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Old 06-07-2022, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,178 posts, read 23,817,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
Sacred places are, well, sacred places. It is not for the curious, it is for the devoted, those who who understand stand and value the symbolism. the people i most open to about Hinduism are those who already have studied it, and have appreciation and eagerness to know. Hinduism and other religions do not seek to convert and there is no need for promoting it.
And yet one is very welcome in Thai temples and in some christian churches. And the welcoming attitude in Thai Buddhist temples never resulted in even the slightest effort to convert anyone. And I might add, while I am often critical of aspects of catholicism, many people visit just to see many catholic cathedrals both here and in Europe...and even Thailand.

On the other hand, the Hindu temples I visited in Thailand were not at all welcoming. Which is fine. I'm just pointing out that there is a difference among various religions.
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Old 06-07-2022, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
Okay, I will.

I've seen different ways that people explore other religions and faiths. One of the most impressive things I ever saw a person do was three days after 9/11. One of our guidance counselors, who was Jewish, went to visit the local mosque to sit down with some of the Muslims and tell them that he did not blame Islam for the events of 9/11. He was actually quite well received.

But beyond that, there are -- to me -- to basic ways that one can explore different faiths/religions.

One way is 'book learning'. There's nothing wrong with that, except that I'm not sure it gives one the 'feel' of the religion.

Personally, I have found it more effective to visit places of worship. One day, when visiting Wat Bowoniwet in Bangkok, I'm sure looking like a tourist, camera in hand, I happened upon one of ceremonies when new monks were being ordained. I joined a number of the Thais looking in through one of the windows at the ceremony. Suddenly I saw a monk inside stand up and walk out and come over to me. 'Oh oh", I thought. But no, he led me into the ubosot and had me sit amongst those being ordained. Another time at a temple up in Chiang Mai I was invited in to help them make decorations for another Buddhist ceremony. And there were other similar occurrences in my years in Thailand.

But those kinds of situations are not apparent in all religions. When I would go to visit Chinese temples in Bangkok's Chinatown, I felt more like I was tolerated than accepted.

With Muslim mosques it was even more stark. The first Muslim mosque I wanted to visit was the main historic mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. When I arrived, dressed very conservatively (black pants, white dress shirt, and no camera), well, if looks could kill...as the old saying goes. So I didn't visit the interior of that mosque. On an island in southern Thailand I came upon a mosque that actually had a sign in front that said: "Infidels not welcome. But you may give money".

And it reminds me of two conversations that I have had that seem somewhat related. One of my son's Muslim friends (my adopted son is Muslim) one day said, "Americans don't even try to understand Islam". And I replied, "So why don't you take me to your mosque. Maybe I could learn something". "No, we don't allow non-Muslims at my mosque". "So you don't welcome non-Muslims into your places of worship, but you lament that non-Muslims don't understand Islam. Hmmmmmm." I had another conversation similar to that, although not about religion, with an American Indian from New Mexico. I had met him when he was in Washington, D.C., and he was lamenting that Americans didn't even try to understand his culture. I asked him exactly where he was from in New Mexico, having traveled through that state. I asked him which village he was from, and he told me the name. "Isn't that one of the villages where outsiders are not allowed?" "Yes. You cannot visit". "But you're complaining that 'we' don't understand your culture".

What I'm trying to get a here is that there is such a divide. People who are open and would like to learn, and people who are closed-minded about 'other' religions. Religions that are open and welcoming, and religions that are, to one extent or another, resistant to visitors.

Two properties up from my school in Northern Virginia there was the largest Jewish temple in the area. We had quite a few Jewish students in my school. One day the rabbi invited our school's administrators, counselors, and any teachers interested to come up (on a teacher work day) and have a 'sit down' with some members of their congregation. I insisted the counselor and other administrators attend, and invited teachers to attend (only a handful of teachers did so). It was a very nice, friendly, learning situation (even with a Q/A session). It was about learning, and yet few teachers wanted to learn about a culture important to many of our families.

Being open is not easy...sometimes on both sides of a religion.
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
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Old 06-07-2022, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Long Island
1,790 posts, read 1,851,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islam yehia View Post
Hi Everybody,

I'm new here, this is my first thread, and I'm asking a question that always comes throw my mind, do you try to explore other religions? maybe you find a truth in a path that not yours, or you just decide to follow your parents and community's religion or you took the easier way to reject them all ?
I rejected the religion I was raised in (Christianity) as an adult, and spent several years studying many religions. I eventually chose to convert to Judaism.

