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4 Bumps

Religious Tourism

There's a company that lets you spend a week or three in other countries living immersed in another religion so you can better understand it.  The author of that particular article thinks it's a horrible idea:

But there is still something disturbing about the very idea of religious tourism. Immersing yourself in the prayers and rituals of a religion even though you think its god is false smacks of condescension at best, blasphemy at worst. And although a sense of politeness prevents most people from saying it loudly in public, religious people generally believe that the gods of all religions but their own are indeed false.

On the other hand, the guy who runs the service says:

“We like to think that Muslim for a Month facilitates more understanding of a religion which gets a lot of bad press,” explained Ben Bowler, who lives in Thailand and runs similar “religious immersion tours” in Buddhism for the same organization. “There’s a huge difference in the public perception of Buddhism, for example, and Islam — Islam is thorny, while Buddhism is warm and fuzzy.”

Which do you side with?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 10:57 PM on Jul. 8, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (22)
  • I see nothing wrong in Religion tourism. It doesn't necessarrily mean you believe in what other religions are teaching rather learning about other religions.
    I suppose you could say I did this in my younger years, but to a much smaller scale.
    I spent some time in a Nazarene, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Holy Roller & Snake Handling church. Curiosity was all there was. I learned ALOT, and made friends that I probably never would have made friends with, because of our religious affiliations.

    Answer by Kathy675 at 11:33 PM on Jul. 8, 2011

  • i see nothing wrong w/ it & would love to be able to take one of these "tours". but i can see how following another religion's path just for funsies could seem blasphemous to those of that faith. but im more on the learning & understanding side.

    sadly, the ppl that most need to be Muslim for a month would never go for it.

    Answer by okmanders at 11:51 PM on Jul. 8, 2011

  • No thanks.

    Answer by maggiebgood at 11:52 PM on Jul. 8, 2011

  • Perhaps understanding creates compassion, and in order to understand another religion better, one should experience it. When we focus on our similarities instead of the differences, the divisive lines fade out. If I were a believer, I'd be down to do this. As someone who lacks a belief in a deity, who sees the lines of division amongst religions as problematic, I think that this type of thing could be beneficial to soften those lines, even though it continues to perpetuate something I do not think exists. Anything to quell the ego is good.


    Answer by clarity333 at 1:23 AM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • No thanks :-) I think it is a bad idea.

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 2:39 AM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • Wow, that's something I would LOVE to do, and I'd love to take my kids and have them experience it as well. Awesome idea, as long as it is done for the right reasons: genuine respectful curiousity. A lot of folks may not have the psychological maturity to take it that way, but a lot do and would and I think it's a brilliant idea.

    My son's Social Studies class took them on a tour of a Mosque and a Buddhist Temple as well as a Cathedral, which I thought was also a brilliant idea if on a much smaller scale.

    Answer by judimary at 3:14 AM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • I see nothing wrong with it. If you are strong in your path, learning about (to understand better) another path or religion shouldn't bother you all that much..... I would love to do something like that.

    Answer by Kaelansmom at 3:20 AM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • I'd find it very interesting and educational, so I don't see anything wrong with it.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 6:51 AM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • The Bible talks about people being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.
    No--not for me.

    Answer by popzaroo at 9:30 AM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • I LOVE this idea! I think its wonderful. Knowledge is power and it leads to compassion and understanding. Something we need lots more of in our world.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 10:25 AM on Jul. 9, 2011

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