Letters to the Editor

Where’s sanity?

May 4, 2008


To the editor:

So you might think it's crazy that the FLDS children are not allowed to look at the color red and not allowed to have children's books. And you think it is silly and superstitious that a girl born with two faces is worshipped from miles around as a Hindu Goddess (Journal-World April 9). And you probably think it's abusive and criminal to refuse medical treatment while relying only on prayer for a dying 11-year-old girl with diabetes. (After all, if prayer really works, why go to a doctor?) Yet, you don't think it is crazy or silly, or worse, to teach your children that they are inherently bad, "sinful," because some woman ate a piece of fruit, and that "believing" in a magic martyr "with all your heart" and eating his body and drinking his blood, every so often, will give you life after death, with winged angels, somewhere over the rainbow. No, that's not crazy or silly or untruthful indoctrination fed to children day after day. It's just "faith." And you gotta have faith' hmm.

Reason, reality, science and nonsuperstitious humanism are patiently waiting outside of the box.

Brenda Frei,


Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 9 years, 8 months ago

'And you gotta have faith" Whoa, had a George Michael moment.

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years, 8 months ago

The government schools in which Brenda was taught obviously didn't teach her how to effectively use paragraphs.

Jason Bailey 9 years, 8 months ago

There's so much here that is flawed -- where to start?I can use a broad brush of hyperbole and sarcasm to make evolution look just as foolish too. What Brenda has done here can be done to any thought process which requires a certain degree of faith or cannot be proven empirically. Sarcasm is the recourse of the weak-minded.Brenda needs to learn more about Christianity before she spews off too. Salvation does not come through "eating his body or drinking his blood every so often" -- it comes through belief only and a relationship with Christ.The original sin was not Eve -- it was Adam. And the original sin only demonstrates that we are inherently predisposed to evil thoughts, actions, etc. Who can debate that? Is there anyone who can say they never struggle with bad thoughts, words, actions? Ok, case closed.The Bible never mentions a Wizard of Oz ending (over the rainbow) so not sure why you're mentioning that -- oh yeah...I remember now: you have no logical, rationale points, Brenda, so you're spewing out sarcasm. I forgot.

libertarianjim 9 years, 8 months ago

Crazy in America is: Taking every child away from their mother based on her religious belief. Every citizen has the same rights unless of course your religion is FLDS. You or I may not have the same belief system as the FLDS, but to deny their rights is a dangerous precedent. If we allow the government to detain hundreds of citizens and separate families without evidence in each particular case based on one illegitimate tip, we are subverting our own rights as citizens.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 8 months ago

"I can use a broad brush of hyperbole and sarcasm to make evolution look just as foolish too. What Brenda has done here can be done to any thought process which requires a certain degree of faith or cannot be proven empirically."Well, sure you can be sarcastic and hyperbolic. But that wouldn't change the fact that the theory of evolution doesn't rely on faith. The theory is mutable with the discovery of new data and the development of better tools of analysis of all data. That's what makes it science. The same can't be said for your obvious Christian Faith."And the original sin only demonstrates that we are inherently predisposed to evil thoughts, actions, etc."Is this a design flaw?"Who can debate that?"Certainly no one as fixed in their faith as you are.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 8 months ago

". Data abound, computers manipulate the data into pseudo-knowledge. Wisdom has been lost."Even if your characterization is accurate, that knowledge is orders of magnitude less "pseudo" than any knowledge derived from religious faith.

BrianR 9 years, 8 months ago

I'm not sure I would've taken the apple from Eve. However, if she'd had bacon...

VoijaRisa 9 years, 8 months ago

Tom: You're quite right. Brenda was in fact an evangelical Christian growing up and even went on extended missions in her childhood. I dare say she doesn't know the bible extremely well.For someone that claims that Brenda makes sweeping generalizations, Jason sure does a lot of that himself. And what's more, instead of actually addressing the point of Brenda's piece, he picks out a few minor quibbles different sects have and whines about them.

pomegranate 9 years, 8 months ago

I would personaly like to invite all of you to visit my church, Lawrence Free Methodist. It is located on the corner of Lawrence Ave and 31st street. They preach and teach love, kindness sharing , giving, and Jesus' love for us all.They have the most wonderful children and youth program that I have ever seen at a church.Traditional service is 8:30am, contemporary is at 9:45am, and 11:00am. Sunday school is at 9:45.Please come and give us a look over.

devobrun 9 years, 8 months ago

"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? ". T.S. ElliotWe live in a world of massively increasing information. Data abound, computers manipulate the data into pseudo-knowledge. Wisdom has been lost. Its Brenda's world.You have faith, Brenda. Otherwise you wouldn't want to share your wisdom with us.

moo 9 years, 8 months ago

Brenda, thanks for making my day a little bit brighter. : ) I also get tired of religious people (who are welcome to be so, I have nothing against other people having faith, as long as I am equally free to have a lack of it) thinking they have a complete monopoly on love, kindness, and human decency. I know wonderful Christians and mean Christians, just as I know wonderful Atheists and mean Atheists.

Jason Bailey 9 years, 8 months ago

Imastinker: That was my "gripe" as well. If she's so neutral and a live and let live kinda gal, then why the letter? Why shove it down everyone's throat? All she did was emulate the evangelicals down to a "T" (that's the letter T, not a cross).I have nothing against atheists -- good for you that you're happy in life -- but I hope you're not wrong in the "faith" that you've chosen.. If I'm wrong, no foul -- I'm just dead.And I have investigated the major religions -- all of them in depth. I had my faith seriously shaken while attending KU many years ago. That sparked a journey in me to find out why I believe what I believe. I had nothing to say to a critic other than, "I just believe it's so!" After more than a decade of in-depth study and comparing manuscript evidence, archaeological evidence, science of statistical probabilities and prophesy, I have no doubt that Christianity is true.

