Today’s letter-to-the-editor (it’s actually a column) appears in the Aitkin Independent Age of Aitkin, Minnesota (population 2,165). The title is Every belief system is a faith system, and the newspaper has a comments feature.
Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a preacher. It’s Dallas Kurt Smith, described as “associate pastor in Aitkin and Baxter.” We’ll give you a few excerpts from the rev’s column, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Okay, here we go:
I have heard from contrasting sources primarily two different belief systems. [Really?] As a child and teen, then young adult and middle-aged adult, and still today, these contrasting views exist. I believe one over the other for one reason, here’s why.
The rev is going to tell us why he believes one over the other. This should be interesting. He says:
I was born in 1954 and graduated from high school in 1972. During that time and beyond I have heard messages from science and the secular world. [Yuk!] Contrasting them I have heard messages from the Bible and Christian leaders. [Much better!] Sometimes these messages complement one another. An example of this is that science seems to prove that Christian people who are prayed for during an illness get better faster than those who are not prayed for. [Ah yes, prayers always work!] Much of the time however the messages from religious and secular sources are in conflict. [Gasp!] An example of this is how we humans originated, creation versus evolution.
Egad, evolution! But that’s not the only conflict between the secular world and religion. The rev tells us:
Other areas of conflict in the messages include the Christian message that says people most often make self-centered, self-serving choices. [Yes, people are sinful!] This is contrasted by the secular belief that says most people are basically good [Absurd!] and will do what is “right” and good when given the chance. … Without laws and law enforcement many would do what is right in their own eyes, which would be total anarchy resulting in death and destruction.
The rev is right. His list of religious and secular conflicts continues:
Another contrast, was while I was growing up, I was taught by science and secular sources that by the turn of the century, the year 2000, we would be experiencing global cold which was going to result in starvation because not enough crops would be able to be grown to feed everyone. I remember this well because I didn’t like the idea of starving, and, even though I live in Minnesota, I am not a fan of cold. Now science has completely changed course and is concerned with global heating. [Scientists are fools!] The message of the Christian teachers was and still is that God created and sustains the universe and when we are good stewards of the resources around us, God will provide.
This is quite a collection of secular blunders. He also talks about abortion and endangered species, but we’ll skip that because this is becoming tedious. The rev’s letter ends with this:
Every system is a faith system, including science. [Right!] Yes, science fills in gaps with faith [All the time!], so let’s be willing to try to understand one another and disagree without being disagreeable. I am following the Christian system because for me it is the most logical for life on earth and also for life after death. We’ll see you in church.
There’s a lot of wisdom in the rev’s column, dear reader. The people of Aitkin, Minnesota are fortunate to have such a brilliant preacher.
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