Faith is not a crime

With one voice, world should condemn slaying of Christian aid workers

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All anyone in the media can talk about in the case of 10 aid workers slaughtered by the Taliban is what the aid workers were up to.

Were they spies? Or worse -- gasp! -- were they Christians proselytizing?

Even entertaining the question is acceding to the enemy's insidious slander against Americans and Christians.

Surviving aid workers have felt compelled to deny any Christian motives on the part of the murdered health-care workers in Afghanistan, six of whom were angels from America.

We have little doubt the medical volunteers were simply tending to people who desperately needed health care. But we say: What if they were missionaries? Is that a crime now?

Yes, in certain Muslim sections of the world.

To aid workers wherever you are in the world: We don't care what your motivation is, as long as you are helping others. But if you are doing it because of your Christian faith, you shouldn't be made to feel ashamed about it, or deny it three times before the cock crows.

In effect, radical Muslims want to criminalize the spreading of Christianity. Radical Muslims love to throw the word "martyr" around, claiming they can become one if they just kill enough infidels. What a perverted world view.

But truly, in the sight of God, it is people such as these aid workers who are martyrs -- especially if they were acting out their faith!

Those wearing their faith on their sleeves will be judged by their actions. Judge the Taliban's, and judge the aid workers' however you like. One set of actions is from another century, like the savages who perpetrated them.

Regardless of the motivations of those involved, the killing of aid workers may be the most heinous crime known to man. If one could harness the wind and the earth and the water, one could scarcely commit a more despicable or tragic act.

The enemy loves to point the finger to any American combat error as a war crime -- even as our enemies cower like clucking chickens behind their women and children and other innocents, baiting our forces to attack. Much of the world is prone to fall for the ploy, putting American forces on the defensive in world opinion -- while our enemy, with impunity, employs the scythe of 7th-century tactics.

Where's the world's condemnation for our enemy's many war crimes?

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grouse
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grouse 08/11/10 - 10:56 am
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I find it amusing that The
Unpublished

I find it amusing that The Chronicle used the the phrase, "angels from America" as "Angels in America" is a play about homosexuals and AIDS.

grouse
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grouse 08/11/10 - 10:57 am
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We don't allow Americans to
Unpublished

We don't allow Americans to travel to Cuba, why are we allowing them to travel to dangerous places like Afghanistan?

momster59
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momster59 08/11/10 - 10:58 am
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The taliban are cowards. I

The taliban are cowards. I believe the missionaries knew the risks they were taking and went anyway. However, the taliban lined them up, and shot unarmed men and women. Remember, they shot all but one of the Muslims that were with the group and the lone survivor says he does not know why. I believe it is because they wanted a witness to tell the world of their ruthless violence against those who do not follow their extremist ideology.

chascush
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chascush 08/11/10 - 10:58 am
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effete lib, ‘why these

effete lib, ‘why these Christian medical missionaries would rather travel to non-Christian countries when their own U.S fellow citizens are crying out for medical help, you now know part of the answer....’
You are very poorly informed. No one in the US can be turned down for medical treatment even illegals. Just another bleeding liberal that don’t let facts get in their way. By the way, being ignorant does not equate to being ELITIST.

momster59
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momster59 08/11/10 - 10:59 am
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grouse - Ha! I didn't catch

grouse - Ha! I didn't catch that. Angels in America was a great movie, I didn't see the play.

chascush
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chascush 08/11/10 - 11:00 am
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Anyone that will defend those

Anyone that will defend those animals are no better than they are.

Pastor Dan White
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Pastor Dan White 08/11/10 - 11:03 am
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Heather Mercer, who along

Heather Mercer, who along with Dayna Curry was held captive by the Taliban for 105 days nine years ago, said the aid workers who were killed recently in Afghanistan were an example of what it means to love a forgotten people.

Indeed, Mercer did know Tom Little and Dan Terry, two of the men who were killed when a group of gunmen surrounded the team after they had trekked days in the mountains to provide medical care to Afghans living in a remote region.

"They were unwavering. They were not afraid to give their lives," Mercer said of Little and Terry. "Their hope was in Jesus. Their hope was in the promise of heaven. They could do what they did because their hope was in Jesus. I hope when my life is through that I can have lived the same way, wholeheartedly and fearlessly for the Gospel."

There are so, so few in the world that would do what they did, so few that would literally give their entire lives to serve in a place like Afghanistan," Mercer said of the aid workers. "They are heroes of the faith.

"Whether they were ever sharing the Gospel directly or if they were sharing indirectly, they were displaying who Christ is in a place that is desperately in need of the tangible witness of Christ," she said.

Mercer said she was moved by the news that five of the eight foreign aid workers in the group will be buried in Afghanistan.

