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Syedmed

Vitamin D deficiency and Muslim women

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Salam o elikum,

In continuation of the topic of Vitamin D deficiency, here are a few more points that should be known to everyone.

Some facts about vitamin D:

Vitamin D is a hormone, the roles of which are still being unravelled today. Osteomalacia/rickets and secondary hyperparathyroidism are just some of the diseases people put themselves at risk at by simply not getting enough sunlight. Vit D deficiency has been linked to heart disease, colon cancer, and other diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Vitamin D in your diet:

Vitamin D is not widely present in food; it is found only in some fish and liver. Neither is milk a good source of the vitamin. It is only supplemented milk/dairy products that help prevent vit D deficiency. Not all countries have vitamin D supplemented dairy products (Australia and most countries in Europe do not). Therefore, it would be unusual for people to obtain adequate vitamin D from their diet alone, without supplementation or enrichment, i.e, if they are sunlight deficient. So it is wise to check what the case is in your locality before relying on milk to keep your vit D stores up.

Vitamin D and lifestyle of muslim women:

Whether we like it or not, Vit D deficiency has been found in muslim women of reproductive age, whether they wear hijab or not at higher percentages when compared to non muslims. Several studies in Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Denmark, Sweden, Turkey, Australia, USA, UK have attested to this. This is because of the typical lifestyle of Muslim women - to stay indoors and have little outdoor activity. The Muslim woman is covered almost entirely when outdoors (that is not free of non-mahrams’ view), so her sunlight exposure is reduced.

Living at higher latitudes is another sigificant factor. e.g., essentially no vitamin D is produced with sun exposure from November to February in Boston and from mid-October to mid-April in Edmonton, Canada. Therefore, muslim women living at higher latitudes put themselves at even greater risk than those living at lower latitudes. One research concluded that the highest degree of vitamin D deficiency in the world is found in kashmir (India/Pakistan) which is located at a very high latitude and the women hardly ever come outdoors.

This is in no way attacking or questioning the concept of the hijab or modesty. In fact by being aware of this problem we solve this misconception that hijab is the culprit. It might aggravate the problem, but it is not the main reason. Its our busy indoor lifestyles either by choice or forced on us by working long hours indoors or living in large apartment complexes that have little direct sunlight.

It is important to note however that women from particular cultural backgrounds, eg African, middle eastern, indian/Pakistani who don’t wear hijab have also been shown to have lower vit D levels. So it is more of an issue of lifestyle than necessarily dress code.

In general, vitamin deficiency only became widespread in the world with the onset of the industrial revolution. Houses no longer had courtyards, lanes were narrow, and people’s time was increasingly spent indoors. This is precisely why countries like America supplement their milk with vitamin D.

Pregnancy/ Lactation and Vit. D:

Pregnant women have a higher daily requirement of vit D and therefore need more sunlight. Children born to women with vitamin D deficiency typically have half the levels of their mothers, so are at an increased risk of rickets. Usually, if the mother is already Vit D deficient, then the baby becomes depleted of his/her body stores in about 6 month's time. Therefore, newborn babies and toddlers should not be kept out of the sun all the time.

Breast milk is a poor source of vitamin D. Formula milk is usually fortified with Vit. D. This does not mean that formula is overall better than breast milk. The best option for a woman is to breast feed her baby and take Vit. D supplements if she is deficient in it. These supplements not only raise the level of the vitamin in her own body, but also in her milk.

Skin color:

Darker skinned people need more sun exposure (as much as 6 times more) to produce the same amount of vitamin D. But this should not raise a false alarm for you if you are dark skinned, because for people with routine sun exposure, the levels of Vit. D in the body is more or less the same regardless of their complexion. It would matter more if you are dark skinned plus you rarely get sun exposure.

Many cultures of Muslim people consider white as beautiful. So women avoid the sunlight for fear of getting a tan. This is a particularly evil view in that not only is it racist, it also can lead to the bad health of women and their children.

Sunblock blocks out UVB and prevents the production of vit D. Therefore it is best to avoid using sunblock for at least 10 min if you are going out in the morning or afternoon.

