Letters to the Editor

All people can be good

I appreciated John Harris’ letter (CDT, 11/5), which emphasized “the individual sacredness of all life.” As a spiritual humanist, I too find the sacred existing in the material world, thus revering the intricate web of interdependence and interrelationship that defines life on Earth.

Empathy for underdogs compels me to the defense of two groups that were slighted in recent CDT articles. In Shih-In Ma’s Interfaith Initiative column, “What’s in a name,” she mentions “officially atheistic governments like Nazi Germany,” which I feel unfairly links non-believers to a genocidal regime. When I visited the sister church to my Philadelphia parish in Nagasaki years ago, the pastor related to me that he was surprised to learn, as a German-held POW during World War II, that his captors thought the Allies were all atheists. The Nazi propaganda machine had taught them that God was on the side of The Fatherland! Nazism-endorsed “Positive Christianity,” which stripped religion of its Jewish roots and other key doctrines, and was also influenced by some occult beliefs.

Also last month, Britney Milazzo’s “Education on Centre” column stated that Halloween is “definitively Catholic in origin.” That holiday’s origins actually date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Pagans are thus slighted by omission in Milazzo’s piece (but at least they aren’t denigrated). I’ve been through Wiccan, Theravada Buddhist and agnostic/atheistic cycles on my spiritual path through life, and I’ve learned that people can be good without God, or with the Goddess, and even multiple gods.

Douglas M. Mason, Port Matilda

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