Gathering from what we read in Scott Viau’s Feb. 12 column, “Are you there God? It’s me, Scott” we don’t belong together; we’re the proverbial oil-and-water mix. One of us is a devout evangelical Christian, the other is an apathetic agnostic. However, we do work very happily as a couple. What stood out to us in Viau’s article was the complete ignorance of common faith. Ignorance of faith, particularly contentious ones such as Islam, Christianity and Paganism, tends to breed intolerance and hate of what’s different. This ignorance is manifested in minorities of every belief system, including Muslims, Christians, Jews and yes, even Atheists.
The beautiful things about faith that Viau seems to miss, are the common acts of goodness, love and humility. We don’t remember Mother Theresa, who condemned abortion as a sin against nature, ever bombing abortion clinics. We do remember her world-wide charity for poverty relief that helped hundreds of thousands of orphans and widows in addition to her food aid.
In our personal lives, we both received Christian educations. Both of us were taught a theme of love and forgiveness, not just from God, but also toward thy neighbor as well. Do phrases like “love thy neighbor,” “do unto others as you would have done unto yourself” and “judge not, lest ye be judged” ring a bell to Viau? These values are observed by many people in diverse faiths throughout the world. An overwhelming number of missions are actively working to end global poverty and hunger, seek cures and treatments for horrible diseases, bring about peaceful solutions to violent conflicts and stand against flagrant human rights violations.
Tragically, atrocities have been committed in the name of faith, but they have been committed against people of faith as well. In very recent history, the Soviet Union, the first ever atheist government, abducted citizens who worshipped quietly in their homes, and hauled them off to the Gulag to be tortured and often murdered. Just over a year ago, a gunman opened fire on worshippers in two churches in Colorado because he hated religion.
Well meaning people can hold on to strong differences in belief and still respect each other. Viau, your editorial was not only misleading, but it manifested the same arrogance and ignorance that you proclaim to oppose. It was highly unprofessional and extremely disrespectful.
senior, political science
Why is it the people who shout the loudest about tolerance are the most intolerant people? In reference to the Feb. 12 opinion column, “Are you there God? It’s me Scott,” I think lashing out at those who don’t believe as you do is the definition of intolerance. Someone who is tolerant towards Christianity would not use words like, “slaves of the masses, swallow any tripe, or a fairy tale for adults,” to describe Christians and how they believe or practice their religion.
To say “crimes of hate and intolerance are not uncommon to those who blindly believe” is disingenuous. There are zealots and those that interpret the word of God differently or even wrongly in Christianity, as there are in other religions, but to sweep over an entire religion as “a mindless existence” is stereotyping an entire people from the actions of a few.
According to the opinion piece the Bible was written after Jesus died, therefore the Bible cannot be reliable. If I understand this point correctly, anything written after the fact cannot be reliable. This assertion is ridiculous. If it were true, there would never be a book based on any real life event because to write about an event, the writing would have to take place after the event.
I’m not sure why an opinion piece this venomous was published in a school newspaper, not because I’m intolerant of Viau’s opinion, but because of the language he used to describe Christians. Just because Christians are the majority in America, it should not be all right to refer to them in a derogatory way that would cause an uprising if another group would be referred to in a similar manner. I wish Viau would think about that the next time he wants to espouse tolerance. Maybe he should take his own advice and articulate his message in a “rational and reasonable” way, instead of name-calling.
senior, political science