Thursday, January 12, 2012

TEXAS FAITH: Evangelical leaders finding an alternative to Romney

The Dallas Morning News' Wayne Slater and Texas Faith moderator Wayne Slater reported last week that a group of prominent conservative evangelical leaders are gathering at a Texas ranch this weekend to decide about a candidate they could unite behind as an alternative to Mitt Romney.
The invited include James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Christian Zionist pastor John Hagee, Kelly Shackelford of the Liberty Institute and Don Wildmon of the American Family Association. Southern Baptist leader Paul Pressler is hosting them. With that as the background, here is this week's question:

If you were invited to join other religious leaders in coalescing behind a candidate, would you attend?
Ten Texas Faith panelists respond to the question in Dallas Morning News, here is my response:

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas
Yes, I would attend.

If they are considering endorsing a candidate for the presidency of the United States and possibly inviting me, it becomes my responsibility to attend and be a part of the decision making in agreeing with them or asserting a nay, regardless of the outcome.

To disengage ourselves from people we don’t agree with is to give them a tacit approval to go ahead with their plans; by refusing to attend we are giving them a reason to dig in their heels.

Can the Pastor of a Church publicly endorse a candidate without influencing or dividing his or her congregation? Is that a fine line that blurs the separation of Church and state?

The wise men have said it all along, bad things happen in the society not (exclusively) because of bad people, but because good people do nothing about it. I do not want to abdicate my responsibility of speaking up.

No American needs to beg for approval if he or she is qualified, I may or may not vote for Romney but I will stand up for his right to contest and the right to serve our nation. The qualifications and abilities of the candidate should matter to us and not his faith,

The evangelicals rightfully condemn the persecution of Christians in Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Israel, China, India, Sudan and elsewhere, and as Americans we have rightfully condemned all of that plus the persecution of Baha’is, Zoroastrians, Jews, Hindus, Wicca, Sikhs, Buddhists, Pagans, Ahmadiyya, Shia and other Muslims in other parts of the world.

Should we not be ashamed of our duplicity towards Mormons, Muslims and Gay communities in America? What message are we sending to the bigoted nations out there? Do more of what they do? Are we worth emulating?

To push Romney aside for his faith is Anti-American, bigoted and unpatriotic, at least that seems to be the intention of the six individuals gathering up.

We need to be a part of the society and not let a whimsical few run our nation. Indeed, I will attend and speak up for a cohesive America where no American has to live in discomfort, apprehension or fear of the other.

Wasn’t that what Jesus wanted? Isn’t that what Americans want?

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To view all the 12 opinions, please visit Dallas Morning News link -

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Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. A writer, thinker and a speaker and is available to speak on pluralism, politics, Islam, peace, cohesive societies and a variety of topics. Check out 4 websites and 27 Blogs indexed at Current articles at

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.