This letter is in direct reply to Frank “Uncle Remus” Elliott’s recent letter, “On Religion, The Gulf Oil Spill, and Our Hypocrisy” [June 30 Xpress]: Frank, I appreciate your viewpoint, and I’m proud you had the motivation to speak your mind when it seems that no one’s will is strong enough to stand up for their own opinions or beliefs.
[But] to be frank (pun certainly intended), the reason that Christianity is becoming such a persecuted belief is that people like you are making it so. I was raised in the church and understand the end-time prophecies, but I also understand that most “prophesies” are inherently self-fulfilling, because if you believe them, you will by very virtue of your belief bring them about…
You are incorrect in stating that people make fun of only Christianity. While I agree that exotic religious fads are about as prevalent as “Keep Asheville Weird” stickers, I personally mock any and everybody who thinks that there are a large group of people out there who believe exactly the same thing. How many different sects of plain old Baptists are there? Just Baptists, not Christians? No one believes the same thing you do, and they never will. That’s the purpose and wisdom behind separation of church and state. The reason this country is circling the toilet bowl is that we forgot that we all are here to be different. You have no right to impose any of your religious beliefs on me just because you feel strongly about them.
Yes, in a direct way this country was founded on Christianity. It was also founded on slavery, theft, murder and chauvinism. Are those American traditions we must carry on? We have to evolve, and that doesn’t mean you have to give up your God. It means you have to accept that maybe other people have their own, and that possibly you’re as wrong and/or as right as they are. … There is very little that I wish to fight anyone over, but between your views and mine, there lie thousands of years of smoke, blood and pain.
There is either forgiveness or fanaticism. Which do you think Jesus would choose?
— Jake Gardner