Meeting 1/30/2012

January 31, 2012 by

Ten of us met at the home of Sudi Pasupuleti Monday January 30th. We thank Sudi and his wife for hosting. The meeting began with some business matters. Joe passed out handouts about the group’s purpose, guidelines for communication, and a list of previously suggested topics. He also solicited future meeting hosts and topics. Tim Reichard agreed to host our February 27th meeting. The group agreed to continue meeting on the 4th Monday of each month. Woody reminded us about the upcoming banquet and its theme on youth. Joe Z spoke about past banquet displays and the goal of having the different faiths recognize common origins and purposes. Ed Heilman will be facilitating table discussion. It was agreed we will provide diner at St Paul’s Shelter on a date in March.

The meeting began with discussion of how Mitt Romney’s Mormon affiliation might affect his electability as president and his performance if elected. The consensus seemed to be it may have some bearing on the Republican run-off especially in the “bible-belt” but no affect on the general election. It was doubted that Romney would take his marching orders from the Mormon church any more than Kennedy did from the Pope. This led to a discussion of the Mormon Church being labeled as a cult. A sociological definition of cult was given and for the most part Mormonism does not fit. It was observed that it is common for powerful groups that feel threatened to attach negative labels (like cult) to those they feel threatened by. Several beliefs and practices in the Mormon faith were shared and a member argued for tolerance since their beliefs cause no harm. While Mormonism is commonly considered a Christian denomination a question was raised about the affect of a Muslim or Hindu running for president. Would candidates of those faiths raise more concern and hostility; especially given the terrorist frenzy? It was pointed out that President Obama’s name Barack Hussein was used against him.

The discussion eventually shifted to perceptions of people based on their physical appearance and the extreme measures being used to detect potential terrorists. As example, we discussed comfort levels and perceptions of the appropriateness of men; particularly American men greeting or conversing with an assumed Muslim woman. The same issue was raised of a man’s perception of a Roman Catholic nun in habit. Does physical appearance, dress, speech, etc put barriers between us that prevent dialogue and understanding and may promote fear or stereotyping. Can we recognize that dress is often a matter of cultural custom and comfort?  The diversity of dress styles among Catholic nun’s and Muslim women was noted as was the fact that the openness of American society permits this in ways not available in other societies.

Please share your comments and corrections. Joe M.

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Meeting August 18

August 27, 2009 by
Seven of us met on August the 18th to discuss health care and end of life issues in light of the Obama initiative; a topic suggested by Jim Sullivan. Jim hosted the meeting and we thank him and Janelle for their hospitality. In recogniton of Ramadan the next meeting will be on the 4th Tuesday in September, September 22nd at Pelham Manor. The meeting will be hosted by Joe Zelinski. My wife tells me that Pelham may be requesting a fee for use of the facility and I am trying to work to avoid this now.
 
We agreed at the July meeting to try a book discussion group meeting and the group decided we will start with The Holy Man by Susan Trott. The book is a very easy read, non-technical, and shows no religious partiality. Several copies are available in the Toledo-Lucas County Library System. The book could probably be read in one hour of concentrated reading. Please read the book for our next meeting. If for any reason you cannot read this book please let me know well before our meeting. After reading it, what themes or ideas is the author trying to convey? 
 
I have made no progress in getting Jewish representation with our group but did make contact with a native American. He is requesting more information about us. 
 
Finally. I came across this in my ruminations. The year is 2030 and wars have ceased, the enviornment has been restored, and the world knows neither hunger, poverty, or lack of quality health care. A child approaches his grandfather and asks; “Grandfather what part did you play in this?” 
 
I will update prior to the September meeting.
 
“We need not think alike to love alike” Unknown.
 
Joe M.

April 21, 2009 Meeting

May 5, 2009 by

On April 21st the group met at Gerry’s home to discuss the question of eternal life. We thank Gerry and his wife for hosting and providing some splendid snacks. The discussion was stimulated by a home work assignment Gerry gave us. The assignment was to read a discussion on eternal life between Buddhist scholar Daisaku Ikeda and renowned historian Arnold Toynbee. The two agree that all major religions believe in some form of afterlife. During our discussion I heard these comments:

1. If God is good, he/she should not care what you believe but should care about what you do (actions).

2. We live on through our actions both good and bad.

3. We are bound by the laws of karma and repeated births and deaths until we can stop this transmigratory series.

4. What we want to believe (subjective) often drives our beliefs more than objective experience.

5. Why do good? To appease God, to avoid hell, to go to heaven, or because it is the right thing to do?

Please add your own.

Welcome to MultiFaith Men’s Blog

March 28, 2009 by

Welcome to MultiFaith Men’s Blog.

The purpose of this blog is to archive and continue the lively discussions of the MultiFaith Council Men’s Group.