How much exposure to sunlight is necessary:

Short exposures are more efficient at producing vitamin D. It has not been found out exactly how much sunlight is actually needed, it appears prudent to recommend exposure of hands, face and arms to 5-15 minutes of sunlight 4-6 times a week - with the greatest frequency recommended for the elderly and dark skinned populations. But prolonged exposure not only degrades vitamin D to inactive products, it also increases the risk of skin cancers.

UV light does not pass through glass or plastic:

Sitting in a well lit room does not prevent vitamin D deficiency. The UV rays must hit your skin directly.

Wearing black does not facilitate the absorption of UV light by your skin:

The UV rays are absorbed into the material and does not reach the skin. Although black blocks out more UV light than light colors do, neither sufficiently allow enough light to reach and penetrate the skin. Therefore, try to sit in your backyard or at a window where direct sunlight reaches you. Or prolong your exposure when you are in hijab outdoors.

Vit D deficiency in old people:

Older people need more exposure than younger people because skin is both thicker and also loses ability to form Vit D. Older people are less active and many are hospitalized for other diseases which further causes Vit. D deficiency.

A note to responsible, God fearing brothers:

When picking a house to buy or rent, choose one that gets as much direct light as possible through its windows or in a courtyard/backyard. You should be able to open windows to allow direct light in. Flyscreens should be removable. If you cannot afford a place with a private courtyard or backyard, then make sure you take your wife/family out at least one day a week, and encourage them to go out the other days of the week.

Do not think that your wife being home 24/7 and not having to go out for anything, makes you a better man in protecting your wife’s modesty. You are answerable to God if you have any hand in your wife's ill health and consequently your children's health, if you do not provide for or allow them to enjoy direct sunlight. In the time of hadhrat Fatima(as), houses had courtyards and women had to go out to do washing and get water etc. This is how they got enough sunlight, whilst remaining at home most of the time. Sunlight is not just necessary for Vitamin D production. Sunlight deficiency is known to be linked to seasonal depression and other psychological problems. Please keep this in mind for the well being of your wife and children.

Do not express a preference to lighter skin to your womenfolk. Whether it be through your actions or words. This is like expressing a preference for being very thin women. It can be unhealthy for them.

Final Note:

- Anyone with limited sunlight exposure is at risk for Vit. D deficiency. And if your exposure is limited, you maybe unaware that you are deficient in this vitamin. That is because the deficiency does not produce any noticeable symptoms early on. So get your vitamin D level checked. Many hospitals have routine screening programs for this - you can ask your local doctors and get more information from them.

- Vit D. is necessary to maintain the required calcium level in the body, but a normal calcium level does not rule out Vit. D deficiency. The body has other mechanisms to bring the calcium level back to normal. But these compensatory mechanisms have their own problems, therefore Vit. D is necessary.

- Tell your friends, family and community about vitamin D deficiency.

References:

http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/175_05...ozza/nozza.html

http://www.racgp.org.au/document.asp?id=12261

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I dont want to sound controversial

But I read in an article that because of this reason(lack of Vit D), Iran allowed and promoted Chador of different colors(not necesarily black)

Another question : Does lack of Vit D lead to depression which leads to suicide ? :huh:

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Skin color:

Darker skinned people need more sun exposure (as much as 6 times more) to produce the same amount of vitamin D.

What does Dark skinned ppl mean? African America or ...not very fair ppl?

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Studies have shown that Folate deficiency has a stronger correlation with depression than Vitamin D deficiency as far as a primary correlation. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorders) due to variation in sunlight are common, and whilst they bring about Vitmain D fluctuations, the Vitamin D in of itself does not lead to the disorder. Folate though, is another story, and currently more research is being done. Btw, folate deficiency is a common cause of neural tube defects in pregnancy, so to all the pregnant mothers out there, please take your vitamin supplements, or eat plenty of green leafy veggies

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This is good because I hardly wear black (apart from in muharram- where its all I wear) and especially in the summer, I go out into the garden a lot and its quite private so I'm not exposed to non mahrams :) (Before I read this thread I was going to stop going in the sun too much- so its good I did)

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Shameless bump, actually, not shameless, its a vitally important message, and this should not get lost in the traffic. Maybe a mod should even consider tacking this message. Just a thought.

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Well, i assume that means you have had your delivery. Slowly start tapering off your calcium, and just switch to a woman's formula. Too much Calcium isnt good because it causes your heart to contract with greater force and intensity and you dont want that if it isnt needed.

