Guest Post: A Discourse on Diversity Week

June 21, 2009 at 12:50 PM 2 comments

Quite a while ago, a good friend of mine wanted to publish a guest post here on Moufflets, but never quite got around to it, till now. Here is her view on our school’s Diversity Week:

A couple of weeks ago, our school hosted Diversity week where students got the opportunity to explore and be exposed to different cultural topics through a series of after school activities. One of the events that I attended was an interfaith dialogue seminar, where students could openly share about all the things students were not supposed to talk about in school: religion, sexuality, etc. Here are my thoughts an hour after I left the seminar that day:

“The interfaith dialogue seminar today was a disappointment. I entered the classroom with the intentions of learning and educating myself about some of the different types of religions and faiths held by students here on the campus, but instead, faced what I can only determine to be the battle of the supreme religion, Christianity, versus nonbelievers or atheists. I consider myself to have no religious background or affiliations with any faith whatsoever. Although my family comes from descendents with a Buddhist faith, I am not necessarily devoted to the Buddhist religion. From a baby till now, my main focus has always been the attendance of school; I have never really had an interest in becoming religious or joining any certain type of church or temple of any sort. My main focus in attending the seminar was to further understand the different religions, its perspectives and beliefs.

At the beginning of the seminar, the leading teacher asked all students in the crowded room to identify and categorize themselves into different faiths. I appreciate the fact that her intention was to inform us of our audience and peers, but I think that first step separated each of the strong faith believers into their own categories and the nonbelievers into their own corner. I think that from that point on, a lot of the active students who had a strong faith became defensive and verbally aggressive when some of the other students shared their own opinions and views.

As the discussion progressed among the students, one thing that the teacher advised us to remember was to be aware and careful with the usage of word choice. We were also required to phrase our statements into “I believe” statements, to demonstrate the taking of our responsibility for our speech. The first discussion topic presented by the teacher was, “How do we feel about gay marriage?” Immediately, many hands shot up into the air. As one student would express their belief in heterosexual marriage, the next student would defend homosexual marriage. It was a constant battle back and forth waged on by those of the Christian faith and those of no particular faith. Some students even took out the dictionary and defined the term marriage by Webster; other students used the internet on their phones to access and read aloud different passages and excerpts from the New Testament Bible. In reality, it was no longer a discussion, but a verbal fight. I believe that because the Bible has been so this earth for so long, there is the possibility of missing scriptures or simply misinterpretation. No one on this earth is alike and everyone analyzes different situations and readings differently. The fact that there are so many different branches of Christianity reveals the many different interpretations there are of the Bible out there in the world. Although I did not get the opportunity to ask and voice my question, I would like to have asked all the members, “Why are there so many different branches of Christianity if each branch of the Church claims that their teachings are the divine truth and God’s words?”

Oftentimes, I also feel as if religion is utilized as a source of earthly power for some. I remember last year in my History class, my teacher taught us about the “White Man’s Burden.” I feel that the philosophy behind the “White Man’s Burden” was simply an excuse to enslave thousands of African Americans in their native homeland and perform for free the work of the “white man.” No matter the horrific conditions of the enslaved, or maltreatment, as long as the enslaved were exposed to God, it was all worth it. I do not believe in that kind of philosophy.

In English class, I have noticed that on many timed writings and essays, I analyze the exact same passages as my peers, but conclude with completely different opinions. In those cases, I do not necessarily receive lower grades than my peers. I believe in free thought, as long as it does not invade or harm the rights of others, because without free radical thinkers, such as where would we be today?”

A note on the whole dictionary defining issue: don’t the definitions of the words change and alter as society changes and alters? For example, the term “gay,” once meant happy, and now, it also defines homosexuals. Everything living evolves and adapts accordingly as the world changes. President Obama’s campaign slogan was “Change” in his run for the presidency. I don’t think that there is really anything concrete in the world; even solid concrete shifts according to the tectonic plates in the earth.

— Nancy L.

Note: the views presented in this guest post are not necessarily shared nor endorsed by Moufflets.

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Entry filed under: Guest Posts, Revelations, School. Tags: , , , , , .

Hawai’i Christianity Exposed

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Matchmaker  |  July 2, 2009 at 9:29 PM

    This whole sexuality issue is absurd…

    Homosexuality does not harm anyone…

    Religion was not intended to be a source of power. It was meant to discourage wrongdoing. However, People distort its purpose and make a big deal out of it. Many of the world’s most notorious genocides were caused by discrepancies in beliefs. There were the crusades, the holocaust, the persecution of Eurpoean Jews by the Christians, the mass murder by the Soviet Union. If any religious person agrees believes that these malicious acts were justified, he or she is amoral.

    I believe that overly pious people lack common sense; they rely on ancient text to determine right from wrong. Unreligious people like me can distinguish wrong from right. We know that harming others is wrong. We know that sharing is good. We know that not sharing is not wrong.We are not selfish, nor are we too generous. We are moderate.

    Instead of debating about sexuality, those people with strong faiths should try to benefit society by cleaing the world, limiting pollution, and helping people.

    Maybe people want fame. Maybe people want to fit in society and be part of the majority. Maybe people want to be remembered for changing history. I, however, dont. I want to be remembered for changing lives and helping people.

    And the first step to accomplishing that is changing myself and what i do, not what others do.

    Reply
  • 2. Justine  |  September 13, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    That was a really good post, which I agree completely with. Great style and eloquence.

    Reply

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