Archive for Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Intolerant religion

March 1, 2006


To the editor:

It is important for those of us who stand with the vast majority of people of faith in strong opposition to the dangerous and growing influence of people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell to speak out.

Concerned people of faith continue to watch with increasing concern as the Christian Coalition and the religious right groups manipulate religion to their intolerance and their bigoted political agenda.

It is time for more of us of faith to stand and declare that Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell do not represent the majority of people of faith in this great nation. It is not their "Christian" religion that has made this nation great.

Religion is not a tool to push personal political beliefs as Robertson and Falwell have done in claiming that 9-11 happened because we insulted God. The blame they place on feminists, pro-choice Americans and other groups these men despise is nothing less than religious bigotry.

I am proud to stand with Walter Cronkite, and other women and men of faith in opposing the intolerant influence of the religious right in our civic life.

Forrest Swall,



blessed3x 12 years, 1 month ago

Like anything else the nut jobs get the tv time. Does Farrakhan represent black America? Does Falwell represent the average christian? Does Boog represent an average Lawrencian? Does ELF represent everyone concerned with the evnivronment?

No. The idiots are sexy. (I mean that in a completely non-sexual way) They get the press time. As a conservative I look at Micheal Savage and think "this fool is completely over the top". Which, coincidentally, is the same reaction I have to Al Sharpton.

The truth is that 80% of America lies between the Farrakhan's and the Falwell's and that is just fine with me.

craigers 12 years, 1 month ago

Just because people say they are Christians doesn't mean they will live a perfect life and never say dumb things. We all miss the mark and don't live up to our full potential in Christ but you can't just dismiss them because of it. I admire these men for standing by their convictions. I might disagree with them sometimes but I still would tolerate their views. Tolerance isn't just letting people do what they want, but it is respecting their choices and convictions. I will respect people's right to make different lifestyle choices but when asked whether I think that is right or not I won't shy away from standing on the morals of the bible and voicing those beliefs, just like these men have. I'm sorry that rightthinkers parents had the experience they had with their church but not all churches are like that. A new definition of tolerance is being used today to discriminate against those that voice their opinions saying that certain choices and lifestyles aren't right but real tolerance, which should be used going both ways, allows us all to have our thoughts and beliefs and voice them without fear of discrimination.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 1 month ago

According to Jerry Falwell the Christian Coalition controls the current republican party. Real republicans have their work cut out for them. I sincerely hope that at some point in the near future a house cleaning can take place. My conservative republican father in law is quite disgusted.

badger 12 years, 1 month ago

Craigers, I think it's not so much that people should refuse to tolerate Falwell and Robertson's rights to speak on their convictions, but when one of them starts talking about how 9-11 happened because God hates America for allowing gays and abortions, I'd really like to hear a lot more Christians speak up and say, "He doesn't speak for me."

Or when someone publicly says, for example, that my faith isn't a 'real' faith, I'd like to see a few more Christians out there with me, supporting my right to worship as I choose.

That's all, really. I don't want them forced to be shut up, but I'd like to know just how many Christians in this nation Jerry Falwell really speaks for. My grandma used to listen to him avidly, has been a seriously devout Christian for nine decades. A couple of years ago, she got some sort of a donation request and told me and my mom, "That young man has forgotten Christ, and I'll have nothing to do with him or his ministry." Apparently, she's written him a letter asking him to pray that Christ's wisdom be allowed in his heart again, and that he be able to find his way back (his ministry sent her back another solicitation for a donation). I'd kind of like to know how many more there are out there thinking like that, and why more of them don't speak up to disavow his right to speak for them.

craigers 12 years, 1 month ago

You know Badger I completely agree with you on that and I hate that some tele-evangelists ask for money and in return they will pray for you. I mean get real, the gospel is free and I understand they have operating expenses but donations shouldn't be requested for offering to pray for somebody's healing or just their current situation. These guys don't speak for me when they say things like 9-11 is because we endorse gays and abortion. In a round-about way I can see why they would say that because God does give His angels charge over us but being a believer in Christ doesn't negate that we live in a fallen world and will have troubles like sickness, attacks, crime, etc. Any one of us can be a victim to that. And like your grandma stated, too many of us have forgotten Christ and what he stood for, but at the same time some remember the message of love, but forget that He does not compromise when it comes to sin and unrepentful people.

Linda Endicott 12 years, 1 month ago

Isn't the 9-11 thing the same things that Phred has been saying? Is Falwell's church related to Phred's?

coffeejunkie 12 years, 1 month ago

conservativeman--As you stated, the letter is the opinion of Forrest Swall, as the comments that follow are the opinion of those who wrote them, not Mr. Swall. Nowhere does he use the phrase "religious zealot". He also does not refer to anybody as a "televangelist". He does not state that any political view is held exclusively by the religious right. What Forrest DOES state, is the view that certain groups are manipulating religion for political gain and yes, that he IS intolerant of. Again, this comment represents only MY opinion, and in my opinion any group that presents itself as representative of a religion of love (such as Christianity), yet spends any of its time promoting hate can be considered nothing less than bigoted.

badger 12 years, 1 month ago

No, I'm pretty sure they qualify as Christians. Whatever other points of doctrine they may hold, they believe fundamentally in the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, and that it was His death on the cross that offered the path of redemption to humanity. They do in fact hold to the New Testament, and believe that only through Christ will someone be saved and enter into the kingdom of Heaven.

Sounds pretty Christian to me. In my experience, the RLDS church has generally been a pretty nice bunch of Christians, very open and welcoming. My experiences with them as a teen were very positive.

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