"I think that's such a testimony of where their hearts were. These people weren't just foreigners serving in a foreign land. They were Afghans," she said. "These were foreigners who so loved the Afghan people that they became Afghan themselves. And even in their deaths, they will stay there. It's a picture of how much they have given their lives for these people."

The aid workers are a testimony for the Christian world of what it looks like to follow Christ to the world's hardest places, Mercer said, and she urged believers to pray for their families.

"They will be very missed, but we know that what they've done for the land of Afghanistan will not go unremembered," she said. "There will be an inheritance in that country because of what they've given their lives for."

Not a day goes by, Mercer said, that her experience as a Taliban captive doesn't cross her mind as inspiration to continue the work in the Middle East.

"I've often thought Afghanistan is the place that Jesus would live. If He were walking the earth today, I think Afghanistan would be the place that He would live," she said.

"I've been to about 50 countries, many of them in the Muslim world, and Afghanistan by far is the darkest place I have ever been. Those are the places that Jesus loves to move."

"There are amazing testimonies of people's lives being transformed by the person of Jesus and the power of God. A lot of people are experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus and He's appearing to them and people are following Him. So it's a very exciting yet a very dangerous and sobering time to be working in that part of the world," Mercer said.

Pastor Dan White
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Pastor Dan White 08/11/10 - 11:08 am
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The Gospel of the love of

The Gospel of the love of Christ for all people will continue on in this world even in "forgotten" places where these Christian martyrs served.

The Roman empire couldn't stop love under the atrocities committed against Christians by Domitian.

Hitler couldn't stop it in spite of his takeover of the German church. For there were pastors like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who willingly gave his life for the life of Christ for the sake of the persecuted Jews and Christians who dared disagree with Hitler.

The Taliban can't stop the love of Christ and neither can the vitriolic posters on this board stop it.

Love is stronger than hate.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 11:12 am
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chascush: the "facts" are

chascush: the "facts" are that every American who gets medical help gets it usually in a hospital emergency room or some other venue where the rest of us have to pay for it, either through our taxes or through increased insurance rates. On the other hand, the medical personnel at the free clinics work pro bono; there are just not enough of them. Volunteer medical missionaries also work pro bono; their basic living expenses are paid for by their charitable organizations. The costs to the rest of us exist only to the extent we choose to make contributions to the sponsoring charity. So chascush, don't lecture me about not letting facts get in the way. It is you, chascush, you are poorly informed, or disingenuous. I stand by every word in my post. Foreign medical missionaries should come home and donate their skills pro bono to America's medically needy. They won't, of course, for the reason I explained earlier.

chascush
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chascush 08/11/10 - 11:21 am
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effete lib, ‘Foreign medical

effete lib, ‘Foreign medical missionaries should come home and donate their skills pro bono to America's medically needy.’
I stand behind my post, ‘By the way, being ignorant does not equate to being ELITIST.’

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 11:30 am
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PastorDan: you can "gussy it

PastorDan: you can "gussy it up" with all the bleeding heart Christian talk about love and sacrifice you want. None of it will disguise the fact that
much of the passion they bring to their work is their belief in the superiority of Christianity. As I asserted earlier today, these missionaries may not proselytize by the sword, but in their zeal to convert the Afghans, the emotional and psychological violence they do cannot be denied or condoned. You obviously approve the statement about these missionaries that "they were displaying who Christ is in a place that is desperately in need of the tangible witness of Christ." Exactly, the latent message is, "Your religion cannot save you; we are the living and acting embodiments of the superiority of Christianity." Again, the quote you included unquestionably proves my point : "There are amazing testimonies of people's lives being transformed by the person of Jesus and the power of God. A lot of people are experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus and He's appearing to them and people are following Him." Don't try to pretend these conversions are not the goal of these medical missionaries. Their indictments come from their own mouths, not mine. At least the source of this last quote is not lying to cover up the truth.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 08/11/10 - 11:33 am
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dani Wednesday, Aug. 11 1:24

dani Wednesday, Aug. 11 1:24 AM My understanding is that the mosque is not intended for religious ceremonies only. There will be 15 floors and some will be used for "Charitable works". I think we are nuts to let this happen, the mayor has offered them other land, if they want to get along, they will com promise. Perhaps a zoning law??
We are being led down the primrose path, not by Muslim officials, but by our own radical left-wing who wants to convince the public that it is about religion alone.
Take off the blinders...please!
-----------------------------------
Say what? Many churches are built for more than just religious ceremonies. Many have playgrounds, schools, gyms, coffee shops, theaters, and the like. The 1st Ammendment is for all Americans not just Christians so what is the difference other than being hypocritcal?

