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No black and white in religion

Dear Editor:I write in response to an article about Kenneth Ham and resulting letters from Rev. Chuck Cram and most recently Keith Gardner (Aspen Times, March 21).To me the creditability of anyone that believes that the earth is only 6,000 years old is nonexistent. Any discussion or arguments from such a source are suspect. I believe in the natural laws of the universe. I believe in modern science. I believe in fossils and carbon dating. I therefore believe the earth is billions of years old, not 6,000. I do concede that modern science does not hold all the answers. For me, my spirituality must however be consistent with natural law. I also hold that my belief and understanding of God does not make God as I believe him/her to be. Nor, I hold, does any person’s understanding and belief of God define what God is. Since man has become self aware, he (male pronoun implies female as well) sought an understanding of who he is, how he got here, how the earth came about and what is the meaning of life. Every culture whose history has survived has a creation myth.Myths are epic stories. They help to understand. They represent man’s understanding of his world at the time the epic started. We in the western civilization do not believe in the Greek myths anymore. They have lost their validity as seen through the lens of our collective knowledge at this time. This does not mean that at one time they were not meaningful to the Greeks. At that time, their myths helped them understand who they were, where they came from and what their values were. The Greek three-tiered universe still survives: God in heaven, man on earth and hell below. For me, the “father who art in heaven” has lost its meaning. My God is everywhere. I believe in a pantheistic God. There is no place God is not. God is not in heaven; he/she is everywhere.Spong, Borg, Fox, Corssan and Pangels are all scholars that demystify exclusive theology. I must disagree with Mr. Gardner that, “Such Christians, I would suggest, contrary to the Rev. Cram’s claims, represent the mainstream of Christian thought, and have done so throughout the ages.”It is a fine line to hold one’s beliefs in inclusiveness and defending them at the expense of some other belief. One easily slips down the road that excludes the beliefs of others. I guess it is the very nature of this slippery road that has led to dogma, rigid thought and fundamentalism. I believe fundamentalism is black and white. We live in a Technicolor world. Black and white leads to wars like we are now in.But these are just my thoughts.Ward HauensteinAspen


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