Frustrating, because they don’t like to talk “politics” - no discussion allowed.
We had another wonderful time with these great friends this evening, playing cards, munching and talking small talk. Two bits of “small talk” provoked some interesting deeper insights. Incites might be more to the point.
One was a short discussion about the direction of music from generation to generation. I brought up the increased vulgarity, lack of melody, harmony, general musicality and sense of discipline and musical talent as we experience in the rap, hip hop and heavy metal of much of today’s Top 40 compared to the music of 30 to 50 years ago. Our friend corrected me and said “vulgarity is your term. What’s vulgar to you isn’t vulgar to others.” I agreed with that. Some people are more vulgar than others and may not consider what they do and say to be vulgar. But then I went a step further and asked our friend “if the music and behavior of subsequent generations is increasingly rebellious and vulgar in the eyes of the previous generation, will there be a point when that vulgarity becomes so vile and demeaning that it is damaging to society – becomes destructive – even to the point of threatening its very existence?” She dismissed that prospect by reminding me that every new generation goes through this “rebellious” phase. That’s when I quit my end of the conversation realizing she is a moral relativist. To her there is no “right or wrong”; no distinction between good behavior and bad behavior; there is no behavior or attitude that will bring the culture down. It all just “is.” She just dismissed one of the major reasons for millennia of failed civilizations. How can you argue with that? So I didn’t.
The next tidbit of conversation was during a Cat Stevens song. I mentioned it would be interesting to hear his conversion experience to Islam. Our friend pondered that comment for a moment after the cards were dealt, and then mused “it makes sense, because Cat Steven’s songs were often about peace.” I questioned that conclusion when I said “it sounds more like an oxymoron to me – converting to a religion that is certainly not known for peace.” She countered with great surprise giving her view that Islam certainly is a peaceful religion. Then she said “look at Christianity and the Crusades.” I reminded her that was over a thousand years ago and expressed my own amazement that anyone today would consider Islam a religion of peace instead of the violent fascist political system Islam is today. She dismissed my thoughts as just focusing on a few radicals.
Knowing they don’t like to discuss politics, I exercised an uncanny amount of self-discipline and didn’t expound on the true nature of present day Islam. It was enough for the moment that I planted seeds of bewilderment that anyone would think of Islam as “peace loving.” If she was open to anything, I would certainly share these websites with her: The Religion of Peace and Jihad Watch and a couple of my previous posts here and here. If I could, I would pry open her brain and pour the content of these sites into her. But I think there may be some sort of Teflon coating on the synapses that prevents absorption of new information.