TEXAS FAITH: Is the world getting better?

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We certainly read a lot in, yes, newspapers about things going awry. Republican candidates making the case against Barack Obama offer ample examples of the world being a mess. And many a book has been sold about the next coming crisis.

But are we looking at all this the wrong way. Is it indeed the case that the world is getting better?  Dallas Morning News weekly column.

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

Indeed the world is getting better and the worsening part is slowing down. Overall, the individuals in a given society feel relatively safe, secure and less apprehensive today than ever before, while the oppression and harassment of people in different parts of the world continues.

Our model is based on, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Seventy five years ago, we had about five democratic nations in the world. Today, we have approximately 100 nations and we still have another 96 to go and most of the 96 are moving towards freer societies.

Liberty and the pursuit of happiness are gaining momentum without the tyrants like Kim Jong Il, Muammar Gaddafi, Ali Saleh, Saddam Hussein, Hasni Mubarak and Ben Ali, while Bashar Asad is still at large.

Two decades ago, we had over a dozen regions of the world with active belligerent conflicts. Today, we are down to a few, including Israel and Palestine, and indeed it is the mother of all conflicts. Our policies have really messed up security for Israel and justice for the Palestinians. We need to demand them to sit together and negotiate peace. Instead, we (and the others) have equipped each other with arms to fight more and kill more.

Mahmud Ahmedinejad and Bibi Netanyahu are no doubt elected by the people. But do they truly represent the will of their people now? Are they delivering security to their people or bent on threatening each other and escalating the conflict?

Dialogue is the best option. Mother Teresa said if you want peace, go talk with your enemies, you don’t make peace with your friends; you do that with your enemies. War will ruin every one and most certainly will bankrupt Americans. We don’t need any more of it. We need to aggressively pursue conflict mitigation more than these two men push for destruction. Our president needs to take a firm stand for the sake of peace and security for that region, and stop us from draining ourselves.

Is life getting better in America? Hell yes, on the social front.

When Rush Limbaugh saw that the advertisers were pulling out from his show, and the broadcasters may have warned him that his fate will be similar to Glenn Beck’s, he apologized for the sake of the dollars. This is a great example of turning the tables on the idiom, “evil persists because good men do nothing about it.” Indeed, evil stops, if good people do something about it.

Anti-circumcision bills, in effect anti-Jewish bills, in Santa Monica and San Francisco were finally yanked from the ballot of those cities. The ridiculous anti-immigrant bill in Farmers Branch is in the courts now, and many states have passed legislation guaranteeing the personal freedom and liberty for gay marriages. Racism is on decline. Many men will join women in slowing Mullah Santorum’s stance on women. The federal court judge threw out the gratuitous anti-Sharia bill in Oklahoma and indeed we have a symposium planned on Sharia, here in Dallas to better understand it and hope to un-intensify another ill of the society: Islamophobia.

On the economic front, we have a ways to go, but improvement is visible. Unemployment is down to 8.3%. We still have 2.3 million jobs out there that need matching skills, if president’s retraining talk goes into action, we can hope for at 7% unemployment rate by the end of this year. Higher employment contributes toward increased tax revenues and deficit reduction, which in turn will boost consumer confidence to spend, and the economy will take off and prosperity will be back on our threshold. God bless America!

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Mike Ghouse is a speaker thinker and a writer, committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a frequent guest on Fox TV with Sean Hannity and national syndicated radio show, writes weekly at Dallas Morning news and Huffington post and speaks on Pluralism, Politics, Islam, India and about building Cohesive America. All work is listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

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