People who know me know that one of may favorite topics of conversation is religion. Whatever belief system you subscribe to (or were born into), the New Year 2007 could be a new beginning for you. Do you enjoy participating in activities at your local place of worship? Do you adhere to dietary restrictions and observe holy days? If your answer is "no," you need to either make a conscious effort to return to your religious roots - or - determine if perhaps you need a "new" religion. You may want to try Belief-O-Matic™... even if YOU don't know what faith you are, Belief-O-Matic™ knows. The website comes with this caveat: Belief-O-Matic™ assumes no legal liability for the ultimate fate of your soul.
Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday is upon us. The most important date in the Islamic calendar, the Eid al-Adha [عيد الأضحى], or Feast of the Sacrifice, marks biblical patriarch Abraham's willingness to kill his son for God. Muslim countries often pardon criminals to mark the occasion, and prisoners are rarely executed at that time.
The Eid also falls during the 5-day haj, when more than 2 million Muslims from around the world follow ancient rites at the Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
While some Shi'ites (and Michelle Malkin) may regard Saddam Hussein's execution as an Eid gift from God, for hardline Sunnis it will confirm their worst views against Shi'ites as heretics in league with Washington. Malkin blogs: "Still and video cameras were in the chamber at the time of the execution. How long before it's on YouTube?" How long indeed. I say maybe by tonight!
One of the most revered clerics of Saudi Arabia's hardline Wahhabi school of Islam issued a fatwa earlier this month condemning all Shi'ites as infidels, an ominous sign of the sectarianism now gripping the region.
Conflict within Islam. We see it all the time within Christianity, and without:
A potential conflict between Jewish organizations and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over vicarious baptism was averted Monday when the church said Simon Wiesenthal's name was removed from the church's genealogical records.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles had demanded earlier in the day that Wiesenthal's name be removed from the church's online International Genealogical Index, the church's database of posthumous "ordinances" or vicarious baptisms.
I found this story interesting: once you've died and your soul is gone, can it be "hijacked" by another religion? I don't think so--- What do YOU think?
How about this story from SABAH (Turkey):
Cat Stevens, the famous singer who converted to Islam and changed his name to
Yusuf Islam, responded to the statements of the Pope Benedict 16 which were
aimed at Islam. Yusuf Islam said that with his statements, the Pope refuted
the claim that the Pope is infallible. He added: "I received a Catholic education
when I was a child; I used to believe that the Pope is infallible. However, now
I know it is not true."
One of my favorite local religious luminaries (if I may be so bold) is Rabbi Yaakov Weiss who presides over Chabad of Colonie. He's initiated a "Tanya Conference Call" weekdays at Noon. For 10 minutes or so, Rabbi Weiss teaches the day's portion of Tanya, a philosophic work written in 1797. "Tanya" is Aramaic for "it is taught." Check out CColonie's website for more.
Whatever your faith, I wish you Peaceful Blessings and a Happy New Year 2007!