Embrace your faith

The author of Thursday’s guest column was unnecessarily critical of any religious views [“We need to leave religion behind,” Sept. 20]. He was lumping different religions together and focusing on the negative consequences in the world of people who may have taken their religious beliefs too far, and certainly do not represent the majority.

The author commented on how churches are “preaching condemnation to Hell,” but this is only half of the truth. If the author had actually been to one of the on-campus churches, he would know that while they may indeed believe in the “condemnation to Hell,” it is more of a last resort and something to avoid, not a place to tell people that they will go if they don’t totally change. The churches teach about love and life lessons, and how we can be saved and get a better life, and not have to face “condemnation to Hell.”

As for religious faith “not having the slightest bit of evidence to support them,” the Christian faith is supported by facts and history, overwhelmingly more so than any other religion. Archaeology, history and even science more often support than disprove the incidents and facts of this faith.

The author also says religious “dogmatic beliefs” are a large source of trouble in the world, but he is focusing on the worst cases rather than the many positive effects religions have had on the world. How useful, he says, is the fact that the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were acting on their religious beliefs? Those men were members of an extremist group that had distorted the views of their religion. Saying those men represent their faith is like saying the Ku Klux Klan is representative of the Christian faith, when they were instead an extreme faction, hardly resembling the original beliefs of that faith. And what about all of the good things that began because of religious beliefs, like serving missions, general caring for and helping others. Instead of looking at misled extremists to see a true representation of faith, look instead to people like Mother Theresa, for example – people who have taken the best ideals to heart instead of acting on misinterpreted ones.

People are not going to “escape dogmatic thinking” of religion; it isn’t something I personally see as something to try to escape. Religion is a belief, a foundation for people’s lives, and we believe in it very strongly. Religious people are not going to just give up their beliefs as “superstition” because other people say it is outdated, or extremists are causing trouble in the world in the name of religion. This instead gives people more reason to hold to their faith and beliefs, even if the “prejudice of our world” is against religion.

Jennifer Clark is a sophomore studying early childhood education. Send responses to her column to [email protected]