Friday, September 21, 2007

A Christian, A Muslim, and An Atheist

Peace and blessings,

A friend of mine sent me links of the video (posted below) of Bill Maher's 9/7/07 show featuring Cornel West and Mos Def. Aside from a few comedic moments, they discussed some very significant social, political, and moral issues. They talked about perceptions of terrorism, American hypocrisy, three political economic "-isms" - militarism, capitalism, and imperialism, the Jena 6, and the 2008 elections. As you can see from the variety of topics and the nature of the guests, the discussions were very insightful.

What I enjoyed most about the discussions, however, was not necessarily the topics they discussed, but the context in which these topics were discussed. Cornel West is a Christian, Mos Def a Muslim, and Bill Maher an Atheist. Now I don't watch cable tv too often, but as far as I can remember, this was the first time I've watched people from different belief systems engage in a respectful and critical discussion on a variety of topics pertinent to the human condition. Disagreements and emotional responses are common when discussing issues of this magnitude. However, unlike many other televised discussions that are more characterized as confrontational rather than constructive, this discussion was more than fruitful. It provides a good example of how people with different belief systems can achieve common ground by sharing their ideas and views and respecting those of others.

As a Christian, I thought this video was important because it represents a snapshot of the American diversity and demographic. Throughout the world, it seems like two major belief systems are Christianity and Orthodox Islam. Within the U.S., in particular within the African American community, it seems like the two major belief systems are Christianity and the Nation of Islam. Therefore, it is common for family and friend circles to consist of Christians, Muslims, Atheists, and other belief systems. Due to the increases in diversity, technology, and transportation, I believe that more conversations between people from differenent belief systems will start taking place and given times we are living in, these conversations are more than needed.

What do you think? Does anyone close to you (family member or friend) ascribe to a different belief system than you? If so, has any conversations about your belief systems come up? Any conversations about other topics? How did the conversations go? Stay blessed, encouraged, and speekonit...

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