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Evangelical Christians attend Muslim festival in Dearborn Michigan and violence breaks out between Muslims and Christians

Evangelical Christians attend Muslim festival in Dearborn Michigan and violence breaks out between Muslims and Christians

During the Muslim festival, in Dearborn, Michigan, a small group of Evangelical Christians gathered to evangelize with signs, shirts, and voices.

In return for their evangelism, a group of young Muslim men and women allegedly returned the Christian evangelism by throwing empty water bottles and other items, as well as called the Christians various foul words, according to the evangelists.  The Evangelical Christians are claiming they were stoned by Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan.

Allegedly, the Christians filed a complaint at the police department against the officers who, according to the Christians, did nothing to protect them from the Muslim abuse.  Along with the complaint, the Christians turned in a copy of the video they took of the young people throwing various items and name-calling.

Deputy Chief Jaafar immediately got into the camera frame and said, “It’s not your call, we’ve been very gentle and very very respectful to you and you are jeopardizing public safety.  And you need to understand it’s gone overboard.  We don’t have the coverage to protect you and if we have two officers who can protect you it would work great but it’s impossible to do so.  Your attracting a crowd and your affecting public safety, you need to understand that.”  Chief Jaafar then told Chief Richardson to take over from here and left the scene rudely without listening to Mr. Israel’s response.

The Christians are asking for assault and battery charges against those who threw various items at them during the incident, due to the injuries they allegedly suffered.  Ruben Israel, apparently the one doing most of the talking to the police in their video, was one of the people allegedly injured from the young people and arrested at the Arab Festival.

According to the The United West website’s statement, “The message is that Dearborn Law enforcement will turn the other way when violence is inflicted on non-Muslims and that freedom of speech will be silenced in the no-go zone of Dearborn, MI.”

The group is asking people of Dearborn to get involved and remind that police that Sharia is not the law of the United States.

The Tea Party website, Infowars, Act for America, and Conservative Papers, along with other Right Wing groups, appear the only ones covering this issue, claiming that authorities are allowing Islam to take over the United States and that "Muslims stoned Christians" at the event.  Very few Left Wing groups or major news sources, except ABC and local news, picked up the story and reported on it.

According to the Global Christian Post, the police arrested ten people during the violent exchange between Muslims and Evangelical Christians at the Arab Festival.

The largest public gathering of Arab-Americans in the U.S. turned violent this weekend in Dearborn, Mich., as members of a Christian missionary group protested the event, reportedly using a severed pig's head and condemning signs to convey their message.

"You're going to burn in hell," one Christian protester reportedly told an Arab-American group, while other protesters held up signs reading "Islam is a religion of blood and murder" and "Muhammad is a … liar, false prophet, murderer, child molesting pervert."

The Christian group evangelizing are part of a group called “Bible Believers”, who came from all over the United States.  Reuben Israel, one of the people allegedly injured and arrested, came from California specifically to protest the Arab Festival.

Israel, who runs the website Official Street Preachers, warned that if the protesting Christians were not protected, or if they were arrested for protesting that there would be "a big lawsuit."

"We're here in Dearbornbecause they have issues with free speech," he told local news station WXYZ-TV. "When you arrest men for passing out literature, you're going to get guys like us."

Muslims and other Dearborn residents at the festival, reportedly angered by what they saw as a hateful protest, retaliated and threw bottles at the controversial Christian group. Some counter-protesters yelled "Allahu-Akbar," which means "God is the greatest." The Detroit Free Press reported that a Christian protester yelled back, "Jesus Akbar."

The Christian group stated they came to peacefully protest the event and claim that the Muslims started the violence.

The Christian Post reports that things turned violent on Sunday, during the three day Arab Festival.

The Detroit Free Press stated there were other Christian groups at the festival passing out fliers urging Muslims to accept Jesus and wearing “I [heart] Muslims”.  One of the Christian missionaries at the festival yelled at the Muslims, “You’re gonna burn in Hell!”

About a dozen with the group stood facing the festival on Friday with signs that made bigoted remarks about Islam and its prophet, Mohammed. One of the missionaries had a pig’s head mounted on a pole that he displayed in front of his group. Muslims don’t eat pigs because their faith teaches that the animal is unclean.

Some of the signs the missionaries held read: "Islam is a religion of blood and murder" and "Muhammad (Islam's prophet) is a … liar, false prophet, murderer, child molesting pervert."

