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Mapquesting God

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Archived_Member16, May 12, 2010.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
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    source: http://www.buffalonews.com/2010/05/12/1047851/mapquesting-god.html

    Mapquesting God


    Kathleen Parker
    Washington Post Writers Group
    May 12, 2010, 7:11 AM /

    WASHINGTON—As thousands prayed across the nation Thursday in celebration of National Day of Prayer, the Rev. Franklin Graham held his own vigil in the Pentagon parking lot.

    Oh well, it doesn’t matter where one prays, right? All prayers lead to heaven. Or do they?

    Not if you’re Graham, who lost his place at the Pentagon altar after he mocked other religions, specifically Muslims and Hindus. A plea to President Obama to reinstate him apparently fell on pitiless ears.

    Graham’s offense was expressing his belief that only Christians have God’s ear, that Islam is evil and that Muslims and Hindus don’t pray to the same God he does.

    “No elephant with 100 arms can do anything for me,” Graham said in a USA Today interview, referring to one of the five main Hindu deities. “None of their 9,000 gods is going to lead me to salvation. We are fooling ourselves if we think we can have some big kumbaya service and all hold hands and it’s all going to get better in this world. It’s not going to get better.”

    Perhaps Graham was feeling cross after his rejection. As honorary chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, a private evangelical group, Graham was to have led a prayer for the U. S. military. His son is on a fourth tour in Afghanistan.

    Graham isn’t alone in his views. A survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors, conducted by an evangelical polling firm, found that 47 percent agree that Islam is “a very evil and a very wicked religion.” But such opinions may be confined mostly to an older generation. More evangelicals under 30 believe that there are many ways to God, not just through Jesus.

    When it comes to whose prayers carry more weight in the heavenly realm, well, who really knows? But new brain research supports the likelihood that one man’s prayer is as good as any other’s.

    Barbara Bradley Hagerty, the award-winning NPR religion reporter, participated in a peyote ceremony in Arizona, meditated while wearing a brain scanner at the University of Wisconsin, and donned a “God helmet” in a neuroscientist’s lab in Canada in her quest to discover the secrets of prayer and, possibly, proof of God.

    In her book, “Fingerprints of God,” Hagerty tries to answer a question that has plagued her for years: Is there more than this? She couldn’t accept mainstream science’s answer that we are “a collection of molecules with no greater purpose than to eke out a few decades.”

    Instead, she sought out spiritual virtuosos (people who practice prayer, religiously), as well as neurologists, geneticists, physicists and medical researchers who are using the newest tools of science to discern the circumstantial evidence of God.

    Her research led to some startling conclusions that have caused no small amount of Sturm und Drang among those who believe theirs is the one true way. She found that whether one is a Sikh, a Catholic nun, a Buddhist monk or a Sufi Muslim, the brain reacts to focused prayer and meditation much in the same way. The same parts light up and the same parts go dark during deep meditation.

    Apparently, we have a “God spot” and “God genes.” And though some are more generously endowed than others, spiritual experience is a human phenomenon, not a religious one. Different routes to the same destination.

    Understandably, these are not glad tidings to some. Centuries of blood have been shed for the sake of religious certitude. But transcending the notion that only some prayers are the right ones might get us closer to the enlightenment we purportedly seek.
     
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Soul-Jyot ji

    This article is interesting in a number of different ways. But I have to say that -- although no god with 100 arms does anything for me either -- it is the height of rudeness even bigotry for Franklin Graham to have a vigil to make his case, and to use federal property - The Pentagon - to do it. His actions do not even speak to a decent understanding of the multiple paths of Hindu belief, many of which do not involve idol worship and are very abstract in their understanding of "deity." He is well-educatoed enough to be expected to know more about other faiths than his actions suggest.

    As an US citizen I am taken back by his actions. How did he get permission to do it in the first place?
     
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  4. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Narayanjot ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    I totally agree with you. Franklin Graham has flaunted his bigotry and has shown with his ignorant remarks laced with arrogance that the God he serves is neither omnipresent nor omnipotent, hence the self fulfilling contradiction.

    His father Billy Graham is also a bigot who talked ill about the Jews to President Nixon and their conversation is a public record.

    It is amazing to see how some of these stiff upper lipped people who call them the "voice" of God can be so shallow. And we all know that gems can only be found if and when the mind mines deeper into the realm of the self.

    Now, coming to Barbara Bradley Hagerty's wonderful book,"Fingerprints of God", I chuckled while flipping through the pages before buying it and thought loudly for them to hear who were at the ear shot, " I had no idea God was a criminal and was caught and has been finger printed." Some of them laughed, a couple of them walked away with a frown or two.

    But, she is right in her conclusion about Edison's outer invention of the light bulb, but this time the amber is within and the flint that ignites this inner "universe of lights" is wired in all of us. This house we call body can only be turned into home if we keep the 'breakers' of our "main electric box"- called the Munn-mind always intact and the only way for that to happen is by learning, unlearning and relearning daily through Gurbani.

    We, as Sikhs have the best tool box in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, our only Guru to take care of these breakers. By doing so, our outer universe will brighten up in the true sense. Hence, thanks to Sri Guru Granth Sahib, our "Light Bulb", we are all Edisons

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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    #3 Tejwant Singh, May 13, 2010
    Last edited: May 13, 2010

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