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Old 06-08-2022, 11:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I would like to see more interfaith groups and efforts to learn about and understand one another. I know such organizations exist. I had a conversation with a devout young Muslim woman whose husband worked where I did at a business dinner pre-COVID. She was from Tennessee where she was involved with such a group and seeking to find or start another in the NYC area. It did my heart good to know that someone like her finds this worthy of pursuit.

As part of the "9/11 Community", the idea of the need to understand one another better strengthened in me as it became apparent that the fact that the World Trade Center was the multicultural place it was got lost in the cries of "Attack on America--get revenge!" A few years later, I watched in disgust and horror as hate again reared its head with the ridiculous protests against a "Ground-Zero Mosque" begun by Sufi Muslims who wanted to build a community center similar to a JCC in the abandoned Burlington Coat store they'd long been using as a prayer center in lower Manhattan. It was fine, approved by the residents and the community board, until the New York Post took it and turned it into something that it never was intended to be.

Did we learn NOTHING from the events of September 11?

The musical Come From Away, which tells the story of the people on the 37 planes that were en route from Europe and forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada when US airspace closed that day, addresses the fact that people from all religions were affected by the day's destruction. One of the most moving scenes in the play is when people of different religions seeking solace come to the school where facilities are set up for the plane people and an impromptu prayer center forms.

Of course, as a fan of Francis of Assisi, I am partial to the opening song, a version of his signature prayer. It is worth a listen.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BJcwDBRcsk
Sometimes it is hard to "keep the faith." That's for sure...

What you lament here reminds me of how my wife and I often listen to lessons taught by way of the news, public speakers, certain programs, etc., and we always note that unfortunately the people who most need to learn these lessons are not the ones who listen to the same news, public speakers and/or the same programs. The learning always seems like either "preaching to the choir" or not getting to those who need the learning most.
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Old 06-08-2022, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,125 posts, read 23,785,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Re the bolded, no one said that, and I doubt anyone thinks that.

But often, in my experience, by getting to know others outside of your own world as individuals, people can change. I believe that's the best way change will occur, but I have no illusions that this will happen on a large scale overnight.
Exactly, and that was one of the reasons I sought to finally diversify our school's staff. That is why I reorganized our school's classroom assignments -- SPED and ESOL classes were no longer sort of hidden at the end of the hall and around the corner. That was why under my principalship we always had an "International Night". Unfortunately, too many Americans always want to associate with people just like themselves.
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Old 06-08-2022, 11:23 AM
 
15,795 posts, read 6,858,902 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Re the bolded, no one said that, and I doubt anyone thinks that.

But often, in my experience, by getting to know others outside of your own world as individuals, people can change. I believe that's the best way change will occur, but I have no illusions that this will happen on a large scale overnight.

I agree. I don't believe people change in any large scale either. Simple courtesy, respect, and kindness goes a long way in forming understanding of people as just human beings. Focusing on their religion only leads to judgement.
I had a landscaper come in to help me plan a patio. I found her highly recommended in my local FB. It was near Easter and she asked me if we had plans. I said we don't celebrate Easter. She was surprised and wanted to know what religion I was. I told her and never saw her again, my calls went unanswered.
Maybe she got very sick and closed her business. Maybe she thought we worshiped cows or were terrorists. I don't know. It sure didn't lead to any understanding on her part and she lost my business.
Right after 9/11 many muslims tried extra hard to explain their religion and what jihad really means. They flew american flags at their store front. NOne of it helped them. In addition Sikhs got targeted as well, their temples got broken in. Sam Harris and Bill Maher went after Islam and Muslims with a vengeance - both atheists. They just loved muslim women and wanted to liberate them. It is madness.
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Old 06-08-2022, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,125 posts, read 23,785,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
There is only one direction. They are all people with same aspirations as you and deserving of respect and privacy. Pretty simple.
That's only true if you're on the lowest 2 levels (the 'basic needs' levels) of Maslow's hierarchy. Once you start looking at the higher levels, that changes.

