Monday, July 9, 2012

How Great Thou Art!

     From my window, anyway!

When I, in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hand has made, I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder Thy power throughout the universe displays!
by Charlie Leck

Adbus Salam, of Pakistan, was a prize-winning scientist. He died in 1996. While he lived he was hailed world-wide for his brilliant work in physics. His work enabled his nation to establish its current nuclear program. He was also a Muslim and part of the Ahmadi sect. The other major divisions of the Islamic faith in Pakistan regard members of the sect as heretics. The religious right has grown in power in Pakistan to such an extent that they dominate all other religious groups, including Christians and Hindus. The majority of Pakistani people are Sunni Muslims. These members of the Sunni division of the faith have become very militant and offensive in proclaiming their superiority in matters of religion over other Muslims and in matters of politics and government over all other Pakistanis.

Today, one cannot find the name of Adbus Salam in Pakistan’s school textbooks or in its museums of science and technology. Yet, Salam was hailed internationally, winning numerous honors including the Nobel Prize (1979) for his contributions in physics to the study of the God Particle (or Higgs boson). The discoveries announced recently in Geneva about these matters have been a great proof of the seriousness of Salam’s work during his life.

Yet, this extremely conservative wing of the dominant religion in Salam’s homeland considers this great scientist a heretic and a partner of God’s dark side opponent.

It, very frankly, once more makes me sickenly angry about religious zealots who don’t seem to have a brain in their heads. These types are not exclusive to the Muslim faith. We have plenty of them in Christianity as well. They label people who don’t agree with them as heretical and, worse, evil. Believe me, hoards of them are having a great influence in politics in America today and we ought to awaken and see what a danger they are to the stability of our country. Beware of religious extremists!

The most ugly and vile comments I receive in reaction to many of my blogs come from people who claim to be diligently and faithfully Christian. And, their hate-filled comments are always without identification, but simply anonymous.

A word that seems missing from society’s contemporary vocabulary is tolerance. I was taught that it, along with patience, was an important part of one’s character – one’s healthful psyche. There is not one true and certain way! There is no true and certain religion that has all the answers. There is no single route to salvation.

God, you see, is bigger than the human imagination has ever been able to envision Her. Science has come closer to that vision than has theology. Religious extremists are dangerous critters and society must cautiously guard itself against the damage they can do to a civilization. As far as the followers of Jesus and Muhammad go, I am afraid they think too small. God is far greater than their limited imaginations can conceive. Adbus Salam has come closer to seeing the Divine Being and perceiving the truth of creation than has any of the great imams or Christian evangelists.

When I behold the heavens in their vastness,
Where golden ships in azure issue forth,
Where sun and moon keep watch upon the fastness
Of changing seasons and of time on earth,
With rapture filled, my soul Thy name would laud,
O mighty God! O mighty God!
             [O Store Gud, by Carl Gustav Boberg, 1859-1940]

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1 comment:

  1. I'm ashamed to say that untilreading this post I was not familiar with Admus Salam. I need to learn more.