2/26/10 Yusef, Zhe Chou? both 28
After work I stopped at IIT's student center where two PhD students sat at a table, talking. "Excuse me, I don't mean to bother you but I'm wondering if you have a few minutes and could answer some opinion questions". "What about?" Well, I'm a high school teacher but I also go to a church nearby and would like to ask about your spiritual background and beliefs". I mentioned my occupation because I felt it might earn some credibility with them. Zhe Chou (I'm not sure of the spelling) looked at Yusef. "It's all right with me, how about you?" Yusef agreed and I sat down and found out all about their background and upbringing. Zhe Chou is a Buddhist from China and Yusef is a Muslim from Turkey. I've never talked to two people from very different faiths at the same time like this before, but was able to find some common beliefs such as a final judgment, whether for heaven or reincarnation, and a belief in a basic moral law and justice. My questions helped "earn the right to be heard"; and after twenty minutes they took turns asking me questions about Christianity. They both seemed to be very disciplined and well-mannered young men, and their biggest difficulty with Christianity seemed to be that they couldn't understand how murderers, especially political leaders who start wars that affect massive numbers of people, would be treated equally as lawbreakers with themselves. At the start they knew nothing about Christianity, the Ten Commandments, or Jesus. An hour later they had a much better idea that there is a God whom they are accountable to, and who loves them very much.