Religion is a topic with no clear or correct answer, that’s why for centuries upon centuries friction arises when religious debates are held. However, this was not the case in Wednesday’s World Religion Panel.
Missouri Western State University hosted World Religions Panel where a group of experienced religious speakers educated visitors about the nuances of the religion that they follow. Narrated by History Professor Jay Lemanski there was an open panel discussion answering various questions while encouraging learning of four different religions to people on campus and members of the community.
The four religions that the panel focused on were Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Judaism. Leading the voice for the Islamic faith was member of the Islamic Center of St. Joseph Ramadan Washington.
For the Christian faith Navigators organizer Wil Anderson spoke.
Leader of the Temple of the Buddhist Center Victor Dougherty spoke on the Buddhist faith.
Members of The Temple of Adath Joseph located in St. Joseph attended the event and Barbarra Voshell spoke for the Judaism faith.
The panel of spokespeople were given various time limits depending on the complexity of the questions asked by Lemanski.
Anderson credits each individual on the panel for the positive discussion that took place and lack of controversy.
“I don’t think it’s wrong to have a disagreement [regarding differing religions], but I do think it’s wrong to be slanderous, abusive and profane,” Anderson said. “Society as a whole goes wrong into its approach about disrespectful disagreement, to the point where people are going tooth and claw going at each other. However you do have some people trying to just flatten everything out and trying to say there should be perfect agreement among everyone, I don’t think there should be perfect agreement among belief but I do think there should be courtesy and that’s what I liked about the panel.”
Barbara Voshell said having the World Religions Panel at Western was good for those of all faiths to better understand each other.
“I think the world religious panel allowed those of other faiths and persons interested in communication with other faiths the opportunity to look at what we have in common, verses what divides us.”
Positive discussion about differences coupled with refreshments and free food allowed for a great environment and according to WEstern student Jeremee Nute it’s a discussion that he would attend again.
“I was coming for the discussion however the free food along with the positive environment really won me over, I would attend again if this event came back to campus.” Nute said.
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