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Salaam alaikum

Well I wasn't taking any extra with my prenatals. But from everything I've read pregnancy and breastfeeding leech alot of calcium from the woman so I was just wondedring since I'm creeping up on my 30th birthday if it was something I really need to worry about and add the extra calcium or not.

wa salaam

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I suggest a comprehensive woman's formula which not only has Calcium, but other goodies too. It should be avaiable at any drug store. If you live in the US, GNC has an excellent formula.

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salaam alaikum

I came across this article and thought of syedmed always bumping up this thread.LOL Pretty intresting. You docs got anything to say about the article? Just curious to your opinions.

Surprise Painkiller

Getting enough vitamin D may help relieve chronic pain

by Gloria McVeigh

Vague, chronic aches in the back, arms, legs, neck, and chest are often diagnosed as fibromyalgia or stress. But the real cause may be one that's totally unexpected: vitamin D deficiency.

"We were stunned to find that 93 percent of the 150 unexplained-pain subjects we studied were D deficient, because the patients were teenagers or midlife adults," says University of Minnesota researcher Gregory Plotnikoff, MD. "That flies in the face of what we're taught in medical school--that vitamin D deficiency only occurs in those over age 65."

Scientists have long known that vitamin D deficiency causes bone and muscle pain; what was astonishing was how widespread it was. If you have chronic pain or fibromyalgia, Plotnikoff recommends asking your family doctor to test your blood level of vitamin D.

Page 1 of 1

Gloria McVeigh is the Prevention Nutrition News Editor.

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Fibromyalgia is one of those pathologies that has an idiopathic, or unknown pathology, meaning that we dont know for sure why it is something happens. It is defined as a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points, i mean, isnt that vague. Treatment is even more vague. Physical therapy, heat and pain medications are commonly used to treat this is combination.

The role of Vitamin D as far as bones, and aches has been well documented. As we know, Vitamin D is activated by PTH to increase intestinal calcium reabsorption, but also acts on bone by stimulating bone resorption via the action of PTH. We already know that Vitamin D deficiency causes osteomalacia, which is associated with nonspecific isolated or generalized bone pain, muscle aches, and muscle weakness, ie, symptoms similar to fibromyalgia. So this study doesnt really surprise me.

As an aside, in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the authors conclude that people have a increased risk of dying from breast, colon, ovarian, and prostate cancer when they live further from the equator because they have less sunlight shinning on their skin to manufacture vitamin D. But this same scenario applies to Muslim women who wear dark or black hijab, who similarly may receive less sunlight. It appears that the cellular production of activated vitamin D3 may be essential for the regulation of cellular health, thereby decreasing the risk of developing some cancers. The fact of the matter is that activated vitamin D is one of the most potent inhibitors of cellular proliferation (Cancer basically is uncontrolled cellular proliferation) and inducers of cellular maturation and has important immunomodulatory activities on B and T lymphocytes.

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Woohoo, a pinned topic :!!!: , umm, now how do I go about bumping up my post total :unsure: . Seriously though, thanks mods, hopefully the sisters of the board pay heed to this.

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Your symptoms, should you even have any, would be rather vague, and physicians would, in the event of such symptoms, not necessarily focus on Vitamin D deficiency from the get go. I suggest a quick visit to your primary care physicians if you have doubts. Take care

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SALAAM DOC I THIKN U R ABSOLUTELY RITE IN THIS MATTER I M ONUR SIDE AND I WANT PPL TO DRINK MILK COZ MILK ALSO HELPS TO INCREASE OUR GROWTH AND HEWLPS MAKE OUR BONES STRONG

AND I HAV EREAD SOME WHERE THAT fiOUN USED TO WEAR BLACK DREASS(THIS IS EXCEPTION FOR US DURING MUHARRAM)

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A few points via a vis a PM i received from a rather concerned sister:

First off i need to address this notion that Vitamin D is a hormone. Vitamin D is actually a prohormone with several active metabolites that act as hormones. In the skin, previtamin D3 is synthesized photochemically from 7-dehydrocholesterol and is slowly isomerized to vitamin D3, which is removed by vitamin D-binding protein. In the liver, vitamin D3 is converted to 25(OH)D3, the major circulating form. It passes through the enterohepatic circulation and is reabsorbed from the gut. Next, in the kidneys, it is further modified to the much more metabolically active form, 1,25(OH)2D3 (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, calcitriol, vitamin D hormone). The main function of vitamin D hormone is to increase calcium absorption from the intestine and promote normal bone formation and mineralization. These functions are mediated by a vitamin D receptor that is a transcription factor, which is instrumental in turning on a panoply of genes that express the biologic activity of vitamin D hormone. The modification of of 25D to 1, 25 D is strongly stimulated by parathyroid hormone (PTH) and, independently of PTH, by hypophosphatemia.