I still enjoy learning about and discussing religions other than my own.
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Old 06-07-2022, 03:47 PM
 
28,432 posts, read 11,473,064 times
Reputation: 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
This ^^^ is the BEST entertainment and amusement this board had to offer!
When some here come up against those they cannot compete with...they try to claim they know more than them!
This is the guy you claim, "doesn't know":
https://www.robertlanza.com/

Thanks for the laugh Harry. It's like watching a poor Little League hitter, trying at bat against Justin Verlander.

It's okay Harry...we understand. That burst bubble and all.
I will pray for you.
if they were as logical as they claim ... they would be allowing me to question them.

I did like the poster accused you of a add humanoid attack attack tho ... when in doubt they attack, then blame us ... it is to funny ...

atheism, like theism, can be illogical. Atheism, like theism, can be logical.
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Old 06-07-2022, 03:53 PM
 
28,432 posts, read 11,473,064 times
Reputation: 2070
Quote:
Originally Posted by islam yehia View Post
Hi Everybody,

I'm new here, this is my first thread, and I'm asking a question that always comes throw my mind, do you try to explore other religions? maybe you find a truth in a path that not yours, or you just decide to follow your parents and community's religion or you took the easier way to reject them all ?
I was like 9 when I didn't believe. But I had normal parents and no worse experience with bad religious people as I did with bad LBGT's, cops, teachers, or any body else. SO I had no body to blame but people.

My parents were theist and used to tell me god don't care so long as you don't prey on people that don't know any better. I guess that's why I make a horrible sales person.

It took a little while for me to realize that belief and religion are totally different. Like the law and justice are.

Beleiving in some thing more is just a more rational/reliable stance than the reverse. Atheist can say that and there is no deity in the same sentence. Atheism is way stronger than some atheist. They just don't know it.

"religion", is an institution and as flawed as any other. And it is as helpful as any other. To me any way.
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Old 06-07-2022, 04:12 PM
 
15,807 posts, read 6,867,573 times
Reputation: 8476
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
And yet one is very welcome in Thai temples and in some christian churches. And the welcoming attitude in Thai Buddhist temples never resulted in even the slightest effort to convert anyone. And I might add, while I am often critical of aspects of catholicism, many people visit just to see many catholic cathedrals both here and in Europe...and even Thailand.

On the other hand, the Hindu temples I visited in Thailand were not at all welcoming. Which is fine. I'm just pointing out that there is a difference among various religions.
That is fine. Many religions are hospitable and are open to everyone. Many are not. Nobody is going to stop you when you enter a temple in India, except for one, which will even stop a Hindu if they appear too foreign. They are just not going to answer all your questions. It is no different than walking into someone’s home where you are a tourist and gawk at the way they eat or speak or dress and ask questions. Religion is personal that is practiced publicly.
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Old 06-07-2022, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,178 posts, read 23,817,504 times
Reputation: 32577
Quote:
Originally Posted by cb2008 View Post
That is fine. Many religions are hospitable and are open to everyone. Many are not. Nobody is going to stop you when you enter a temple in India, except for one, which will even stop a Hindu if they appear too foreign. They are just not going to answer all your questions. It is no different than walking into someone’s home where you are a tourist and gawk at the way they eat or speak or dress and ask questions. Religion is personal that is practiced publicly.
All what questions? Where did I say anything about asking questions?
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Old 06-07-2022, 07:38 PM
 
12,595 posts, read 6,607,013 times
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As far as "Exploring Other Religions" I noted something the other day.
The Atheists should really explore Invisible Pink Unicorn, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or The Teapot.
Other Atheists have gone through all they have to invent them...and they are already very well known.
And...no required service attendance, tithing, or attempts to influence any social/political positions. Plus...proselytizing will be a hoot!
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Old 06-07-2022, 08:13 PM
 
15,807 posts, read 6,867,573 times
Reputation: 8476
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.
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Old 06-07-2022, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,178 posts, read 23,817,504 times
Reputation: 32577
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.
1. Not necessarily. Some of us seek or seeked out something different. If that's true, however, then I guess you're more guilty than most of "satisfying one’s curiosity, of confirming one’s bias".
2. Not sure I agree. My son invited me to a party. I was the only non-Muslim out of about a hundred people (it was held at a hotel). By the end of the evening, most of the men had walked over to chat with me for at least a while. And with only a few exceptions, each ended up asking me something along the lines of, "Don't you agree that 9/11 was done by the CIA". As my son later said, "You could only understand if you were a Muslim".
3. You are telling people to stay in their own lane...even though you don't?
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