Random Thoughts on the Week!

Best Buy Ad Touting Muslim Holiday Sparks Debate

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Best Buy ad with a Muslim theme is raising questions of how retailers should mark religious holidays.

The ad on BestBuy.com wishes Muslims a happy Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday that lasts three days and happens to fall on the extended Thanksgiving weekend.

A BestBuy.com message board has been filled with mixed responses since the ad was posted, MyFoxTwinCities.com reports.

One says, “Thank you Best Buy for the Eid Greetings!! I plan to spend more money at BB (Best Buy.) Thank you for being inclusive of various cultures.”

Another post wasn’t as supportive: “Happy Eid Al-Adha but no Merry Christmas? I assume your next advertisements will say Merry Christmas. Otherwise, I will no longer shop at best buy. I will shop at those businesses which support Christmas.”

Best Buy released a statement saying, “We do use the word ‘holiday’ in some of our advertising because it is meant to be inclusive to everyone. However, just as we have in the past, we will also reference specific holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa in our weekly ads, store signage and other advertising vehicles.”

I don’t get it.  I don’t understand how marketing firms can think it is non-offensive to generalize Christian Holidays and then specifically market to Muslims on  Islamic holidays.  I don’t have a problem with gearing their marketing towards Muslims and their holidays.  Though, were I Muslim, I’d be offended with the commercial targeting of such a holy occasion.  However, I question the wisdom of surrendering to the PC Police when it comes to Christianity by steering away from the use of terms like “Merry Christmas” and instead using Happy Holidays while specifically targeting Muslim holidays and using Islamic terms in the advertising such as “Eid Mubarak.”  Muslims be careful.  This is the first step towards commercializing your holy days.  The last step is the loss of all meaning except gaining a profit from your religious and semi-religious cohorts.

As the old saying goes, BUYER BEWARE!

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I believe that God has no true connection to any of the established religions of our age.  Every religioin/church of our age is an offshoot of some system of governance and all have been used for the accumulation and furtherance earthly authority/power.

I believe that God loves all of humanity and accepts all of mankind despite religious belief or affiliation. Furthermore, I believe that if he was as active an interloper in the affairs of man, he would have destroyed all of the current set of religions much as the Bible portrays him as destroying Sodom and Gomorra. All earthly religions are corruptions of the true spirit of God and humanity.  Whether it be the Protestant/Catholic schism of Christianity or the Shi’a/Sunni schism of Islam, all sow discord and divide when they should be uniting energies for all of mankind.

Only when a religion unites mankind through compassion, spirituality and love–faith, hope and love–only then will a religion have the true authority and standing of God.

God is Faith.

God is Hope.

God is Love

For all of humanity. Not one race. Not one belief. Not only for straight people. Not only for Jews or gentiles or Muslims or Hindus or anyone one specific people.

God is for all of humanity.

Enough on Religion and it’s ill effects on humanity.

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My boy Farhad is leaving for Iran on Saturday. He probably won’t be back until after I depart for leave. Today, I wrote him a letter of introduction to the Embassy of the Netherlands for his Visa application. If all goes well, he’ll depart for the Netherlands before I return. I’m going to miss Farhad.   And so it begins, the end draws near.

Reverence of the Sacred and tools of Division

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We despise all reverences and all the objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our own list of sacred things. And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us.

~ Mark Twain

There is a lesson here for all.  Liberals disdain the religious folk of America for their demagoguery against homosexuality and abortion and much of liberal ideology.  The religious right of America turns that same disdain back on the Left because the Left constantly uses the symbols and sacred writings and personages or deities of the religion as items of scorn.

And the cycle of misunderstanding, mis-characterization and violence endlessly and heedlessly continues.  Pulsating with hatred and abuse.  Round and round to no end.

Add the Muslims to the equation and the revolution simply becomes more and more violent and more and more out of touch with the spirit of generosity, charity and brotherhood espoused by each of these theologies of man.  Lost is faith, hope and love.  Replaced by desolation, poverty and apathy.

Humanity takes ideas that should bring all together and uses them as tools of division.

Perhaps, Sam is right and the animals are much more evolved than us.


Conversations with God

This is an excerpt from Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsh.

GOD: “If you believe that God is someone omnipotent being who hears all prayers, says “yes” to some, “no” to others, and “maybe, but not now” to the rest, you are mistaken. By what rule of thumb would God decide?

If you believe that God is the creator and decider of all things in your life, you are mistaken.

God is the observer, not the creator. And God stands ready to assist you in living your life, but not in the way you might expect.

It is not God’s function to create, or uncreate, the circumstances and conditions of your life. God created you, in the image and likeness of God. You have created the rest, through the power God has given you. God created the process of life and life itself as you know it. Yet God gave you free choice, to do with life as you will.

In this sense, your will for you is God’s will for you.

You are living your life the way you are living your life and I have no preference in the matter

This is the grand illusion in which you have engaged: that God cares one way or the other what you do.

I do not care what you do, and that is hard for you to hear. Yet do you care what your children do when you send them out to play? Is it a matter of consequence to you whether they play tag, or hide and seek, or pretend? No, it is not, because you know they are perfectly safe. You have placed them in an environment which you consider friendly and very okay.

Of course, you will always hope that they do not hurt themself. And if they do, you will be right there to help them, heal them, allow them to feel safe again, to be happy again, to go and play again another day. But whether they choose hide and seek or pretend will not matter to you the next day, either.

You will tell them, of course, which games are dangerous to play. But you cannot stop your children from doing dangerous things. Not always. Not forever. Not in every moment from now until death. It is the wise parent who knows this. yet the parent never stops caring about the outcome. It is this dichotomy – not caring deeply about the process, but caring deeply about the result – that comes close to describing the dichotomy of God.

Yet God, in a sense does not even care about the outcome. Not the ultimate outcome. This is because the ultimate outcome is assured.

And this is the second greatest illusion of man: that the outcome of life is in doubt.

It is this doubt about ultimate outcome that has created your greatest enemy, which is fear. For if you doubt outcome, then you must doubt Creator – you must doubt God. And if you doubt God, you must live in fear and guilt all your life.

If you doubt God’s intentions – and God’s ability to produce this ultimate result – then how can you ever relax? How can you ever truly find peace?

Yet God has full power to match intentions with results. You cannot and will not believe in this (even though you claim that God is all-powerful), and so you have to create in your imagination a power equal to God, in order that you may find a way for God’s will to be thwarted. And so you have created in your mythology the being you call “devil”. You have even imagined a God at war with this being (thinking that God solves problems the way you do). Finally, you have actually imagined that God could lose this war.

All of this violates everything you say you know about God, but this doesn’t matter. You live your illusion, and thus feel your fear, all out of your decision to doubt God.

But what if you made a new decision? What then would be the result?

I tell you this: you would live as the Buddha did. As Jesus did. As did every saint you have ever idolized.

Yet, as with most of those saints, people would not understand you. And when you tried to explain your sense of peace, your joy in life, your inner ecstasy, they would listen to your words, but not hear them. They would try to repeat your words, but would add to them.

They would wonder how you could have what they cannot find. And then they would grow jealous. Soon jealousy would turn to rage, and in their anger they would try to convince you that it is you who do not understand God.

And if they were unsuccessful at tearing you from your joy, they would seek to harm you, so enormous would be their rage. And when you told them it does not matter, that even death cannot interrupt your joy, nor change your truth, they would surely kill you. then when they saw the peace with which you accepted death, they would call you saint, and love you again.

For it is the nature of people to love, then destroy, then love again that which they value most.”

I have not read this book. This piece simply struck me as truth.