most of us say good riddance! Someone on
the facebook wrote that he wants to know where Fred Phelps will be buried, so
he can go spit on his grave! Death of these rascals is a reminder. What did they gain from their hatred for fellow humans? What did he
take with him? Nothing! Instead, he left behind ugliness as his legacy. Should our hate for him make us mirror
ago, I approached a restaurant owner friend for concessions on dinner plates
for a non-profit event; savings were to benefit a charity. They guy barked at
me endlessly and screamed, “I have worked hard for my money, and so
should others, I am not going to pay a penny for the damned charity let them pay.” Finally, I had to ask him to shut up and just
say no, and be done with. Three months later,
the guy was in a car accident, and the stop sign pole ran through his face to the
back of his head killing him instantly.
My first response was shameful, but then I recovered quickly and
mumbled to myself, “I wish you had given that concession, now that you are gone, I will forgive
you, but will not forget to tell the story to others.”
Forgetting is not an option; we simply cannot forget men like Pastor Fred Phelps. Indeed, we
need to remind others like him that they will be remembered in a similar way;
disdain. I am not sure people like him
would say – why did you not tell me about this before, had known this, I would
not have been an ass. Don’t we encounter these men and women every day? Do
we say anything to them?
is central to all faiths.
Justice can be viewed as the ultimate harmony and balance between the subject
and the elements that surround it, be it matter or life. Disturb that balance;
everything goes haywire, until a new balance is attained or restored.
There are two sides to every equation – the receiving and giving. On the
receiving end of the equation, the hurt is emotional or physical. When one is
hurt physically, it has to be healed through medicine or physical therapy to
restore the balance, but when it is emotional or spiritual; several options are
available to be free including revenge, forgiveness or sulking forever.
Revenge appears to bring justice, but really not. It negatively bonds
you to the hated, instead of mitigating your tensions, it aggravates your balance and causes
you to brood, sulk, and seethe with anger towards the giver of such hurt.
Here is how it works; when my late wife
was about to go under hospice, I started working with her in tying
the loose ends of her life so she can be free from apprehensions. One of examples was about an individual who had
cheated her in a business transaction, she was angry at him and rightfully so,
and said a lot of things to him on the phone despite my suggestions to move on. For years, she was seething with anger whenever she saw him, indeed if we entered
a social gathering, either he sneaked out or we walked out. I called him up, reluctantly he
came, and the two sought forgiveness and cried, what a relief it was for me to see my spouse become free again. It was not merely uttering the words but
acknowledgment of the wrong doing on one side and letting it go on the other
without consequence ( If you wish to read the full story, I will send you the
Spiritual freedom is indeed the greatest achievement
in one’s life and it permanently clings to you
Those of us, who can
free ourselves from tension,
The humble option is Forgiveness. It will release us from bonding with the
hated one, and helps us move on with life.
Let me assure you – forgiveness releases us. It was central to Jesus’ teaching; Jesus
loved us and wanted us to be free, and the teaching is same in every religious
tradition. In Quran, God says that the
dearest person to him is the one who forgives, and adds, I am willing to
forgive you, and you need to forgive others, it is for your own good.
Eviction Notice to Fred Phelps
When you give an eviction notice to a squatter (an unwanted occupant), not only he gets
evicted, but will also be not forgotten, it will go on his or her record. I
urge my fellow Americans, particularly Jewish, Gays and Lesbians and Hispanic
immigrants to evict him from your hearts, but not forget him. ( Standing up for Jews, Gays and Immigrants – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/standing-up-for-jews-gays_b_650167.html ) Let him not cause your blood to boil, you
should not give him that power. Evict him from your hearts and be free.
Sincere forgiveness benefits you the most, not him.
I will not forget Fred Phelps, but will forgive him. I want to be free, free to
do good things for fellow beings. I had countered him at the Dallas Holocaust Museum, Texas
Jewish post, Akiba Academy and a synagogue and few other places. Pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157624336357507/
In behalf of Muslims, I gathered many of the Holocaust survivors together in the
Museum, and did a short Pluralism prayer asking God to give him sense. As I walked out of
the Museum, there was a Jewish Kid holding an equally hateful placard – I asked
him not to display, thank God the kid obliged while the elders looked on nodding an approval. We
also prayed the Pluralism Prayer in front the Akiba Academy. I have to find the videos and more pictures
and my write up. I will be writing a full article on this to be submitted to Huffington Post.
May God help us to be civil and help us forgive him, and not become like him,
note: My book, “Standing up for others” will be released in April on Fox News. There is nothing like freedom!
If you wish to write a review, please send me an email at SpeakerMikeGhouse@gmail.com
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and an
author on pluralism,
peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work
place. He is committed to building a Cohesive
and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing
up for others and a book with the same title is coming up. Mike has a strong
presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent
guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a
commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas
Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington
and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work
through many links.