Your Opinion: Responses to Boldt on Christianity

Dear Editor:

I recommend Bob Boldt get rid of his bigotry and learn that those of us who recite the Apostles Creed are not superstitious and not bent on world domination and that he should not blame the Christians for the condition of this nation. Sure there are historical examples of the misuse of religion but Christianity teaches love of neighbor, not oppression.

It is individuals who have abandoned Christianity or twisted it into an aberration for their own glory and power (Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and other atheistic despots) that you need to blame. Read history and you will find the destruction of the Roman Empire was not the work of Christianity. It was a combination of Roman decadence and the invasion of barbarians.

It was Christianity, largely through the contribution of Catholic monks, who preserved learning and science, and also converted the barbarians. The Catholic Church created the first universities and hospitals. The development of politics also has a lot to thank Christianity for. The teaching of Christ, in Matthew 22:21, is the origin of the separation of church and state. Not only does this separation prevent a theocratic state, but it also advances the concept that state power has a limit and must respect the conscience of each person.

Through its defense of human dignity Christianity provided the inspiration for campaigns to end slavery, achieve democracy and promote self-government, as well as the first attempts to formulate a doctrine of human rights.

Boldt points to the genocide of the Indians. The church was nearly the only voice raised on behalf of indigenous peoples. Missionaries did not seek only to (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Catholic_Church#cite_note-Dussel45-122) convert the Indians but provided schools, hospitals and taught better farming methods, and easier ways of weaving and making pottery.

Boldt tells us that religion is responsible for violence, oppression, poverty and many other ills. Granted not all people practice religion perfectly but in many cases religion is a force for good. Christians have stood up for democracy in countries such as the Philippines, South Korea and China. The Catholic Church is a powerful force for peace, freedom, justice and reconciliation.

There is much more that could be said about such matters as the efforts the church put into the establishment of a living wage and the right of workers to form trade unions (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_union), and in defending the right to life of unborn children and the terminally ill but surely you get my point Mr. Boldt.

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