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 11:33 am
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chascush: nice job of

chascush: nice job of responding to my actual points. And excuse me, but I have no idea what your last "By the way...." means. You are too clever by half, sir.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 08/11/10 - 11:42 am
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effete elitist liberal

effete elitist liberal Wednesday, Aug. 11 9:12 AM Yes, a distinction should be made between Islam's brutal, deadly methods and Christianity's subtle, conniving ones.
---------------------------
LOL! Study history.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 11:46 am
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PastorDan: The sort of

PastorDan: The sort of crusading Christian zeal, especially in its willingness (eagerness?) to be martyred, is the other side of the coin of the long world religious war we have been engaged in for over a decade already and will be engaged in for no one knows how long. First, I want to state categorically that I reject everything about radical, militant Islam, EVERYTHING. But what I also reject is the sort of attitude you reflect in you posts about the potential, and desirability, of Christianity spreading worldwide. When Christians go into basically Islamic countries with their superior attitudes (their "humility" is just part of the act), can you doubt that is exactly what sets off the radical Islamists, and even more significantly provides them with a powerful recruiting tool? Get real! You and your Christian apologists for sending Christian missions abroad contribute to the world war between Islam and Christianity just as much as those rabid Islamic radicals. J'ACCUSE!

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 08/11/10 - 11:48 am
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eel, please enlighten me sir.

eel, please enlighten me sir. It is your belief then, that anyone who is a Christian, and performs charitible works in any country, regardless of whether or not they try to prosthelytize, are then guilty of causing, in your words, "emotional and psychological violence."? Would you care to expound on that thought?

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 11:54 am
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baron: I did make that

baron: I did make that distinction, and it is a real one. I simply said the similarities are more important, and in the long run, more deadly. See my post to PastorDan above. As as for "studying history," I'm sure you read about the Crusades when European Christians brutally slaughtered Muslims (and others) in the name of Christ, and not in self-defense; they traveled hundreds of miles to the Levant to do their deeds. The murders committed by the Christian Crusaders is blood on the hands of Christianity. And just in the past few decades, recent history includes the facts that Christians in Ireland brutally murdered each other over whose version of Christianity was better. So, yes, I have read history, Mr. Smug.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 12:01 pm
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TheFed: Sir, I took you for

TheFed: Sir, I took you for your better. If you're not being ironic in your question, my response is that "whether or they proselytize or not" makes all the difference. If I could be convinced that medical aid workers who have voluntarily joined a self-professed Christian aid organization were actually capable of refraining completely from religious proselytizing, I would admire them completely and support their work. I just think it is very difficult for these individuals to compartmentalize their roles, nor do I believe in most case they really want to.

momster59
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momster59 08/11/10 - 12:01 pm
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EEL - I think baron agrees

EEL - I think baron agrees with you. He was pointing out the history to others. Hence the LOL.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 12:12 pm
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news bulletin! Completely

news bulletin! Completely off the topic, so no one need respond. Handel just conceded to Deal. In a rather long concession statement, guess whose name was conspicuously missing? Wonder if that was part of the deal?

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 12:15 pm
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momster59: we'll see....

momster59: we'll see....

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 08/11/10 - 12:28 pm
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Would it make any difference

Would it make any difference to you then, if the facts are that despite your beliefs to the contrary, these folks were NOT trying to proselytize, as it is forbidden by their charter and the grounds under which this agency has gained permission from the government? Here is their statement: Officials of the International Assistance Mission, a Christian-supported program that has operated in Afghanistan since 1966, rejected the claim and insisted the project was purely humanitarian, noting that government permission was secured (the Afghan government does not allow religious proselytizing in aid missions) and that its activities were always conducted with the approval of local communities. Yes eel, since 1966 this organization has been doing this kind of work in exactly the same area, accompanied by muslim guides, who would immediately report any effort to convert the locals. Besides, given that worldwide condemnation has fallen on the taliban, they would have already trotted out, "converts" by now, I would think, to support their, "prosthelytizing" claims. I think sir, that you are trying desperately to convince us that they brought this on themselves by performing overt religious acts, instead of accepting the widely held belief that their murders were simply the despicible acts of cowards. I find your disbelief to be somewhat amusing, given that you are usually so open minded, especially when you have no solid facts to back up your argument.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 12:30 pm
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TheFederalist: no, not closed

TheFederalist: no, not closed minded, just a realist. I know, and you do too, that despite "the rules," and statements made by the top officials of any organization, things out "in the field" often run quite differently. This is true of almost every large, far-flung organization. Do you believe BPs claims that their field personnel follow the very best safety precautions since they are "official company policy" and "Here, we'll even show them to you in writing"? I doubt it. In reality, neither you or I know how those medical missionaries behaved in the remote corners of Afghanistan, far, far away from any oversight or supervision. I doubt we will ever know for sure.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 12:32 pm
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TheFed: would you feel any

TheFed: would you feel any better if I said I was expressing "skepticism" rather than "disbelief"? I can go either way on this. I suppose it's the difference between being an atheist or agnostic on the question....

afadel
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afadel 08/11/10 - 12:36 pm
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There are a lot of side

There are a lot of side issues involved here, but at its root, surprisingly for me, I have to agree with the ACES. Killing unarmed medical relief personnel is a vicious crime which should be condemned universally.

