To the editor,
This is a response to the letter from Dec. 29: “Terrace should be grateful for nativity scene ban”.
One could write on numerous points made there, but I will limit my response to the statement: “secularism in government keeps us from total chaos that history has demonstrated time and again…” It then lists a number of violent incidences caused by religions.
I want to point at the work by Phillips and Axelrod in “Encyclopedia of wars”. In it you will find over the past 10,000 years there were 1,763 wars. Nintey-three per cent were caused by non-religious reasons.
Atheists like to use religious fundamentalists as a straw-man to attack all religions as narrow-minded fundamentalists often engaging in violence against outsiders. Does it sound reasonable to put St. Mother Teresa’s missionaries of charity (5,700 members) in the same category as Islamic extremists decapitating captives in front of cameras on the internet?
Furthermore, regarding the chaos religions have caused in history, it was Christianity that gave rise to the hospital, orphanage and out of the Cathedral Schools in the Middle Ages came all the great universities of Western civilization.
Many great scientists were Christians such as Newton, Kepler, Copernicus, Mendel and Lemaitre; a Catholic priest and theoretical physicist who was mastermind of the Big Bang Theory.
During the dawn of Christianity in the Roman Empire hospitals served only Roman soldiers, the church established in A.D. 325 that every Cathedral town had to build a hospital for all people.
Even today’s Mayo clinics with 63,000 employees and 4,500 physicians had their origin in 1883 through the collaboration of the sisters of St. Francis and W.W. Mayo in Rochester, MN.
Also, in the Roman Empire unwanted children (especially females) were left to the elements to perish. Christians gathered and raised them in line with Christ’s teaching of the dignity of every human being.
The Church is one of the few institutions that sticks to this teaching of human dignity from conception to natural death, despite strong opposition by many governments and media today.
Whether we like to ignore it or not, Western Civilization is steeped in Christendom and there is far more good that comes out of this history than some of the spectacular violations by some of its practitioners.
Today we need more than ever to follow the message of Christ in the gospels. Just read it yourself and you see the call for love of neighbour and abstaining from any violence even against enemies.
Finally, consider the chaos of the last century caused by atheistic regimes in Communist Russia, China and Cambodia, responsible for more than 100 million deaths.
Add to these the millions of abortions worldwide performed annually and I would call this chaos.
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