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Time to get along


Among religious fanatics, it’s a common ploy to misquote and misrepresent non-believers and create fabrications to be disputed. When I was young, science-deniers of the day insisted man wasn’t descended from apes, when no scientist had made that claim. Scott Kerr’s recent letter is another example. He calls atheism a theology and states secularism’s “foundational tenet” is atheism, when rational thinking, practiced long before Christianity’s invention, is its own guide, not a by-product of, or a reaction to, mythology.

He declares Christianity a state of absolutes dictated by a deity, but its guide is, allegedly, a book written by men, compiled by an emperor for political reasons, revised and translated since, and sometimes found inconsistent with other ancient texts. The King James Bible has 80 chapters, the Catholic 73, the Ethiopian Orthodox 81. More than 100 versions exist in English, all so indecipherable interpretation is a multi-billion dollar industry. The only absolute is a guarantee from the nearest pulpit that this book is the one true book.

Kerr criticizes human evolvement, but no enterprise has proven itself more adaptable than Christianity. Abolitionists risked their lives helping runaway slaves, Southern Baptists pursued those slaves, and both justified themselves with Scripture. MLK used his church as a vehicle for good. The Klan made theirs a house of hate.

Kerr’s most egregious, and ironic, fabrication is his claim that non-religious persons believe an individual has the right to unilaterally determine right and wrong, when Christianity has given us the Cathar Crusade, the Holy Land Crusades, the Inquisition, the Burning Times, centuries of anti-Semitism culminating in the Holocaust, the systemic molestation of millions of children by clergy, and played an integral part in colonizing and exterminating indigenous peoples around the globe. Kerr has his soapbox, but not the moral high ground.

In a few years, Christians will be a minority and, as such, deserve and possibly need constitutional protection. Rather than creating phantoms to defame them, rather than quixotic verbal jousts with self-invented villains, Mr. Kerr might contemplate how we can all get along in that not too distant future.

Lance Hames


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