Monday, July 25, 2005

Two Letters: The Bible, the Quran, America and Discrimination

My blog has moved!!! Please visit my new blog for all the newest news, events, opinions and more!!!
You will be automatically re-directed in three seconds. Click the link to go to the new blog now. Use the search function on the new blog to find any story you are looking for on here.

I read a letter to the editor in the July 19, 2005 issue of The Winston-Salem Journal and I just had to respond to it. Below you can read the original July 19th letter and my response which was published in the Journal today, July 25, 2005. "HERITAGE" July 19, 2005
We should not trash our heritage for the abyss of pluralism because the Muslims in Greensboro want to use the Quran and not the Bible in the courtroom ("Group requests that courtroom oaths cater to various faiths," July 7). The Bible has given the Muslims and others freedom in this country, whereas the Quran has not provided likewise to others in theirs. The Bible, with its high morals and absolutes of right and wrong, coupled with mercy, forgiveness, acceptance and a savior for eternal life, which brings consolation and coherence, has been America's historical foundation and source of common law. Without a high moral standard to lead, we are lost in the abyss of unknowns and searching instability. We can be proud to have had, connected to our common law, virtues of moral purity, faithfulness, trustworthiness, righteousness and justice. Maybe that is why in the 1776 North Carolina Constitution, only Christians were allowed to handle the affairs of the state. E.A. TIMM Walnut Cove
I found the July 19 letter "Heritage" to be very distasteful, arrogant, prejudiced and bigoted. The Bible is not what gave our nation's citizens the freedoms we all enjoy (and sometimes take for granted). Instead, the Bible has been used to discriminate against countless groups of people in our nation's history and it continues to be used to justify discriminating against certain groups of people because of their "sin." The Bible has been used to discriminate against Jews, Muslims and other non-Christians. People have also used the Bible (and also the holy name of God) to discriminate against blacks, women and people who are gay or lesbian. How righteous is it to own another human being, or hold your wife as inferior or discriminate against others just because they may be different from you? The Bible should be used to promote love, mercy, forgiveness and equality, but I guess our mortal, inferior minds will continue to use the name of God and his book to justify our own sins. I pray that God would have mercy on us all, for we have sinned against him by using his unending good to do nothing but evil. MATTHEW MORRELL HILL Winston-Salem
======= There have been other responses to the original July 19th letter published on the Opinion page of The Winston-Salem Journal. All of them, so far, have been in opposition to the original letter writer's position. One letter said something like (and this is not a direct quote), "The original North Carolina Constitution also gave voting rights only to white, privileged, land-owning males. I doubt that is the type of North Carolina we all want now." I did not have room in my letter to the editor to give a full response to the original letter. I wish I had. I see no problem, whatsoever, in allowing Muslims to use the Quran to take courtroom oaths. Why does it matter... won't they still be saying the same oath? The only thing that might change is the "so help me God" part and in that case only the word "God" would be changed to the Arab word for "God," which is "Allah." If there truly is a separation of Church and State in this country (which there is, although some people still don't realize it and even I have still have a problem reconciling God and Country) then why is there even a controversy over the Quran and its use in court? If Church and State are separate, then all religious people should be able to use their own holy texts and God(s) to take courtroom oaths. This whole debate is ridiculous. I wonder how much money the officials over in Guilford County will use in trying to keep Christianity above all other religions in our court system?