Etgar 36

Day 5-Dallas-by Evan Simon

Yesterday we had our first meeting about a real life issue in the United States.

In the morning we got on the bus at 7:00 to go to Dallas.

Our first stop was at an LBGT temple in Dallas to use a meeting room for our upcoming discussion with the Pro Life group. This was the same temple we would come back to for services later that night. We got there a little early, and Billy told us the story about how he started bringing Etgar to the temple. Overall we found out that it was a last minute choice which turned into a very good thing.

Soon enough, Mr. Smith, the Director of Pro Life Texas Action Center, came to meet us and explained to us his view on abortion. He showed us very graphic images to get his point across. His main arguments were based on science, a point he very much tried to stick to. Once he was done with his presentation we were able to ask questions and get into a give and take discussion for over an hour with Mr. Smith. After our meeting everybody talked about it on the bus and those of us who are Pro Choice tried to poke holes in his statements, which I found to be an enlightening experience. Some of us who were Pro Choice going into the discussion actually started to rethink our stances. We are looking forward to meeting with the Pro Choice group soon.

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After this, we went to a location of a turning point in American history. We visited the site where JFK was killed. There were two X’s on the street, marking the moments before and after his death, which forever changed the United States. We then toured the 6th floor museum with an audio guide, which shed light on Kennedy’s life as well as the intricacies of his assassination. It was an amazing experience.

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To cap off our Fourth of July, we went back to the temple and had a great time. First we were able to meet the people that go to the temple. They made us dinner, and we had the opportunity to speak with them at the table.

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After dinner we had services. It was very easy-going compared to my other experiences at temple, which was a change of pace. After services, we heard the congregants’ pro-gay marriage side of the debate. They told some of their stories and to be honest, some of them were very shocking. After that we went to the hotel and got to choose our roommates for the first time. We also got to sleep in for the first time, so we stayed up later than usual to hang out. Overall my day was interesting and eye-opening, as I was able to hear different sides of the debates about abortion and gay marriage.

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