Letters to the Editor

Feedback: Bigotry not tied to religion

Mr. Bruner’s letter (Dec. 18, “Bigotry still going strong”) I found rife with anti-Christian bigotry. Beginning with a pot shot at creationists, Mr. Bruner writes, “most readers of anything but Christian literature” believe people were in North America about 9,000 years before “today’s creationists” believe the Earth existed.

I am a creationist, and I read a variety of materials, including Christian literature. I happen to believe that humanity was on the earth longer than some of my creationist friends based primarily on a comprehensive study of the biblical book of Genesis. Not all Christians are lock-step in their thinking, and Bible study will sometimes lead to differing interpretations. Perhaps it’s the lack of reading Christian material, such as the Bible, that allow folks like Mr. Bruner to assume they know what Christians and creationists think. Where is it that Mr. Bruner is getting his information about what “all” Christians think?

Secondly, Mr. Bruner goes on to equate religion and bigotry, by stating that the Pilgrims came here for the religious reason of practicing their bigotry without interference. I have found in my personal experience that there are just as many non-religious bigots as there are religious ones. Mr. Bruner goes on to display his anti-Christian bigotry by making them responsible for slaughtering North American natives, spreading venereal disease and plagues, confiscating and polluting land, decimating the bison, burning witches, instituting Thanksgiving, owning slaves, being members of the Ku Klux Klan, interning Americans of foreign ancestry in World War II and converting American native survivors to Christianity by force.

First, you cannot convert people to Christianity by force. Christianity is a choice. Christians are those who have accepted Christ as their Savior, as the means of receiving forgiveness of their sins and making peace with the God, whom they have sinned against. Period. Religion is another matter, and there are religions, which by virtue of adopting Christian vocabulary and a spattering of biblical teaching, think of themselves as Christian, but may not be Christian at all in reality or scripturally.

Yet, all religions which have anything at all to do with Christ in their name or in their thought processes, are all secularly grouped under the title “Christianity.” Under that title, some denominations have done great injustices and many Christians fell under the sword of these “Christian denominations” also. And many Christians who had nothing to do with those injustices have been branded as guilty when they are innocent. I would suggest that rather than using the broad-brush term of “Christianity,” that folks be more specific. Where a denomination is at fault, name it. Don’t include every Christian who ever lived into a generalized group. That’s bigotry.

Lastly, Mr. Bruner asserts that Jesus was teaching a separation of church and state when he said “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” You can read the teaching in Matthew 22:15-22. Christ was being asked a trick question by the Pharisees in front of the Herodians, whether or not it was against God’s law to pay their taxes. They were hoping that Jesus would say “no, don’t pay your taxes,” so that they could have him arrested. Rather than separating church and state, Jesus answers that a person should be involved both politically and spiritually “rendering to Caesar the things that are his (your taxes), and rending to God the things that are His.” Christians are to live responsibly in both spheres of life, spiritual and political.

Clairann Haney

Oak Harbor

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