The Reverend Vern Barnet, DMn
bio page CRES minister emeritus email@example.com
Because of the volume of requests I receive,
please accept this immediate response.
If your request is of a personal nature
and this response is inadequate,
please accept my apology here
and send me another email
with "A second request"
in the subject line.
Thank you for understanding.
Thanks for letting me know you found the column worthy!
Your additional perspective, which has fascinated me for many years as well! Let's hope it becomes an important part of our future.
Thanks for reading my column and taking the trouble to write me about it.
Thanks again for your insights and for your good energy in writing me.
I enjoyed every word of your comment. May I suggest your thoughts too good to limit the audience to me, and that you write an "As I See It" column for the opinion section of The Star? You obviously have thought deeply about this, and your remarks might help others to think deeply as well.
I do not expect you to change any of your thinking as a result of my response. I simply wanted you to know I have read your email, thought about it, and wanted to express my appreciation for your taking the trouble to write me, even though we continue to disagree and no doubt could engage in a lengthy exchange, but probably to no different outcome. You are most welcome to follow-up by making your criticism public by writing a letter to the editor or an "As I See It" column? --http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/letters/.
That the US was founded on Judeo-Christian principles is not obvious to me, though I am familiar with the Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and others who drew it up, with the political principles of the Iroquois Confederation serving in some respects as a model. The Constitution prohibits religious tests and does not incorporate any particular faith in the structure of government; the text never mentions God; it is an entirely secular document stating clearly that Constitution is ordained and established by the people (it does not say ordained by God); and the Bill of Rights forbids governmental establishment of any religion while protecting the free exercise thereof, of all faiths and none.
My object is not to denigrate Christianity. For me to love Christianity is to respect others as Jesus himself respected and commended those not of his own tradition. You do seem to assume that other faiths would be interested in salvation, which seemed to me to impose Christian categories of thought onto other religions rather than seeking to understand them on their own terms. Many Buddhists, for example, have no need for a Creator God to explain the universe and do not affirm that each person possesses an eternal soul; they have no wish for personal existence in heaven as many Christians do, nor fear of such a hell.