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Letters to editor

Common sense, education before ‘faith’

By From page A8 | February 04, 2013

Two opinions are thought-provoking, one by Lloyd Willmschen (Jan. 27, “What’s wrong with the American system?”), another by Harry Short (Jan. 27, “Organized religion? No gods for this guy”).

In theory, I agree with Short in that Mother Nature created this universe, and that organized religion should be taxed like any other business.

Willmschen’s opinion is that the absence of organized religion in our lives, including the lack of prayer in our public schools, are the chief causes for our current ills: gang warfare, gays, etc.

I recall being told to “pray” in school, so many years ago, something we were told to utter. We had no choice. The words after a while lost their meaning; something we learned through rehearsal and repeating and repeating, sorta like learning our multiplication tables. We were further taught that anyone who didn’t have the same religious belief as our educators were the bad people; plus we were instructed in all the other religious myths that enthralled our youthful imagination.

As we grow, and, if we become truly curious for truth, we may observe that organized religion, too often, is a call to arms. Like the plague of today’s organized gangs that kill those in opposition, so too, through the past centuries, has organized religion killed those in opposition. A study of beginnings of various religious organizations: their orignal goals and ideals seem to dictate that most have simply deteriorated into competitive business with less attention to those original goals and ideals.

True, we all need something kinder and gentler to believe in, to lean on, in what is often a frustrating and in the extreme brutal society. While I have arrived at my own life’s beliefs, I am unable to criticize the “extreme” and almost “hypnotic” religious faith of others because the latter is an unreachable area.

It is also an unquestioning and serene state of mind that may tempt an agnostic like myself, but doesn’t. I have existed barely 80 years in a universe billions of years old and though ignorant of the “absolute truth,” I rely on common sense and my continuing education to direct me.

Cliff Benson

Fairfield

Letter to the Editor

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Discussion | 5 comments

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  • Reverend JesusFebruary 04, 2013 - 3:18 am

    To Cliff Benson. All of your knowledge brings us closer to our ignorance. Education is a more sophisticated way to do evil. You are an educated fool. God bless you.

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  • pornacFebruary 04, 2013 - 9:59 am

    Education and knowledge bad. Guess we can go back to the day when humans where lucky to live to thirty and most babies died. Maybe that's the way of god.

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 04, 2013 - 6:02 am

    Great letter Cliff and nicely stated. After existing "barely 80 years," you have earned the right to express yourself through your experiences and the wisdom gained by them.

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  • VallejoanFebruary 04, 2013 - 7:57 am

    "the absence of organized religion in our lives...[is] the chief causes for our current ills..." While I respect Willmschen's right to his opinion, I think he doesn't quite have it right. There is a huge difference between "religious belief" and "organized religion" as well illustrated by Benson's tale of rote prayer. Also, religious belief is not required for one to have a moral compass, although for many people it helps. I would say that the absence of a strong moral compass in our society is a huge part of the problem. In our attempt to embrace segments of society that were once discriminated against (such as former criminals, illegitimate children and homosexuals, for example) we threw out all morality instead of just the parts that were based on a particular religious belief, and replaced it with "anything goes" and "if it feels good, do it." Not to mention that there are also other causes for society's ills. It's tempting to look for one cause (and therefore one fix) to society's problems, but life is rarely that simple.

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  • cliff bensonFebruary 04, 2013 - 5:32 pm

    VALLEJOAN..Nice response. Morality does not require a pulpit

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