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The "up" sides of religion are obvious, well-known and appreciated. The horrible "down" side - the death and destruction generated by clashes between religions - is ignored.

There are millions of deaths and billions of dollars burned up annually in the fanaticism of warring cults, superstitions and religions. Ironically and pathetically, not one of these belief systems is without its tenets of love, brotherhood, mercy, honesty and peace.The bloody mindset of each Bosnian faction seems to be its own religion with no regard for you and yours. Each is a Muslim, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox first, a rational citizen second, justifying murder, rape, pillage.

Political civility, consensus, cooperation, confederation, even federation - these positives are held hostage and poisoned by theological absurdities in Bosnia and elsewhere.

William J. Luttrell

Salt Lake City