Only Jerry Moore can explain why in a time as troubled as this one he has spent three Sunday columns trying to demolish religious faith.
As I read his columns, I thought he was speaking about a dogmatic, exclusivist type of religion, which is hardly the only kind. Across the spectrum of many faiths there is a general acceptance that God loves all people and it is imperative for believers to do the same. While holding our personal beliefs, there is an assumption that we are not the repositories of all truth and God is certainly not threw teaching us.
Certainly there are religions that claim a corner on faith, and they can be destructive. But the faith many subscribe to has founded hospitals and healed the sick, established food pantries and fed the hungry, and built housing to shelter the poor. I haven’t seen too many atheist organizations that have engaged in similar humanitarian ventures.
In his column that appeared June 14 (“In gods we trust — but is this good?”), Mr. Moore spoke approvingly of Robert G. Ingersoll who was called the Great Agnostic. There’s a story that Ingersoll was a friend of Phillips Brooks, the Episcopal priest who wrote, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”
Once Brooks was ill and receiving no visitors, but Ingersoll was allowed into the sick room. He said, “Phillips, I’m touched. You are not seeing your parishioners but you invited me in.” Brooks replied with a twinkle, “I expect to see my parishioners in heaven, but this may be my last chance of seeing you.”
Mr. Moore should get out among religious people and stop dealing in caricatures.
The Rev. Walter F. Smith
The writer represents Lisbon United Presbyterian Church.