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Mailbag

July 08, 2009

The Atheists United website’s frequently asked questions section includes this response to those who want to know if AU tries to “de-convert” religious people: “It’s far more desirable to promote the virtues of secularism, rationality, Humanistic ethics and tolerance as positive values applicable to all people rather than to attempt to diminish the beliefs of religious people.”

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. remarked in 1963, in part, when asked if he thought integration could only be started in the Christian church:

“We must face the fact that in America, the church is still the most segregated major institution in America. At 11 on Sunday morning when we stand and sing and Christ has no east or west, we stand at the most segregated hour in this nation. This is tragic. Nobody of honesty can overlook this. Now, I’m sure that if the church had taken a stronger stand all along, we wouldn’t have many of the problems that we have . . .”

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Father Vazken Movsesian’s response made me ashamed for not speaking out against the hateful remarks on Bill Handel’s show. I don’t listen to talk radio and only read of this issue in the paper. Of course, all thinking people should condemn the ignorant drivel. If a similar situation arises in the future, and, sadly, it is likely to happen, I’ll make time to respond.

SHARON WEISMAN

La Crescenta

Jesus was pacifist, not a gun freak

I hope that the Rev. Bryan Griem read Pastor Clifford L. “Skip” Lindeman’s entry in the Burbank Leader In Theory column of July 4 titled “Bearing arms in church.”

Backing up his belief with scripture, Lindeman reminded us that Jesus was a pacifist.

I suggest that the “thwarting evil” movie scene that Griem refers to is a quick fix, not a long-term solution to the problem of people’s misuse of guns. Fighting violence with violence does not defeat violence. Misuse of guns is a symptom of human sin, not the cure.

I am offended by Griem’s parting pun. To take the sacred words, “Peace be with you,” and turn them into a joke that contradicts Christ’s message of peace is a miscarriage of thought and language.

May we all rise to a higher level of thought, prayer, and action to solve the challenges we face.

JEANNE LAVIERI

La Crescenta


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