Sunday, November 11, 2007

Your nice quick 2 hour depression-inducing read of the day

This long survey from the Economist on religion across the globe has blown up in the blogosphere, for good reason. It tackles important issues that every human has a vested interest in. One of the major themes seems to be an unfortunate lack of knowledge on all sides. Describing the Isreal-Palestine conflict, the Brits chide that,

Ignorance rules on all sides. Most Muslims seem totally unaware that Arabs can vote in Israel. Many Jews, even in Israel, are separated from the routine miseries of Palestinian life. American evangelicals are shocked to discover that some Palestinians are Christians.

Despite the plethora of reasons to despair, I am slightly more optimistic than I probably should be, for one reason: the internet. While knowledge is dead, access to information remains paramount, and my gut tells me that even the most enthusiastic proselytizers will not be able to lead people to violence in the face of cold, hard facts. My friend Jeremy co-founded a blog called Jews, Muslims and Dialogue that has attempted to bring together Jews and Muslims at Yale to have open discussion. Each one of their posts is a step towards peace. And there's no such thing as a small step in that direction.

The article is long, but it might be the most important thing you will read all month. You can't pass that opportunity up, even if you do have a statistics test you should be studying for.