Linda Neale's Blog

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Forgiveness

Linda Neale - Monday, March 02, 2015

Recently, I was invited to participate in a panel presentation on forgiveness sponsored by the Oregon Jewish Museum and Holocaust Remembrance Center.  The discussion was based on The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Weisenthal.    If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.  In the first hundred pages of this book,  Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal recounts his encounter with a dying German soldier who asked to speak with "a Jew" in order to seek forgiveness. Wiesenthal then invites everyone into the discussion, throwing open his personal experience for judgment in a series of short essays offered by philosophers, theologians, scholars, and religious leaders who offer their thoughts on what Wiesenthal should or could have done. On Sunday a rabbi, a Catholic lay minister, a Muslim woman, and I were invited to weigh in on our various perspectives on forgiveness. I found it interesting that I was included in this esteemed panel, partly because I do not have an “official” religious position, and partly because I’ve always had a problem with the concept of forgiveness. It was a good discussion, and raised many issues for me.  I hope it does the same for you.  The following are highlights of my own personal perspective on forgiveness.  I invite all readers to share their own perspective in the comments section -- I'll print your response.
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The Greater Jihad, by Preston Moser

Linda Neale - Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Welcome to my first guest blog.  This article was written by my good friend, Preston Moser, whom I admire and appreciate.  He is a father, a husband, a writer, a historian,  and a sundancer who spent many years studying with Fools Crow and other Lakota elders. This article was written soon after 9/11, but the subject is relevant to any time and place.  Thanks, Preston, for contributing your insights.  As always, you the reader are welcome to comment and share your feedback.  Read More

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The Problem of Evil

Linda Neale - Sunday, January 05, 2014

    A  close friend of mine had a handicapped brother who was recently brutally murdered.    Another friend has a beautiful son who is unable to function, or even walk, because of chronic fatigue syndrome.  Adolf Hitler annihilated one million Jewish children during the Holocaust of World War II.  I was sexually abused by my own father.  At age 8, my husband Rod was told by his boarding school teachers that his Pima traditions were "of the devil."  In 1968 American troops massacred 504 men, women, and children at My Lai in Vietnam.
   The "problem of evil" is everywhere, and is one of the most serious objections to the existence of God.  Simply stated, the problem goes like this:  If God is all-knowing, all-benevolent, and all-powerful, why does He/She let bad things happen? 
   I don't pretend to have an answer, but I do think we should all at least consider the question, because eventually we will be faced with some horrible situation that we consider evil.  Or, some very good person in our lives (in my case, Rod) will get seriously injured, or die prematurely, or  be killed. Because shit happens in life.  We can't get away from it.  When very bad things happen, lots of questions arise, like, "Why did God allow this?", "Am I being punished for something I did?",  "Didn't the Great Spirit hear all those prayers for protection?", "Do I believe in the wrong thing?"
   Because of recent events in my friends' lives and that of my own, I've been re-examining my understanding and feelings about evil, and have learned some more about various Native American and Christian beliefs that I want to pass on for your consideration.   I'm going to start with a series of quotes, and then continue this discussion in another blog.  You're welcome to chime in with your stories, opinions, quotes, or beliefs about evil in the "comments" section. 
   Please think about it.  Read More


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