Al Jazeera visits Midland

I did some quick searches on a few local blogs that I thought might have already covered this, and found nothing. If you had a more timely report, please feel free to provide a link in the comments. 

I stumbled across the following YouTube videos after following an unrelated Google link. They are a couple of 11-minute programs produced by the [infamous] Arabic news organization, Al Jazeera in September, 2007, and are entitled Main Street USA - Midland, Texas. The reports focus on the role that faith and religion play in the public and private lives of our citizens, and, of course, how they influenced George W. Bush. Midland residents will recognize many of the individuals interviewed during the course of the filming. 

The underlying message is that Midland is a city of "Christian fundamentalists," a term used with great frequency, and applied both to individuals as well as the community as a whole. It's hard to tell if the Al Jazeera report is using that word as a term of disapprobation; if so, the irony is thickened given the network's Muslim target audience. 

Regardless, I found the reports to be fairly evenhanded, especially considering their source. A local Muslim was interviewed and expressed his happiness at being able to live in a community where he can practice his faith without fear. In a rational world, that should be a revelation to his counterparts in the Middle East, or at least a source of cognitive dissonance, but I'm not that naive. 

The most disturbing thing about these reports is not the content of the videos, but the comments left on YouTube regarding them. Read them at your own risk, if you're easily offended.

By the way, if you define "fundamentalist" as being someone who believes that there are certain doctrinal truths given down by a holy and just God that we as individuals and collectively as a nation ignore at our own peril, then I willingly place myself firmly into that category.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on April 29, 2008 9:05 AM.

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