There are two types of Vitamin D supplements that are commonly given. Vitamin D3 which is commonly called calciferol comes from plants and fish oil. Additionally, Vitamin D3 is found in eggs, meats, animal fat and is basically the Vitamin D formed from sun exposure on our skin. The other type, Vitamin D2, is found in plants and activated by irrariation.

As a general rule, most physicians recommend Vitamin D3 as a supplement source, and not Vitamin D2 which has a higher risk for toxicity. Vitamin D as you know is a fat soluble vitamin, the other being Vit A, E and K. In the body often it bound to protein. This Vitamin D binding protein has a weaker affinity for metabolites of Vitamin D2, versus metabolites of Vitamin D3. This is not good because those metabolites will then be freely floating within in the body. Furthermore, the metabolites of Vitamin D2 are biologically active, far different from the more inert metabolites of Vitamin D3.

As far as toxicity goes, high dose treatment with Vitamin D analogues will cause elevated Calcium levels and indeed treatment protocol when high dose Vitamin D supplements are given involves monitoring patient calcium levels. Some of the symptoms associated with elevated Calcium levels include, but are not limited to anorexia, nausea, and vomiting, followed by polyuria, polydipsia, weakness, nervousness, and pruritus. Importantly, renal function is often also impaired, often due to metastatic calcifications within the kidneys.

Additionally, you have downregulation of your receptors on the kidney, and the gut so once Vitamin D overdose is corrected by moving the patient off such supplements, it will take time for a normal homeostatic level to be reached again due to receptor sensitivity imbalance. We see this all the time in Cardiovascular pharmacology where you may get, for example, a hypertensive crisis if a patient has been on Beta blockers to control their blood pressure, and then suddenly taken off Beta Blockers.

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Interesting topic.

The role of sunlight in preventing quite a number of diseases is getting more attention. Apparently, schitzophrenia and multiple schlerosis are both somewhat associated with low levels of sunlight in childhood.

However, the sun kills people as well. That Australian study, showing low levels of vitamin D among Muslim women, is being conducted in the nation with the highest rates of fatal skin cancers in the world.

It seems healthy to go out for short periods in the sun, to allow ones skin to benefit. But the longer exposures become dangerous.

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yes sister tahira1976, it is true that wearing black is makrooh in fact.

The holy Prophet (s.a.w) use to wear white all the time, it is sunnat to wear white...

plus in a hot country it keeps you cooler while black locks the heat in the cloths creating a hot film around your body, dehydrating you as you lose water through sweat etc...I am not suggesting that every woman should wear white but well we all look great during hajj and umrah rite?!

Interesting thread, glad it was expanded because i have heard of the effects of vitamin D deficiancy in muslim women and especially having a direct impact on hair loss or hair thining?!

Yes one should get out in the sun and its great for your skin and mental health but having said that you should at least take precautions when you are out in the sun and being in the sun for too long!!!

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Guest blessedflower

(bismillah) (salam)

Subhan Allah, all praise be for Allah swt and then for the Ahlul Bayt (as)..and especially for Mola Ali's ilm...subhan Allah.

No wonder islam frowns upon wearing black ''all the time, except in mohorram''. I dont have the source or reference but well first of all, anything allowed or forbidden in Islam has to do with Logic. Don't get me wrong here, most people associate the rules of Islam as something to be followed blindly, without really looking into them and at their reasons. Now I know why it is said that it's not right to wear ''all black'', and all black shoes. Aside from the logic of islam, sunnis don't like to wear black at all coz they don't wanna be mistaken for a shia. Lolz.

Recently in the west they have started designing swimsuits that are made of sheer material, designed in prints, that let thru the sun shine without exposing the skin directly to the sun, thus eliminating the chances of skin cancer.

