Advertisement

Letters to the Editor

Religious lines

March 8, 2012

Advertisement

To the editor:

This world has a heavy surplus of Muslims, Christians and Jews who feel that their particular faith has an exclusive franchise on heaven. That of itself is not a problem as long as it remains as an element of faith.

The difficulty comes when faith becomes a ruling guide in government such as I am now witnessing within my Republican Party, where God has been telling all too many men that they are destined to run for president where they can bring their strong morals to rule us into becoming a better people. Religion is a toxic contaminant within government just as government is a toxic contaminant within religion. Freedom of religion and separation of government and religion are the hallmarks of the better world which we all should be seeking.

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

"This world has a heavy surplus of Muslims, Christians and Jews who feel that their particular faith has an exclusive franchise on heaven."

The first line of this letter to the editor makes it crystal clear that the writer has absolutely no idea what he is talking about.

Jewish belief is that there may not be any life at all after this one, based upon the very few mentions of it in the Tanakh. And, those that might be there are there by inference, they are certainly not explicitly stated as they are in Christian and Muslim canon.

And, it is a very basic Jewish belief that Jews have absolutely no special status at all in the life to come, if there is one.

Therefore, it is not necessary to read beyond the first sentence of this letter to the editor to close the page, knowing full well that since the writer made such a basic mistake in the first sentence, there is no need to read any further.

0

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

The first statement made is usually the first premise. Did you ever take a class in Logic?

0

Greg Cooper 2 years, 6 months ago

Ron, you can explain the Jewish faith til you turn blue, but the writer's basic assumption is very difficult to refute: there are too many of many faiths who try too hard to bring too much of their "religion" into politics.

The Jews of Israel are just as guilty in their inability to compromise as are the Christians who began the whole slavery thing in the United States, or the Muslims who go to such extraordinary lengths to eradicate the "devils" they perceive as being against them. The Brownback administratiopn is just as guilty, delving as it does so deeply into personal matters that have nothing to do with "limited government", jobs creation, or much that really matters to the ability of the citizens to follow a productive life.

You can argue forever (and I'm sure you will) about Jewish tenets, but the fact remains: Judaism often attempts to override other political systems when simple compromise would suffice.

The political climate of this nation, as well as that of countless others, is being driven by religious considerations at the cost of larger, more intrusive government.

The people will generally get along fine with their lives so long as the government sticks to its purpose: protection of its citizens from outside and inside harm. Protection from the citizens making the grave mistake of not believing in the religious "values" of the government is not, and should not be, a function of government. As well, religion taking on the functions of government should never happen, either.

The writer's premise is quite logical. Your response, as far as it goes is logical. Just try, Ron, not to be so defensive when what is said really is true, even though it may not be true of your particular sphere of "religious belief". Not everyone, or every government, is so logical as you.

0

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

Some Jews believe in an afterlife, others don't.

And, they certainly believe they're the "chosen people", which elevates them to a status above others.

The main point stands, even if the writer didn't state it as elegantly as he might have done.

0

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

The "chosen people" status of the Jews is twofold.

One is that they were charged with the responsibility of keeping the Tanakh for the use of future generations.

The other is that they are to be examples of morality for other nations.

Although, many Jews do not take the Yoke of the Commandments very seriously.

0

Abdu Omar 2 years, 6 months ago

It stands to reason that Jews would not believe in the hereafter as Muslims and Christians proclaim because their actions in the Middle East belie the fact that they would be judged. They do what is best for themselves at the peril of others, after all, they are the chosen people. Have you ever contemplated what that means (being the chosen people)? It means that God, in His infinite wisdom chooses Jews to receive the guidance from the Prophets because they need it.

0

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Painting with an awfully wide brush there, wounded. Would you like Muslims to be put into one large group and then judged by the actions Osama Bin Laden? Jews, like Muslims and Christians come in all shapes and sizes. Judge each by his/her actions. Lest you be judged as you are judging.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"Would you like Muslims to be put into one large group and then judged by the actions Osama Bin Laden?"

They probably don't like it--not even when you do it.

0

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

I have never done that and for you to say that is a gross lie, a new low, even for your already low standards. Shame on you, Bozo. Shame.

0

Abdu Omar 2 years, 6 months ago

That has been my mantle for a long time. A lot of people (adjectives not used) believe that Islam teaches terrorism, murder and heinous crimes. It does not. Those who perpetrated such crimes went against Islamic principle and cannot be called Islamists (whatever that means) or Islamic Terrorists. That is clearly an oximoron. You cannot be both. So they are terrorists, period. But the media, mostly controlled by a few, continue the diatribe against Muslims by calling terrorists-Islamic Terrorists.