During an Islamic sermon, an Imam allegedly cautioned the parents, telling them to they could potentially be targets of conversion, “Be careful.  …  They could be taken (spiritually) from us.”

ABC News reported that the Evangelical Christians taunted the Muslims, but the Christians insisted the Muslims attacked first.

 "And they [police] arrest one of our guys. I don’t know if they know what they’re doing,” protest organizer Ruben Israel said. “When we go back and report what happened, next year there could be a hundred of us out here.”

Kaseeem Allie with the Islamic Center of America said he thinks it’s unfortunate that a festival designed to bring people together saw such chaos.

“I think that our community has done a good job in not reacting in the way that they wanted, outside of a few minor incidents,” Allie told WXYZ. “This festival is designed for people to have fun, to celebrate and enjoy their background and cultures. And for someone to come in and make something negative out of it is very unfortunate.”

According to ABC News, Dearborn has the highest concentration of Arab-Americans in the United States and according to the 2010 census comprises 42% of the population, which makes Dearborn “the flashpoint of conflict” between Muslims and Christians.

“And they [police] arrest one of our guys, I don’t know if they know what they’re doing,” said Ruben Israel, protestor organizer.

WXYZ news reported that the Dearborn Police arrested a man they say started the riot, one of the ‘Bible Believers’ protestors, but protest organizers insist that the police arrested the wrong man.  The ‘Bible Believers’ insist it was another person who started the violence by punching members of their group.  However, many at the festival believe the protestors stood for hatred.

WXYZ news’ footage of the violence, which occurred at the festival, is shown below. More videos about the violence at the festival, with one reporter stating someone hit her with a water bottle, can be seen on WXYZ. One video showed a ‘Bible Believer’ saying that they were there to remind people that United States is a Christian Nation, not a Muslim Nation, and claim "Jesus as Lord".

Below is the footage the Evangelical Christians took of the violence that occurred at the festival and spreading around the internet, accusing the Muslims of starting the violence.

About Mriana

Mriana is a humanist and the author of "A Source of Misery", who grew up in the Church of God, Anderson Indiana. After she became an adult, she joined the Episcopal Church, but later left the Church and became a humanist. She has two grown sons and raises cats. Mriana raised her sons in the Episcopal Church, but in their teen years, they left the Church and she soon followed. One of her sons became a "Tao Buddhist" and the other a None, creating his own world view. She enjoys writing, reading, science, philosophy, psychology, and other subjects. Mriana is also an animal lover, who cares for their welfare as living beings, who are part of the earth. She is a huge Star Trek fan in a little body.
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  • JLeigh

