Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Musings on My Lottery Ticket

Saturday, September 4th, 2010 by Marc Santom

As I write this, I’m looking at the “lottery ticket” lying next to my laptop. It’s not an actual lottery ticket, mind you, but rather a scratch & win ticket from The Great Grocery Giveaway. Some local grocery stores give them out to customers at the checkout line. For some reason, the checkout gal at Food Lion handed me a stack of 47 of them the other day. So I brought the stack home, handed my kids a few coins and ordered them to start stratchin’ so we could start winnin’.

The goal of the scratcher is to pick three of the nine circles to scratch off—and if all three match, you get whatever is revealed in the prize box at the bottom. After my kids unsuccessfully scratched through half the stack, I grabbed one and, using my fingernail, scratched off three circles really fast and, lo and behold, all three matched! My kids thought I was superman and immediately exclaimed, “Daddy, scratch the prize box to see if we’re rich!” All of a sudden, the possibility of winning up to $250,000 warmed my soul and placed a spark in my eye. I was experiencing hope for a better life as I thought, “I could be rich and things could get real good real fast.” Amid the brewing excitement in my mind, however, I paused long enough to observe what was going in within me…

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Proposed Islamic Center and Christian Faith

Friday, September 3rd, 2010 by Diane Chandler

In the past several weeks, opposition to the proposed 13-story Islamic Center in New York City near Ground Zero has escalated around the country.  Originally called the Cordoba House, the proposed $100 multi-story building, which formerly housed the Burlington Coat Factory, would include a mosque, memorial for victims of 9/11, and a cultural center, complete with swimming pool, theater, and health club.  However, suspicions that the stated rationale for building the Islamic Center masks unspoken intentions, opponents also cite the insensitivity regarding the planned location and the projected debut date of September 11, 2011. Abit of background about the proposed initiative and also my concern regarding some of the reaction.

Leading the building initiative, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, had previously established the American Society for Muslim Advancement, with the purported aim of enhancing dialogue between Muslims and the West and healing pervasive wounds between Muslims and non-Muslims.  In his own words, Rauf stated, “Our purpose is to interweave America’s Muslim population into the mainstream society.”  He denies that the proposed initiative is a mechanism to gloat over the 9/11 attack but rather desires to portray Islam as moderate. Rauf has refuted terrorism and violence.

Yet even the name of the project, Cordoba House, catalyzed immediate protest, as many perceived Cordoba as referencing the Muslim conquest in 712 of the city of the same name in southern Spain. To dispel the uproar, Cordoba House was renamed Park51.

With questions swirling, reactions run the gamut from acceptance to complete hostility.  Several American values seemingly have collided mid-air.  The first value relates to religious freedom and lawful assembly, protected by the US Constitution.  The second value is the safeguarding of freedom from fear and threat of harm.  Americans remain vigilant against further radical Muslim attacks on US soil and abroad.

However what is especially troubling to me is the response of one church in Florida which has launched a national campaign to burn the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book, on September 11, 2010 in protest of Islam.  Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville, Florida has declared an “International Burn a Koran Day” as posted on their church website and newly established Facebook page. 

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