This does not change my personal belief that we should withdraw our forces from Afghanistan and cease the drone attacks in Pakistan quickly. But this belief is not based on an illusion that the insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan are better than the corrupt and violent Afghanistani and Pakistani governments. I just don't think that increased violence will improve things, and I think there are better ways to use our resources.

TheFederalist
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TheFederalist 08/11/10 - 12:40 pm
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"Oh ye, of little faith".

"Oh ye, of little faith". Methinks the difference between a closed mind and a realist, is simply which side they tend to favor. Guess that since in your words, "I doubt we will ever know for sure.", then your opinion is just as valid as mine. However, I do find it interesting that you condemn so smugly, the intentions of those that do charitible works. Is it all religions, or just Christianity that you dislike?

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 01:18 pm
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TheFed: That's an easy one.

TheFed: That's an easy one. All.
I'm a Christopher Hitchens "God Is Not Great" kinda person....
To your riposte regarding the difference between a realist and a close-minded person: please consider my point about the kind of healthy skepticism one should have regarding the "official" statements of large organizations. I gave BP as an example. And if you want to hear from the rank and file of the medical missionary organization whose personnel were murdered in these vicious attacks, please refer to the quotations in PastorDan's earlier posts. White quotes Heather Mercer, another field worker who knew the missionaries who were murdered. Here, again, is what Heather said: "Whether they were ever sharing the Gospel directly or if they were sharing indirectly, they were displaying who Christ is in a place that is desperately in need of the tangible witness of Christ...."
And further: "There are amazing testimonies of people's lives being transformed by the person of Jesus and the power of God. A lot of people are experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus and He's appearing to them and people are following Him. So it's a very exciting yet a very dangerous and sobering time to be working in that part of the world...." These comments come from a missionary who knew those killed. Now tell me again I provide no proof that they were about the work of "saving souls." Tell me about my "closed mind." Despite the protestations of the top officials of their organization, those "in the field" apparently were proselytizing like crazy....

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 01:17 pm
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afadel: agreed. But what do

afadel: agreed. But what do you have to say about Christian missions, medical and otherwise, who go into largely Islamic countries and communicate the message that Christianity is a religion superior to theirs and that they need Christ, not Muhammad, in their lives? I contend this sort of behavior is extremely provocative, and while NOTHING justifies brutal murder, the victims, if they were proselytizing, were at the very least accessories before the fact....

justthefacts
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justthefacts 08/11/10 - 01:39 pm
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EEL, how are you? You've

EEL, how are you? You've really been busy on here lately. Without taking either side, I was wondering. You say that the missionaries were taking the position that Christianity is superior to their religion. Is it possible that they were just exposing their religion to the Afgans? Shouldn't those who have an interest in a higher being know of all the possibilities? I don't really know, but I don't think they were trying to force Christianity on these folks. Maybe just letting them know of other ideas and then let them decide.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/11/10 - 02:12 pm
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justthefacts: God question,

justthefacts: God question, and a tricky one to answer. Your question assumes, in my view, a manner of presenting the question (i.e. here is what Christianity is all about...why don't you think about how it compares to yours and make a reasoned choice) which I doubt is followed by Christian missionaries, medical or otherwise. I had an economics professor who once lectured about the options for cleaning up the atmosphere. He explained that the approach preferred in the status quo was government regulation, and he discussed the reasoning behind regulations. He said other policy makers were urging a reliance on market forces, and he explained their reasoning. He was, in your words,
"exposing" the reasoning behind a market approach for our consideration. He fairly presented these two options. If he favored either one, he never revealed it, and we students used to have lively discussions outside class about where our prof really stood. If this is anything like the "model" you suggest for what might have gone on in the far corners of Afghanistan, then I sincerely, and firmly, doubt it. Folks passionate about their religion rarely have the objectivity, the disinterestedness, which you imagine may have occurred. I have listened to many, many Christians discuss their religion in relation to other religions. I have NEVER heard anything like the objectivity, fairness, and balance you suggest. Every time I have heard a committed Christian talk about his / her beliefs, the message, either overt or latent, is "Christianity is the only TRUE religion." Can I prove all this? No, but relying on logic and experience, I of course believe I am correct in my suggestions.

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