Re: Ron Perry, letters, Jan. 10.
Mr. Perry, thanks for the reply. Let’s start with the easiest and most obvious issue with your reply. My earlier comments do not deny your right to believe as you do — they are simply a critical analysis of your criticism of Pastor David Hegg’s column discussing noble lies. Just as you felt you had the right to criticize Pastor Hegg’s opinion, your opinion is subject to criticism as well. I believe that you have the same right as Pastor Hegg to hold any beliefs you wish, but unless you can prove that Pastor Hegg was lying, you cannot accuse him of the “sin of omission,” by not listing religion among the “noble lies.” Given your acknowledgment that you cannot prove your assertion that God does not exist, you cannot prove your assertion that religion is a lie, or that Pastor Hegg was committing a sin by failing to list it as a noble lie.
As for the Gospels, you cite some references to support your assertion that the Gospel writers were not contemporaries of Jesus. As another letter writer has pointed out, at least two are believed to be contemporaries of Jesus, and all scholars agree they were written in the mid to late first century, when Jesus’ contemporaries were alive and a source for the Gospels.
As for the Earth being flat, you support your disparaging assertion that the Gospels were written by men “who believed the world was flat” by the assertion that the average person thought the world was flat. We can certainly agree that neither of us know what the Gospel writers thought about the Earth, and that they were not your “average person.” For example, we know that the Gospel of John was written in Greek (as were other gospels) and scholars agree that the writer was an educated person.
Insofar as the use of force, we can debate whether the Crusades or the Inquisition were actually governmental actions, but the last Christian Crusade occurred in 1291 (eight centuries ago) and the Inquisition died out before the 1800s, and was finally shut down by the reigning Spanish queen in 1834 (almost 200 years ago). I wonder if you have any recent examples, say within the last 100 or so years.
Finally, I intentionally limited my comment to Judaism and Christianity, as my knowledge of Islam is limited and Islam is in several countries a part of government (e.g. Iran and Saudi Arabia).