Nazareth is my Alma mater. Every student takes this foundation course, and a requirement is that every student has to visit a few houses of worship, with a particular emphasis on those that are not their own faith.
Having been partially raised in Christianity but with a diminished interest in it, and having an academic curiosity about other faith communities in Rochester, I chose to visit the Hindu Sri Vidya Temple, the Jewish Temple Beth-El, and the Islamic Center of Rochester. This was my freshman year, a few months after 9/11/01.
The assignment helped a great deal in getting us out of our bubble, and in dispelling the notion that you need to walk around feeling fear of the perceived 'other.' We made friends, and we had important conversations with serious thinkers on sobering current events.
At the time, my peers and I were inundated with world news that we barely had any context to understand, and were offered the opportunity to understand the universal feeling of vulnerability within the context of our own city. And the opportunity to grapple with the complicated cross-section of religion and politics.
This was valuable. We spoke with people on all 'sides' about the impact of tragedy and its fallout.
There was no indoctrination involved -- we were simply asked to set up the visits in our own small groups, experience something we normally do not, and come to our own conclusions.
My take on this incident is that it's a missed opportunity for the church congregation, and a disappointing confirmation for the Muslim students about the culture of fear that some of us are choosing to wallow in.
I wonder if the person(s) who called the authorities on these young people approached or spoke with them before reacting?
Hi Felix, thanks for your comments. We want you to know that the printed paper's actual cover is an unobstructed portrait of Carvin Eison.
Thanks LarDog, I'll pass that along!
Well said, Ron!
The way many of us see it, it's not Freedom of Religion, but Freedom FROM Religion. While the founding fathers may have wanted to protect the rights to practice any religion, the overarching point is that there would be no national religion established.
The point is to protect us from ever having an Inquisition here.
The point of separation of church and state is to prevent us from being asked to bow our heads and close our eyes in a room where all parties should have their eyes open, and focused.
The paintings are located on one building at the Atlantic and Greenleaf intersection, with one (by Peeta) about a block away on Atlantic just after the railway overpass. You'll definitely see them!
My apologies for the mistake! The Arts Council has been in the Neighborhood of the Arts for more than 30 years, and at their current location for 13. Thank you for your comment, Ms. Dawson.
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