REPLY #5 TO
are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.
My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text
and are prefaced by my initials (MB)
(R) In answer to your question about about Ramadan, yes I would respect their
beliefs and if asked, would fast along side with them. If not asked, I
definitely would not eat in front of them or do anything to make their fasting
(MB) I was stationed in Turkey during the Ramadan observance in 1994. It was an
excellent opportunity to learn about this most-important time of the Islamic
year. I was under no compulsion to participate in the required fasting or other
ceremonies and none of my Muslim friends asked or demanded that I do so. They
understood that I was not a Muslim and that theirs was not the only system of
beliefs. While I did not fast, I voluntarily chose not to eat in their presence
while they were fasting. This was certainly not the case among a great many of
the other Americans who were there.
(R) In the past I have been asked to participate in helping others celebrate
their Holy days. (I too am a member of the Armed Forces)
(MB) Being a polyglot organization, the military tends to hold or respect
observances of many different religions. Personally, I think this is very good
for the young soldiers who might otherwise never be exposed to such things.
However, the military (like society in general) could also benefit from
(R) But, back to my analogy of the train, assume that I did not know it was
coming and or did not believe it was coming, you honestly would just stand there
and let me be run over ? Where is your morality ? To let someone die do to there
ignorance is probable the worst thing that can be done.
(MB) I agree. However, that's not what I said in my answer to your question.
You asked if (and why) I would attempt to warn you. If you had been warned and
still chose to stay on the tracks, I could only assume that you wished to be hit
by the train. Who am I to decide otherwise for you? If you really wanted to
die, do I have either the right or the obligation to try to prevent it?
(R) Public prayer has it's place. But if the person doing the praying public
does not live their belief in the rest of of their daily life they should not
(MB) I agree completely. Hypocrisy is wrong no matter what your personal belief
system might be. How many Christians pay much attention to Jesus' admonition
against praying in a loud voice? Unfortunately, the American versions of
Christianity have become more show than substance. This also contributes to the
popular (and mistaken) notion that "everybody" is Christian in this country and,
therefore, that there is no problem with the symbols and ceremonies of
Christianity running amok in public.
(R) By the way I really like you site, it is a challenge and causes me to learn
(MB) Thanks! I hope I'll hear from you in response to other essays, as well.
(R) Agreeing to disagree still.
(MB) No problem with that. Nothing gets solved if all sides aren't heard and