I have had a lot of time to think
lately about many things...

a Muslim has given me back my faith in God

just when I needed it the most,

and I will forever thank Alwalidi for what he has given me.

it's not what I have heard about Muslims, we hear that they hate Christians
and that one of their purposes is to
destroy Christianity.

I have learned that that's not true

and, in learning that,

I have an enormous amount of respect for Muslims

if Christians were as devout in their practice of their faith
as Muslims are,

we wouldn't have the social problems we currently have
or the moral ones ..

it is not the Christian religion that is a problem

it sadly, is most of the Christians themselves.

most religions have the same fundamental beliefs, but if you are a devout Christian here,
you are called a fanatic or accused of being ignorant.
it's expected that Muslims be devout because they are considered a little "backward". (not my opinion but it seems to be a general consensus)

Christians have gotten so far away from their fundamental beliefs that the religion doesn't resemble what it was meant to be. The church has bent and broken it's rules to accommodate social changes. A few examples of this are:

Annulments in the Church were very rare. When you are married in the Church - it is for life, regardless of the situation. But society felt that that rule was too harsh - so the church bent on rules for annulment -
the numbers have jumped thousands of times what they used to be...
marriage in the church no longer has the meaning it used to for most.

Catholics always dictated what would and would not be taught in their Catholic Schools - but .. they were "private" schools and you would have to pay to send your children there.

Because of changing moral and social feelings, less people cared if their children got a Christian education and would rather not pay for it. The schools started "hurting" for money and asked for Federal funding. The got the funding but they lost the right to dictate what would be brought to their schools or taught. (examples such as - sex education was never on the curriculum, the sale of condoms in the washrooms in Catholic schools is in direct contradiction with the dictates of the Roman Catholic Church, the knowledge that homosexuality is a sin and a blasphmony against God and nature is no longer allowed to be even mentioned because it is politically and socially incorrect, and worse than that! included in the sex education in schools, they have to teach that homosexuality is just a lifestyle choice not a perversion. Prayers are no longer said at the begining of each day - but at least (thank God) you can still say them. In public schools it is now illegal to say prayers in schools. These things are evil.

would Muslims ever let this happen in their schools?
would they allow their children to be exposed to this?
why is their faith so strong, and how are they able to keep it so strong? my Muslim friends and I will probably have to "agree to disagree" on many issues but I respect them so much for their faith, their sense of honour, their trust in God, their loyalty, their protectiveness... so many things. I am proud to say that I have learned so much from them - including how to be a better Christian

if Christians followed the 10 Commandments on which our beliefs are founded, which, if we break are mortal sins. these commandments were given to Moses by God, I don't think they had a "best before" stamp on them or an expiry date

1. there is one God and you will have no other Gods before him.
2. do not to worship idols
3. never take the name of the Lord in vain
4. keep the Sabbath day holy.
5. honour your father and mother
6. do not to murder
7. do not to commit adultery
8. do not to steal
9. do not give false witness against your neighbor
10. do not covet your neighbours wife or possessions

Simple rules, for Muslims

Christians seem to have a problem with it,

it doesn't fit in with their lifestyle sometimes,

or their lust for sex or money.

money and sex, - the new idols

too bad in my opinion because both money and sex are good things, God gave us these things to enjoy, but how many of of the 10 Commandments will you break to get them? it is a mortal sin to break the commandments, if you break them so freely how much do you care about your soul? this is what has been lost with Christians. this is what I am refinding now, because of a Muslim man.

the 10th commandment - wouldn't it be easier to keep if your neighbours wife wasn't running around half naked?

don't misunderstand me, I think the fact that a man is excited by the sight of a womans body is wonderful, but, as a woman, the only person I want being excited by my body is my husband, and I am sure my husband would feel the same way

so Muslims women cover themselves, it is not forced on them, it is respectful to their husbands and themselves and God. Catholic women were supposed to cover their hair too, but only in church. I remember having to do so as a child. and they are supposed to dress modestly -

if I was visiting a Muslim country and my friend asked me to wear a head cover - I would. I respect him too much to want to offend or disrespect him or his people in any way. But here in Canada I would not wear it, because I am not Muslim.

I sometimes wonder if some of the problems that Christians have with Muslims doesn't stem from a bit of guilt on the part of the Christians.
The Muslims are as devout as Christians should be.

