I sometimes take issue with Alison Blanchet's religion column -- as I did Nov. 15.
The column involved children using the new touch-screen soda machines. The machines so baffle the tots that they settle for bad choices -- flavors they do not like. The moral: children need adult guidance here just as they do in matters of religion.
My first thought was that soda, whether naturally or artificially sweetened, was a bad choice, period. And in a different way, so is religion for it is based upon chimeras.
Blanchet says that church "installs a moral foundation." Is that true of the late Fred Phelp's Westboro Baptist Church and its pathological hatred of gays or of the radical Islamic mosque preaching death to infidels and subjugation of women? The list goes on.
Blanchet argues that, "Kids ... (will) experience a loss if they aren't encouraged to grow spiritually." As someone who's been active in the secular humanist community, nationally and internationally, for decades, I know that statement to be false, and not just because the word "spiritual" has no real meaning; it's a tabula rasa for any supernatural disposition.
We must also remember that a firm conviction that our mere beliefs are indubitably true can lead to trouble. As the Roman Catholic Michel de Montaigne (1533-92) noted, "It is setting a high value upon our opinions to roast men and women alive on account of them."
David D. Peterson