DEC 4th 2007
Mrs Gibbons, the English teacher arrested and jailed in Khartoum for allowing her class of 7 year olds to name a Teddy Bear after a popular class member who happened to be called Mohammad (a not uncommon name, shared by the founder of Islam), was pardoned by
Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir after talks with two British Muslim peers and released into their custody - not, you will note, the custody of the UK government, whose protection under international law is written into her passport, a document accepted by the Sudanese state.

It is touching that leaders of the UK Muslim Community went to Khartoum to effect this release, which must come as a timely reminder to all members of our Muslim community including its leaders just why it is they have come to live here rather than in their various homelands. It is time however to get some reciprocity into the relationship. Christian fundamentalists have also got to get their knickers untwisted. At least they do not put support for co-religionists above the law of the country they live in and expect protection from, but it is surely time for us to get our religon compatible with modern science as a beginning to making different faiths compatible with international law.

According to a supposedly independent educationalist (I take as an example Dr Fred Kellog, Emory and Henry College), only Jesus Christ is worshipped as divine. Muslims do not consider either Mohammad or Jesus to be more than men. As an enthusiastic Christian, I do not believe Jesus considered himself to be more than a man either. All readings of the New Testament make it clear he did not. He was fulfilling the role of Messaiah and in so doing enlightening his fellow men and women about the nature and status of mankind and of what they called God. He explained they had to update it. Naturally, some understood what he was saying and doing better than others, both at the time and later. [Note: a reader has questioned me on this, in that it seems I question the divinity of Christ. I think I expressed it poorly. He was preaching the Conditional Divinity of Humanity. Jesus always referred to himself, as related in all the Gospels as "The Son of Man". He insisted that those who followed him could become like him, and that they could work his work after he had gone. He proclaimed he was the Way, the Life and the Truth. So indeed he was more than the men of then and to this day who can say he or she has been able to follow? Some have been judged Saints by others. To me it is clear Jesus knew who he was and what he was doing. A proper understanding of The Lord's Prayer will yield some revelations that taken in conjunction with the rest of the Gospels will lead in my view to further enlightenment. It is very concise.]

So the Muslim view is correct. We could well still refer to Jesus Christ as 'the only son of God' as nobody else has yet attained that status though some may have got near. Handsome is as handsome does, folks. This in no way diminishes Jesus or Christianity in the slightest degree. It explains clearly that life in this universe, wherever it arises and reaches what we call 'humanity', can aspire to understand and serve and share the Nature that creates and sustains it.
 [ Jesus was telling about the future for humanity for those who can go beyond homo sapiens to homo spiritualis. That does not mean the science of homo sapiens should be overthrown any more than Newton's Laws of Motion are demolished by Einstein. But a study of biology and anthropolgy points to the fact that spreading and sharing philosophy and theological insight and interbreeding so that through a combination of nurture and nature all homo sapiens descendants will become homo spiriualis is not going to be easy. It would be an exception to past evolutionary processes. OK, lets do it ;- )  ]

But for a look at the status quo in our somewhat confused, emergent state as seen by Fred Kellogg, here is the link::

Religious emotions and experiences can admittedly be a positive force when it comes to inspiring individuals and giving hope and belief in the future, and in many cases a sustaining force in times of terrible suffering. But I was struck by the rational but point-missing opinion of a lady who after trying out the Alpha course (Christianity for those bored by church but confused by life) said she was not convinced by the account of the crucifixion. "How could Jesus be God if he cried out 'My God, My God, why have you forsaken me'?" That is a good question, but there is a very clear answer. Jesus was a man who understood Nature, including Human Nature, perfectly; and he was expecting to die, not hang around in agony longer than he wished. His resurrection was a subjective experience of his followers, and that is recounted very clearly as such in many instances later. Note: all individual human experiences are subjective, even when shared. That is not to say there is no objective reality, but that takes a lot of viewing... over a lot of time....