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May 1, 2012 at 11:30 AM
I stepped out into the pouring rain on Penn State University’s campus, expecting to unnerve any challengers of what I believe as a conservative Christian. Two hours later, I left the gorgeous campus with a new friend, a new attitude, sharper perspective, and a softer approach.
STATE COLLEGE, Penn. — My first impression of the young woman seated in the sea of computers in Penn State’s Pattee-Paterno Library was the intensity in her eyes as she studied.
My second impression was her warm smile, as I approached her cubicle to ask if she had a few minutes to talk politics.
“Well I could use a break,” she said, “so let’s go over to the fountain.”
Noora Albraiki looked exhausted. Two days earlier the petite Muslim woman was strolling across campus when a young man passing out literature starting shouting in her direction. Albraiki said the fellow was a Christian missionary who began to bully her about her religion being “wrong.”
“It really made me sad,” she said, “but I wasn’t going to let his bullying make me feel intimidated. It upset me how he was totally making fun of what I believe [while] showing me how Jesus — how Christianity — is the only way. He wanted to show me his religion is right, but he kept teasing me and teasing me and wouldn’t let me speak.”
I understood what she was saying. I am an evangelical Christian, and I often struggle with how best to share what I believe. But my biggest frustration is usually with those who do believe as I do; not with those who don’t.
April 15, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Just feet apart physically, but on opposite ends of the political spectrum, two barbers in Bremerton have no qualms about voicing their opinions on the presidential candidates and the state of the economy in their community.
BREMERTON — In the Manette neighborhood of this military town, only a few feet separate the shops of barber Andre Jones, a black 46-year old whose wife Tracey founded their shop 10 years ago, and hairstylist Sariann Irvin — a white 29-year-old who met her husband when he roamed in one day from the Navy base.
They are next door to each other, but political worlds apart. (more…)