H. ADRIAN OSBORNE: There Are a Lot of Nonbelievers Out There -- Get Used to It
Have you ever heard of a Kludd?
He is the Protestant chaplain of a very religious group, the Ku Klux Klan. The clan describes him as a minister of the gospel of our Lord and Savior.
I find it very strange that the religion that supposedly supported lynching and terror was the very same one whose Christian ministers and laity laid their lives on the line to help achieve justice for black citizens. They did this without raising a fist. I believe that individual churches should be rated as to their malevolence as well as their benevolence. Pederast priests would certainly be in the malevolent column.
When it came to evaluating the church, some of our prominent forefathers were scathing. With limited space, I will quote only a few.
"Twenty times in the course of my late reading," John Adams wrote in a letter to Charles Cushing on Oct. 29, 1756, "I have been upon the point of breaking out. The world would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it."
In 1785 James Madison, in his "Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments," wrote: "During almost 15 centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places pride and indolence in the clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."
Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Alexander von Humboldt on Dec. 6, 1813, wrote: "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government."
Many others of our patriot forefathers also scorned the church. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, George Washington and Ethan Allen are only a few.
I've always been totally dismayed at the consequences of religious hatred. Throughout history, religious wars have produced havoc. We have to be ashamed because we never mention the words "religious war." We hide it. We refer to ethnic strife in Bosnia. That was not ethnic strife, it was Christians killing Muslims. At random, pick wars throughout history and you'll find religious genocide. The Albigensian war, 13th century: Christians killing heretics. The 30 Years' War in the 17th century: Christians and Muslims killing each other. Siege and massacre of 1099: Christians killing Jews and Moslems. And, of course, in Sudan today, we have Muslims killing Christians and others branded as heretics.
The strangest wars in history are when Christians conduct genocide against other Christians. For example, in Germany a few centuries ago, there were two churches, the Baptists and the Anabaptists. They disagreed on whether babies should be baptized at birth or later on when they were 18. The Baptists waged genocide. The poor Anabaptists either fled to Russia or to the United States. They are still here, as the Amish, still speaking German, and they don't baptize babies.
What is the key to stopping religious slaughters? As a starter, learn the meaning of respect.
While attending a church in rural South Carolina, I listened as a preacher demeaned the Episcopalians in town. While discussing the rapture, he indicated that the Episcopalians were already dead. He said the only thing alive in that church is the ivy on the walls.
Another example of disrespect is when you religiously mug non-Christian children in schools that don't belong to you. Here's a hint. If the school has Christian in the title, you may own it. You don't own a public school.
According to my world almanac, there are 46 million people in North America who do not believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Of the members of the National Science Foundation, 94 percent are atheists. These people are not going to go away. Learn to live with them.
Finally, how should we treat people of another faith? I learned that 70 years ago in Sunday School. Go to your Bible and read Luke 10:25-37 -- the parable of the Good Samaritan.
H. Adrian Osborne lives in Pinehurst and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.̔
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