Friday, November 03, 2006

To God, Atheists, Wiccans, and my Muslim Friends

The beauty of Lebanon, from Tarek El Khatib's blog, rambling and blabbering

Don’t worry, I haven’t gone off my rocker. Bear with me. I’m just being more open than you might be used to.

This post consists of a short letter from me to God, and a reply to a comment made by my new Muslim friend across the world in Lebanon, Tyk.

This is a real letter to God. I am sending this message to God, and making it public. I hope He doesn’t object.

To my readers, I’m not claiming any closer connection to God than you have. I’m not Pat Robertson. I’m not a religious nut, nor a Jesus freak. I’m just like you, talking to God, but in public. To my atheist, agnostic, and Wiccan friends, I really just intend to get in touch with the forces of good in the universe. Think of it that way.

I realize this is somewhat grandiose. I don’t think that I’m so special as to merit grandiosity. I just feel the topics we discuss are that grandiose. We talk about life and death issues, and issues of moral clarity, and goodness and evil. These really are grandiose topics, worthy of grandiosity. So, it’s not me that is important here, but what we talk about.

To you Muslims in the world, I’m am making this reply to a comment to invite you to begin taking part in an important dialogue with your fellow travelers in our journey of life on earth.

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Dear God,

I am doing my best down here to live a good life as You direct me. I am trying to listen to You, but it’s hard sometimes to know what You are telling me. I ask You to open my heart and my mind and let me hear what You are really saying. Bless my friend Tyk, and all Muslims, and let them listen to You also. Tell us what to do. Help us decide for ourselves how we can communicate to bring peace to the world.

To my Readers: Don’t think this means I’m no longer a hard ass. I still am.

I keep defining myself. This is one more definition. I am a hard line conservative on some issues, a hard line progressive on others; a deeply religious guy, but New Age and inclusive of all religions; a Republican, an Independent, a Libertarian, and a little Democratic; a seeker of truth; an all-around good guy, and, hopefully, a force for good.

Republicans can feel comfortable with most of my views. Democrats can open their hearts and minds by listening to me. Progressives can join me in urging reform. We are not all on the same side, but we are making the same journey through life at the same time. We all have the same God or Universe. We all live on earth and breathe the same air. We kill each other and we become friends. We help define the lives we lead, and thereby help define life on this planet.

We are not the be-all and end-all, but we do matter. We count. What we think and do affects our world.

My new Muslim friend from Beirut, Lebanon, Tyk, Tarek El Khatib, 23, from the blog rambling and blabbering, describes himself as “just your average guy trying to make it.” His website is a great contribution to the blogosphere. He is a very nice guy, fun-loving, intelligent, and with some definite views on Islam, Israel, and the world. We disagree perhaps on some things, but agree on others.


Nice to hear from you. I'm glad you're still with us. You said:

I wrote a huge comment, but then a pop up erased it.. So I'm just going to write the jist of it...

Hey Rock, how goes it?

Tyk, I consider you to be important to the world (am I exaggerating?), being an intelligent, well-spoken Muslim, and we need this, and Muslims need this—so I am grateful for your readership and your comments. I know you will reach inside and realize that you are talking to the whole world and what we say here can have an effect on people's lives.

I deeply respect you. I realize too that you’re a fun kind of guy. This is fine. Your blog has a charming flavor to it, and you should keep it that way.

This is actually one of the posts where I agree with a lot of what you said.. Truth, I think, can sometimes be white or black (stealing is wrong, the sky is blue, gravity pulls things towards earth) but most of the time it's a combination of both.. Ok so CNN will give me the liberal point of view and FOX will give me the conservative point of view; it is the job of my brain and common sense to make the truth out of it.. Unfortunately we tend to be biased ourselves towards the people who say what we want to hear...

I am honored you got it, exactly as I meant it to be gotten. You said it even better than I. You're right, CNN gives the liberal point of view, and FOX the conservative. One isn't necessarily better than the other, (except, of course, FOX tells the truth, just half-kidding!) and we need to hear both. But, you're right too, we are biased and hear what we want to hear.

But the thing is, you tend to be a hardliner about your conservative views.

Yeah, I guess you're right. I'm just as hard line, though, on my liberal views, if you notice. Still, I promise to try to be open. I'm not very open, though, as you have seen, about the Israeli question. On that issue you and I will just have to respectfully disagree. I will listen to your side of things, though, and your side of things on this issue is important to hear. I won't denigrate you for how you see things, but we'll probably never agree on these.

I wish I had commented on some of the previous posts you made, but I swear I've been swarmed with work, but I'll be commenting some more, and more often!

That will be great. I look forward to it. Plus, I really do want you to write a few guest posts. You being in Lebanon and being Muslim gives you a unique perspective. Plus, you have an audience on my blog that will appreciate hearing how you see and feel about things.

Just by being open enough to visit this blog gives you cache, I believe, and you can have some effect on the opinions people have about Muslims and their side of the issues.

