In Genesis 3, we learn that mankind's first transgression was succumbing to the enticement by the Serpent.
The second transgression was denying responsibility; Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the Serpent. We can assume that the Serpent blamed the Devil. God displayed no sympathy for either party. Man was exiled and the snake was decreed to accept being treated as depicted in the BC comic strip.
(Actually, that decree has been overturned by the legislators in Maryland where stomping on a rattlesnake will cost you a hefty fine. But that is another story.)
Bottom line: Sandra Warfield summed it up when she, in effect, emphasized that we could all exercise our freedom of choice. Hopefully, that freedom will not be legislated away.
P.S. For those who tend to panic at a whiff of secondhand smoke, take heart. My mother, married 63 years to a lifetime smoker, died at the age of 100 years and five months after maintaining her own apartment until age 99.
Gods not created equal
To the editor:
In the Tuesday, March 28, article entitled, "Panel discussion seeks to clear up misunderstandings about Islam," Samia Malik, referring to Christians and Jewish people, states, "We believe in the same prophets - Adam, Noah, David, Solomon, and Jesus. We believe in one God, Allah is just the Arabic word for God."
The statement that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam share the same God is a common misunderstanding. While all three religions are monotheistic and descend from Abraham of the Bible, the God of Islam is not the God of Christianity. The Koran declares, "God does not beget." The Bible states, "For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son" Obviously, a God who does not beget cannot be the same God who gives his only begotten son. Though Muslims consider Jesus to be a prophet, he spoke the words testifying that his God begets.
The Koran also says "For Allah loves not transgressors." The Bible says, "For God demonstrates his own love toward us, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." The Bible proclaims that the Lord loves all who he has made.
Allah forgives who he pleases and punishes who he pleases, but the God of the Bible does not show favoritism.
Muslims are instructed to "Fight all who believe not in Allah nor in the Last Day." In contrast, the Bible says "If at all possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" and "seek peace, and pursue it." Christians are repeatedly implored to love their enemies, and "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse."
If Allah of Islam is the God of the Bible, why do such passages blatantly contradict each other? How can a God who loves all whom he has created be the same God "that loves not transgressors?" How can the Prince of Peace be the same God who instructs his followers to fight those who do not believe as they do?
The intent of this letter is to testify that the God of the Bible is not the same as the God of Islam.
Earth Day has added meaning
To the editor:
As Earth Day approaches, we should be concerned about what's happening to this little part of the planet in and around Hagerstown that we call the Tri-State area.
New houses, apartments, clinics, businesses and roads are popping up everywhere. Our beautiful farmlands are actually disappearing! With them go the scenic vistas, our historic agricultural economic base, and the independence and self-sufficiency of family farms.
Almost unrestrained development is being fostered by tax incentives that we citizens pay for. Does anyone know its true cost to the community? New businesses don't pay for their full impact on roads, sewer, water systems and schools. New housing requires new schools. How will they be paid for? When our next drought comes, where will we get more water?
We have but one earth to live on and to take care of for future generations. For years, Earth Day has represented our interest in that aspect of our lives and heritage. Earth Day, 2006 is today, April 22. To liven up the occasion, there will be a yard sale in Waynesboro, Pa., at Renfrew Park and on Sunday the Renfrew Institute will hold the best Earth Day observance in the area.
A few miles away, at Shady Grove, Pa., a major outdoor market will also be held today. At that yard sale, the Franklin County Democrats will have an information table, with an opportunity to change voter registration and to enter a drawing for free Sierra Club memberships.
That's a start. What will we do in the upcoming elections?