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BIBLE HAS OFTEN BEEN MISUSED

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With cloying persistence, my sensibilities have been raked by certain individuals referring to biblical passages in order to justify their "rightness" and another's "wrongness." I'm sorry, but all this drivel proves nothing.

For centuries, the Bible has been employed to justify the political and self-serving motives of the wealthy and the powerful.Millions have been slaughtered or enslaved, continents plundered for their resources, environments devastated and laid waste by demagogues and unscrupulous entrepreneurs who stand to profit immensely by persuading this "righteous" group of people to eradicate or "ethnically cleanse" their "wicked" neighbors.

The essence of Christ's teachings have always involved the concepts of unconditional love, compassion, empathy, the alleviation of suffering, stewardship and tolerance. Profiteers and self-serving individuals have always corrupted these teachings.

Personal righteousness should be shown through personal actions. Rhetoric usually displays a moral hollowness and reflects the dislike one has for himself.

Public prayer is another example of pretentious display. Five minutes allotted to meditation, allowing each individual to invoke wisdom from whatever his or her source, would serve as a more personal and honest method to convene governmental, school or civic events while not subjecting others to a specific religious ideology.

Merrill Bitter

Salt Lake City