Kiki & Lala

The Sheik, The Minister and The Rabbi

Posted on: November 24, 2009

Apart from religious jokes, when do we really put these 3 personalities in the same sentence?   Never until these three actually came together, had a serious discussion about their differences in religions and made a concerted effort to respect each other’s beliefs as truth.

The interfaith amigos, Sheik Jamal Rahman, Rev. Dom Mackenzie and Rabbi Ted Falcon (no, not Ted Failon!), travel the country making their case about interfaith understanding and tolerance.  In this post 9/11 time, in this age when anybody sporting a longer than usual beard is called a Muslim or when anybody wearing a little hat is branded a Jew, this journey of theirs is undoubtedly no walk in the park.  In a way they really can’t blame people who choose not to look past religion and race.  Tragic experiences like 9/11 and the recent random shootings by a Muslim Army officer in Ft. Hood, TX  has created a huge sense of fear, mistrust and insecurity.   The fact is that there are bad people out there with incomprehensible intentions.  But they are not bad because they are Muslim or Jewish or Christian.   Right Kiki, tell that to the families of the 3,000 people that went down with the twin towers.   Well, the three amigos would say that while some acts are just impossible to reconcile it’s important to “refuse to make the other the enemy”.  That’s a pretty tall order don’t you think?    And so they live by example.  They’ve been putting a lot of hard work to accept each other’s belief  as their truths.  Why can’t we?

Their journey started after 9/11 when they saw the schism becoming more and more pronounced.  The 3 amigos laid out all their questions and doubts about each other’s religions.  And in this exercise they found that their religions shared common themes, that they lived common values and with that, formed a rather uncommon friendship.  They pointed out verses from each other’s holy books that were marginalizing and degrading and battled over it until they came out with a clear understanding.

In fact, in one talk and in front of a large audience they declared misconceptions or “untruths” about their own respective religions.  For the minister it was that Christianity is the only way to God.  For the Rabbi it was that the Jews are the Chosen People.  For the Sheik its the “sword verses” in the Koran.  How humbling is that?!  That’s huge!  Can you imagine your parish priest, in a Sunday homily, saying that this Church you belong to is not the only way to God?!   That’s Majah!  Yet here these three are, exposing the imperfections and fallibilities of their own churches.

I never really understood the inflexibility of these big churches.   At the end of the day, aren’t we all in the same journey trying to live meaningful lives, finding our way back and connecting to something that is way bigger than us? I say go with what works for you and live it.

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2 Responses to "The Sheik, The Minister and The Rabbi"

the three wise men… just in time for christmas / channukah etc…

And Kwaanza! Haha!

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