Recently, I was visiting in Augusta for the first time. While reading The Chronicle on Aug 10, I found a column entitled "Truth of your religious beliefs must rise above tolerance," by the Rev. Todd Upchurch (Religion, 4D). I was shocked and angered. I was not expecting to find such hateful trash in a major metropolitan paper in this, the 21st century. I made sure to bring a copy of the article home to a suburb of New York.
As I showed this article to my friends and co-workers, they all had the same reaction. Again, I was shocked and angered. Their reactions were, "Does this really surprise you?" Not one of them showed any sign of surprise or agitation. Apparently, this kind of closed-minded hate-mongering has become quite commonplace. I guess it is I who have missed the boat.
Perhaps my impression that, by 2002, mankind should have learned from its mistakes - the Crusades, the Holocaust - is misguided. Perhaps my contention that tolerance - where we put up with that which is distasteful - should be replaced by acceptance of differing "belief systems" with different truths, also derived from Scripture, is ill-conceived.
On the other hand, maybe I am correct. Maybe it is time for someone to stand up and complain. Perhaps I am right, and it is shameful that this hateful dribble is promulgated by a man of the cloth, in the name of God. And that is my truth.
Gerald Hyman, Mt. Kisco, N.Y.
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