The Qur'an clearly states that the Chosen Jews were chosen because they do not follow the right path; belief in God, the last day and the hereafter. So, God sent them prophets to lead them to the right path. Instead of following them, they killed them, ie John the Baptist, Jesus and Jonah.

0

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

"God, in His infinite wisdom chooses Jews to receive the guidance from the Prophets because they need it."

Jewish prophecy ended with Malachi, about a thousand years before the Koran was written.

Where does Mohammed fit into that?

0

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

If Jordan would remove itself from 77% of Palestine, the situation would be infinitely improved.

0

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

There is another thing that is totally left out of wounded_soldier's posting. And that is the fact that most Jews in the United States follow the Reform Movement, the followers of which are not considered to be Jewish at all as far as immigration to Israel is concerned. No Reform Jew is eligible to immigrate to Israel, because the other Jewish denominations do not consider them to be really true Jews at all. And, most Jews in the United States are Reform Jews.

In Israel, Reform Jews are in the minority. While they have the same civil rights as Arab Muslims and Christians, that is, they can worship freely, vote in elections, and own property, they aren't considered to be quite the same.

What would be really shocking to the Muslims in almost all Arab countries, if their leaders allowed them to know the facts, is that the Muslims in Israel have a much higher standard of living and they also have civil rights that are unthinkable in almost all of the Arab countries.

That is a very big secret that is hidden from them by their kings and dictators. It is an unfortunate but true fact that while the Koran specifies many things, at no point does it specify exactly what type of government should be in place in Muslim countries.

But, what's a few facts when propaganda is concerned?

0

Abdu Omar 2 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, Ron, but it does. You see the concept of a "Mujlis Ashura" which is like the Senate in the American government (which is rule by the people) occurred in the 7th Century. When Prophet Muhammad died, they elected a leader to continue in his role of leading the people. This is clearly described in the Qur'an.

In the 9th Century, those who opposed Abu Bakr's election started a political movement as they believed that God wanted a member of Muhammad's family to rule, not his closest companion. This "people of the house" or "the family of the Prophet" concept is followed today by those who still oppose Abu Bakr's election. Those who protested that election are called Shiites or Aliways. The latter controls Syria and are members of the Baath Party there.

0

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, the churches only give money and assistance to poor people and people in places where disasters have occurred, and not to everyone in general.

If you are in a truly bad way, ask a church for help, and you are most likely to get it very quickly.

As opposed to FEMA and the Red Cross, which quite a while to assist you.

0

Corey Williams 2 years, 6 months ago

That's funny. Quite a few apartment fires in Johnson County lately, and at 5am, the news I heard mentioned that the red cross was there assisting residents with food, clothing and shelter. Didn't hear anything about churches.

0

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 6 months ago

If the tax exempt status of churches was eliminated the Churchies would have to pay for their own "lifestyle choices" for once, rather than have it subsidized by others.

0

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

Then, property, federal, state, and sales taxes will need to be signifantly raised, and the emergency government services such as FEMA and the Red Cross are going to have to get their act together, and start handing out assistance within 24 hours of a natural disaster, with no exceptions.

What in the hell was wrong with FEMA and the Red Cross when Katrina and the tornado hit Joplin?

Something was really, really wrong, and before your suggestion can be taken seriously, those organizations will need to have their budgets vastly increased, and their response time cut to less than 24 hours.

0

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 6 months ago

I'm not following you. What do FEMA/Red Cross have to do with the tax exempt status of churches? Surely you're not suggesting that the primary role of organized religion today is to selflessly assist others in need? Sending truckloads of bibles to disaster victims doesn't quite count. Nor does focusing legislation compelling others to adhere to your particular sect's beliefs.

0

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

Pastor_Bedtime said: "What do FEMA/Red Cross have to do with the tax exempt status of churches?"

They help people in need, the people in Haiti are only one example. If they were to have to pay taxes, not only would that be double taxation in that the donations would already have been taxed, but it would cut significantly into the money available to help those in need.

"Surely you're not suggesting that the primary role of organized religion today is to selflessly assist others in need?"

I am not suggesting that, I am pointing it out. Look up the meaning of "tzedakah".

0

Abdu Omar 2 years, 6 months ago

That same word "tzedakah" is also the word "seddakah" in arabic which means charity.

0

deec 2 years, 6 months ago

When my house burned down, the Red Cross was there before the fire was out. I never did get any help from a church or the government.