I have observed from most of the posts that, after the first post, most muslim women think that going out in the sun or not wearing black hijab is impossible, that muslim women should be couped up in the house just coz we're suppose to hide ourselves from the world. This is my general observation from some of the posts on this thread. There are alternatives to wearing black hijab, you can make it navy blue or any other color that looks dark and appears black but it doesn't have to be absolute black alone. Even the science of colors says that ''black absorbs light (not sunlight)..and white reflects light thus making the body feel cooler". In Saudi Arabia, men traveling in the dessert always wear white.

I wanted to mention something about getting proper exercise: it is said that climbing the stairs back and forth is a very good cardio-vascular exercise (good for the heart). When my husband and I recently bought the house, we kept arguing over the importance of the stairs. He said that they are not safe for children and I insisted that they're neccessary for your heart. Well, when we moved in here a few months ago both our weights were not good. Although my husband gets enough physical exercise from his job, due to inadequate rest and diet (he works seven days a week and use to sleep only 5 hours per night) he kept gaining and expanding. His weight was above 250 and well mine was in 160's. Aside from my pregnancy my weight bothered me and living in the apartment neither did I feel like going outside nor did I get enough exercise. Since I moved to this house I have lost a lot of fat, amazingly in weeks, and my husband is loosing weight too (he's also getting more sleep now, aroudn 6-7 hours per night). It is indeed very important to get proper excersize and for those living in apartments, all I can say is if you ever buy a house please get one with stairs (two or more stories).

Brother Syedmed, this is a bit off-topic but can you possibly provide the logic behind the Eclipses and their effects on pregnancy? In this thread or any other, doesn't matter...I have heard from muslims AND non-muslims alike about the effects of the eclipses on the unborn child. Ofcourse, being a shia, I believe it coz in shiaism, anything that comes to us from the Ahlul Bayt is unquestionable. But I want to know (if possible) what is the scientific logic behind the eclipse and its horrific effects on the unborn child. Maybe this hasn't been researched yet :) if you can provide the answer it will be much appreciated, if not, then it's ok.

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Guest blessedflower

(bismillah) (salam)

Hmmm. Bro Syedmed, I have a question:

During my first pregnancy I was mostly bed-ridden coz well first of all before my pregnancy I had low (very low, hehe, the doc gave me iron pills twice a day) levels of iron...and I was also given prenatal vitamins. The other reason for such a hectic pregnancy was that I had suffered from major depression (and I mean really severe kind) for 6-7 years prior to getting married (I had to run away to get married, for that matter, coz the depression was caused by domestic probs with mother (my depression was gone soon after I got away from the situation at home and the emotional love from hubby helped me heal very fast. But I think that the physical side-effects of depression still lingered for a while and were gone completely by the time I delivered my baby.))...and five months after my marriage I conceived. I was not in any way healthy, actually I was very weak, and perhaps that is why I wasn't able to digest the vitamins or any other food, for that matter. I dunno how my son came out all normal, he's a miracle masha'Allah. During that pregnancy I could hardly eat anything and NEVER took my vitamins because they gave me severe nausea. Six months after a cesarean delivery I conceived again, and this time I feel pretty normal and alhamdolillah I eat everything that I can. I am not eating a lot like pregnant women usually do, I actually go in phases: during the first trimester I was high on juices; I kept three different kinds of mixed-fruit juices in the fridge at the same time. And at that time, I was also high on cheese and milk. I am in my sixth month now, still eating normal but not focusing much on milk or juices; but this time I am high on 'green leafy vegetables' and well veggies altogether.

And I am still not taking my vitamins. :) They still make me sick although not very severely..but something funny happens everyday: in this new house we don't have curtains or blinds for our bedroom windows yet. Each morning the sun drives me crazy because it hits ALL of my body parts directly. So, the question is, if I skip the vitamins and keep eating the way I am, what are the chances of my delivering a healthy baby (last one was born 5 lbs 3 ounces, 2 days short of 36 weeks)? I cannot open the window to get direct sunlight coz of the horrible cold weather these days..but the sun does make me feel very good overall (even thru that glass). And yes, hubby, I and the kid go out everyday but mostly after maghrib due to his job hours and I cannot get out much these days because of the weather. As far as exercise goes, stairs are my best friend I use them 3-4 times a day, maybe more sometimes and overall I feel perfectly healthy (alhamdolillah).

