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Freedom - be careful please, what are f’acts’ are often subjective

MB - One of my great, great grandfather came to the US due to the potato blight in Ireland. I have and often re-read his journal- Irish tend to be a verbal lot) of his journey. They were Catholic. The tales of prejudice and violence against he and his family that he documented made me shudder. At the time, US citizens were frightened by the large number of Irish/Catholic immigrants entering the country- especially worried that they would try to ‘change’ things and in some insidious way, squirm the tenants of the Catholic Cannon laws they were raised with into a debate and change somehow the tenants upon which our country was founded. His diaries are truly mind-blowing in that they have many parallels of things occurring in today’s world.

I too had a ‘sheltered’ life,but only in the early years. My school (thru senior high) had 2 black people that is it and we had a large student body (Episcopalians, Methodists and Presbys). A few days after Christmas one year (I was 10) a good school friend stopped to see me. I asked how his Christmas was…he paused then replied, ‘My family and i don’t celebrate Christmas, we’re Jewish’ I had NO idea what that meant. Yes, I was raised i a WASP place. My dear Mother (since passed) the next year started taking us (4 kids) to a different ‘church’ every few weeks or so ( maybe up to 6 weeks). Although I was christened and baptized an Episcopalian, at my age…really…what the heck did that mean. Anyway, I was in Lutheran, Catholic, high-Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, 7th day Adventist…and on and on. If it was within 50 miles – we (my brothers and sister and I) went there for a time. Then one day she announced (by then I was 12 I think?) that we were free to choose what ‘church’ or congregation we felt drawn too, if we had questions she would do her best as she understood things to answer them, but rest assure if we felt drawn to a church or congregation (even if it was not what seh herself would choose) she would ensure we got there, come what may. She also gave us books on the world’s ‘great’ religions and encouraged us and actively engaged us, encouraged us to explore.

My Mom. One in a million.

Sometime shortly after graduating from college I ended up working for what was then Sweden’s largest shipowner group and some from England, that among other things owned the ships/business that operated the cross-channel ferries. I found, negotiated and set-up/followed-up ,the cargoes for idle ships they owned around the world. Mostly refrigerated ships (reefers) and container ships (mostly ro-ros- roll-on/roll-offs). I traveled the world and experienced a myriad of cultures I had never been exposed to in the early into late 80’s. I went to college at the peak of the ‘women’s lib’ movement = at first 2 years an all girls college (not by choice at 16) – where I was an outcast because I thought their ‘program’ was full of ****..

Islam has a vast amount of followers all over the globe.Everywhere I traveled (2 passports worth of stamps per year at leas)t I met them, ate with them, befriended (and am still friends) with many. I consider myself blessed and fortunate for the over-arching worldview this job provided me at a time when there were only 3 other women ship brokers registered on the Baltic Exchange.

‘Do unto others as you….’ As foreign as some of the ideas, customs etc I encountered and lived with for a week or two at a time, but repeatedly (a number of my ships regularly traded in the Mid-East – even when Lloyd’s was not insuring them during the Gulf War of Bush 1.) Been there. A woman. An American.

I feel I am so fortunate to have been able to interact with so many cultures at a young age when my mind was most open a d able to assimilate/digest things without the prejudice of years I might now have. Most of the people outside the US I met spoke at LEAST 2 languages – usually more. Something, even now is pretty uncommon in the US (unless you live in a heavily spanish/mexican immigrant area).

Communication to me, the lack of it, due to the lack of ONE language is one of the key problems facing our planet. You can (s Ghost Prime’s Dr Baker does – read an English ‘version’ of something…and completely loose the original intent.) A Greek I once dated that came to this country spent 10 years learning English as a second language in school. A 2nd language was required as Greek is not a common world language. He had the highest scores. Shows up in NYK and barely understood a darn thing anyone said. Spent 9 months watching I Love Lucy and other TV shows to finally get ‘ a hold on’ English.

So MTB don’t feel bad or anything, you are average American. I just ‘happened’ to have been thrown from your world. which was my world, into a much largr experience.The time of my life I can say – a mind and world viw expansion.

Ghost Prime

<div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>Ghost Prime wrote:</div>tweva, since you entered the discussion on “religion”, you cannot expect people here to ignore your post without comment. So I will comment on your remarks based on my own understanding.

I never said I expected no comment, or for it to be ignored Ghost Prime…of course I expected comment. I was simply trying to let all know that here is an area with ‘caution’… a potential sinkhole of round robin debate which not only does not interest me, but more, is not the focus of this forum.

I must say I almost stopped reading your post as soon as you mentioned ‘Dr Baker’…a man, IMHO fomenting more divide and divisiveness in this country with his anti-Islamic whatevers. He, in my mind is no better than Obama. I am sorry I am sure you do not agree. He is one of a group of staunch/monied anti-Islamist doing their things heavily in the south and elsewhere. The gentlemen does not speak nor read Arabic, he may have other academic credentials, but they are not those that make me feel him qualified enough to give credence to his views.

Now, others here, don’t get your hackles up by the name of the group but read here about Dr. Baker and his compatriots: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2011/summer/the-anti-muslim-inner-circle Smacks so much of, sometimes same words of those recorded by my Catholic, Irish grandfather. All based on fear. Read if you care this: (I was there having family in the area and an interest)

I will not ‘debate’ you Ghost Prime – each to their own beliefs. But, I do not share your views – and that comes from my life experience. Neither of us is right or wrong. We simply differ. We each have that right to our opinion.

Freedom - be careful please, what are ‘f’acts’ are often subjective