A showing of the documentary film “Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims” was followed by small group and general discussions. The film includes people (Christians and Muslims) from different cities throughout the US, including Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Port Arthur, Texas; Columbia, Tennessee; and Lake Charles, Louisiana.
We heard how they came together to foster dialogue and understanding and/or helped each other when there were threats or other problems. There were the Baptist church members who left flowers at the mosque that had been partially burned by extremists. They offered rides and escorts to the Muslim women who were afraid to go out to shop alone after being threatened following the 9/11 bombing.
Muslim businesswomen spoke to their bank on behalf of a Baptist church that was trying to buy land to expand but couldn’t get a mortgage. The bank granted the mortgage. We met a Muslim dad and Baptist mom who had their son, Liam, blessed in both the church and mosque and vowed to expose him to both faiths as he grows up and let him choose for himself. We heard moving assertions such as “Any person in need is my neighbor,” and “We have in common: love of neighbor and love for all of God’s creation.”
The movie gave us hope, and the discussion that followed was lively and insightful.