Paul R Getto 9 years, 8 months ago

It appears to me all religions teach essentially the same things: 1. Be altruistic; 2. Be empathetic; 3. Be generous. We fail in these many times each day because we are "imperfect." Religion has done much good when these principles are followed. It has done much evil in the name of loving gods when they were not. I don't think mocking people's belief systems (or lack thereof) is useful or productive.

Brenda30Days 9 years, 8 months ago

Dear pomegranate (Continued):In addition to talking about love and kindness in your church, your church activities also include prayer, reading quotes from the Bible, and spending a lot of time talking about Jesus and God. Don't forget about all of that. You are apparently comfortable with that kind of talk and belief. If you visited other fellowships and were told that Muhammad flew to heaven on a winged horse, or that Mr. Smith loves you, or that Zoobie is the true God, you might not feel comfortable because you wouldn't think that was "true" and you might even think some of it a little weird. Mostly, that's because you didn't grow up learning Zoobie was the true God or that Mr. Smith was a divine dude. Let's suppose the Zoobie churchgoers and leaders talked about love and kindness in their services, but they did a lot of other things, too, that you weren't so cool with, you might decide not to waste hours attending. And most of all, you didn't go to Zoobie church because you wanted to be honest, because the backbone of their beliefs did not make any common sense and weren't even close to what you thought was true. Furthermore, you might even think that some of their beliefs are not only untrue, but actually unhealthy for a society. You might, then, decide to get your love and kindness in other ways than hanging out with the Zoobieites, or at least not go to the services when they are Zoobieiting. It shouldn't come as a surprise to you that many people don't think the Jesus/God stories are all true or healthy (no different than you not believing Zoobie stories).Have you ever really thought about your religious ideology? Not just the social relationships and beautiful music and feelings you get in church? Your comment said nothing about the points of the letter to the editor, nor your religious ideology. I have spent hundreds of hours over decades listening, taking notes, singing, etc. in United Methodist churches. How many hours have you ever spent knowingly dialoging with a nontheist? In my younger years, I witnessed and brought people to church as you are trying to do. Then I started to really think about the words and the meanings of what I believed. I started tuning in to common sense and not just to emotion. I'd be happy to share my journey with you or with a group of your friends. I welcome hearing your life story and would like to share mine. I bet we'll even feel like giving each other a kind hug afterward. My number is in the telephone book. Weekends would be better than weekdays. I wish you well. Sincerely, Brenda

ksdivakat 9 years, 8 months ago

I would just like to add, that the bible does say that no matter how long man has tried to disprove the stories of the bible, they have not yet been able, and that its still around, and always will be.Having said that, I attend the Mustard Seed, where anyone is welcome and we are accepting of all people.....God Bless all on this blog today!

moo 9 years, 8 months ago

Oh, and so far I'm pleasantly surprised by the lack of comments crying out about the extreme bigotry and discrimination Christians must face daily at the hands of cruel, intolerant liberals stroking their long, black mustaches.

libertarianjim 9 years, 8 months ago

TomPaine, I would just like to see the evidence that every parent was abusing each child. As of yet, I have not seen or heard anything except a little bit of targeted leaked information. The rounding up of citizens to include separating 400+ children from their parents without evidence based on religious beliefs is a very dangerous precedent, as I stated before. What isn't the government telling us? Your confidence in government morality is commendable! I don't share your confidence. I will withhold judgment until the facts are presented. I know I am in the minority with my opinion, but I will make a prediction. I predict when all is said and done the government will have overstepped its legal authority and will have apologists making excuses for their unconstitutional behavior.

pomegranate 9 years, 8 months ago

Brenda honey, All I did was invite everyone to my church. I did not preach to any of you, or try to tell you that any of your beliefs or disbeliefs were either right or wrong. Or that mine were the only way to go. And we are the Free Methodist not the United Methodist. And, I am sure that I would love to have dinner with you and your family. You are probably a very good cook, and your family sounds lovely.

imastinker 9 years, 8 months ago

What possible point could this person have other than to attempt to trivialize the beliefs of others? She makes no discussion that is related to public policy or anything other than marginalizing what others believe.Why does she care what others believe? Do Christians bother her?What a useless waste of space!

imastinker 9 years, 8 months ago

I don't like it when people do that either.This is worse than trying to convert someone though. While I have never tried to do that, at least those people have good intentions. Brenda's only intention was to criticize others beliefs.

Brenda30Days 9 years, 8 months ago

Dear pomegranate, This is Brenda Frei here. I want to extend a welcome invitation for you to join our family for a home-cooked meal in our Lawrence home. My husband and 4 children welcome you to our loving and kind home. Many Christians do not realize that many atheists are loving, honest, kind, responsible, and very happy people. We have loving and supportive social groups and many personal friends (some are religious and some aren't.) We express our love to friends and family directly, rather than through an organization that focuses on religious ideology. [Continued in next post due to length limits]

storm 9 years, 8 months ago

The letter states examples and then gives the conclusion - Reason, reality, science and nonsuperstitious humanism are patiently waiting outside of the box. This means people who somehow think a dead guy can still love (go figure, dead is dead) and wants you to come over and hear the spiel at their church, should realize there are other ways of thinking. Again, reason, reality, science and nonsuperstitious humanism are patiently waiting outside of the box.

Curious 9 years, 8 months ago

Is part of the lack of "faith" in what cannot be seen due to the fact that many don't have close communications with believing grandparents anymore? Maybe my dear departed elders were totally incorrect. But the quiet confidence they had in their Lord was palpable - influenced, not by parents any longer, but by the experiences of a long life. If I am half as full of peace as they were as I reach my final days, I will owe it to them and the faith they lived. A faith as real as the morning sun.

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