Letter to the Editor

Widest embrace better than dogma

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

To the editor:

God exists, say June Seabaugh and Warren Jordan, whether you believe in him or not. But you better believe in him (and, says Jordan, not live in New Orleans) because God remands unbelievers to Satan (after his hurricane kills them) unless, according to Seabaugh, you "have God up your sleeve" through a profession of belief in Jesus. Which means Jesus won't save you whether you believe it or not as well?

Regardless (and despite Seabaugh-Warren-style wrathful God preachments), you can also say that God does not exist whether you believe in him or not, because belief by definition stands outside of proof. If you can prove it, you don't need to believe it. And good news for true believers: If you believe it, you don't need to provide any evidence for it at all.

Consider the counter-testimony of a famous saintly guy, Benedict Groeschel: professing Christianity is not an automatic buy in to rewards in the afterlife any more than not professing means automatic punishment in the afterlife. Like us (damned?) Buddhists, Groeschel isn't much concerned with afterlife issues. For him, what Christians do with the now-life is key. Christianity, then, is not a privilege but a burden, symbolized by the cross, to forgive, work for justice for the poor and forgotten and make and maintain peace in the world.

With the world hurting so, this style of widest-embrace-beyond-Christianity ecumenism offers humanity much, much more than dogmatic and sectarian condemnations.

ROB DILLON, Cape Girardeau