Hot Wings and Hot Topics: GSU Religion Representatives Discuss Hot Topics

Ozzie Bunbury

Georgia Southern University’s annual Hot Wings & Hot Topics event last Thursday focused on the differences and similarities between five of the world’s largest religions.

With representatives from five religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and the Baha’i faith), each panelist contributed to an array of highly controversial topics. Topics included creationism versus evolution, differences between Yahweh and Allah, why the Jewish population hasn’t grown since WWII and each faith’s stance on the LGBTQ community and their acceptance of “alternative” lifestyles.

The event was moderated by Dr. Francys Johnson, president of Georgia’s NAACP, and was sponsored by the University Wellness Program and the Multicultural Student Center. The program has been going on for over 12 years.

A word from each representative

Baha’i Faith- Adowa Ulzen-“One thing helpful to know about the Baha’i faith is this concept of oneness. The fundamental principle of the Baha’i faith is unity. The oneness of religion and that all religions are one. We come from the same source, God has been represented in different ways at different times based on the needs of humanity.”

Islam- Nadia Kamal Hemmali Dreid– “Islam is a monotheistic religion, an Abrahamic tradition that considers itself a logical step after Judaism and Christianity. It teaches a lot of the same things other religions teach. A lot of concepts or stereotypes people have of Muslims are not accurate. A lot of that comes from not knowing what Islam is.”

Christian- Minister Jerry Johnson– “Everyone desires a life that matters, that means something. Something that isn’t just a fad, that isn’t here today gone tomorrow. Wait around for the next ‘thing’ that comes along. The reality is it isn’t just like that, the truth is reality isn’t what you decide it to be… The Christian worldview answers the deepest questions about life… The nature of reality, is there a god or many gods… Who am I or why was I here?”

Judaism- Rabbi Robert Haas– “Why is Judaism relevant to the modern world? Because we are the best [religion] (sarcasm). We believe there is a god, and that each religion has a way to god, and you can get to god with whatever religion you choose. We believe everyone is expected to behave a certain way, and there is a basic principles of morality that we are expected to follow. We believe that we have the opportunity to choose for ourselves, and that’s why we like living in a country like America.”

Hinduism- Mr. Maulik Patel- “As far as Hinduism is concerned, one of the biggest misconceptions is if there is more than one god. There has been an ongoing debate about whether it’s monotheistic or polytheistic… A lot of individuals in the 21st century don’t grasp the concept on where it was founded.”