In our Untangled feature, we answer questions posed to us from our readers. Here’s an email that brideofdracula recently sent us:
First of all I love your blog! I think it’s awesome how you connect anime and religion.
My question to you is kinda personal: recently, I moved to America from a muslim country. I am a practicing Muslim and I currently am enrolled in a liberal arts college. My problem, is I face alot of criticism from atheists. They see me, see my hijab, and start criticizing me, my religion, my Holy Book. I don’t have a problem with atheists, but I HATE it when they start mocking me. I’m asking you this because as Christians, you must have faced such opposition. What should I do? Should I stop wearing my hijab?
Please answer. I don’t think I can stand any more girls stuffing The God Delusion in my face. (Sorry about my English. It’s not my native language.) Thanks.
Thank you, first of all, for reaching out to us even though we’re of a different faith than you. We definitely want our community here to cross religious boundaries, and some of that can occur when find common ground, such as criticism or persecution.
I think it must definitely be harder for you as a Muslim than for most Christians because through you hijab, you make your faith much more visible than others might. Besides wearing, say, a cross necklace, Christians don’t usually express their faith by the clothing they wear. Maybe that’s why when I attended a liberal arts university in a very liberal city, I never went through what you’ve had to endure.
I think that the best advice I could give you is this: make your everyday actions based on the bigger picture on what you most believe in life. Sometimes, we have an idea of what we value most, but when suffering comes along and we’re tested by fire, we get to know where we really stand on those tenants we hold most closely to our hearts. When you meditate on the bigger picture, it’ll help you determine the choices you make for issues like whether to continue wearing your hijab. For example, if I were in your shoes, I would hope that I would be able to use a hurtful situation and turn it around, demonstrating the kindness, love, and grace that Jesus demonstrated to me through the gospel, which is at the core of my life.
I’d like to also open this up to our readers – do you have any recommendations for our brideofdracula?
5 thoughts on “Untangled: Facing Opposition for Your Faith”
Hmm, great question. To be honest, I would just tell them to leave me alone if they have such an issue. I’m a guy, but I know girls can get pretty indirect when saying things (unlike guys who are pretty direct when saying things or expressing themselves), so if you notice that and your not a confrontational person then just ignore them and walk away. If you have no choice BUT to deal with them for whatever reason, try explaining to them why you wear it.
If STILL they are pretty nasty about the whole thing, scare them a little and tell them you’ll report them for harassment 🙂 But that’s just me.
Does your college have a (multi-faith) prayer room? Mine did, and even though there were no other Buddhists on campus (in my case), meeting other people for whom religion had value in their lives was very encouraging.
Atheists often pride themselves in thinking they’re in the right because they adhere to the zeitgeist of modernity and dogmatically insist that only the material world exists. The most common philosophical argument for the non-existence of God is the Problem of Evil. They posit that God must not exist because there is evil, and an omnipotent God would surely eradicate evil in an omnipotent fashion, i.e. utterly. However, St. Augustine has a different take on this issue: “God would not have permitted any evil unless He were so omnipotent that He could bring good out of evil.” And the Problem of Evil in no way counters St. Thomas Aquinas’ Five Proofs for the Existence of God, aka Aquinas’ Quinque Viae.
The best things for you to do, if you wish to still talk with these atheists, is to educate yourself on theology and take a wagon load of patience along with you. As a Christian, I do not know what Muslims give as proofs for the existence of God, but you might try to the medieval philosopher Averroes, who likely follows what Aristotle wrote in his Metaphysics. Otherwise, C. S. Lewis wrote an excellent work on the Problem of Evil, which he titled The Problem of Pain. St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica covers the nature of God and probably the Problem of Evil, and you shall find the parts covering God’s nature and existence very useful. I might add Mortimer J. Adler’s How to Prove There is a God and also various books of Peter Kreeft, especially his philosophical works. C. S. Lewis, Kreeft, and Adler are by far the easiest to follow.
Thank you, TWWK for writing this article and thank you everybody for giving such helpful recommendations. I have tried ignoring them and whenever they start harassing me, I always think that God sent His messengers even greater challenges, but it still hurts me, to hear them associate my faith with terrorists like ISIS etc.
To answer medievalotaku’s question, yes I have read theology, to some extent. Thank you again, for recommending me those books. I have already started reading some C.S. Lewis. God bless you all.
I’m glad that we were of some help. Stay strong!
By the way, Lewis is an amazing theologian – just shoot a message my way if you ever want to discuss his works or have any questions about what he’s trying to explain.