Worldwide Discussion: The People Join In
SHOULD ENTIRE NATIONS BE
GOVERNED BY WHAT GOD WANTS?

We are living in a world where more and more people are feeling more and more insecure, and searching more and more for certainty, in times of more and more turbulence.

And so it has happened.

For the first time in the 21st Century it has been announced that an entire nation will hereafter be ruled by the tenets of a religion as a matter of law.

The nation of Brunei has declared that it has officially adopted sharia law, and will incorporate it into the country’s existing civil penal code, where it will operate alongside of that code.

The online, commonsource encyclopedia Wikipedia explains that “Sharia deals with many topics addressed by secular law, including crime, politics, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygience, diet, prayer, everyday etiquette and fasting. Though interpretations of sharia vary between cultures, most Sharia law is determined through human interpretation of the laws, which fuses together the modern context of society with Islamic values.”

Some online news sources have reported widespread negative reaction by international human rights groups to the announcement by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, that commencement of the first phase of the sharia-based penal code has begun in Brunei.

That nation had already implemented several strict religiously-motivated laws, such as the banning of alcohol sale, and now the adoption of sharia law as part of its civil code has some international observers worried. Sharia includes punishments such as flogging, dismemberment and death by stoning for crimes such as rape, adultery and sodomy.

That may be alright for people who adopt, accept, and embrace the Islamic teachings upon which these prescriptions are based, but global sources point out that while some parts of the new Islamic code will apply only to Muslims, other parts will affect all citizens, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. This means it will impact Buddhist and Christian communities as well.

“Around 70 percent of people in Brunei are Malay Muslims, while the remainder of the population are of Chinese or other ethnic descent,” a May 1 report from Arshiya Khullar for CNN said. The report may be seen here.

That CNN story went on to say, ”The United Nations has also publicly condemned the move.”

“Under international law, stoning people to death constitutes torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is thus clearly prohibited,” Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, was quoted by CNN as saying in a press briefing in Geneva last month.

“He further expressed concerns about the implementation of sharia law’s impact on women,” the CNN article from reporter Arshiya Khullar went on. “A number of UN studies have revealed that women are more likely to be sentenced to death by stoning, due to deeply entrenched discrimination and stereotyping against them,” Mr. Colville is quoted in the CNN report.

The action by the nation of Brunei invites every member of the human community to sincerely ask: Is it the highest and best choice of a sovereign nation to base its civil code on the religious beliefs of the largest number of its citizens?

Alongside of this might come a second inquiry: Do other nations, albeit more quietly, do precisely the same thing?

Is not the civil code of most Western nations based on the principles, ideas, and proscriptions of old Roman Law, which was based on the teachings of the Catholic Church, which is, in turn, based on messages in the Bible? If not, what is the purely Civil Law basis that supports opposition to, say, gay marriage in the Congress of the United States? Is not that opposition based on what legislators say believe about What God Wants?

The larger question is: What role, if any, should What God Wants play in our collective social and civil experience?

For that matter, what does “God want”? Who can know for sure? What source can tell us?

Would it be Moses and the Old Testament? Would it be Jesus and the New Testament? Would it be the Prophet Muhammad, bless his holy name, and the Qur’an? Would it be Bahá’u’lláh and the writings of the Baha’i faith? Would it be Joseph Smith and the writings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Book of Mormon? Would it be Lao Tzu and the words of the Tao Te Ching?

For a close look at what Conversations with God has to say about what God wants, return here in the days ahead for an extended series of articles covering the next two weeks, built around excerpts from the book What God Wants. Your comments, ideas, observations, and beliefs will be anticipated with great interest in the fortnight beginning Tuesday, when our first installment will appear.

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  • Christopher Toft

    “Alongside of this might come a second inquiry: Do other nations, albeit more quietly, do precisely the same thing?”
    Indeed Neale. This is why I was so happy about the passing of the same sex marriage law in the UK this year. Previous to this, UK citizens were subject to a legal framework of marriage that imposed a particular religious view of sexuality upon all people, regardless of religion or worldview. Cultural domination is not cool.

