Tim Brauhn is a long-time interfaith activist and conversation partner to many. He attempts to approach every conversation by remembering that anyone he encounters most likely has much more in common with him than the things they disagree (even heatedly) about. In this episode, he shares the values he brings to dialogue, and highlights the work of Islamic Networks Group, a network of teaching and community resources for strengthening relationships in the civic space.
Ways to listen to this episode:
In this episode, we discuss:
- Why it can be so hard to broach difficult subjects when we disagree with loved ones (and strangers)
- How to use best practices (for teaching and community events) in cultural diversity in your context
- How the Disney movie Aladdin set a strange and problematic course for perceptions of Islam and the so-called “Arab world” in the West
- When to let our differences be the most important thing in dialogue, and when to let them go
Top 3 takeaways from this week’s episode:
1. “Why are we still afraid of other people?”
Hopelessness can often creep in when we spend our days reading media that underscores our difference. Even when we know that other humans are potential friends and neighbors, we often fall prey to paralyzing fear (and stereotypes) about others. Why does this happen, and what can we do about it?'Why are we still afraid of other people?' Listen now: Click To Tweet
2. “Giving up is easy, but it’s not really viable.”
When you’re working in contentious times, it can seem that we will never really get along. Our differences seem too intractable. So why are we still teaching, learning, voting, legislating? Over time, as we are able to share more respectful ideas and build community, we see (to our surprise) that the group of people most opposed to diversity is, in fact, getting smaller. We must continue the work of getting to know our neighbors.'Giving up is easy, but it’s not really viable.' Listen now: Click To Tweet
3. “Why are you committed to not defriending people?”
Especially since the last US presidential election, many of us find ourselves in emotional conflict with colleagues, friends, family, and loved ones on social media (and in person). And when our emotions are inflamed, we often react by blocking. Why should we remain in relationship with those who upset us?'Why are you committed to not defriending people?' Listen now: Click To Tweet
Mentioned on the episode:
- Islamic Networks Group: https://ing.org/
- Lesson Plans and Videos on World Religions: https://ing.org/academic/
- Know Your Neighbor, a program about connecting across lines of difference: http://www.ing.org/kyn/
- Odyssey Networks, a multi-media interfaith programming group: http://www.odysseynetworks.org/
- “It doesn’t matter that an Arab will play Aladdin.”
- “The Aladdin controversy Disney can’t escape.”
How to connect with Tim and with us:
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About the Podcast
In Times Like These explores the difficult spaces we humans navigate in culture and religion, in dialogue and doubt. We talk to voices from the field, in law, activism, civil rights, and from places of struggle and places of deep learning. In Times Like These, we unpack the most troubling issues of politics and faith we face, together.
In Times Like These is hosted by Dr. Stephanie Varnon-Hughes and is a CLU Live production by Claremont Lincoln University.