Civil Disclosure Question and Answer session

The group of religious speakers answer questions from the audience.

The group of religious speakers answer questions from the audience.

The CF Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and The Interfaith Alliance of Marion County gathered at CF for a night among the faiths of Islam, Jewish, and Christianity. This panel set up featured moments of intense religion discussion.

Civil Discourse was an event for students and other members of the community who have or have had difficulty accepting their particular religion or other people’s religion. Even if that wasn’t your intentions civil discourse was also about learning that every religion has there flaws and every religion has their particular way of thinking and everyone should respect it.

Barbara Fitos was a former County Commissioner and she was often criticized by her religion and that was that she is Catholic. She was the moderator and she knew which religion was speaking aggressive and would take turns on the people representing their religion to allow them to speak.

Representing the Islam community was Larry Collins, he is Muslim which means he follows the Islam religion. He was criticized on not fitting the Muslim look and heard many talk about his religion and would tell them to quit saying those things and of course they would listen because he is a big guy. Also if he heard people talking about other religions he would also tell them to quit saying things about other religions.

“I will recite a quote from the Quran sir Al’ Ankabut first 46, ‘dispute me not with the other people of the book except with means better than mere disputation,” Collins said. “I am speaking clearly as an individual and not for one and a half to two billion of my fellow Muslims because each of us are individuals is that it means that there is never an excuse on theological questions, cultural, or political questions for any type of discourse other than civil discourse; it’s never an excuse for violence.”

For the Jewish community there was Rabbi Michael Joseph, a spiritual leader from Gainesville of the Temple Shir Shalom and he was speaking about how on a job interview they always ask about a personal weakness that is an attribute.

Christian pastor Harold W. McSwain, JR. also spoke on his behalf of Christianity and even recited a prayer about anti bullying. He also said that civility about leadership and that everyone should learn to grow up towards maturity.

Students attended the event because they wanted to see what they were going to say about their religion. Alexsanderia Carrero said that she came to the event to understand more of other people’s religion.

“I suggest people come to these events,” Carrero said. “I suggest people open their views to these religions.”

Ryan Bairstow was another student who attended and really enjoyed the event.

“Very nutritious sort to say,” Bairstow said. “It was difficult because you pay attention to your own religion but you don’t want to be ignorant and take from your level to my personal beliefs, feelings, and thoughts in critical reasoning to find out where you fit in.”

The moderator Fitos gave a calm look on all the religions when they would oppose different views. In the Islam religion they fear if someone enters their religion and they are American they think that they are the FBI. For the Jewish community they feel that if they are going to get hurt. For the Christianity they are always compared to other Christians. This is how all the religions tie in and feel the same emotion.

By: Banesa Medina


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