Yes, I am dead set on my opinions. On the other hand I, like you I'm sure, try to listen to God. For clarification, the God I listen to isn't necessarily Christian, nor Jewish, nor Muslim. He is just God. I choose to believe He does exist, and I try to listen to Him. So, if He talks to me through you, or through anyone else in my life, I will be respectful and humble, and try to learn.

I am not above you, not smarter than you, not better than you. I am, like you, just trying to be a good person and live a good life. I've been given some talent by God for insight and writing ability, so I want to use it for the good of the world. I sense you are a good person, so I invite you to help me do God's work. Not in a stuffy way. You can still be the fun-loving guy you are. But in a way that does honor truth.

You've already done that by being open to at least communicate with my audience and me. Thanks.

Take care.


To see more wonderful pictures of Lebanon, "taken" from Tyk’s blog, go to my archive of this post, To God, Atheists, Wiccans, and my Muslim Friends, and scroll to the end of the post. Go to Tarek's blog, rambling and blabbering, for more great stuff, and enjoy the beauty of Lebanon!

What a gorgeous country! Let's bring peace to this land blessed by God with such beauty.

(*Wikipedia is always my source unless indicated.)

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starbender said...

hahaaa! I luv it! I also put up a tribute to Mr. Kerry--GO HERE
: )

Rock said...

Starbender, thanks for your great site and humor. I'll try to add some of that to my blog too, as it helps the medicine go down. Keep up the good work.

Tarek said...

Hey rock... Wow, very honored and touched by what you said already... I'll watch my language from now on, promise!

Listen, I love your reaction about what you think I am, i.e. an open minded Muslim, who will not send you anthrax or a bomb for disagreeing with, but I promise, MOST Muslims are moderate.. It's because of the media and the attention that you only hear about al-Qaeda and about Iraqis ripping each other open and all the sort... You never hear about anything happening in Singapore or Malaysia, which are fully Muslim nations that integrated in Eastern Asia... You never hear anything about Morocco or Tunisia or how they're developing on human rights, democracies while raising their standards of living... That's the problem, we have a communication problem and the West only sees the bad side of Arabs and Muslims, but ask people who have actually been to the Arab, Muslim worlds or the Middle East what they think of what they've seen.. Especially in Lebanon (which has probably the highest percentage of Christians in the Arab world).. It's got beautiful nature and an amazing night life, with clubbing, drinking, pubs bars, lovely restaurants and cafes... I've actually met Americans here who told me about curfews in places like Boston where clubs have to close at 3 whereas here in Lebanon there are clubs that don't get packed until 3-4... And with the exception of Saudi Arabia and some parts of some Arab countries, the countries ARE NOT DESERTS where women are covered from top to bottom and where some kind of hardline Zarqawi style police walk around beating up people who are not fundementalist terrorists... MOST OF THE ARAB AND MUSLIM WORLD ARE AGAINST OSAMA BIN LADEN.. There are Sheikhs that have made fatwas (religious decrees) about how it is Islamically wrong to commit suicide attacks.. The thing is, UNFORTUNATELY, there are a bunch of people (watching my language here) who were probably abused during their childhood or who have too much spicy food or for whatever reason ended being the fanatics that they are and again UNFORTUNATELY all what you hear is about these people and their murders and their terror plots, and again UNFORTUNATELY they associate and justify themselves Islamically with verses from the Quran playing in the background and the name of Allah hung behind their death announcements, and so people end up inclined to believe that Muslims are terrorists or that they support the killing of innocent children or whatever... Rock you actually said something about Islam being currently used to spread hatred, and I hope I gave you a deeper perspective on things... We'll chat some more and I'll give you closer looks about how things function here and why things end up the way they are on this side of the globe...

Again, thanks a lot for your post, and you're more than welcome in Lebanon anytime!!!! :D

paz y amor said...

Point one: The pics of Lebanon are beautiful!
Point two: Why is it that politicians tend to get dumber when the elections get closer- ESPECIALLY when they know any soundbite with a miscue is going to get jumped on? I'm no fan of John Kerry- never have been- and I didn't feel he was better than Bush two years ago, just the lesser of the two evils. His recent rants are making him out to be just another lame duck....

Rock said...

Tyk, I got your comment, and again I think it's a great one, and I will publish it tomorrow as another post. Thanks so much for your contributions. Feel free to add to it between today and tomorrow, if you like.

Rock said...

paz, welcome, as always.

The pics of Lebanon are beautiful!
Point two: Why is it that politicians tend to get dumber when the elections get closer- ESPECIALLY when they know any soundbite with a miscue is going to get jumped on? I'm no fan of John Kerry- never have been- and I didn't feel he was better than Bush two years ago, just the lesser of the two evils. His recent rants are making him out to be just another lame duck....

Kerry really stepped in it this time, didn't he?

Thanks for your comment.

Catch you later.