Dispute of the ages | AspenTimes.com

Dispute of the ages

Dear Editor: Mr. Richardson (letters, Aspen Times, March 28), I believe it is constructive and healthy to exchange thoughts in a respectful manner.Let me reflect on your statement that Jesus never mentions Adam or Eve in the New Testament. Christianity’s spiritual foundation is Judeo-Christian. The first part of the King James Version of the Bible is the Old Testament. This is where the creation story is found. Let us remember that Jesus was a Jew not a Christian. The religious paradigm of the first-century Jew is articulated in what we now call the Old Testament. I characterize the creation story as a myth rather that a parable. In an attempt to quell any misunderstanding I include my accepted definition of myth “a myth is a sacred story concerning the origins of the world or how the world and the creatures in it came to have their present form. The active beings in myths are generally gods and heroes. Myths take place before time, before history begins. In saying that a myth is a sacred narrative, what is meant is that a myth is believed to be true by people who attach religious or spiritual significance to it. Use of the term by scholars does not imply that the narrative is either true or false” (Wikipedia). You state that as any Christian you believe that God created the universe. I agree. To this I add that other spiritual faith traditions believe this to be true as well. I did not open the discussion of creationism and evolution. This topic was introduced in the Times article authored by Kenneth Ham. I am therefore bemused by your supposition that I have “traded one supposedly sacred, unassailable truth for another and the origin of species is your pony.” I do not know what truth you believe I have traded for. I am also in a quandary as to the meaning of the origin of species being my pony. No I do not think of my mode of thought as rigid and fundamentalist.I did not advance the “notion that religious belief is a gateway to war” this is your addition to the discourse. I did suggest that defending one’s beliefs is a slippery road. I did say, “I guess it is the very nature of this slippery road that has led to dogma, rigid thought and fundamentalism.” My point is that nontolerance of the beliefs of others does lead to wars.Finally sir, in response to your listing Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Japan as not being a spiritual bunch I submit this. Nazi Germany killed 6 million Jews. Do you think perhaps there is something of a religious undertone to that? Further, the Japanese followed Emperor Hirohito whom they believed was the direct descendant of their national god who protected their country. The Bushido or samurai code was adopted as the military doctrine of spiritual training. Kamikaze translates to “divine wind.” So I respectfully disagree with your portrayal that these countries were not religiously influenced.Ward Hauenstein Aspen

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