I will try to be as good a Christian as my friend is a Muslim - if we all did - maybe there would be some peace in this world.
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My grandfahter was a convinced atheist, he lived according to the Decalogue more than Catholic priests or the most religious muslim though. It's question of conscience I believe and not religion.
Your grandfather was a good man then. You are right and
I agree with you, but what I perhaps failed to convey is that
your conscience can make you a very good person but when
I needed faith, and I thought I lost it, I learned how to rely
on God again through the devoutness of a Muslim. When all
else is taken from our hands, then I let it rest in Gods hands.
And I thank you very much Pieter for your input.
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Geri, my parents are very religious (Catholic) and you sound very much like them.. The world’s religions are quite closely matched.

I tend to agree with Pieter's grandfather, in that it's a personal thing, that you must develop your own unique consciousness; my idea of happiness is not necessarily anyone else’s. Saying that, I am however glad that you are pleased with your new faith.
Hitch what a superb sentence " ; my idea of hapiness is not necessarily anyone else's". I have a better one though. " my idea of emptiness is not necessarily anyone else's". I am saying this because to feel happy you need sb. To feel empty, you don't. Lots experience in the latter.
Wow Geri, this was a very good read. I loved the way you expressed yourself here. It's an interesting line of thought that I hadn't thought of before.
Maybe it was just my upbringing but I never thought about the Muslims being the ones that hated the Christians. I thought it was only a mutual hatred that existed during the time of the crusades, something that stopped a number of hundreds of years ago.
I totally agree that christianity has declined a lot in the last years. We should ask ourselves why though. In the last census in Chile (very recently), there was a large drop in the number of Catholic believers . And Chile considers itself to be a very catholic country. I think the general feeling towards Muslims in Chile is that they are different, maybe strange for them, but definitely not a threat or evil in anyway.
Imagine how the world would be if all the christians actually lived by the ten commandments. There would be a lot more peace in the world as you say.
Again, I loved what you wrote.
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I think there are good and bad people under whatever belief, under whatever flag, country, colour of skin, age, sex, profession, etc. At the end, the actions are what counts, the actions that never hurt others but help.

Being honest to myself I have to say that the worry beliefs have with sex makes me sick. Young people make sex if the Pope wants or is the Pope doesn't want, better to provide them ways to avoid illness. And the worry with homosexuality, it is not a perversion or a lifestyle, people are born like that, I think the homosexual did nothing to prefer the same sex, as the heterosexual did nothing to prefer the opposite sex.

Islam, yes, I also found very good things in it but no the panacea. Talking about the belief and its rules, no about how muslims live Islam, it has some parts impossible to digest, the men dominance, the punishments of stonning adulters, the cutting hands of a thief, the killing of a muslim who decides to leave Islam, the permission of beating or lashing the wife. Not every muslim woman who wears hijab is doing by choice, some are under the strict sight of the police, ready to punish her. I know Christianism is not the panacea either. In fact, I think religions has led us sometimes towards very bad things like intolerance and war.
1. Geri, I disagree with your presenting all those changes to Catholicism as bad things. Sure, a religion sometimes has to stick to its guns and not be eroded by public pressure, but it also sometimes needs to be flexible in its teachings to accomodate the changing times. What's that expression about flexible willows and inflexible [whatever the other tree is], and how one bends but the other breaks when pressure is exerted on each? Anyway, sometimes a little bit of change, I think, is necessary, and, in fact, healthy.
2. I also disagree, specifically, with your comments on homosexuality, which I personally do not consider perverse or amoral or sinful or anything such. But that's not a main point here, and since you didn't offer any reasons for your beliefs, I won't bother arguing the matter further.
3. One of the points of a public school is that it is a place where no one faith is preferred over another. Therefore, it is only logical that prayers should not be said in school, since to do so would be to disclude members of different faiths and non-religious people. If a particular person really felt the need to pray sometime during the day, surely he would be able to do so privately and on his own time, without making those around him uncomfortable. I don't see why this is a problem.
4. I also agree with the goverment's requiring sex ed at schools it has funded. By funding a school, it is condoning the subject matter taught within that school, and if it believes that sex education is essential for its country's youth, does it not have a moral obligation to see that sexual education is delivered to children in a school it has funded? Whether or not you agree that sex ed is important or necessary (a point that is off-topic but which I would again be glad to discuss further if you should want to), you must concede that from the government's point of view, requiring it in schools is a must.
5. To Elena: I agree with most of your post, except for your very last sentence. I myself don't believe that religion leads us to intolerance war; I think that we merely use religion as an excuse or a cover for our own intolerance and polemic attitudes. Religion in itself is a good thing, I think: it unifies people and provides them with a belief system and a network of support. It is very often used to condone bad things, and often I don't agree with some particular teachings of some particular religions, but I do not think that religion itself is overall a bad thing just because it has some rather nasty bits to it.
" Religion is the opium of people." Marx said it.
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