  • mewabe

    Let’s use simple logic: in order to “want”, you have to feel separate, to experience separation as a “person”, an individuated ego. The separate ego wants to own and control whatever it feels separate from, which is everything (that’s where greed comes from).
    The divine is not a “person”, not being separate from anything but BEING everything, the alpha and the omega, all that was, is and will be, the All. How then could it “want” anything?

    This idea of God as the monarch of the universe, perfect in wisdom and justice etc but stern and exacting, originated with the Egyptian, Chaldean and Persian people who themselves were ruled by PATRIARCHS or kings. These concepts were later refined by Jewish, Christian and Islamic theologians.
    All of these people without exceptions were ruled by PATRIARCHIES, and projected their AUTHORITARIAN models of governance on the “heavens”, creating the vivid and very destructive image of God as yet another authoritarian PATRIARCH.

    The fact that some want to go back to implementing the old authoritarian patriarchies is indeed a clear sign of panic…from a humanity feeling very threatened by change and attempting to stop it. It is, paradoxically, a good sign, meaning that change is HERE, and real enough to scare the daylight out of many.

  • Kristen

    Neale – a question if you have time.
    When you typed the Prophet Muhammad why did you insert the words “bless his holy name” after it?

    I ask this as when I am studying and typing Law there is almost an invisible block preventing me from typing his name, so I type The Prophet. I have this with no-one else. It almost feels intuitively that there are dire consequences for this, like he may retaliate or something if he feels he is disrespected?? Like you, I do not do fear, and I certainly do not give anyone other than God power over me but this feels like something really serious will happen – almost making me fear whatever it is. It’s very odd.

    Do you also feel this???????????

  • Kristen

    For once, no comment on this thread. I like communism, love Laws and rules and think the Amish are very cool!! I might even move to Brunei. Seriously!

    Gulp.

  • Erin

    OMG!!! Is this for ‘real’??? Let the techs go for time in the garden, Hell breaks loose…and I missed it! Garsh darn it!

    No, seriously…are the Leaders/People of Brunei (a place I had not heard of until just now), really so upset with Life as to move back to religious barbarism for arenas of entertainment & rule? And you, Dear Neale, want me to put my guns away? Heck, I’m going for a Carrier Permit as soon as the magistrate’s office opens today! Let the Inquisitioners march on…We don’t lock our doors, & We don’t call 911!

    heehee…No, seriously…This stuff is honestly about to ‘get real’…esp. if these Patriarchal Putzes even attempt to stone a woman-kind!!! They will unleash a brew that man has not yet even come close to imagining.
    Yet, perhaps this is exactly the stir the cauldron needs to bubble over & douse such ridiculous flames.

    Yeah…Let’s dance, Brunei! Turn on your music & see how Female World rocks your floors!!! Silly men + crazed religion = Collective PMS (Putting-down Men’s Sh*t), Big Time! OMG(oddess)!…You guys have nooo idea!!!

    Actually sounds like fun in the making. Ladies, get out your water-proof mascaras, the pointiest-toed boots in the closet, the pink cammos (matching lipstick, of course) & strut in Our finest dominatrix style…We may have a grand party to attend!!! 😀

    Indeed…Shift will hit the fans! WooHoo!!!

  • I look forward to this discussion. Is it possible that what we are witnessing in Brunei is just one more manifestation of the Law of Opposites? Brunei is the 1st East Asian country to be subjected to Sharia Law, but it is not at all the 1st country to suffer from this draconian set of theocratic laws.

    Many people I speak to and work with every day are talking about paradigm change, the passing away of an old way of being, an age of enlightenment beginning. If this is true, if we are collectively creating a new age of greater understanding and Spiritual growth, is this event in Brunei not evidence of that change?

    As I understand the Mechanism of Manifestation as taught in Happier Than God, we often encounter the opposite of what we choose to create as a means of becoming very clear on what and who we are not, to make it possible to accept the manifestation of who we choose to be. This would work on a collective level in the same manner as that of an individual, yes?

    If that is true is it not possible that the Brunei Sultan is simply responding to the creation of a freer nation by clamping down on the authority he senses he will soon lose? What say the people of Brunei? Only 70% of the population is Muslim, what of the rest?

