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Religion just part of Gaza violence

Brent Merten
Eagle, CO, Colorado
newsroom@vaildaily.com

As a parent, I can certainly relate to the struggle Richard Carnes described in his January 6 column. To try to help a 9-year-old understand and cope with the image of a dead child flashed on the living-room television is difficult, to say the least.

Yet I have to disagree with the premise Mr. Carnes used when attempting, in his own words, “to teach my own flesh and blood how to view the world from a rational point of view, not how to choose which side to follow.”

Sadly, and somewhat predictably, Carnes made religion the whipping boy for this child’s death. Using his pet term, he claimed that it was belief in a “magical being” that led to the child on the video clip to be slain.

While Carnes didn’t elaborate on the incident, his column’s headline in the on-line edition indicated that the death happened during the conflict that’s occurring right now in Gaza. It would be foolish to say that religion has no part in the ongoing violence in Gaza. Yet it’s just as foolish to state that it is all about religion. In reality, the bloodshed in Gaza has far more to do with politics than religion.

Be that as it may, I find it incredibly sad that Mr. Carnes is robbing his son of the real answers and real comfort that faith in our Lord can give. Instead of pointing the finger of blame at faith, parents can instead tell their children, “It is horrible that people kill each other. Hatred and killing have been going on since Cain murdered his brother Abel. But how wonderful to know that we have a loving, forgiving Savior.”

Instead of instilling hatred for religious faith, how about praying for those who grieve, as well as those who slay?

It’s ironic that Carnes’ column was published on Jan. 6. On the Christian calendar, this day is known as Epiphany. Epiphany is the celebration of a journey made through this same war-torn area over 2,000 years ago. The magi likely traveled from what is now Iran to Israel, not to shed blood or spread hatred, but to pay homage to the Prince of Peace. We would do well to follow their example.

Brent Merten

Eagle


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