Wednesday, January 20, 2016

                               Jornal 2 by Matt Porter

 Hello, my name is Matthew Porter, but you can call me Matt! I'm currently working on my undergrad for Environmental Public Health/Animal Sciences, and I have a very strange interest in infectious disease, particularly those that are zoonotic (diseases that transmit from animals to people); such as Ebola, Malaria, Lyme disease, and even HIV, Influenza, etc. I am also teaching myself Biblical Hebrew because religion is also a passion of mine. I know what you're thinking: "this kid likes diseases and Jesus? What a psycho! Well, that just might be true; what can I say, I'm strange! I am also working on a book series about four youths who work for a secret organization, whose mission is to protect their home from a vast gang of evildoers. But that's enough about me.

Something that stood out to me in the chapter was the writing by Lorraine Ali regarding America demonizing a whole religion and culture, making everyone in that religion look evil or overtly stupid and unhygienic. I understand the frustrations of radicals who would wish to endanger the ideals of America, that would attempt to attack her very foundations; but because of her strong foundation in equality and freedom of religion, we must stand by her strictest convictions of freedom and equality. I agree we must weed out terror, but terror comes in many different forms. Personally I do not agree with many aspects of Islam, but because I am an American I will accept someones differences and let them be free to worship or not worship any way they see fit, so long as it does not endanger the security of others. Well that's my rant for the night. As for the best way to learn about a culture; I believe is mostly research (for me, anyway), but I think experiencing them is also efficacious. We get most of our information unfortunately, it seems, from the media. We should get it from research, and delving ourselves into different cultures. I know people from many different cultures; from Philipino to Kenyan, from Palestinian to Israeli. There are many cultures out there, and there are things we can learn from each of them.


  1. Hi Matt, I agree completely with your ideals on America and how Lorraine Ali was able to show how an entire group of people is being demonized in our reading. Islam is not so different from Christianity and Judaism though. Many of the things that the media portrays as isalmic being done by radicals actually have no foundation in the Quran whatsoever. The main differences between Islam and Christianity are that we believe Jesus was only a prophet and not the son of god and that we do not eat pork or drink alcohol. Other than that, the principles are essentially the same. I think thats another thing Ali tried to portray in her writing. That most muslim Americans, especially those raised in the U.S. have the same or similar beliefs and values as all other Americans. Just something interesting to think about seeing as how you are interested in religion.

  2. Love that you guys are having a discourse that usually is just "I"m right, and you are wrong" which usually gets us just about nowhere. People in life must agree to disagree on things and that's okay. It's when we let our different beliefs STOP us from communicating and isolating ourselves in our own groups that we really have trouble. Good work to both of you.


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