Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I have a pet... His name is Peeve

Abraham Lincoln is attributed to one of my favorite quotes. "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Today's post goes out to those who should remain silent.
I am writing about people who are so narrow minded they refuse to listen to anyone else's point of view. Specifically I would like to address those who are intolerant of religions they know little about.

As a Latter-day Saint, I am used to people not knowing what I believe, who I worship, or how I chose to live my life. I have had plenty of one way conversations where someone tells me "what I believe", and what they say is grossly incorrect. But today, I'm not writing to talk about that. I am writing to speak out for my friends of other faiths who are constantly being picked on because of misunderstandings about their religion.

Tonight my husband is covering a meeting where they are voting to approve the building of a new mosque. Some 4000+ Muslims would like to build a mosque where they can meet and worship together. They would like a place to gather together, just like so many of us do on Sundays, to worship their God.

Some people have voiced legitimate concerns with this proposal. One was "parking will become a nightmare in this area". This is a problem in which a reasonable agreement and solution can be reached. However, another voice concerned was, "It's what they are doing in the mosque - they are not teaching them to love their neighbors".

Seriously? Do you think this lady has ever been inside a mosque? Probably not.

I have.

You know what they did? They allowed us to come in and watch as they said their evening prayer. They spoke to us about their beliefs and how they believe Jesus was a messenger sent from God! Jesus is mentioned more by name in the Qur'an than Muhammad, their own prophet! Although Christians and Muslims obviously differ in beliefs about what role Jesus plays in history and our respective religions, Muslims share like views with Christians on many issues.

The woman who said they are not learning to love their neighbors is probably thinking of the small minority of Islam followers who are involved in terrorist attacks. She is most likely fearful because she does not understand their religion and does not realize that just like any other faith, there are different sects. In Christianity we have Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, and many others. While we share many common beliefs, we differ highly in some major areas like our beliefs about the Godhead.

In Islam, there are Sunnis, Shiites, and other sects too. Jihad to those who would choose to terrorize others, means holy war in a literal way. For the overwhelming majority of others, it means the spiritual war within ourselves to overcome the desires of the natural man. The struggle we each face to have our will aligned with God's, and to choose good over evil. Shouldn't that be everyone's goal?

Tonight the new mosque was approved to be built 5-0. I am happy for my Muslim friends who will finally have their own place to worship. From what I understand the majority of the meeting was about traffic and parking concerns, with very few people saying hateful things, and that makes me glad too. It always gives me a glimmer of hope when I see our 1st Amendment rights being upheld!

So should you ever find yourself in a conversation in which you know nothing about the topic at hand, learn about it or learn to walk away.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Day Late, A Dollar Short

I am one day behind on writing my monthly blog post. Shame, shame, shame!

Why you ask am I so behind on my blogging? Because in the past month I have been a busy bee! Nate and I have moved into a place of our own (with A LOT of help from family and friends), which includes buying all new furniture and odds and ends and unpacking a WHOLE LOT of boxes, I got a new job, a new church calling, and we are just beginning to really get settled.

So you may be thinking that it doesn't sound like I was so busy that I could not have written a blog, but then that leads me to my next explanation... DISTRACTIONS!

Distraction One

A cork board map. I want to make one to plot N and I's adventures!
Because I have moved into the phase I call "nesting", I am ready to settle in and feel comfortable where I am at right now. Not stagnant of course, just sane. It's hard to explain, but when I do not feel settled into a place, I feel like I am living out of a suitcase just waiting for the next plane to arrive and take me away. Life is always taking us in different directions, but when you hop one too many planes, it makes you a little jet-lagged.

Hopefully the settled feeling will come soon, but in the mean time as I am trying to get the apartment in order, here is what I have been looking at...

Flowers or plants to give the apartment some life!
Something to fill the two giant vases in the living room.

Distraction Two. 

This dress is so BEAUTIFUL!

Kate Middleton fashion blog posts are my guilty pleasure. So sue me. After a long day at work, I like to dream of fashion designers who would make affordable, beautiful dresses that don't expose your entire body. Unfortunately, I can't bring myself to pay more than $30 for a nice dress so I will have to dream on. Celebrities can afford them however, and I would appreciate it if they would take a cue from the Duchess and buy a dress that covers their bum bums (and other body parts). I now get distracted constantly by a TV since I am right in front of one at work, and every day I think about how the woman HAVE to be flashing someone in the audience or at least one of the camera operators. Some don't sit very lady like and their dresses are not covering very much. Enough said.

 Distraction Three.

My boo.

That is right honey, you made it on the distraction list. Albeit you are my favorite out of the whole bunch.  Ever since I started working, I don't get to see much of Nate. He works nights and I work days. Most of our spare time is spent together. When you don't get to see much of someone, when you get the chance, you spend as much time as possible.

It's hard to believe we have been married for three and a half months already! They say time flies when you are having fun (and when you have a husband who does the bulk of the chores and has never complained about it once). Okay, so I actually don't know who says time flies when your husband does all the chores... but I'm sure someone has before, right?

Bottom line, I will be better this month. I will write at least one more post this month, and it may even be a thought producing one.