    It will be interesting to see how the people of Brunei react to this as well as the rest of the World. Do we dive deeper into fear or find a way to become more of what we claim to desire? So far, fear has voiced it’s opinion everywhere. How would Love respond?

  • mewabe

    Is there a difference between the religious authoritarian State and the communist or fascist authoritarian State? I personally do not see any differences. All are cases of failed idealism, of people believing that what they consider to be their ideals can only be implemented through force, coercion, repression, brutality, terror (terrorizing a population into submission).

    Terror by government is and has always been far more widespread and deadly than terror by marginal elements.

    A god that would do this (that would take away our free will) would be a failed god. A person, government or institution that uses coercion and repression fails spiritually. It is obvious, yet many will rationalize force (such as the coercive force of law) when it fits their purpose, which they inevitably believe is the highest and the most legitimate.

    Power does not corrupt. Power IS corruption. Force is corruption. Authority is corruption.

  • Blake

    The Prophet Mohammed, bless his holy name was sitting by the
    fire in his house when he heard an unusual sound like stones being flung against the outside
    of his front door he stood up and opened the door finding scraps of rotten food
    that had been thrown on his door step. The Prophet scratched his head and
    looked down the street watching the back of an old woman walking away flailing
    her hands above her head and yelling back to the Prophet “A gift of garbage for
    the great Prophet Mohammed may he rot in Hell!”

    The Prophet Mohammed, frowned at the garbage on his front
    step and scratched his head again wondering to himself “Poor woman. How sad she
    must be for this act of violence upon me.”

    The Prophets disciple ran up to the him having just seen
    what happened and immediately cleaned the filth from the Prophets door as
    another disciple swore that he knew the name and house of this woman and he
    asked the Prophets permission to apprehend this fowl woman and stone her for
    her insult upon his holiness and his house. The Prophet told his disciple not
    to pursue the woman and said, “God would look after her and I will go about my
    business and you go about yours.”

    The Prophet Mohammed, bless him, the next morning heard
    stones being thrown against his front door, he opened the door and found
    another pile of garbage strewn on his doorstep. The Prophet heard the voice of
    the same old woman screaming, “A gift of garbage for the great Prophet Mohammed
    may he rot in Hell!”

    Again his disciples came to his aid and begged to go after
    the woman and stone her for her blasphemies against his holiness and again the
    Prophet shook his head and told his disciples “God would look after her and I
    will go about my business and you will go about yours.”

    Forty days had past and every morning for those forty days
    the same old woman would toss garbage on the Prophets front stoop, and every
    day she would yell as she walked away, “A gift of garbage for the great Prophet
    Mohammed may he rot in Hell!” And every one of those forty days the profit
    would tell his disciples the same thing, “God would look after her and I will
    go about my business and you will go about yours.” When the forty-first day
    arrived as usual the Prophet sat by his fire expecting the sound of stones
    being thrown against his door and he heard nothing.

    He stood up and opened his door looking down the street for
    any sign of the old woman and he saw nothing and heard nothing. The Prophet
    called for his disciples and they came running expecting to find the garbage on
    the door step and saw nothing. The Prophet said to his Disciples, “Lead me to
    the house of the old woman!” The disciples were almost joyous to hear their
    Masters request, the disciples said to one another, “now our Master will have
    his revenge for sure.”

    The Prophets disciples lead him to the house of the old
    woman triumphantly and as they were lead by their Master a crowd of men began
    to gather ready for a stoning. Fifty men gathered around the old woman’s house
    and the noise and shouting grew louder and louder. The Prophet calmed the crowd
    of men and knocked on the old woman’s door and waited for the door to open. No
    one came to the door. So one of the disciples pounded on the old woman’s door
    and shouted, “Come out old hag and receive your punishment!”

    The Prophet grabbed his disciples shoulder urging him to be
    gentle and still the door did not budge. The door was barred from within and
    the Prophet urged his disciple to break down the door. His disciple dutifully
    broke down the door and inside laying on the mud floor was the old woman it was
    cold and wet in the single room of this old shack their was no fire and the old
    woman was curled up into a ball shivering and sweating profusely.

    The Prophet demanded that a bed be brought in for the old
    woman and dung for the fire to be lit to warm her. Food was brought and warm
    blankets were wrapped around her and the Prophet knelt down besides the bed for
    the old woman and held her hand gently caressing it.

