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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Wed Mar 19, 2014, 01:02 PM

21. As a devout cradle Catholic, I was still given a wide education in comparative religion,

and I mean OUTSIDE church - so don't think for one minute it was skewed. But it had the strongest impact on my own world view, and I'm thankful for that. Not respecting other persons and cultures enough to learn about what was important to them is, to me, a most un-Christian behavior. I like, for instance, the way Buddhist and Catholic priests in Asia commonly co-officiate at various ceremonies, and I was able to attend lectures given by prominent theologians from different faiths. While my own church did not require this, my parents certainly did. The one and only televangelist I every listened to and enjoyed ran a long series on different Christian denominations, and he wasn't into criticizing any of them. The title of his series was "What I Like About..." and it was totally delightful.

Point being, ignorance is not our friend. Knowledge is.

Conservatives have never enjoyed my favorite story about living in L.A. where my home served as an unofficial welcome wagon for many new immigrants. On one occasion a couple arrived for dinner and everything was fine until I excused myself to step into the kitchen, wearing my shoes. I knew from their horrified gasps that I'd committed some faux pas. Turns out at least in their culture, and from what I later learned about many poverty stricken areas, there's a strong belief in a kitchen god. Since food is scarce, the place it's prepared becomes especially holy and wearing shoes there is just as disrespectful as in a temple.

Once I realized the particulars, I told them most Americans didn't have kitchen gods (for better or worse) but the international laws of hospitality do encourage respect for guests. So I could happily remove my shoes for them. They were happy even though they didn't want the honor for themselves. They also didn't want to bring a curse on my house by eating food there which might not be in accordance with what they considered reverent. So it was a win-win situation and we had a thoroughly happy evening.

Now go try to tell that to a conservative of any sort and watch their heads explode. I don't need to tell you what they'll scream in rage; indeed, most of it doesn't bear repeating in public.

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cbayer Mar 2014 OP
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LineReply As a devout cradle Catholic, I was still given a wide education in comparative religion,
IrishAyes Mar 2014 #21
cbayer Mar 2014 #30
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