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Letters: ‘Dominant culture’ not a tenet of Christianity; Sunday worship turned into political tool; Moral decline a consequence of ‘othering’ | READER COMMENTARY

‘Dominant culture’ not a tenet of Christianity

I feel a need to respond to Chris Roemer’s recent opinion piece (”America being transferred into secular country with no unifying moral concept”), in which he laments the moral decline of society — a complaint folks have been making since Plato, and probably before.

With respect to his main complaint: Yes indeed, bad things are going on, and stupid people are doing dumb and destructive stuff all around us. But his fear seems to be that the “dominant culture” is shifting. And by the tone and substance of the article, I assume that means he is scared society is becoming less inclined to automatically privilege Christianity, and is becoming more willing to accept people who hold other beliefs, or no beliefs, and is growing more accepting of people who embrace different sexualities or gender roles, and those who behave in other surprising ways.

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It’s a needless fear. Sharing the country with people who don’t think like you do is 100 percent not a problem. And in this Easter season, it seems appropriate to point out that establishing a “dominant culture” is not a tenet of Christianity. In fact, domination is the opposite of Christ’s message, which is to serve, accept, and love.

Many of the changes in our society are a nice step forward, and not a failing or a decline. Embracing them will make us a stronger and happier people — although you might find them weird, and they may take a ton of getting used to. One important thing to remember is: Few people actually are threats, and when threatening people emerge, it often turns out that they are the exclusionary ones lamenting a loss of power or privilege, not the ones who just want to be allowed to be themselves and live in peace.

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Paul Bendel-Simso, Westminster

Sunday worship turned into political tool

Interesting, Chris Roemer, your comments in your recent column.

We raised our kids going to church most Sundays. Long after our kids had grown up and were on their own came the new pastor. He turned the church into his own political tool and we felt like we were attending a political rally and our donations should be taxed as a political interest group.

Not our, uh, progressive idea of the Bible’s teachings of Sunday Christian worship.

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I suspect from your figures, there are a lot of us who remain believing Christians without going to church because we believe women should have equal pay, not be ruled by men, should have the right to have a say over their bodies, including choosing  not not to allow an unwanted fetus to turn into an unwanted baby for whatever the reason, one of those reason being rape. Also, the pastor would not marry two of our dear friends, people who were very much in love and committed to the Christian vows of to death do us part, but were of the same biological sex.

In Christ we love all our brothers and sisters no matter what religion tradition they might follow or what race God created for them to be born into. We also love those who are atheists  or agnostic.

If you know of a church pastor who follows the teachings of Christ, please let me know. We will be sure to do everything we can to attend next Sunday morning’s service at that church because we sure do miss being refilled with the spirit of Christ, thank you very much. And, yes, most definitely, my brother, Happy Easter.

John D Witiak, Union Bridge

Moral decline a consequence of ‘othering’

Chris Roemer misses the good old days when “95% of Americans identified as Christian...” and bemoans society as “ever more secular (i.e. godless)” in his Saturday column.

Although it’s common for older folks to be nostalgic about the past, we humans are meant to grow and evolve over time. Haven’t we learned anything from the past, a history filled with atrocities committed against each other in the name of organized religion, including Christianity? These are still happening today. Any religious perspective that claims moral superiority, relying on a “majority and minority” framework, is by nature polarizing. Perhaps the moral decline perceived by Roemer is a consequence of all that self-righteous “othering.”

The essence of Jesus’ message, (as I was taught in Sunday School), “Love One Another”, preached in Roemer’s “small country church ... made up of unpretentious sincere believers”  is surely meant to include those outside its quaint walls. On this vast planet, there is plenty of room for diverse belief systems and “unifying moral concepts” that create space for understanding, respect, compassion, and love. Maybe embracing this path is our hope for achieving the “peace of God” that Roemer — and I —wish for us all.

Terry Greenberg, Manchester

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