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This would be akin to considering whether the claim that we are a democratic nation is valid based on whether citizens and institutions uphold and live out the principles and practices of democracy. Do citizens act in democratic ways? Are there state and non-state institutions that uphold democratic values and principles? Let’s shift to whether we are a “Christian” nation. Do citizens and elected officials adhere to the core principles of Christianity as reflected in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ? Do state and non-state institutions promote Christian principles and practices? The simple answer is no, but it is important to at least identify a few key principles of Christianity. It is apparent in any cursory reading of history that there are various renderings of what it means to live a Christian life. Yet, it is safe to say that the ministry of Jesus Christ incarnates the love and compassion of God, which includes mercy and forgiveness. As Karen Armstrong (1993) notes, the three Abrahamic faiths elevate compassion as a central principle for living a religious life. If we consider love, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness as central principles of being a Christian, then it is evident that these principles are less about mere belief than they are about actions or practices. I think most individual Christians and communities of faith, if they are honest, would say that they fall short of living out these principles. Indeed, Kierkegaard, surveying the landscape of Christian Europe, asked whether a Christian could be found in all of Christendom. No doubt he was aware of how far he and others fail to live out and up to Jesus Christ. More importantly, his query was not just about individuals, but calling Christendom itself into question. Individuals who call themselves Christian should be assessed in terms of the principles of Christianity, not so much to deny their identity, but to indicate to what degree they live out this faith. Those of us who call ourselves Christian know we do not measure up, yet we retain a Christian identity. When individuals use the term Christian to describe their nation, which includes identity, then it is fair game to use the principles as criteria. What does it mean to be called a Christian nation given the violent appropriation of land from Native Americans, which may rightly be called ethnic cleansing? Our ruthless treatment of Native peoples, which continues today, seems a far cry from any Christian principle. Consider how many American Christians legitimated slavery, Jim Crow, and racism. By what Christian principle do these fall under? The exploitation of Cuban, Philippine, and Central American peoples during the decades when the U.S. was a colonial power seems more in line with the principles of the Roman Empire than Christian values. The fire bombings of Dresden and Tokyo and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians. Has the U.S. ever asked for forgiveness for these acts?  This kind of sociopathic brutality is a far cry from Christian compassion, though it is important to acknowledge that Christian communities perpetrated if not supported brutal actions (e.g., lynching). Let’s turn to the killing of around 2 million Vietnamese, which was more in line with the principles of realpolitik than Christian justice. Speaking of justice, read Acts and ask how Christian is it to have huge income and wealth disparities, millions of people without healthcare or inadequate healthcare, food deserts, and 7 million people in the penal system. Does this so-called Christian nation embody or even uphold any of the core values of Christianity? If this is not enough to dissuade people from calling the U.S. a Christian nation, I also raise the fact that I am not sure any nation could be Christian, except in only one sense and that is the view that we are a Christian nation because most citizens self-identify as Christian. That said, it is crucial to recognize that while religious communities can hold forth about their Christian values and principles vis-à-vis organizing the life of the community, nations abide by other principles, principles more in line with Machiavelli and Clausewitz, rather than Christ. To be sure, Constantine launched the West onto the idea of a Christian state, but this idea seemed to be far from anything Jesus had in mind. Moreover, Christ’s motivation, if I can talk about his motivation, seemed to be more about compassion, feeding the poor, healing the sick, etc., than it was about founding a nation. In short, Jesus’ kingdom is not to be found on earth, even though the kingdom of God is among us in acts of love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. These are virtues that are inimical the advancement of a nation state, let alone, an empire. So, let’s be honest and acknowledge that the U.S. and its government do not and, perhaps, cannot uphold Christian principles in organizing social or international relations. For this reason, we cannot claim the U.S. is a Christian nation. But I am not sanguine about people accepting this, especially those Christian individuals who are more likely to think of themselves as staunch patriots. By adhering to this belief, more accurately an illusion, they avoid facing the fact that the fundamental principles that actually operate in state-craft, namely, ruthless, rational calculation in the advancement of U.S. economic and political interests, are contrary to Christian principles used