    In the United States there is quite a population of "Arab Americans," but what many "conveniently" forget is that only 24% of Arab Americans are Muslim, 63% are CHRISTIANS and 3% are of other religious persuasion. This was an ARAB AMERICAN FESTIVAL – so many lies to label this as MUSLIM which it was NOT and was NEVER LABELED AS SUCH! Obviously the video which has been reported by right-wing and Tea Party supporters is the video shot by the protesters, although there are several other videos which were shot by festival attendees of these self proclaimed "Christian" protesters. If you decide to waste your time viewing the protesters video you will note a lot of editing, first off, not to mention the absolute tastelessness of beginning the video as the group screeched and marched directly into an area where the were quite a lot of CHILDREN, young children most under the age of 12, some little girls under the age of 7 with ice cream cones and their jaws dropping at this completely unexpected disruption to a beautiful summer evening and probably many hopes at taking part in an enjoyable time. This group's mis-labeling and mis-representation of this event is all due to the fact that it was held in Dearborn. There are Greek festivals, Italian festivals, even sexually oriented parades and festivals. Do these brutes have nothing better to do than scare the dickens out of small children until older children approached the "protesters" in order to just make them leave! The only adult on film aside from the police was an 18 year old young man who was just standing there in front of the protesters – and one of the "Good Christians" started screaming at him to go back to his home in Afghanistan and the boy replied that he is from Iraq and they told him go back wherever you're from – we don't want you here!, and they further taunted him, he replied that he's lived here all of his life and is a US Citizen. Do they go to Jewish festivals and order everyone back to Israel or Europe? What cowards to barge in to an area highly populated with small children, espousing their opinions of the beliefs of others – is that what was taught in the Bible, it looks like it may have come from a Hell's Angel handbook just like the way the "protesters" appearance looked like it was modeled after and their conduct and behavior. Pick your battles, but use good judgment. If they are so wise and educated about Christianity that they state that their purpose is to recruit, maybe they should consult their Holy Book about the proper conduct and sincerity to do so, as well as the proper environment to share their message. I'm currently suffering from inoperable brain cancer, and I can tell you that being a widowed single mother of a young daughteer, this story – not just on this site disturbs me severely. Life is too short for pulling stunts in order to pick the next victim group in the USA. It's just so sad that people have nothing better to do than write Anti-Muslim websites, feature Muslims as the only stories on Right Wing and Tea Party sites and online "newspapers." If there exists and religious people out there regardless of belief, check out the Pew Reports for accurate information regarding Muslims and other religions, and the true facts on terrorism, population, and open your minds to read reliable information about Shar'ia instead of gulping down everything the true haters out there are trying to feed the USA. Think for yourselves, if you don't, why should anyone count your votes or elect the educated candidates that are out there. Regardless of religion or personal belief, I don't know a single parent worth his/her salt that wouldn't be offended, disgusted, and quick to protect his/her child in the face of those "protesters," a lot of people I know would have lost their cool and said and done things they might later regret, but fortunately after several days of taunts, offensive signs, aggressive behavior and the overall inexcusable conduct of those "protesters" resulted in a small number of charges with the authorities. Who wants to live in a country where it is restricted, based on the religious population of where you live decides whether or no you are entitled to put together a recreational event which is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, or to attend such an event alone, with friends or family, without fear of THUGS who will stop at nothing in order to blacken the truth and ideals of the beliefs of a percentage of attendees. People in this country with a shred of decency or common sense should JUST SAY NO to this grandstanding and LARGE SCALE BULLYING! That is ALL it is! I have PhDs in religious studies from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – and not one of those religious propose or require this behavior – and I've read the Talmuds and Judaic texts more than 3 times, the Bible six times, and the Qu'ran five times. Maybe their true religion is how to harrass, provoke, videotape, publish on YouTube or any Right Wing website and promote, promote, promote into a product that looks like a cast-off video from Backyard Wrestling?
    NO MORE BULLYING!

    • ddean62

      The First Amendment to the Constitution confers a right upon the protesters to carry their signs. Muslims have to develop a tougher skin. They do not have a right to become offended, on the other hand the protesters have a right to offend Muslims. The Muslim festival in on a public street. You forgot to mention one Muslim was charged with nine (9) counts of attempted murder. He attempted to run the protesters win a SUV. He is looking at a potential life sentence. The Dearborn police department, and the Wayne County Sheriff's Office are in a position wherein they have to charge Muslims that commit crimes. The lack of enforcement by the Sheriff's Office will cost the taxpayers. Hopefully, they will be able to identify the children throwing rocks, place the children in a youth correctional facility, and charge the parents with child neglect. If has taken a long time, but law and order has finally come to Dearborn and Wayne County. Next year (2013) should be different. There will be police protection for the protesters. Solution, move the Muslim festival to private property and charge admission.

      • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

        If one person did try to run the protesters down with an SUV, then they should be charged with attempted murder. As for the children, I do agree that the parents should have stopped them, but at the same time, the protesters weren't helping the situation any, esp when they started pointing fingers concerning who started it. In a sense, they were enticing it.

    • TheChristianSolution

      OK, I have taken your advice to "use good judgement" "as to the proper environment to share their message". And I stll just can't seem to figure out why the 63% of Christians there at that Arab Festival hated a Christian message so much they would start acting like Muslims.

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  • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

    Personally, I think the Xians in this story are acting like children, who point fingers, when in reality they started it. I thought it was funny the Xians didn't get it, kept saying, "They started it", and yet their Jesus couldn't do anything for them, in which they had to whine to authority, "they're picking on us". Nothing but playground children and they wonder why it was children yelling back and throwing things at them, while the adults… Humm… Seems to me, those who were truly adults acted like adults, instead of children on the playground. Sort of puts new meaning into the phrase "a child of God".

    • TheChristianSolution

      Sounds like you are excusing the vile behavior of Muslim children after their parents condone mob violence toward other religions, while do not teaching their children "American principles of free speech". Wasn't these the points the video made?

      • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

        No, I didn't say that. I think you're reading more into what I said. If you read another one of my comments below, I stated the parents should have stopped their children but did not.

  • skater60

    I believe in true Xianity. What exactly is "true Xianity"? Well, true Xianity is system of personal moral values based solely on the moral teachings of Jesus from Nazareth. That's about it. It ain't rocket science. So, if one is judging, condemning or belittling others, for instance, then one is standing in opposition to true Xianity. As Jesus from Nazareth stated (without embarassment or fear of contradiction): "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life".

