Being a "captive" audience, the hearers are the ones who "should be sensitive to the variety of beliefs and nonbeliefs" and tolerant of them, as all but a few are. It is the hearers who need to practice religious tolerance and have that "objective and fair attitude toward religions that differ from one's own" that Keto refers to.
Keto claims "Christians are the most tolerated public group in the country." I find that interesting in that what generated this discussion was state Sen. Grosfeld et. al. expressing intolerance only of Christian prayer in Jesus' name.
Keto claims "one can be tolerant of Christians without having to participate in or be subject to their practices." Isn't that kind of like saying that one can be tolerant of Christians without having to be tolerant of them? If one is not present where Christians are being Christian, then what's to tolerate?
What Keto is saying, and it becomes ever so clear toward the letter's end, is that Christians and only Christians offend so as to need tolerating. In fact, Keto proves that point with these words, "The time has come for the Maryland Senate to stop the obligatory prayer in open sessions." Yes, God forbid that the senators would have to practice what they legislate - "sensitivity to a variety of beliefs and non-beliefs, objective and fair attitude toward religions that differ from one's own" - tolerance (By the way. I wonder if being intolerant of Christians is a hate crime?). And especially with these words, "If Christian clergy (notice, only Christian clergy) cannot separate faith based callings...." Don't you see, it is Christians who are the troublemakers here, only Christians? I doubt that Keto has ever taken offense to the religious behavior of any other faith group.
So, Keto would have us do away with prayer in the senate now, so a few narrowminded senators don't have to be tolerant. And, then, later, do away with that "nor prohibit the free exercise thereof" stuff all together! I surly hope that Keto is not representing the views of Sen. Grosfeld.
Edward L. James
South unfairly treated by historians
To the editor:
"Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world" - Thomas Carlyle
Well, Richard Anderson is on his soapbox again, proclaiming in all his glory that Confederates were racists. Why doesn't he spread this new terminology into the Union army where Grant was a slaveholder and never freed his slaves until after the Thirteenth Amendment? Why doesn't he mention that more slaveholders fought for the North than for the South?"Truths of History," by Rutherford, Preface IV. Robert E. Lee believed slavery, as an institution was a moral and political evil. Lee looked to slavery through the viewpoint of the Bible, where he quoted, "How long their servitude may be necessary is known and ordered by a merciful Providence""Memoirs of Lee" by Long, page 83.
Lee felt that blacks were immeasurably better off here than in Africa. He felt emancipation did have "evil consequences." If slaves are prepared to enter society through "gradual emancipation," he felt less suffering would occur. Lee felt slavery would come to an end by influences of Christianity. Slaves were introduced to Jesus Christ through Southern Christianizing influence. This influence and growth is a testament to how slaves felt toward their slaveholders.
Lee did own slaves and freed them before the war and his wife's during the war. The South gets no fair treatment in history and Anderson wants to make slavery and racism a Southern issue. He needs to realize that every race of people and every country that has existed on this earth are to be blamed equally. We are all guilty in God's eyes.
Jeff B. Fink