The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


When religion becomes evil

Whose religion? Who is evil?

When religion becomes evil

I'm deeply troubled by the article "When religion becomes evil" (July, page 12). God does not respect other religions. He commanded: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Allah is the moon god, hence the crescent moon on Muslim banners. I've read the Koran from cover to cover. Islam is violent from its very core. According to the Koran, all nonbelievers of Islam are to be captured, tortured and slain. Sura 9:5 tells Muslims to "seize the Pagans (us) wherever ye find them, lie in wait for them and use every stratagem of war against them." Muslims have slaughtered 2 million Christians in the Sudan in the last 20 years. And Christians aren't sending their children out to blow people up.

Louise M. Smith
Orlando, Fla.

Muslim Americans are free to practice and advance their religion in the United States, while Christians are denied that kind of religious freedom in many parts of the Islamic world. It is obvious that The Lutheran has targeted the wrong audience on the subject of tolerance. Our Christian witness loses its credibility when we muzzle it to make it palatable. Tolerance isn't always a virtue; consider the current [sexual abuse] situations in the Roman Catholic Church and at the Air Force Academy. When we fixate on our religious tolerance, that can degenerate into self-righteousness, which in turn blinds us to recognize wrongs that need correction — and that is when religion does indeed become evil.

Jack K. Moore
Marion, Ohio

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February issue


Embracing diversity