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Voice: Hey Ray Rose: hate can condemn one to hell

March 06, 2002

Mr. Ray Rose:

On Feb. 19 your letter was printed in this newspaper. Let me preface my response by saying that this country's foundation is a democracy, which ensures all voices have the right to be heard. A democracy does not mean, however, that each voice has value.

In many cases it is the ignorant voice that speaks up, as in your case. Your first point is the Clinton administration gave support to homosexuals, which then brought the wrath of God upon this country in the form of thousands of innocent lives being ripped from the earth Sept. 11.

Your line of thinking, I surmise, is this: God made the people of the nation suffer because of the national policy of supporting homosexuals. If this statement is true, would it not follow that the victims of the molestations by priests that recently came to light are themselves deserving of God's punishment? According to your fallacious reasoning, the molested persons indeed deserved being molested by priests.


Another morsel of erroneous thinking is imbedded in your first point: Mr. Rose, please remember a democracy is a form of government — not a branch of religion. You assume the Clinton administration violated Christian creed when religious beliefs should have nothing to do with governmental policy. We should be afraid when any state dictates or imposes a religious doctrine. Need I remind you this country was founded on religious freedom and lack of religious freedom is synonymous with the Taliban and like totalitarian regimes?

Incidentally, if you were born a non-Christian in this country or any other, you would still want freedom, wouldn't you? A simple twist of fate might have rendered a person born a non-Christian and no more the wiser or any more hell-bound for it. You say "Jesus Christ" over here and on the other side of God's world a person says the name of another prophet-turned-deity. You both are so sure it is you who is right and on God's side. Who is right? I suggest you adhere to yet a better Biblical quality: humility.

As to the rest of your letter: it is convenient to selectively quote the Bible for individual purposes and agendas. Adolph Hitler used the Bible and "God's will" to support his own purposes.

Any person can methodically exploit quotes and facts for his or her purpose. It is called selective knowledge. I strongly urge you to consider: first, that there are historical and linguistic problems in interpreting the Bible, not to mention the problem of interpreting it too literally as well as the blatant contradictions it contains. (This should not shake a person's faith in God but should encourage the idea of God as all-encompassing.)

Second, what about the other abominations listed in the Bible, such as not cutting one's hair and not cutting one's beard? There are restrictions on diet that only Jewish persons follow. What about the instruction to enslave virgins and kill their families?

The specifics in the Bible that pose problems for interpretation and practice go on and on. My point is there is a problem with how to live one's life exactly according to the Bible. Yet most people want a righteous guideline to follow. It seems to me the obvious route is to follow one idea and you will inevitably live a righteous life: "Love thy brother."

Most Christians are so concerned with being a good Christian that they neglect to be a good person. It is my firm understanding a person should live a good life without God or the Bible or even the government telling him or her to do so. If people cannot be moral on their own, what good are they?

God gave you the choice to be a good person — yeah, even a good Christian. So do it. Hate for homosexuals and others with whom you do not agree is the true "evil." Leave hate out of the formula for being a good person, or good Christian (which should be synonymous), lest your hate condemn yourself to hell.


El Centro

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