Monday afternoon, 13 Sept. 2010
There was an article called “The Myths of Vegetarianism,” by Stephen Byrnes. Then there was a response by author John Robbins (The Food Revolution). Here’s what Robbins wrote: “The article is harshly critical of vegetarian diets and concludes with an About the Author section which states, ‘Stephen Byrnes… enjoys robust health on a diet that includes butter, cream, eggs, meat, whole milk, dairy products and offal.’ In fact, Stephen Byrnes suffered a fatal stroke in June, 2004. According to reports of his death, he had yet to reach his 40th birthday.” [Courtesy of http://www.care2.com]how
This is one example of how some people’s minds work; don’t tolerate what you don’t understand or what offends you, or scares you, or… Some may say Byrnes’ death had nothing to do with his diet. Some may say Robbins made a big deal without evidence. Must people try to influence the thoughts and beliefs of others based on their own outlook?
The big controversy over the Muslim prayer and social hall in NYC surprises me again and again. There was a Muslim prayer space in the South Tower of the WTC. There are two more currently existing within something like 12 blocks of the WTC site. Isn’t it possible this new building with prayer space AND classes, activities creating social intercourse might also provide opportunities for diverse people to come together, learn to like, respect each other.
What irks me most about this ongoing conversation and occasional condemnation- is that some of the negative talk is occurring in Jewish circles. We who were strangers in this land, along with Irish, German, African immigrants were treated abominably and with great derision. [photo-my maternal great-grandparents] How does this align with the melting pot image we like to portray to the world? And what happens when the world comes once again tapping at our door, asking to be let in? And our response is; No way, we don’t like the way you pray.
What’s the definition of intolerance? I’d have to answer; the public condemnation, now occurring in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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