Debate on religion continues
Dear Editor:I found Mr. Marolt’s column (Aspen Times, March 25) shortsighted and wrong. If he were a person with the mental capabilities of seeing the big picture with impartiality (a quality we should, of course, expect of those who print their opinions for public consumption), then the title of his column would have read, “It’s no time to lay off organized religion.”I choked down his vanity, the self-deemed originality of the column’s thesis that he began with, and continued reading, aghast. Almost every point made was an attack on the things that I hold sacred, the things that have progressed society and man.For example, his first point, a feeble attempt to dismiss the idea that religion has bred wars, death and destruction, ends with, “Religion can’t take away our choices. Wicked people do these things.” Doubly wrong, Mr. Marolt. Religion inherently takes away choice: this is a point, however, I concede is debatable among zealots, so I will not press it further. However, his use of “wicked” suggests a reprehensible characteristic of religion. That is, religion divides reality into “good” and “bad,” when life is surely much richer. Wicked people, Mr. Marolt? Wicked not because of their religion, but because they are simply “wicked.” This undermines your previous statement about choice. It’s always convenient for religious nuts to attach a person’s “goodness” to religion, but when one is “wicked,” it is because they are not religious enough. It’s a win-win argument, devoid of reason, that I am tragically unable to compete with.Mr. Marolt cites his religion as something to fall back on when the “seas of life get rough,” but I suggest that, instead of accepting weakness, that life be a lesson in building passion-induced strengths, solid enough to steer one in the direction of their own choosing. Rather than lazily praying (“Please, God, make it better and I’ll be good!”), worship your soul and celebrate that which is original within.Mr. Marolt is quite right in saying that “organized religions … have survived because they continue to offer relief and hope.” A more accurate assessment would have been that organized religions have preyed off the frailties and weaknesses in man, keeping the weak down, while profiting those slightly more stalwart. It’s not an issue of “self-righteousness.” It’s only that religion has been a hindrance to everything great that man could be.The rampant religious fervor sweeping the country – melding church and state, putting those in power who are ripping apart every democratic principle this country was founded on simply for short-term political gain, undermining the potential for saving lives (stem-cell research) and science (evolution, for just one example) – has halted man’s progress and destroyed his soul. Indeed, now is no time to lay off organized religion. But, what am I to do? All the arguments I’ve made use reason, and in the mind of a zealot, that’s no argument at all.Andrew BisharatCarbondale
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