    The old woman opened her eyes and weakly gazed upon the man
    that was holding her hand, she began to whimper softly as she realized that the
    Prophet Mohammed was caressing her hand and smiling at her. The old woman
    fearfully whispered, “are you here to exact your revenge on this old woman for
    damning you to Hell everyday?”

    The Prophet Mohammed , bless him, said simply, “I missed you
    today.” The old woman was surprised to hear this and the Master said, “I was
    afraid you had forgotten me, and now I see that you are sick and now I will to
    Gods work and heal you.”

    The old woman asked, “why would the great Prophet Mohammed
    want to heal and old woman after she has sinfully attacked him?” The Prophet
    said to the Old Woman, “God is Great in all things and all there is, is God.”
    The old woman drew the Prophets hand to her lips and kissed his finger, smiling
    she fell asleep. When she woke the next morning another woman was sitting
    besides her, she smiled at the young woman and the old woman asked, where is
    the Prophet Mohammed gone?”

    The young woman smiled back and said, “The Master told me a
    message to give you, when your feeling healed he will be waiting for you at his
    house for you to bring your gift of garbage to him.”

    The disciples and the crowd of men were blessed by the
    Prophet that day teaching that everyone, even and old woman can make a
    difference in the world by touching others with God. And the old woman never
    forgot the gift he gave her and blessed him everyday of her life.

    This story has been passed orally for hundreds of years from
    person to person and now to you.

    Blessings

  • When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of Truth and
    Love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a
    time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think
    of it… Always.
    ~ Mahatma Gandhi

  • Gina

    It is all in the Bible, which is not written by a human being but directly spoken words of God. All revelation is finally in and the time of direct communication is since over. Michael Jackson went to hell because he was born a Jehova’s witness and died a practitioner of an obscure Eastern religion. God gave us free will, but if we don’t freely admit Jesus as the only savior, we go to hell. This is somewhat ridiculous and unbelievable, but such is His way. The Lord works in mysterious ways and you should pray to Him so the Holy spirit can help you come to believe the unbelievable. What we should do in addition is individually endeavor to do what God said He wants as clearly stated in the Book and individually inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will show the way how we would behave. We would then be urged to spread the Gospel, so more can hear the good news and have a chance to avoid the Judgement. We would not require any of this be the law of the land, just work to spread the word to the end of the world, even to the land that’s clearly advised that it’s dangerous to enter for missionary purposes. There is something more valuable than holding onto your mere physical life here. Are there any holes in my logic? Isn’t my theology circular and complete? I heard this litany so much for so long from so many that I believe it, in a way.

    • Kristen

      Are you the same Gina usually in here?? I will assume you are not being sarcastic, but brave in here! I understand completely what you are meaning, the confusion, what to believe or not, how to separate what others say from what you feel in your heart. Evangelists are fruitloops, but……………….this is why Kabbalah was right for me. All the God stuff, studying, learning, questions answered, God on my side, partaking in right over wrong. the Tree of Life journey, respecting God and His rules and ways BUT without the religion or a contract with God that I will comply with everything. And this is the path God chose for me. I think my exact words were “I get that you want me, I get that your Angels are my guides rather than the Afterlife ones, I get someone is teaching me random stuff, I can feel you are waiting for me to reach out BUT I will not do religion. If you are choosing a path for me, go for it, but you must respect this as it is my freewill right and choice”. And He did and does daily.

      • Gina

        Any system that encourages you to think, investigate, and decide for yourself is respectable. Christians and their variations are too big and too powerful and wreaking too much havoc to just ignore. 