to organize the first Christian communities, namely sacrificial love, compassion, forgiveness, and distribution of resources according to needs. I also think there are a few other reasons why many Christian Americans are steadfast in their belief that the U.S. is a Christian nation. First, Christianity has long been the dominant religious tradition in this country and has become, for many, intertwined with a national identity. Even if people recognize that one can be American and from other faith traditions, patriotic Christians’ identity is wedded to national identity. To begin to believe we are not a Christian nation can evoke anxiety and rage because it is a threat to that identity. A second reason for retaining this illusion is that it deflects one from the inherent cruelty of the state’s actions (e.g., drone warfare and the killing of civilians, policing the poor). Even when we find ways to justify violence (e.g., they attacked us first—just war), we can continue to hold out that we are Christian nation. “Christian” denotes something good, unsullied by our excesses. It is analogous to someone saying, after being cruel to someone, “All have sinned. I know this as a Christian and that God still loves me.” Pasting the title Christian over the notion of the state or nation is like trying to cover over the indelible stain of our national sins. Third and relatedly, to come face to face with ourselves, as Carl Jung noted, is a terrible shock for we will see how far we really are from our cherished ideals of ourselves. Our shared histories, which undergird our shared identities, are, more often than not, facades that screen the reality of wrong on the throne and right on the scaffold (Niebuhr, 1941, p. 40).  Better to hold onto the soporific illusions of the title “Christian” than to face our collective past and present sins. As James Baldwin noted Americans “have the most remarkable ability to alchemize all bitter truths into an innocuous but piquant confection and to transform their moral contradictions, into a proud decoration” (1955, p.31)—the proud decoration that we are a Christian nation. Baldwin also wrote, “(F)or there is a great deal of will power involved in the white man’s naïveté” (p.166)—a naiveté fostered by the illusion of a Christian America. So, there are three basic rationales for citizens proclaiming the U.S. is a Christian nation. The first is the view that sheer numbers of people who believe in Christ indicates we are a Christian nation, but this fails because of the low percentages of people who actually practice some version of Christian faith. More importantly it also fails because the Constitution not only does not proclaim this, but actually leaves open the possibility of some other religion having greater numbers of believers, let alone practitioners. A second argument is that the founding documents of the nation are heavily influenced by Christian beliefs and principles. This might seem to be true, but the reality is that there were other influences, including those of Native peoples. Third, individuals may claim that we are a Christian nation because Christian principles and values guide how we understand ourselves and organize society. The truth, however, is that the United States has operated out of other principles more suited to Machiavellian principles of statecraft. One might ask why is it so important to rid ourselves of the illusion that we are a Christian nation. What good will come of it? Isn’t holding this belief an inducement to live out a more moral existence as a nation? As for the second question, one need only go down the depressively long list of cruel, destructive, exploitive, and oppressive actions perpetrated in the name of a Christian nation to see that it has not been an inducement to live a more moral life, though people like Martin Luther King Jr. and others used this to [Edited Out] the consciences of white Americans. If we work to get rid of or limit this illusion, people of other religious and secular faiths may feel more at home in the U.S. Perhaps another benefit would be a growing awareness of the misdeeds done under the name of Christian nation. In facing the sins of our past, there might be a sliver of hope for change. As James Baldwin (2010) notes, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced” (p.34). Notes. Armstrong, K. (1993). A History of God. New York: Ballantine Books. Baldwin, J. (1955). Notes of a Native Son. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Baldwin, J. (2010). The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected writings. New York: Pantheon. Kierkegaard, S. (1846). Concluding unscientific postscript to the philosophical fragments: A mimic-pathetic-dialectic composition: An existential contribution, by Johannes Climacus. Responsible for publication: S. Kierkegaard. Trans. D. Swenson and W. Lowrie (1941). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Niebuhr, H. R. (1941). Meaning and revelation. New York: Collier Books.
    • If you are thinking that he'll be hurt by your decision then you are right may be he will,but that'll heal.. Moving with him further will make chances to return and heal difficult!! And if you are thinking about people pointing on you or your parents don't worry they will talk till they have that tongue(even if you do nothing they'll say oh!what a poor girl she does nothing :p) select your priorities and then act, it will ease your decisions inshaaAllah... May you find best in Allah's will 
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