to the detriment of us all (Joshua 23:12-13).
    Hello, my name is Mary. I hope to fellowship with you! That is, unless you don't listen to church authority (Deuteronomy 17:12); are a witch (Exodus 22:17); are a homosexual (Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:24-32); or fortuneteller (Leviticus 20:27) or a snotty kid who hits their dad (Exodus 21:15); or curses their parents (Proverbs 20:20; Leviticus 20:9); an adulterer (Leviticus 20:10); a non-Christian (Exodus 22:19; Deuteronomy 13:7-12; Deuteronomy 17:2-5;Romans 1:24-32); an atheist (2 Chronicles 15:12-13); or false prophet (Zechariah 13:3); from the town of one who worships another, false god (Deuteronomy 13:13-19); were a non-virgin bride (Deuteronomy 22:20-21); or blasphemer (Leviticus 24:10-16), as God calls for your execution and will no doubt send you to Hell, and I have no interest developing a friendship with the Spiritually Walking Dead.


    • #3
      Re: Freehold Residents, You do not Need This Book

      Mr. Mayor,
      If I might suggest that, given the current state of our wonderful country, the following books may be implemented in the schools of Landover
      Attached Files
      Isaiah 66:15

      For behold, the Lord wil come with fire, and with his charets like a whirlewinde, to render his anger with furie, and his rebuke with flames of fire.


      • #4
        Re: Freehold Residents, You do not Need This Book

        How quaint - a coffee table book about charming life in India, with Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Christians all living in "spiritual" harmony. It makes me want to haul out a Ravi Shankar album and listen to one of his ragas on the sitar while simultaneously banging on some finger cymbals and munching on some samosas - and doing some projectile puking.

        List of Massacres in India (Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Christians all slaughtering each other)

        . . . .

        “While historical events should be judged in the context of their times, it cannot be denied that even in that bloody period of history, no mercy was shown to the Hindus unfortunate enough to be in the path of either the Arab conquerors of Sindh and south Punjab, or the Central Asians who swept in from Afghanistan…The Muslim heroes who figure larger than life in our history books committed some dreadful crimes. Mahmud of Ghazni, Qutb-ud-Din Aibak, Balban, Mohammed bin Qasim, and Sultan Mohammad Tughlak, all have blood-stained hands that the passage of years has not cleansed..Seen through Hindu eyes, the Muslim invasion of their homeland was an unmitigated disaster.

        “Their temples were razed, their idols smashed, their women raped, their men killed or taken slaves. When Mahmud of Ghazni entered Somnath on one of his annual raids, he slaughtered all 50,000 inhabitants. Aibak killed and enslaved hundreds of thousands. The list of horrors is long and painful. These conquerors justified their deeds by claiming it was their religious duty to smite non-believers. Cloaking themselves in the banner of Islam, they claimed they were fighting for their faith when, in reality, they were indulging in straightforward slaughter and pillage…”

        . . . .

        The cost of the Muslim invasions is massive in lives, wealth and culture. Estimates suggest that 60-80 MILLION died at the hands of Muslim invaders and rulers between 1000 and 1525 alone (ie over 500 years-the population FELL). (Lal cited in Khan p 216) Impossible you think? In the war of Independence of Bangladesh, 1971, the Muslim Pakistani army killed 1.5-3 million people (mainly Muslims …) in just 9 MONTHS. (Khan p 216). The world looked the other way—but don’t we always when it’s Muslims committing the violence! [*The actual number of Hindus brutally slaughtered by Muslims were around 400 million, not 60-80 million, according to Firishta [1560-1620], the author of the Tarikh-i Firishta and the Gulshan-i Ibrahim].

        . . . .

        Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
        brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.
        ...and get off my lawn