In Reply to: Re: A Thoughtful Letter....tanx posted by parhad on August 29, 2001 at 10:56:38:
In 9th grade English class, we read "A long walk home" and discussed discrimination. Then, we were assigned to write a paper about a personal experience where we were the victims of prejudice - whether it was because of age, sex, ethnic background, you name it. There was a girl in my class who had recently come from Russia... and I was in her "peer editing" group. As I read her paper, I thought to myself "Why can't everyone be this way?" Her family was Jewish, but in Russia that was a tightly kept secret. She wasn't even to tell her best friend that she was Jewish... they went to Russian Orthodox church like everyone else, and she didn't even know what Jewish meant... just that she was "it". In that atmosphere, if her family would have came out and said "We're Jews!" they would have been discriminated against, or worse, physically attacked. So, eventually they found out about a person who helped Jews escape Russia and they came to the US. Once they came here, they were free to learn their "real" religion, and they did.
How many lives could have been saved if the people about to get killed because they were xyzists just denied it? They would know themselves that they were xyzish, and their God would forgive them for lying... I remember hearing about the girl at Columbine who, when asked with a gun to hear head "Do you believe in God?" said "YES", knowing that her brains would be part of the wall after that answer. I would have said "Do you?" or "Would you shoot me if I said no?"... who cares what those crazy people think? As long as I have faith in myself and my beliefs, as Anna's family did, why should it matter what I say "publicly" about my beliefs.. or anyone's for that matter? The truly religious people don't wear it out on their shoulder, they keep it to themselves. Those crazy evangelists (i.e. Jesus Freaks) have it all wrong...
Just thought I should share that tidbit. I was reminded of it when you mentioned the treatment of the Jews throughout history, etc.
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