A: I was contacted this week by a person who’s working with the Unity Productions Foundation on an interfaith initiative called My Fellow American. The goal of the initiative is to encourage Americans to think of their fellow Americans who happen to be Muslim as fellow Americans. There’s a 2 minute film produced by Unity, and there are also uploaded videos and stories from various supporters of the idea that all Americans are equally American, regardless of religion. What do you think of this project?

J (grinning): I think you should post the address.

A: Oh yeah. Good thinking. The address is http://myfellowamerican.us/

I discovered when I went to watch the film how truly outdated my computer really is. Computer updates are not my thing. Good thing the computer at work has more juice in it.

The person who contacted me also wondered if I could maybe Tweet about the project if I checked it out and liked it. I don’t know how to tell her this, but I don’t even own a cell phone. So the Tweeting is pretty much out.

J: Everybody has their own way of communicating with others.

A: Anyway, I certainly can’t argue with the basic principle of treating all your neighbours with dignity and respect and compassion and kindness regardless of religion. This is what makes a society internally strong.

J: The one thing people have to remember is that all human beings are children of God. A Muslim woman is just as a much a child of God as the saints of Christian history. To deny a woman dignity and respect simply because she’s Muslim is to withhold divine love from your neighbour. It’s as simple as that.

A: I think some people are afraid that if they love and accept the woman with an open heart they’ll be required to love and accept all the religious teachings that are part of her tradition. At least that’s how they view it.

Regardless of religious affiliation, we're all children of God.  Photo (c) Hemera Technologies 2001-2003

Regardless of religious affiliation, we’re all children of God. Photo (c) Hemera Technologies 2001-2003

J: Religious teachings are very much a human thing. Divine love, on the other hand, is a soul thing. Divine love always trumps religious teachings. Every religion on the face of Planet Earth today has problems — problems with abusive doctrines, problems with gender issues, problems with “law,” and problems with balance. Every religion. Islam is no different from Christianity in this regard. Sure, Islam has some problems. But so does orthodox Western Christianity. This is no excuse for failing to love your neighbour and failing to believe in his or her best self. Everybody’s struggling. People of all religions have to hold each other up. People have to work together. It’s the only way to find healing.

A: The 10-year anniversary of 9/11 is coming up. Some people haven’t got over the shock. They’re still looking for someone to blame.

J: If they’re looking for someone to blame, then they should be looking at the unassailable laws of neurophysiology, not at religion. Only a seriously, seriously dysfunctional individual thinks it’s okay to blow up buildings “in the name of God.” This applies across the board to all religions and all cultures. Christianity has had its fair share of psychopaths in martyrs’ clothing, too. Psychopathy is a social, medical, and educational issue. Psychopathy is about as far from genuine relationship with God as it’s possible to get.

The vast majority of Muslims and Christians and those of other faiths are doing their best to get closer to God — not farther away from God and faith — even though they make mistakes along the way. People of all faiths are constantly learning, changing, growing. Traditions change. Religious teachings change. The one core truth that doesn’t change is the reality of the good soul, and the potential of all human beings to help each other understand this reality. If you allow yourself to be open to this truth, amazing things can happen in your community. Whatever community you happen to live in.

A: There are some psychopaths in positions of religious authority.

J: Yes. But there are also psychopaths in positions of political and economic and educational authority. Psychopathy is an entirely separate issue from the question of faith. Inherent to the definition of psychopathy is a total lack of conscience and empathy — in other words, a disconnection from all that enables true faith, true relationship with God. A psychopath seeks status, not faith, when he or she chooses to blow up buildings. It’s entirely a question of status addiction. Can we say this status addiction is true of “all Muslims”? Well, OF COURSE NOT. This would be the same as saying that every person who lives in Boston must be a status-addicted psychopath simply because he or she happens to live in Boston. It isn’t right or fair to make such a claim.

A: Claims such as this have been fairly common over the course of history, though.

J: True. These claims fall under the umbrella of the HDM Myths that you posted about on Concinnate Christianity. (http://concinnatechristianity.blogspot.com/2010/11/it-takes-village-non-hdm-village-that.html ). Group myths of Hierarchy, Dualism, and Monism. Again, these are human myths, human choices, that have nothing to do with the faith of the soul. Challenge the myths and heal the soul, remembering always that the soul is not the aspect of the self that’s perpetuating these myths. It’s certain parts of the biological brain that have gone off the rails, so to speak, and now enjoy the addictive high of schadenfreude. For a person suffering from status addiction, there’s just nothing better than a good hit of mental revenge and religious hatred to get you through the day. It’s cheaper than buying whiskey and cigarettes.

A: That’s a pretty tough statement.

J: Addiction is a pretty tough reality. Addiction destroys lives. Better to be honest about its effects.

A: Because, as you often say, healing follows insight.

J: My hat’s off to the My Fellow American participants because they’re doing their best to help others in their community be their best selves. And they’re working together as a team to teach and share and communicate in relationship with each other. As an angel, I can’t ask for more than that.

Addendum, October 16, 2023: It’s been 12 years since I wrote this post with the soul who lived as Jesus.

The world has changed greatly during this time. One of the unfortunate changes has been an ideological shift towards monism within many educational institutions and humanitarian organizations in Western nations. This shift has taken society further away from the idea that people hold individual responsibility for their own choices. In place of the long-held Judeo-Christian value system built on free will, personal responsibility, and accountability to your own inner wisdom (what we call “conscience”), there has been a push to impose a value system based on “group banners” behind which individuals can hide.

No one can be his or her best self if “group banners” (especially religious “group banners”) are used as an excuse for hanging onto harmful traditions, hateful actions, or justification for revenge.

Mother Father God and your angels don’t care what your religious teachers say. What matters to God is how you choose to use your free will as a human being during your time on Planet Earth. If you decide it’s a great idea to hate other people on the basis of their religion, that’s not okay with God. The recent resurgence of anti-Semitism is therefore not okay with your own soul or your angels.

Anti-Semitism isn’t the only example of extreme hatred in today’s world, but right now it’s a cauldron of suffering, especially for those who are doing the hating.

It’s your job as a human being — as a soul in human form — to learn how to look past the “group banners” that breed hatred and divisiveness. Seek the best in others and stand your ground as a child of God. Treat each person you meet as an individual who is responsible for his or her own choices towards others and towards God. This probably means you’ll have to reject some of the destructive religious doctrines that are causing problems in the world today. But if that’s what you have to do so you can hear your own conscience, that’s what you have to do.

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