    • Flyer

      Don't forget the rest of the verse. "And NO ONE comes to Father except through me." There is only one way to Heaven and that is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

      • skater60

        Yup Flyer, yer right! And here's how that personal relationship is developed: "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He
        who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and
        show myself to him." As I may have said before: it ain't rocket science. Xianity is not complicated! "Do to others as you'd have them do to you" is not exactly a profound concept! It is definitely mandatory, but not complicated.

        So, if on Sunday someone says "I love you Jesus!" but then on Monday (or whenever is convenient) directs hateful words at somebody then Jesus might say: "So… you love me? I think you got your head up your ass!", and I suspect He'd put it exactly that way – up close and personal.

        • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

          Again this do unto other stuff and alike is not a new concept that began with Xianity. It was around long before Xianity.

          • skater60

            I agree with you that it's not a new concept. I believe God has always had His hand in the system in one way or another. I have this opinion that folks saw "do unto others…" as optional, as opposed to sacrifice (human, animals, etc), rituals and customs which were mandatory in order to please the "god" or "gods". Jesus of Nazareth rapped them (us) on the head and told them they (we) had it backwards. "Leave your sacrifice at the door and go make peace with your neighbor – THEN come back and do the sacrifice trick if you insist." Okay, so it's not an EXACT quote. The meaning persists.

            • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

              Well, if you were talking to my mother, she'd be saying that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice, while I'd be getting sick to my stomach.

              • skater60

                LOL! Well take a Tums or something before getting into Theology with Mom. Tell her there's some very holy guy who thinks that instead of "Jesus-died-for-our-sins" it's more a simple case of Jesus died BECAUSE of our sins – she might buy into it. It's exactly the same thing as our military folks in Afghanistan dying BECAUSE of our sins. "Joe died for our Freedom and Liberty". Well no, actually Joe died because we humans can't get along, plain and simple. People should stop trying to make silk purses out of sows' ears. It needs to be said that, in the gospel reportage, Jesus of Nazareth was scared shitless about what was in store for Him at the tender hands of the Romans. But He didn't run away (I'd have gone to maybe… Damascus?). BUT!!!! Jesus of Nazareth apparently understood the Big Plan and the way things work – which would lead to His Resurrection. All this sounds kind of mystical-like, but it's really just sweaty sandals stuff culminating in a very Loving Person being tortured to death in public because of our neglect of the crucially important things in Life.

                • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

                  The Wizard of Oz understood too, but few people talk about him.

                • skater60

                  That's because the Wiz had nothing more to say than "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

                • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

                  Well so did Jesus with all his magic tricks.

          • skater60

            I agree with you that it's not a new concept. I believe God has always had His hand in the system in one way or another. I have this opinion that folks saw "do unto others…" as optional, as opposed to sacrifice (human, animals, etc), rituals and customs which were mandatory in order to please the "god" or "gods". Jesus of Nazareth rapped them (us) on the head and told them they (we) had it backwards. "Leave your sacrifice at the door and go make peace with your neighbor – THEN come back and do the sacrifice trick if you insist." Okay, so it's not an EXACT quote. The meaning persists.

    • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

      Thus said Zarathustra

      • skater60

        Ah yes, Zarathustra… how's that concept workin' out for ya Freddy?

        "Behold, I teach you the overman! The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth! I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poison-mixers are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying and poisoned themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so let them go!"

        Uh-huh. Well it was a nice try (I'm supposed to say something nice so Freddy won't feel bad).

        • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

          What I was implying is that Xianity isn't new and is mostly rewritten mythology.

          • TheChristianSolution

            Thank you Mother Gaia. Your paganism goes back even further.

            • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

              lol I'm not a pagan. You assume an awful lot if you think I'm a pagan.

          • skater60

            Um. Okay, well, we have Freddie to thank for Adolph.

            Xianity is about 2000 years old, give or take. And Truth is Truth whether you discover it in a myth (e.g. Aesop's Fables), or hear it from a person (e.g. Jesus from Nazareth). Has Truth been re-hashed, re-written or re-stated? Yes, yes, and yes. As Jesus from Nazareth might say:
            "Is this news to you folks? You need to get with the program!"
            Or how about: "If your son asks for bread would you give him a stone?" Or possibly "You know as well as I do what Truth is. You just find it too hard. Bummer".

