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Antidote for the hate & fear that characterize our discussions

To The Daily Sun,

This Christmas season, when Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ — the powerful personification of love — I have been saddened by the hatred, fear, and polarization that seems to characterize our national conversation and behavior.

The following poem by Rumi was brought to my attention recently. Rumi was a visionary, poet and mystic from the Sufi tradition, which is connected with the Islamic faith. His works have been translated into many languages and it is said that he is one of the world's most favorite poets. In the words of one Sufi teacher, Sufism is "a science through which one can know how to travel into the presence of the Divine, purify one's inner self from filth, and beautify it with a variety of praiseworthy traits" (Ahmad ibn Ajiba). But this wise and luminary poet could have easily have been a Christian mystic, a Buddhist monk who spent years in the "presence of the Divine," or a spiritual seeker from any number of other religious and spiritual traditions.

During this season where Love is more palpable, and shown through giving and tolerance, and prayers for peace are expressed out loud, I offer this Rumi poem as food for thought:


Every war and every conflict

Between human beings has happened

Because of some disagreement about names.

It is such an unnecessary foolishness,

Because just beyond the arguing

There is a long table of companionship

Set and waiting for us to sit down.

What is praised is one, so the praise is one too,

Many jugs being poured into a huge basin.

All religions, all the singing, one song.

The differences are just illusion and vanity.

Sunlight looks a little different

On this wall than it does on that wall,

And a lot different on this other one,

But it is still one light.

We have borrowed these clothes,

These time-and-space personalities,

From a light, and when we praise,

We are pouring them back in.

Carol Hart

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Marxism & fascism both impose top-down government control

To The Daily Sun,

There seems to be some confusion on the part of Mr. Paul Punturieri (letter to the editor, Dec. 24), when he referred to "Marxist leftists" and "fascist rightists." He seems to associate conservatives with fascism and progressives with Marxism. He is only half right, because progressivism is just a relabeling of Marxism, but conservatism is diametrically opposed to both.

You see, Marxists and fascism are more alike than different. They are both oppressive big government top-down-control of the people points of view. Where the two differ is fascism enlists big business, big banking into the control process, whereas Marxism seizes control of big business and banking. Either way it doesn't turn out very well for the majority of the people who become subjects of the government, not citizens with rights.

Folks who have taken the time to actually read the letters from conservatives should have learned that conservatives favor small, less-intrusive government and individual rights for all the people, as our Constitution allows. In spite of progressives (actually "Fabian progressives," if you care to look it up) continue to try to label conservatives and Tea Party types as fascists. There is no truth to that, but what is new about that?

Also, do not confuse all Republicans as conservatives, not all are that conservative, as events in Washington have shown. That is why most, if not all, conservatives would favor term limits for Congress which would have the side benefit of reducing the ever-expanding lobbying and big money flowing into the pockets of "corruptocrats" in both parties.

Seems to me that the elections next year will determine how the next century of history will play out for the world. Sliding deeper into the trap of government of gi'me more and take away our rights will lead to more lawless violence, war and revolutions. Only by force of arms will a Marxist or fascist government be able to hold power in this country because there are still many who will resist in kind to that kind of attempted control. That will be bad for everyone not only in America but world wide.

Steve Earle


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