Editor, Daily Nexus,
I was rather bewildered to see an Opinion column by Sarah Kent proclaiming the whole of Christianity to be a “cult.” Not only is this an uninformed view, but it was taken with the negative intention to harm and degrade a large number of people who innocently subscribe to a religion that at its essence preaches peace, compassion and equality. The writer lashes out at Christianity due to her own unfortunate past with a fundamentalist group of Christians. However, this is no excuse for proclaiming the whole of Christianity to be a “cult” attempting to “take advantage” of young minds. This is the same biased and stereotypical view taken by people who condemn the entire Muslim faith as an ideology of hate based on the alleged actions of Osama bin Laden.
I agree that the tactics taken by such groups as the Campus Crusade for Christ, as well as multiple Mormon, Hare Krishna groups and the like are rather annoying. However, this annoyance is based on the same kind of self-righteous attitude Ms. Kent takes in condemning Christianity. I, too, wish that these groups would learn the value of humility and realize that God doesn’t give points for membership numbers, but I wouldn’t go so far as to degrade the whole of a culture and group based on a few naive fundamentalists. Rather, I would do more research to see if there is anything beyond the veneer of Christianity that is commonly presented on the street corner.
If Ms. Kent had spent the time to look beyond her nose she may have recognized that there are Christian groups such as the Christian Meditation Society that promotes interfaith dialogue and the acceptance of all world religions as a stepping stone to the knowledge that is most sacred: our own deepest potentials. As Father Lawrence Freeman writes, “In that experience, which is silence, uniqueness and difference, among all other dualities, coincide: they meet in a unity that respects and fulfills difference and at the same time transcends division. This is love.” Unfortunately, Ms. Kent, like most people, withered away from that which she feared due to her unfortunate past, and instead cast a host of stereotypes and anger onto an entire group of people who yearn, like her, for truth and happiness.
Although within all religious groups there are those fundamentalists who proclaim to have the only true knowledge, this is not the view of all followers of that tradition. I would encourage anyone with such grievances to continue their exploration and to recognize the beauty that can be found within traditions such as Christianity. Look to the modern-day saints such as Father Lawrence Freeman, Bede Griffiths or Thomas Merton. Although I am not personally a Christian, I find immense value in Christianity and the benefit it has had on millions of lives. It is true that we must beware the charlatans, and within Christian circles there are many, but they do not comprise, nor do they speak for, the whole. Before taking a harsh negative stance in condemning entire groups of people, do your homework, and recognize that it is the same kind of stereotypical and biased views written in Ms. Kent’s article that lead to hate crimes and racial attitudes.