Don't push your religion on others

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In response to the editorial A good-faith attempt to help" (Jan. 8), I think the author missed the contention of the "wacko left." The outrage over Brit Hume's statement was not just because he recommended Christianity to Tiger Woods, but that he claimed that Christianity was somehow superior to Buddhism and better at "forgiveness and redemption," which is preposterous.

As a nationally televised news anchor, Hume should not use his position to tell other people their religion isn't as good as his own. Such comments are proselytizing, ignorant and insulting. Try to take a moment here and imagine if Hume had, instead, said that Tiger should leave Christianity for Islam because it was a better faith. There would be just as much outrage from the very people defending Hume now.

But that's the point I'm trying to make: Religion is a personal issue that people should decide on their own, and then keep it to themselves because it elicits such strong opinions and emotions. You don't have a problem with Hume's comments because they jibe with your own. And that's another problem I find with the religious population in the United States.

There are a lot of Christians who feel persecuted for talking about their beliefs in public. The editorial displayed some of those feelings when the author asked, "How can there exist such virulent anti-Christian venom in a majority Christian nation?" There isn't "anti-Christian venom"; there is anti-proselytizing venom.

The rest of the country that doesn't believe in Christianity doesn't like being inundated with your beliefs all the time. And we are. It seems innocuous to you because, again, it jibes with your beliefs. But to everyone else, it's an issue we deal with every day, mostly quietly.

For example, Fox News has, on several occasions, had commentators and analysts who have denigrated other faiths without any outcry from people of the respective faiths. Take for example Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a guest on Fox News, who asks, "Where are the Baptist suicide bombers? Where are the Methodist marketplace massacre types? It's clear that the problem is Islam." Glenn Beck makes fun of the Hindu holy river in India, the Ganges, by claiming it "sounds like a disease." Another commenter suggests that every young Islamic male should be strip-searched.

These comments don't raise an eyebrow for you because you agree, and they don't elicit a response from critics because they are outnumbered. But they are malicious statements that promote stereotypes, ignorance and even hatred. And don't get me started on the types of uneducated, malicious "venom" evoked in people about atheism.

My advice to Hume, and request from everyone else, is to keep your religious preferences private, because the problem with "(sharing) the secret to salvation" is that no one knows for certain what the "secret" is. So don't act like you do.

Jackson Elam

Augusta

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constant reader
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constant reader 01/12/10 - 05:49 am
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Mr. Elam: Yes, yes, YES! I

Mr. Elam: Yes, yes, YES! I can't count the number of times one of my well-meaning Christian friends has said something so insulting it strikes me speechless. Christians are not persecuted in our society. If they think they are, they should walk a mile in my shoes.

HughDonnet
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HughDonnet 01/12/10 - 06:11 am
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Mr Elam, I don't suppose you

Mr Elam, I don't suppose you spent much time watching the "700 Club" or "PTL ministries" on TV, huh?

Dixieman
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Dixieman 01/12/10 - 06:21 am
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If you don't like

If you don't like proselytizing, all you have to do is say, "Thank you, but I consider my religion a personal and private matter." Like the off switch on your TV?

johnston.cliff
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johnston.cliff 01/12/10 - 06:43 am
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Mr Elam, I consider your LTE

Mr Elam, I consider your LTE to be insulting and force filled proselytizing. You should know better.

GGpap
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GGpap 01/12/10 - 06:50 am
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I believe the AC editors

I believe the AC editors assigned the caption for this letter so I will not address my comment to the author of this letter; BUT, I'd be glad to share my atheism with any of the folks out here that might agree with the caption. Having said this, Constant Reader has written and extremely intelligent response! I'll not detract from it any further. GGpap

GGpap
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GGpap 01/12/10 - 06:56 am
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And jackasses continue to

And jackasses continue to bray against the obvious. Great LTE Mr. Elam! It is way past time that folks of other faiths, or of no faith, BEGAN to complain (as opposed to waiting to respond) about the boorish and rude behavior exhibited by the christians among us. GGpap

GGpap
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GGpap 01/12/10 - 06:59 am
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I apologize for the post at

I apologize for the post at 5:50 that repeated my post on another string this morning. Can't delete or spell check any more---guess the AC folks are counting on-line posts (and corrections) to boost there reader circulation numbers.
GGpap

1941
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1941 01/12/10 - 06:59 am
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I agree one hundred percent