  • Deborah_B

    What bothers me about stories like this is that some fringe Christian groups feel that it is necessary to inject their presence into every group that they disagree with.

    After Prop 8 was passed in California, for instance, a Lou Engle type of group went to pray and witness in a neighborhood where there were gay bars filled with patrons angered over the vote. Then these Christians cried persecution when those gays didn't treat them well.

    During the Reason Rally that was attended by atheists, some Christian groups showed up to protest and "convert" atheists. They were well-treated, from what I understand, but if they were not, I'm sure there would have been a lot of whining.

    Prior to this incident in Dearborn, there was the 11:11 Christian prayer gathering in Detroit where, among other things, organizers talked about driving stakes into the ground at local Mosques to send the demons away.

    Not all Christians behave in this "in your face" manner, but with respect to those who do, I wonder how tolerant they would be of gays or Muslims or atheists showing up at their events, trying to "convert" people to their cause or saying things that incite anger.

    If you want to be respected, respect others and act respectful. The "I'm right, everyone else is wrong" attitude that some of these groups display is not going to win them any respect.

    • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

      "Then these Christians cried persecution when those gays didn't treat them well."

      Exactly and then they say, "But officer, they started it." It sounds a lot like children, IMO.

      One of the reasons I kept using the word "Evangelical" before the word "Xian" was because not all Xians behave like this. My other alternative was to use the word "radical" before the word "Xian", which might have been a better choice, but then again, there are still people who would take offence, not understanding the use of terms.

      If you want to be respected, respect others and act respectful. The "I'm right, everyone else is wrong" attitude that some of these groups display is not going to win them any respect.

      Exactly. It's a lot easier to respect some Episcopalians and alike groups than it is groups like this the one's in the article. IMO, this group went to the Festival, knowing full well the majority there would probably be Muslims and they used their shirts, signs, and words to provoke them. Their intentions were not to share their views, but to stir up trouble, thus they were the ones being disrespectful by inciting those at the festival. So some might have been Xian Arabs, but they weren't there to stir tension between Muslims and Xians. The fact is, the Xian extremists were trying their best to stir up trouble with the Muslims, who were the majority, according to the local news reports, but at the same time, almost everyone who was at the festival was upset by it and I would suspect that if Xian extremists went to a Gay gathering, that happen to have Episcopalians and other like groups there, even the Episcopalians would react, even though majority there would probably be gay.

  • skater60

    God doesn't deal with groups, just individuals. If you tell God you are a Christian His answer is: "Big deal. Are you loving, forgiving, understanding and compassionate?" If you tell God you are a Muslim His answer is: "Big deal. Are you loving, forgiving, understanding and compassionate?" If you tell God you are an Atheist His answer is "Big deal. Are you loving, forgiving and compassionate?" If you tell God you are a Satanist His answer is: "Big deal. Are you loving, forgiving, understanding and compassionate?"

    So, let's shorten it to LFUC… are you or aren't you LFUC? The rest of your life is just window dressing and has no meaning.

    • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

      Define God though. Are you sure? Everyone has a different concept or no concept at all. Some religion have no god concept. Some believe any attempt to define it is to not define it at all.

      • skater60

        Define God? Moses was reported to have asked exactly the same question: "Who/what are you?" The only answer I can give you, or anybody else, is to ask a personal question – are you Loving, Forgiving, Understanding and Compassionate? That is the key – there is no other way to know God – not through theology, or philosophy, or religion, or science, or art. It's maybe like wanting to understand the piano but skipping lessons and practice.

        • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

          Atheists can be forgiving, understanding, loving, and compassionate, yet many do not have a god concept. Many Taoists and Buddhists are loving, compassionate, forgiving, understanding, and compassionate, yet most have atheistic views. So the idea of knowing a deity does not make one compassionate, loving, forgiving, and understanding. In fact, it sometimes makes them complete opposite- ie WBC.

          • skater60

            Yanked quickly from Wikipedia: Taoism:
            "In all its uses, Dao is considered to have ineffable qualities that prevent it from being defined or expressed in words. It can, however, be known or experienced…."

            Lifted from: http://voices.yahoo.com/taoism-very-clear-god-4310351.html
            Taoism is very clear about God. God enlightens the universe. God has covered the entire universe as clothes cover the bodies. God is one whom we cannot hear and cannot touch. He is the great supreme ruler. Nothing happens without His well [sic].

