Thursday, June 15, 2006

A tale of two neighbors

There once was two "neighbors," (within the same development) three including the narrator, and all had babies around the same age so of course became "friends."

One neighbor, a self proclaimed devout Christian, believed the one neighbor was going to hell because she didn't believe God was a man, and instead believed God was God. Imagine that! She actually thought God was God! When one day the Christian neighbor asked how Islam was different than Christianity, the Muslim explained that Muslims believed Jesus was a great prophet, not God. When the neighbor got upset, the Muslim neighbor asked her neighbor: "How can Jesus be God when Jesus prayed to God? Also, Jesus, himself, in the Bible, said he isn't God (John 7:16, Numbers 23:19) and that God doesn't want us to worship anyone but him because He's a jealous God" (Deut 6:15). At the end of the scary conversation the Christian neighbor says, "You are going to hell for your beliefs. Do you think the same about me?" The Muslim says, "I don't pretend to know what God will do."

The other neighbor, also a Christian, befriended the Muslim lady and when she found out that the Muslim lady was a real Muslim (not just married to one), she began to ask questions about the faith that confused her. She asked "why does Islam condone violence and why they say to root out Christians and Jews and kill them where you find them" so the neighbor gave her a printout of an article that provided answers to her questions. The neighbor did not get offended and asked more questions so the Muslim neighbor gave her a book about the basics of Islam saying "I'm not trying to make you a Muslim, it's just that you asked questions and it seems you would like to understand what we believe and i thought this would help." She was very thankful and said "No, i do want to learn. Some of my favorite students are Muslim and i don't want to believe that they think it's okay to kill Christians and Jews. I just can't imagine it to be true."

Guess who i spend more time with? Now I'm not trying to criticize or badmouth my one neighbor but i just wonder why some people are so intolerant about learning about other cultures and faiths. When i was younger i read all sorts of stuff - mostly Jewish books, some Buddhists, Hindu and other philosophical faiths. I stayed away from Islam because i never saw anything about it until one day someone gave me a book and a qur'an. I read this stuff to strengthen my faith too. I didn't get irate although i considered myself a good Catholic and thought Muhammad was a man tripping on some opium in the dessert. I just thought it wasn't for me. When coworkers explained they were fasting for God, i didn't go all crazy on them. Why do some go crazy on other people and some don't? This why i only like to surround myself with intelligent and progressive thinkers. I get scared of people that begin to foam at the mouth when talking about religion (and this goes for Muslims too!).


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