Sunday, December 25, 2005
  Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas to all those who are celebrating today!

I have to admit, I have some ambivalence about wishing my Christian friends joy on this holiday. I don't believe in the Trinity; indeed I think the doctrine is basically a mistaken interpretation of Jesus's teachings and life, and it seems a bit odd to offer felicitations to people for what I believe is essentially an error.

That is mitigated a bit by the fact that I believe Jesus is a prophet, and thus a celebration of his birth is a celebration of God's engagement with the world; but I don't celebrate the births of any other prophet, so it seems out of proportion.

At the same time, I full-heartedly embrace the message of Christ -- that God is infinitely merciful, that He/She/It loves this creation and everything in it without reserve, and actively expresses that mercy, love, and forgiveness in this world. Whether it is the compassion of the Boddhisattva who delays his or her own nirvana to help other souls along the path to enlightenment, the sacrifice of Christ to atone for humanity's sins, or the guidance Allah offers in the Qur'an and the promise of ever extended mercy, love, provision and forgiveness from him, the idea that God is not just the creator, that he did not just set the process of creation in motion with the Big Bang and then abandon the world, but remains actively engaged in this world, in helping humanity overcome our baser instincts is present in many religions. I don't think this is without reason. We may not always understand how God works, but I believe God does, and does so with love and mercy for all.

When I look around me, I see ample evidence of God's love. The heart-stopping beauty of the natural world, the love that flows between people, the impulse to goodness we all feel. If one believes in God, it seems impossible to believe in a God that is anything less that a artist who is fully in love with his/her/its work of art.
you don't do the milad a nabi? aww man!
No, Leila, I don't do Prophet Muhammad's b-day, not because of any religious objections, just I never was anywhere where people celebrated it. I guess I do have a bit of a problem with people revering Prophet Muhammad beyond all bounds, especially when that reverence extends to violence against or murder of people who say common sense things like his marriage to Khadija wasn't an Islamic marriage since Islam hadn't been revealed yet, but in general the mawlid seems ok to me.
This is absolutely beautiful.
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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