Tag Archives: Appreciating Diversity

Obsession of the Week: “Little Mosque on the Prairie”

 

This series is a gem because it combines political and religious issues stereotypes in a humorous way. It’s unfortunate that our country, founded on religious freedom, didn’t produce this show first. Canadian CBC airs the hit sitcom “Little Mosque on the Prairie” now in its fourth season (episodes are currently available on Google Videos and YouTube). I recently read an article about the series and the delays in bringing to the United States and decided to check the series out for myself.

The series revolves around a tiny Muslim community living in a small Canadian prairie town. While the humor of the sitcom can be mild, the way the series deals with religious stereotypes is incredibly real and amusing. The show doesn’t shy away from finding humor in stereotypes which have become far too taboo in the politically correct climate in this country. It works for this series because the show’s seven Muslim characters offer a wide range of believers of the faith that include a sexist traditionalist and a white Canadian convert.

The show doesn’t shy away from dealing with non-Muslim stereotypes either.  The cast includes a local radio Rush Limbaugh-type who attacks the Mosque with stereotypical rhetoric and a local resident who always seems to hear something that could be construed as “terrorist chatter”. The show also succeeds in turning the religious stereotypes on its head as some of the Muslim characters make comments about those in the Christian faith in a similarly stereotypical way that Christians make about Muslims.

At the heart of the show is the relationship between the Islamic Imam and an Anglican Reverend who rents out part of his church to Muslims for their new mosque.  Both the show’s premise and ideology promote peace and understanding of a religion most Canadians and Americans don’t really understand.

To stereotype an entire religion as if the entire masses of the faithful is represented by a few extremists is morally wrong whether it be Christians generalizing about Muslims, Muslims generalizing about Christians, or even one race against another. This show uses humor to show its audience that no matter the stereotype, it’s better to get to know a people as individuals so you can better understand their perspective.

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Is Your Pastor a Bully? Understand the Religious Political Agendas of Churches

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Too often people take words from “authorities” as law. Whether it’s an email forward we receive or in the case of my latest Examiner article, your pastor, you have to be cautious about what we hear and believe.

Some of the comments and e-mails I have received about my various articles feel generated by people whose views are very closed off to real possibilities. When we’re talking about God, there are no limits to the possibilities. “No one can say with absolute authority what the limits are of God’s favor and salvation”.

When I hear churches having lecture series on the evils of other faiths (like Islam) it angers me. I doubt very much that Christ would want that. Is a church a place where political agendas should be discussed? Neil Saavedra of “The Jesus Christ Show” has said on the show that churches only political agenda should be to ensure that the freedom of religious freedom is secure. Beyond that there should be not political agendas in our churches. This would include those against Islam, same sex-marriage or battles over denominational issues.  For me, it goes back to the “Unity in essentials, liberty in non-essentials and in all things charity”.

Continue reading my article on Examiner.com: Is Your Pastor a Bully? Understand the Religious Political Agendas of Churches – National religion & politics | Examiner.com

Chino Mosque Answers to “Kill the Infidels” in the Quran

My articles about Islam are always a hot topic. I’m generally inundated with hateful comments and e-mails about being a Muslim sympathizer when I write these type of articles. While I do not share their beliefs, I am sympathetic to the way the religion as a whole has been demonized. I feel there is still far too much rhetoric that paints the entire religion in the extremists’ views. I know Christians wouldn’t like it if they were always portrayed as the Branch Dravidians of Waco, Texas. Here is an Imam trying to get his beliefs out there that Islam is a peaceful religion. No matter your views, you owe it to the Imam to hear what he has to say. He’s all over the media – on radio, on TV, on YouTube, in the newspaper. Click here to read the entire article.

Here is a news piece from KABC Eyewitness News of the Imam after the Fort Hood Shooting.

Is Religion a Scam?

This week’s National Examiner.com article responds to this billboard posted by American Atheists in Alabama that all religions are scams. It’s an interesting read no matter what side you are on. My biggest concern here is the insulting way people trying to convert insult their audience. Do atheists think they can win over doubting believers by telling them they are being scammed? Christians do the same thing when they condemn certain sinners to hell publicly. It’s interesting that neither side really seems to get that compassion not insult and condemnation win people over.  Click the link below to read the article – I think it’s thought provoking. I especially like the definitions of religion I include in the end and how that equates.

Click here to read \”Is Religion a Scam?\” at Examiner.com

The War on Christmas: Much Ado About Nothing?

Is the “War on Christmas” a “vast Right-Wing conspiracy” or a “Liberal attempt to secularize America”? Actually, it seems ripe to be much ado about nothing. We love to make mountains out of ant hills these days (see “War on Christmas: People Love War”).

The “War on Christmas” is the perceived battle between Christians and non-believers on the significance the Christmas holiday gets this time of year. Sited evidence that Christmas is being attacked includes the replacement of “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays,” some government agencies calling them “holiday trees” instead of “Christmas trees” and this year, Atheists billboards calling for a “season for reason.” Christmas observers state that political correctness has simply gone too far.

Click here to read the full article \”The War on Christmas: Much Ado About Nothing\” Available on Examiner.com, Associated Content and various other syndicated websites.

War on Christmas: Why People Love War!

Examiner.com asked that all religion writers focus on the “War on Christmas” during this month. I’m committed to three articles. One article appears today titled “Let’s Face It People Love War”. It’s about how as humans we seem to crave this need for conflict. I think that’s what’s at the heart of this ‘War on Christmas” between those who celebrate Christmas and those don’t. Two more articles will appear next week to complete my assignment. One is titled “The War on Christmas: Much Ado About Nothing” and the other is “The War on Christmas: Lessons from Dr. Seuss”.

Click this link for \”War on Christmas: Lets Face It People Love War\” article