Can We Move to Love in the Big Apple?

The proposal by a moderate Islamic group to build a mosque a couple of blocks away from Ground Zero in New York has created a lot of controversy.   Even President Obama has weighed in on the issue.  Most of us are aware of the arguements on both sides, so I’m not going to take time to reiterate.  Most of us have an opinion on the matter.  Thoughts on the issue have brought me back here to “A Message From God”.

I haven’t posted anything here on Lee’s web site in awhile (in spite of his saying that you might hear from me occasionally).  I am stating my intention right now to guest here more often and hope that his readers (you) enjoy it.  My absense has not been due to a lack of writing.  I post frequently on my own blog site Conscious Bridge.  And, I’ve had a couple of magazine articles published this year including the current September issue of Science of Mind.  Here’s a link to an extract of that article:  Integral Theory: The Bridge to Oneness

The reason that I returned here is twofold—one, an intuitive feeling that the timing was right.  I even contacted Lee last week when the feeling hit.  Secondly, I knew that Lee’s intention here at “Message” is to foster an interfaith dialogue.  What better issue to bring to such a discourse than our thoughts and feelings around the mosque.

So, I invite you for a moment to set aside any emotions or opinions you have formed about this controversy and consider the press release that was issued by the United Centers for Spiritual Living (UCSL) which I have copied below.  I would ask you to thoughtfully read the position and consider it as you are in your process of continually re-creating your beliefs around this and all issues.  I would like to hear what you think about the press release.

In the “truth in advertising” department—I must tell you at the outset that I serve as a minister with UCSL.  I must also tell you that this press release is not something the organization normally does.  However, there was a feeling that the time was right for our organization to be more visible in the world about its beliefs.  Putting this message out to the press is seen as an important step in our working towards healing the division that fear and distrust has created in our country and on the planet.  The intention is about moving us as a people away from hatred and moving us to love and understanding.   The importance of that shift towards love  is why I am bringing you this public proclamation for your consideration.  I hope that it resonates with you and you share its message with others.

Love and blessings to you.

Mark Gilbert


Mosque Controversy Obscures Bigger Issue

Golden, CO…As the media frenzy around the controversy over a proposed mosque within blocks of Ground Zero has continued to grow, and verbal and physical attacks against Islamic people take place, I am struck with the thought that many Americans have forgotten some basic tenets of not only the U.S. Constitution, but also of civility and common decency.  While I appreciate the raw feelings surrounding the site, which has rightly become sacred ground in the nine years since the fall of the World Trade towers, it does not make sense to me to deny rights to groups who had nothing to do with the tragedy.  September 11th was not an act of Islam. It was an act of terrorists who distort the precepts of that religion.

As the Community Spiritual Leader for United Centers for Spiritual Living, I have had the honor of traveling throughout the Middle East and experiencing Islamic people firsthand.  Hospitality is a profound spiritual practice that lives at the heart of their religion.  It stretches back to the patriarch Abraham – acknowledged as the father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam – who kept his tent open on all sides to welcome any traveler.

Our organization teaches that there is a deep and essential unity underlying our apparent differences.  Underneath diversity is the shining reality that there is only One God, One Life shared by all.  Consequently, we honor all paths to God, understanding that each religion has a golden thread of truth. We know that, as Albert Einstein said, we cannot solve a problem with the same consciousness that created it.  Fear and hatred will never transform fear and hatred to create a peaceful world.  We need to envision a world beyond what we now know; a world free of war, homelessness, hunger, poverty, disenfranchisement and terror – a world of peace, freedom, justice, caring, compassion and unity.  The bigger issue, then, is not the proximity of one piece of sacred ground to another.  The issue is finding common ground to create a peaceful, tolerant world that works for everyone.

Rev. Dr. Kathy Hearn is the Community Spiritual Leader for United Centers for Spiritual Living, a global organization that provides spiritual tools to transform personal lives and help make the world the better place. To find out more go to

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