I really don't get the hang up around here for some folks or reticence about being around others of different faiths: Muslim, Protestant, Atheist, or otherwise.
Is Orthodoxy in general marked by this sort of insular tendency? Is it a hold over from being primarily practiced along National or ethnic lines?
I work and live in a very diverse world. Sikhs, Muslims, Emergers, Fundies, RCs, Atheists, Hindus: you name it. The only time I see Orthodox folks is at the parish or extra-parish activities.
Interesting note, as I've mentioned, I've kept my inquiry quiet, but not secret.
My best friend is for lack of a better word is atheist. Would that I had 23% of her patience, humility, kindness, etc. Her response was been one of supportive interest.
"My Arab" (a friendly term of affection I call the fellow who runs my local convenient store, who I see daily) is Palestinian. He asked me once if I believed in God. I told him about my inquiry into Orthodoxy. His reply (paraphrased)
*Something in Arabic about Allah being praised or something or another*. I know of Orthodox. They are serious unlike other Christians. It is good to find a strong and strict relationship with God.
Just for fun I mentioned the whole Serbian thing.
He said people are people no matter what religion and do terrible things in the name of religion.
He probably likes me because he and I both think that Israel is a blight and horrible legacy of a post-colonial, Zionist mishagos.
Every Catholic who has heard me mention it, thinks it is great.
The only grief I ever hear is from Fundies. Emergers are simply interested.
EDIT: Oh yeah, most people probably in the end really don't care. I can't imagine such goings-on are much importance to those outside of internet fora.