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World Religions | Creation Story and Being Open to Learn

March 04, 2016

Air Force Academy Muslim Prayer Room On the third day of our ECS, we had an invigorating and thought-provoking conversation about the book of Genesis, and it’s connection to the religions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. We discussed the Creation story, and how different perspectives have taken this theory. Should it be taken literally? Or “literaturely”? We then continued to discuss the story of Adam and Eve. Here questions such as “Why would God give Adam and Eve the opportunity to sin, if he didn’t want them to?”, and “Why didn’t God simply create humankind with the faith to believe in him?” I think these invigorating thoughts were fun to discuss, as many different perspectives were shared. As a Christian myself, I thought it was very philosophical and interesting to hear other perspectives besides my own as to what the answer to these questions were. To continue the morning discussion, we talked about the story of Abraham and Sarah, and connected it to what we learned yesterday in regards to the Holy city of Jerusalem, and how their story is an important aspect of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

Students taking notes in the Air Force Academy Chapel In the afternoon, we were given time to work on our oral presentations within our partner groups. I am partners with Molly B, and we decided to study further on the Church of Satan, a commonly misunderstood religion. Our research scared me, in a fascinating way. As it turns out, I learned that the Church of Satan doesn’t worship Satan. As a matter of fact, they don’t believe in any god or higher being. They are an atheist group that uses Satan as a model for what an ideal human should be. At the end of the day, we ended with the End of the Day Ritual (EDR), the time where the leader of the day for the following day is chosen. and I was chosen. This means that tomorrow, I will lead our morning ritual, and represent the group, and CSS as a whole, on our travel to the Air Force Academy tomorrow. I’m very excited!

On our fourth day, we started with the morning ritual. We all gathered around the dictionary in a large circle, while I read the definition of knowledge. After reading this, I presented the book to everyone in the class, while they all laid a hand on the page. Doing this, represents our readiness to be open to learning, and what the day holds for us. It then led into another thought-provoking conversation about the 10 commandments, and preparing for our visit to the Air Force Academy to see Rabbi Schechter.

Air Force Academy TempleWhile at the Air Force Academy, we visited the Cadets’ Chapel, a building encompassing an area for the Protestant and Catholic Churches, the Jewish Synagogue, and Buddhist and Muslim prayer rooms. Before meeting with Rabbi Schechter, we toured other parts of the Chapel, and I was awestruck at the beauty and intricate detail put into it.

I loved being able to talk to Rabbi Schechter. What she had to say was enlightening and open minded. When asked what she felt encompassed the entire religion and their philosophy, she responded gracefully, quoting the book of Micah, saying, “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8). We also learned what it was like to be religious outside of Christianity in the Military, and this really stuck with me. Regularly, people are allowed Sunday’s off, for Sabbath. With other religions, such as Islam and Judaism, having prayer times outside of a Sunday are not always necessarily an option. It’s a real sacrifice for their country and is simply “a part of the job.”

After our trip to the Air Force Academy, we ended the day by giving our presentations about the religions we had looked into. There was such a great variety! From Neo-Paganism, to Taoism, I learned a lot about different religions I hadn’t known much about in the past, while having fun watching my classmates present. Tomorrow we are going to be attending a night service at Temple Shalom, and I am so excited! I have never attended a service at a Temple before, so I think this new adventure will be fun!

Air Force Academy Muslim Prayer Room
Air Force Academy Temple
Students taking notes in the Air Force Academy Chapel