A little boy or girl in a northern Virginia school who's enrolled in a gifted-talented program, whose family lives in a multimillion dollar house, who hangs out with kids whose parents are elected officials, who summers in the south of France doesn't have close to the same aspirations as a little boy who works with his father in a rice paddy over in Sung Noen, Thailand, who has never been out of his province, and will likely never have the means to go to college.
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Old 06-08-2022, 11:30 AM
 
29,335 posts, read 9,498,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
Understanding each other as human is a big enough leap for many, that I dont believe one need to understand each other by our religions. Religion is a garment we wear, which many feel free to cast off. Exploring others religion is recreation, satisfying one’s curiosity, of confirming one’s bias, nothing more. If one is truly interested in understanding religion, read their texts, know their language and culture and values without judgement.
Some posts here have noted how it is important to understand muslims after 9\11. Just because ignorant people judge all muslims terrorists because of the few terrorists who flew the two planes, does not mean by understanding Islam those ignorant haters will suddenly become wise. No, they will stay ignorant and hateful and will use their half-baked understanding of Islam as weapons.
One does not have to understand Islam to know Muslims, one only needs to meet them as human beings with same aspirations and hope as oneself.
The whole caricature of equating Islam as terrorism was born in deranged western minds. It is called Orientalism, the dehumanizing of whole nations of people and their culture.
Stay in your lane, like many atheists here like to say.
Understanding each other as human is not too hard. Understanding our differences is a "big leap for many." Most certainly including me, but this about religion...

My experience with religion, my study and interest in religion, all of which has ultimately made up an important element in my life, has involved a significant variety of consideration that I always feel you and others posting in this forum often like to minimize. I'd just be careful about assuming or presuming what the relationship between others and religion might be. I'll leave it be at that.
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Old 06-08-2022, 11:31 AM
 
15,795 posts, read 6,858,902 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
That's only true if you're on the lowest 2 levels (the 'basic needs' levels) of Maslow's hierarchy. Once you start looking at the higher levels, that changes.

A little boy or girl in a northern Virginia school who's enrolled in a gifted-talented program, whose family lives in a multimillion dollar house, who hangs out with kids whose parents are elected officials, who summers in the south of France doesn't have close to the same aspirations as a little boy who works with his father in a rice paddy over in Sung Noen, Thailand, who has never been out of his province, and will likely never have the means to go to college.
How do you know? Maybe her parents have taught how to treat everyone with respect and kindness regardless of what her own aspirations are. Their common aspiration may simple as being happy.
You only seem to see difference. There is a common humanity that connects all and it does not seem to fit into your paradigm.
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Old 06-08-2022, 11:38 AM
 
29,335 posts, read 9,498,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
I agree. I don't believe people change in any large scale either. Simple courtesy, respect, and kindness goes a long way in forming understanding of people as just human beings. Focusing on their religion only leads to judgement.
I had a landscaper come in to help me plan a patio. I found her highly recommended in my local FB. It was near Easter and she asked me if we had plans. I said we don't celebrate Easter. She was surprised and wanted to know what religion I was. I told her and never saw her again, my calls went unanswered.
Maybe she got very sick and closed her business. Maybe she thought we worshiped cows or were terrorists. I don't know. It sure didn't lead to any understanding on her part and she lost my business.
Right after 9/11 many muslims tried extra hard to explain their religion and what jihad really means. They flew american flags at their store front. NOne of it helped them. In addition Sikhs got targeted as well, their temples got broken in. Sam Harris and Bill Maher went after Islam and Muslims with a vengeance - both atheists. They just loved muslim women and wanted to liberate them. It is madness.
We're in the early stages of planning a front porch/patio too!

Might be she is as busy as everyone else around here, because just getting someone out to TALK with you is a challenge these days. Might also have been she just didn't like you. We all know how that goes. Both ways.
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Old 06-08-2022, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
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Originally Posted by LearnMe View Post
Would I be way off to suggest that the majesty of most of these places is a form of evangelism and/or manner in which to convert people? There is a reason these places are so often so spectacular after all...
Maybe yes, maybe no. Perhaps situational.

If I spend any amount of time in a city new to me, I tend to seek out its catholic cathedral (if there is one), and perhaps other architecturally noted places of religious worship. And I think there is some logic to wanting such places to be spectacular is to show respect to "the glory of god". To a degree, what we put into the architecture of a place -- including churches -- reflects what we actually value. Years ago I was in an auto accident, and was sued twice for the same accident (and won in court both times). But I remember thinking that the court house -- part of the criminal justice system -- was all marble, granite, mahogany, etc., while my school was all cinder block and vinyl tile. Let's see, do we really value our kids more than anything else? [Not that I think schools need to be marble, granite, mahogany].