I agree one hundred percent with Mr Elam!!! Kepp it your self!!!

birds19
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birds19 01/12/10 - 07:21 am
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Mr. elam I am sorry you have

Mr. elam I am sorry you have been turned off to Christianity. We Christains have done a poor job of spread the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Our book, the Bible , tells us that we will be persecuted. For me to possess something as real and tangable as eternal life and keep it from others would be and is sinful in its self. God loves you no less or no more than me, he sent his son into this sin-sick world so that both of us could possess the Kingdom of Heaven here on this earth as well as after our death. The Bible tells us that all who claim to be Christains will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, there will be many folks carrying their bibles into Hell. Maybe these are the Christains you have been around. May God bless you with a true Christain friend. gtsam

nofanofobama
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nofanofobama 01/12/10 - 07:35 am
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we hear anti-christian

we hear anti-christian remarks every day in the press and in popular culture. so whats your beef???????? it was on an opinion section on an opinion show. Brit is an opinion maker. religion and faith is what you hang your hat on for the eternal questions of life. the writer of the LTE shows his true religion **so what **its in a opinion section of the paper. the examples the writer used disproved his point **not too many suicide baptist..but the real question is could you write this letter in a Muslim country?? i think not...

nofanofobama
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nofanofobama 01/12/10 - 07:35 am
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we hear anti-christian

we hear anti-christian remarks every day in the press and in popular culture. so whats your beef???????? it was on an opinion section on an opinion show. Brit is an opinion maker. religion and faith is what you hang your hat on for the eternal questions of life. the writer of the LTE shows his true religion **so what **its in a opinion section of the paper. the examples the writer used disproved his point **not too many suicide baptist..but the real question is could you write this letter in a Muslim country?? i think not...

crkgrdn
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crkgrdn 01/12/10 - 07:37 am
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Your teachers will want to

Your teachers will want to hide upon seeing the crudity of expression in this letter. Plenty of ranting and scattered citing from the chattering class, but little substance. Most obvious, your thesis is never empirically supported. I don't expect that you would like Buddhism either, whose central tenet is the suspension of desire.Buddhism understands that desire is the central problem for humanity. What is clear from this letter is that it is another attack on Christianity, that the writer, as do so many of his supporters, know nearly nothing.

Lorissa83
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Lorissa83 01/12/10 - 07:49 am
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I'm sure he had good

I'm sure he had good intentions on bringing up Christianity. I think he just said it in the wrong way. We Christians are supposed to share The Good News, but I think we get so wrapped up in being impatient that we tend to push our own thoughts onto people, therefore, turning them off to Jesus and God. I think the Christians that are like that, including myself, need to asking God what He wants us to say to get peole to come to the Lord, instead of what we want to say. It's Gods Spirit that draws people to Him, not us. Sometimes, we just push people farther away, as in this situation. I think you should give him a break. We all do and say wrong things. He meant well, I believe.

gnx
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gnx 01/12/10 - 08:03 am
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AMEN for this LTE. I don't

AMEN for this LTE. I don't look at this as "another attack on Christianity" and I am Christian. The writer brings up several valid points. Too often we see people purporting to be Christian doing exactly what Jesus wouldn't do - scorning those who are not of our faith and refusing to discuss our religious differences in an intelligent, civilized manner. Dixieman brings up a great response in the 5:21 post; however, after saying pretty much the same thing, I've been told on numerous occasions by proselytizers of a different Christian religion than my own that I would most likely wind up in hell because I didn't share their particular religious beliefs. Seems you just can't win for losing in some circles.

crackertroy
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crackertroy 01/12/10 - 08:32 am
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Mr. Elam, could it not be
Unpublished

Mr. Elam, could it not be argued that your comments are "proselytizing, ignorant and insulting" to those who don't agree with you?

reb007
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reb007 01/12/10 - 08:32 am
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We will all find out when

We will all find out when death comes calling.

confederate american
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confederate american 01/12/10 - 08:38 am
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1941-are you going to be a

1941-are you going to be a moron all your life,have you done anything for our country other than breath our free air.

grouse
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grouse 01/12/10 - 08:46 am
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I agree with the letter
Unpublished

I agree with the letter writer and in Matthew, Jesus says the same thing about wearing your religion on your sleeve.

drblatz
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drblatz 01/12/10 - 08:59 am
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An excellent article by Mr.

An excellent article by Mr. Elam, and I agree with him 100%. I am a Vietnam veteran.