0

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

In some places, such as the U.S., the Red Cross is very active. That is not the case in Haiti and other developing nations.

And, what exactly went wrong after hurricane Katrina? The Red Cross was rather slow to arrive there.

0

deec 2 years, 6 months ago

"I mean, they moved quickly. They were faster than the Federal Emergency Management Agency in getting down there, and they have great compassion for the people they help, but they're only as good as their management systems are at this point.

They're only as good as their worst chapter down in the Gulf states; they're only as good as their volunteers down in the Gulf states are, and we saw tremendous weaknesses in the organization that have been years in the making come to the fore in the days and weeks after Katrina.

MARGARET WARNER: All right. But now the Red Cross says, as you said, we got down there first. We were prevented from getting into New Orleans by the blocked roads. What is it that they really failed to do?

PAUL LIGHT: You know, I was so positive about the Red Cross in the first few days after Katrina. They were very fast down to the Gulf, as you say. They moved quickly to set up their tents and their shelters." http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/july-dec05/redcross_12-14.html

0

KayCee 2 years, 6 months ago

" pay for their own "lifestyle choices" What does tax exempt have to do with 'life style'? Eliminate tax exempt and government would raise taxes to cover the extra cost of supporting those conditions now funded by churches and other charities.

Ron, we all know that government moves slooow on disasters. Churches and other groups hear of a tragic happening, call their supporters, pack supplies, and GO.

0

Pastor_Bedtime 2 years, 6 months ago

"Lifestyle choices" is in response to the recent hue and cry about birth control.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

Eliminating the automatic tax-exempt status for churches doesn't mean that any work they and their members do that's actual charity work couldn't be tax-deductible.

But their multimedia entertainment complexes that are nothing but mega-shrines to themselves should not be tax exempt.

0

Ragingbear 2 years, 6 months ago

You know, there are many societies on Earth that are modeled after the Republican plan. Religion being the ultimate rule, virtually no rights for women or children, stripped down education, no gun control. It's called the Middle East. Most Americans just don't realize that because we think that our God can beat up their God.

0

Liberty275 2 years, 6 months ago

Communism is just socialism with no religion and with a fence to keep people in. How many humans has communism killed regardless of their age or sex? Lots.

And let's not forget about The National Socialists. They had a final solution for the 1%ers that were controlling industry across the pond in the 30s.

You leftists should embrace your socialist aspirations. Maybe you can find another stalin, mao or pot to cleanse your world of the people that don't think the way you want.

As for gods, they are merely a shield against the horror of nihilism. I can't really find fault with people that need an empty promise to go on living.

0

Enlightenment 2 years, 6 months ago

I agree, religion should not be a ruling factor in our government. Unfortunately, it is ever present in our state and national government.

Those who are divinely guided are usually divinely wrong.

0

Enlightenment 2 years, 6 months ago

Even though religion should not be the deciding factor in government rulings, the nation does benefit from religious organizations via the distribution of goods and services to those in need. Lots of programs are government funded and operated by religious groups. However, I do find it very off-putting when the service providers preach and look to convert recipients to their religion.

“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said "Let us pray." We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” ― Desmond Tutu

0

David Reynolds 2 years, 6 months ago

Howard, please send your letter to President Obama.

0

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

"Religion is a toxic contaminant within government just as government is a toxic contaminant within religion. Freedom of religion and separation of government and religion are the hallmarks of the better world which we all should be seeking."

Amen! (Definition: used to express solemn ratification or hearty approval)

0

Armored_One 2 years, 6 months ago

What the [beep] is wrong with you people?

Debating the differences between two religions, when the overall concept of the original letter is trampled in the rush to show who's smarter than everyone else.

Can you all please call a halt to urinary olympics and actually keep on topic?

Why the [beep] does we need to have religion in our politics in the first place? Brownback's frequent attempts to shove it down everyone's throat seems to be a punchline these days, other than the actual dire warning that is apparent to everyone NOT interested in measuring one's unit against everyone else's. He's not the only putz that is getting away with it.

How many support beams can be removed from a building before it collapses? How many are you folks going to let them jerk out while you squabble over who knows more words than others?

0

pace 2 years, 6 months ago

churches and church property should be taxed,

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

Agree-- I'll repost what I said above.

Eliminating the automatic tax-exempt status for churches doesn't mean that any work they and their members do that's actual charity work couldn't be tax-deductible.

But their multimedia entertainment complexes that are nothing but mega-shrines to themselves should not be tax exempt.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.