            (References? We don' need no stinking references!) Zen Buddhism:
            According to Zen master, Kosho Uchiyama, when thoughts and fixation on the little 'I' are transcended, an Awakening to a universal, non-dual Self occurs: 'When we let go of thoughts and wake up to the reality of life that is working beyond them, we discover the Self that is living universal non-dual life (before the separation into two) that pervades all living creatures and all existence.' Thinking and thought must therefore not be allowed to confine and bind one.
            Whether a person believes in God or a Deity is irrelevant – it's not necessary. What is necessary is the practice of Love, Compassion, Forgiveness (of others and oneself) and Understanding.

            • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana


              What is necessary is the practice of Love, Compassion, Forgiveness (of others and oneself) and Understanding.

              By Jove I think he's got it!

              As for your Yahoo reference, I highly question it, esp with a son who is a Tao Buddhist and umpteen books around here on Taoism and Buddhism. I do not believe your Yahoo reference is a reliable source. That and the Tao rarely uses the word God if ever, of which I have 3 translations sitting in my home.

              • skater60

                Hmmm… well I'm sure no expert on Tao so I'll check it out further. Three translations of … what? (might give me a place to start)

                • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

                  Three translations of the Tao.

                • skater60

                  If that contained a link to Tao stuff it didn't work on my end. I checked a couple more sites and it seems as if Tao or Dao is not exactly atheistic or theistic. It's kinda like they walk right up to the theistic door and stop. So I guess that would be considered atheistic. Oh well, there's nothing wrong with atheism or theism, they are just 'best guesses', and since we are so Loving, Compassionate, Understanding and Forgiving we can accept each others positions.

                • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

                  No, it didn't contain a link, it was just a statement as to how many translation of the Tao we have in our home, at least one with commentary. I don't know of any reliable informative links to Taoism on the internet, but in the university class I took on it, because my son practices it, it is considered an atheistic religion. Some forms of Buddhism are also atheistic and yes, I took a course on it too.

                • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

                  I'll take that back I do know of these two:

                  http://personaltao.com/taoism-library/articles/taoism-101/

                  http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/chinese_taoism.html

                  How reliable they are, I'd have to has a Tao professor and/or my son, but they look fairly accurate from what I've studied.

                • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

                  You can read the The Tao Te Ching here:
                  http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/texts/taote-v3.html

                  And here: http://thetao.info/english/page1.htm

                  But do not confuse the Tao heaven with the Xian heaven. It simply means the sky above and the universe it the whole. One needs to think in naturalistic terms when read the Tao, not Xian or Abrahamic terms.

                • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

                  You can learn more here:
                  http://www.religioustolerance.org/taoism.htm

                  My favourite term in Taoism is miao, which means essence, mysterious, subtle, secret, spiritual, wonderful, marvelous, excellent, difficult to fathom, and beautiful according Jonathan Star who translated and gave commentary of the Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition, which my son gave me as a gift. Miao makes up all things, the pure "I AM" awareness. Miao is the true nature of the Tao, the Self, That, the Supreme Reality, the Unchanging, Consciousness, [and in some cases, the impersonal, and undefinable] god, which I resort back to the very first verse in the Tao Te Ching, and manifests itself as the entire universe. That is it, nothing more.

                  Chiao, my less favourite is the opposite (we are talking yin and yang here). It is the ego, the outer self, external shell, etc.

                  Ch'ang is the egoless state, constant, permanent, unchanging, thought-free state, what I understand as transcendence, numinous, but not in the Western religious definition.

                • skater60

                  Thanks for the links. I did look at both briefly. Those two and other ones I've checked out pretty much express things the same way. Tao seems to be about natural things, Nature and our natural self. Unfortunately I'm looking for a super nature and our spiritual self. As I said before, Tao seems to walk right up to the 'Big Door' but not open it. Oh well.

                • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

                  I don't think you quite understand that Taoism is very spiritual- in relationship to nature, the universe… Just because there is no god concept in Taoism, doesn't mean that it is not spiritual. I think, and this is my perception, not a judgment, you are trying to reach for something you can define and label it a deity. There is a problem with that though, in my view, even as a humanist, and that is, once you define it, you end up not defining it at all. That and what you define as a deity, science may very well explain one day. This is not a bad thing and can be very awesome in itself as one of my favourite videos with Neil deGrasse Tyson explains:

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RjW5-4IiSc

                  One's relationship with nature, others (including other animals), and the universe can be very spiritual, all without a god concept. I expect, once you find that "super nature" you find what the Tao, Tyson, and I am talking about, esp if you can manage not to define it.

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