But I think you are also right that -- at least in some cases -- part of the reason that some churches are so spectacular is the intent to convert. Back in the day, I used to watch Robert Schuller often (loved both Schuller and Norman Vincent Peale). I think it would be safe to say that 'image' and 'bringing people in' was a big part of the spectacular nature of the Crystal Cathedral.
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Old 06-08-2022, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,125 posts, read 23,785,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
How do you know? Maybe her parents have taught how to treat everyone with respect and kindness regardless of what her own aspirations are. Their common aspiration may simple as being happy.
You only seem to see difference. There is a common humanity that connects all and it does not seem to fit into your paradigm.
How do I know? Because I spent a great deal of my career focusing on ESOL students. And visiting not just Bangkok, but small Thai hamlets, and orphanages, as well.

All your talk about "common humanity"...I don't see that "common humanity" even within the United States right now. I don't see it in Russia and Ukraine right now. Common humanity? Do you realize that the majority of Americans cannot even point to Vietnam, Korea, Germany, or Russia on a blank map? Would you call the mess in the Middle East that I have watched unfold for my entire 72 years to be an indication of a "common humanity"? Was what was happening to the "boat people" back in the 1970s an example of that "common humanity"? The events leading to WWI and WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War examples of that "common humanity"? The Civil War, slavery, and Jim Crow that "common humanity".

I'm sorry, but that concept of a "common humanity" is a distant dream we have never gotten close to reaching.

"connects us all". No. Most people want to be with people just like themselves. And I find it appalling.
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Old 06-08-2022, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
87,957 posts, read 83,773,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
I agree. I don't believe people change in any large scale either. Simple courtesy, respect, and kindness goes a long way in forming understanding of people as just human beings. Focusing on their religion only leads to judgement.
I had a landscaper come in to help me plan a patio. I found her highly recommended in my local FB. It was near Easter and she asked me if we had plans. I said we don't celebrate Easter. She was surprised and wanted to know what religion I was. I told her and never saw her again, my calls went unanswered.
Maybe she got very sick and closed her business. Maybe she thought we worshiped cows or were terrorists. I don't know. It sure didn't lead to any understanding on her part and she lost my business.
Right after 9/11 many muslims tried extra hard to explain their religion and what jihad really means. They flew american flags at their store front. NOne of it helped them. In addition Sikhs got targeted as well, their temples got broken in. Sam Harris and Bill Maher went after Islam and Muslims with a vengeance - both atheists. They just loved muslim women and wanted to liberate them. It is madness.
It's not always going to work out the way we want. Some people need someone to hate, an enemy, and of course those are the stories always told.

After the attacks, my coworker and I were worried about one of our consultants, an Egyptian Muslim we both really liked, because of our fear that he might be receiving some backlash. He tracked us down to where they had relocated us because he was worried about US. When we spoke with him, he said his neighbors had come to his house and let him know to call them if he ran into any trouble, and when he was out walking with his wife and sister, both of whom cover their heads, a non-Muslim man came up to him to wish him peace.

A coworker of mine had a difficult time after 9/11. He'd gotten out of the building and learned of the celebrations in the Palestinian community in Paterson, NJ, that night and went with two other Muslim survivors to confront them. Before it got too ugly, the police picked up the three of them, put them in the cop car and drove them a few blocks away. The guys explained who they were, where they had been earlier that day, and that they were Muslims who were angry that others were celebrating the destruction. The cops said, "We get you, but we are keeping this contained and quiet because if people in the outlying towns hear what's going on here, they will come in and there will be bloodshed. Please just go home." Then they took them to their car, and they left.

For a time after that, he wanted nothing to do with Islam. He was smoking and drinking and generally a mess, but eventually, he married and had kids and seemed to be at peace again with his religion.

There are people out there who DO get along, who respect one another's religions, work together, live next to one another, and despise violence and hate done in the name of theirs and other religions while not blaming everyone who belongs to that religion. They just don't make the news.
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