Thursday, June 23, 2011

Me at the Arab Festival

I went to the Arab Festival in Dearborn just to see if I could have interesting discussions with either Christians or Muslims. I came across a group of Christians kind of yelling at the crowd, so I spoke with one from their group. It was pretty interesting. You can hear that one here. I also spoke with a young Muslim. An OK discussion. You can hear that one here.

As a Christian shouts at the crowd you can kind of hear some people telling them to shut up. These are mostly teenagers, if not all teenagers. I think it's tempting to be really angry with these Christians for being so obnoxious. On the other hand a part of me sympathizes with them. What they do is probably not easy for them, but they do it because of their convictions. Sure, they're totally misguided. It's true that they are making the festival kind of miserable for the Muslims there. So to be ticked at them is fair. But seeing them I can't help but think back to my old Christian days where I'd be compelled to do the uncomfortable thing and witness. I'd do it because it was right, even though it was very hard and kind of embarrassing.

The Christian I spoke with was mostly pretty nice, except right at the end as I'm leaving he gets more belligerent and angry. Starts telling me I'm going to hell and all that. You can't really hear it because I'm walking away. But prior to that I felt very friendly towards him, but with that it was suddenly very hostile. Too bad.


Emily Mackenzie said...

I wonder how you'd feel about ex-athiests? Would they have the same right to question you about your beliefs or opinions? And ultimately, would you be willing to be open-minded to what they had to discuss with you?

Jon said...

I welcome anyone that wants to question my beliefs, provided we can have a non-hostile discussion. I like to think I'd be open minded. I was open minded enough to change my former, firmly held beliefs.