There’s a long-standing rule that two things you never talk about in polite circles are religion and politics.
On Monday night,a meeting of “Muslims and Christians United” broke that first rule.
More than 100 people attended the interfaith event, held at the Muslim Association of the Lehigh Valley in Whitehall Township, to better understand how the two faiths could share their spiritual quests, despite many differences.
The event entitled “What’s it Like to be Christian in America,” came after last month the group examined the Islamic faith in America.
Six members of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Bethlehem discussed their thoughts about Christianity by telling their personal stories about how they came to their faith.
“The first thing you should know about the Christian faith is that there are many, many, denominations,” said Bill Whipple. “Whether you go from the Baptist faith to the Unitarians, who are more open-minded about the many different paths to God, Christianity features many different viewpoints of Jesus Christ.”
Bob Totten, who is leading a Lehigh Valley Outreach Depot that provides goods to the poor, spoke about his journey to faith, including how a son from his second marriage became a Muslim.
“I think Christianity is about serving others,” he noted.
“There is a certain amount of mystery to God,” Whipple noted when describing his faith.
Some of the speakers became emotional talking about their faith.
Prior to the discussions, Shehzad Malik of the Muslim Association of the Lehigh Valley, updated the group on a conference call he had earlier with public relations officials with Lowe's Corporation on their decision to cancel their advertisements on the TLC television series "All-American Muslim."
Malik reported the group is seeking a public policy from the home-building company in a major media print publication such as The New York Times or Washington Post, in addition to financial reparations.
"We believe they need to improve their outreach efforts to the Muslim community," he said.
The next event of the Muslims and Christians United is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on March 5.