        Right now Korea is going through a hellacious time coping with the drama and trauma of the sunken ferry. 302 out of 475 passengers died, 34 of the bodies still missing. The owner of the ferry and the company turned out to be infamously involved with a group suicide that shocked the nation back in 1987. The owner of the company is also a founder of a pseudo religion called the Salvationists. It turns out that much of what caused the sinking of the ferry, the series of irresponsible acts and the ultimate murder act of abandoning the ship by the captain, was largely due to the mental/spiritual state of the crew. The crew are actually followers of the religion. They are paid sub-standard wages and in return allowed to illegally overcharge the ship with odds and ends cargo and make money. What the religion mainly teaches the members is, you are saved once and for eternity, and whatever misdeeds you conduct are irrelevant to whether you will face Judgment and Hell. What’s more, their proclaimed savior is the owner of the ship. The family of the owner of the ship/cargo company are enormously wealthy and most of their wealth is suspected to be accumulated through illegality. For example they bought the sunken ferry second-hand, having been used by a Japanese company for 18 years. They rebuilt it in an illegal way, in a top-heavy way, so it had even less resilience in a strong current. They carried less than required equilibration water to save on fuel. They didn’t tie down the illegal cargo, so when the ship was tilted the cargo went to one side and helped sink the ship with light speed. The life boats were not in working condition. The captain and crew members changed clothes so as not to be recognized as crew, and escaped through the emergency route exclusively for the 0crew. If they announced to the passengers to just jump out, most of them could have been saved, but they kept telling to stay put, while escaping themselves! Where in other parts of the galaxy does something like this happen??? Even an absurd mixture of drug-induced stupor and years of desensitizing training will give way to the hightened state of alert and human instinct to save lives in a situation like this. But hey, what do you know!They were worse than mindless robots. They specialized in getting by at the expense of others. They didn’t care much about anything except obedience, mindless following and leeching on the system and getting by at others’ sake. The problem is any religion is this kind of paralyzing of the soul and spirit of their followers. The problem with Christianity is that it’s sooooo all-encompassing, pervasive and big. However ridiculous and incredible their theology, once you are hooked, you are gone. First order of their business is lobotomy. That’s what’s scary about the simply ridiculous theology of many religions. They make you stop thinking that it’s ridiculous any more!

        • Kristen

          CwG is a religion. The Universal definition is teachings that have a God at the helm, and a leader preaching that God’s teachings and actively recruiting followers. I know CwG books say it is not. Crock! As you said – once you are hooked, you are gone!

          You would be surprised at what goes on in other realms, humans are one of the few free thinking species with a mind separate to a physical brain. Not many have compassion etc and there are many different species illegally reincarnated here to experience and learn from these positive attributes we have. Unfortunately as they are in human bodies, we assume all are human on Earth, and humans cop the rap for a lot of very bad behaviour they are doing. Most sadists, peodophiles, ‘cold blooded’ cruel people etc are not human at all.

          Wow about the Korean Ferry. I have been following it on the news including some religious one line mention and of cover ups but had no idea of the depth of it. Will be interesting when and if the truth about the Malaysian Airline comes out. You sound very different and your energy does not feel like you!!!!

          • Gina

            CwG has become a religion, unless it becomes more of a movement. What any religion should really teach is to go within actually, functionally.Talk about other realms and diffrent species makes me think of the movie Men in Black. That’s how far I am advanced regarding transcendental experiences. I have been saying the same thing over and over here, most significantly my love-hate relationship with Christian fundamentalists.Why you sensed a different energy around me this time…. because I used a little sarcasm? Ha ha. 

          • Kristen

            Smart to not know anything of foreign species. I react very badly to them, but they should not be here possessing human bodies so their problem!.

            Re your energy – no not the scarcasm. You feel big, before you felt little! I guess in physical size it would be like comparing 5’2″ to 5″10. As I’ve said before, moods change everything so checking peoples energy before going in here isn’t very reliable but at least I can tell danger and aliens, and it’s funny when government officials are observing in here. No idea why, but they must be suspicious of something, perhaps they think Neale is up to something they would perceive as a Government threat. Glad not to be a CwGer on these grounds alone. Maybe they moniter all anti government sites so it’s routine or some comments or threads automatically trigger something to warrant monitering. Im sure Neale knows this, I’ve mentioned it before. A few years ago there was a military guy Buzz who was open about observing and interacting in here. A bomb disposal officer!!! Huge huge narcissist that I had lovely arguments with but he did fess up as an observer and did say in reference to bombs but meaning to people in here “when you see me run, keep up”. Lucky I like law and governments!! Yes, they are observing at the moment again. I can feel it as a pair of military binoculars.