Letters to the Editor

Religious tolerance should be celebrated

To the Editor:

“In the beginning God created ….” Do you recognize those famous words? Many people do. They are the first five words of the King James Bible. Sacred to many.

Yet, few people have ever taken the time to study what is actually communicated by those words. Remember: King James had them translated from other languages. Let’s look at them.

“In the beginning” is a statement of an unspecific time. There is no claim made that anyone knows just when the beginning was. Next is the introduction of “God.” Once again no one knows when God came to be. He, She, It just happens. The fifth word is “created.” This may be the one word that gives all the others some semblance of credibility. Still, even ardent Christian believers must admit there are no facts presented by the first five words of the King James Bible.  

Still, many people who profess to be Christians hold tightly to their religion. I have no objection to that. What I do object to, though, is the insistence by some in the Christian community that America is a Christian nation. Logical thinking leads to the truth that a nation cannot choose to be a Christian. Only individuals can do that.

Now, Sir Issac Newton proposed that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This idea may even be true when it comes to beliefs. As most people know the argument in America is between Christianity and the theory of evolution. Basically, evolution proposes that everything that exists came to be by natural scientific processes. Of course, no one has ever proved that. Yet, many people around the world tend to believe that evolution is as reasonable as Christianity.

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Our Constitutional framers foresaw the need for tolerance because they had seen intolerance first-hand. They wrote: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….”

Let’s hope that Americans can re-establish tolerance for different beliefs. Down through time too many people have suffered and even died for believing the “wrong thing.” One writer said, “Tolerance of the intolerable may be wiser than meeting rage with rage.”

Dave Waldrop


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