Joe Levi:
a cross-discipline, multi-dimensional problem solver who thinks outside the box – but within reality™



I really have a hard time writing this post, for a few reasons that I’ll get into.

My wife runs a Preschool and Daycare out of our home, she caters to younger children, those with mild-special needs, and the children under her care have a broad slice of ethnic diversity (dark skin, tan skinned, white skinned; Turks, Native Americans, Muslims; etc.).

It’s nice to see how well children get along regardless of their background.


At this point in the story it’s important to note a few things: we’re active Christians and practice our religion in our home (we say prayers over meals, have pictures of the Savior and Temples throughout our house, and generally abide by His precepts). There’s mention of these facts in the information packet and contract that each child’s parent must read and sign prior to care. We don’t try to “convert” anyone in her care, nor do we teach our beliefs or downplay/belittle others’. In fact, when religious differences arise, which they don’t often do, she uses that as a teaching opportunity to help the children understand how different people believe different things and live by different rules, and that even though they are “different” than someone else, that not only is it okay, it’s a perfectly normal thing.

Tolerance or Intolerance?

For years, everything was fine. Then recently we had a parent call to remove her child from care. This was a Muslim child who had gone home and told her parents about her daily activities. First, she’d had hotdogs for lunch, second, my 8 year old daughter had shown the children her new baptism dress.

We’re not big “pork” people, other than an occasional pepperoni pizza, we don’t eat pork. Even our hotdogs are all beef or all turkey (it’s not easy, nor cheap, to find 100% beef or 100% turkey franks, but we put in the effort to “get the good stuff”).

The parent didn’t care, “hotdogs” were “against their religion” (even though they had no pork in them). And who were we to answer he child’s questions about baptism (in a religion neutral manner)?

What’s frustrating to us, with as much effort as we put into being respectful of other’s beliefs (religious, personal, political, etc.), with as transparent as we’ve made it that we’re a Christian household that practices our religion, with as diverse an environment as we’ve created, it’s not enough for this family – this family who lives in a predominantly Christian country, and an even more predominantly Christian state.

It has confirmed first-hand for me the level of intolerance some Muslims have for those not of their faith. I’m not one to generally make stereotypical assumptions, but this personal experience confirms that stereotype.

What are your thoughts?

Will Christians/Jews and Muslims/Islams ever be able to live peacefully together? Will we have to try and live peacefully segregated? Or will one side be forced to eliminate the other (as has been status quo in the Middle-East)?


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