Lorissa83
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Lorissa83 01/12/10 - 09:18 am
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I would like to add to my

I would like to add to my comment above. Even though I have written about my thoughts on the man that is being accused of sharing his faith, I do think that this writer is just as clueless as how to write/speak publicly as the man he is accusing of being ignorant and insulting. Mr. Elam, whoever you may be, you are insulting and ignorant, as well. Good day.

carcraft
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carcraft 01/12/10 - 09:42 am
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Hume should not use his

Hume should not use his position to tell other people their religion isn't as good as his own. Such comments are proselytizing, ignorant and insulting..Mr Elam, I suppose you consider religions that practice child sacrifice on an equal moral level as Christianty? Islam and it's long history of slavery and support of slavery, even today, is superior or equal to Christianity that ended slavery in the western hemisphere? The Christian missionaries that ministered to the untouchables and leprosy infected individuals in India are morally equivalent to the Bhudist that walked past them because the untouchables and leprosy infected people were living out thier karma? Not all religions and philosphies are morally equivalent and nuetral to each other and to assume so is to be blind to reality and history!!

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 01/12/10 - 09:48 am
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I don't get the general furor

I don't get the general furor of Brent Hume's comments. The only people he might have "offended" were Buddhists. But, I've yet to see a single Buddhist come forth and complain. Ironic, isn't it, that it is the atheists and anti-religionists who are so eager to take up this anti-Christian crusade for Buddhists. Why? Why argue so much about something you don't think exists in the first place? I'm not a golfer. If Hume had suggested that Tiger needed to use a Callaway 7-iron instead of a Ping, I would have ignored him. It would mean nothing to me. But, here we have non-Christians jumping all over Hume for speaking about something they couldn't care less about? The same folks who demand free speech and freedom of opinion/expression are the very ones who are castigating Hume for simply expressing his opinion. So you don't agree with Hume. That's fine. You have every right to disagree, and every right to put forth your opposing FACTS as to why Hume is wrong (not heard any yet). But, you really have no right to tell Hume he has no right to share his opinion. As atheists are quick to remind Christians: "If you don't like it. Change the channel. No one is forcing you to listen to Hume."

donna658
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donna658 01/12/10 - 09:52 am
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johnston.cliff is an idiot.

johnston.cliff is an idiot. tiger woods crapped all over his wife, they did not have a "fine" relationship. woods is scum. i don't care if he's bhuddist or christian. i'm jewish and i can't even count all the times that christians have tried to convince me jesus was the answer. i don't care what religion anyone is and if there is a heaven i don't think you have to believe in jesus to get in. does god discriminate? religion is supposed to be about love not hate. i judge people by their actions not their religion. you can spout off about jesus all day long but if you treat people or animals badly then you're a bad person and probably going to your version of hell.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 01/12/10 - 09:57 am
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So Donna judges people, and

So Donna judges people, and condemns them to "hell". OK. Who made Donna boss and judge? Where does Donna get her moral guidelines? Who or What sets the moral standards for society? Popular vote? See, folks who deny there's a God have a big problem when they start talking about judging and standards. Where do these standards come from. Without some standards, what is left is only opinion and, eventually, anarchy. Donna, where do you get your moral standards? If your Jewish, is it the Old Testament? If so, what gives you the right to impose your religious/moral standards on others? Aren't you doing exactly the same thing your complaining that others do?

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 01/12/10 - 09:59 am
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Sorry. "your" should be

Sorry. "your" should be "you're". I can no longer edit errors like this.

jb5365
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jb5365 01/12/10 - 10:01 am
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All those folks that claim to

All those folks that claim to talk to God and that He talks back are not being realistic. If it was your toaster instead they would put you in an insane asylum...

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 01/12/10 - 10:03 am
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If God audibly talks back,

If God audibly talks back, then you'd probably need some psychotropic medication. But, God has spoken and continues to speak to us in His written word. Of course, you have to open it to "hear" Him.

slippery 25
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slippery 25 01/12/10 - 10:14 am
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Jackson I will include you in

Jackson I will include you in my prayers

TroubIe
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TroubIe 01/12/10 - 10:30 am
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jb, not if your toaster is

jb, not if your toaster is your god.....

GAterp
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GAterp 01/12/10 - 10:36 am
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And maybe that toaster is the

And maybe that toaster is the holy one that produced the waffle or pancake in the shape of Jesus?

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