I generally make it a point not to think about the religious beliefs of others. Granted, I do enjoy a frank philosophical discussion every now and then, so long as all parties maintain a respectful tone. Bob Sturm’s recent opinion piece (“Lose God Using Six-day Challenge,” Daily Nexus, Nov. 20) was nothing but childish dreck that insulted the intelligence of its readers. As a man of science and faith, I could not let this fallacious rant go unchallenged.
Attacking all religious beliefs for the reprehensible actions of a few zealots the way Sturm does is incredibly myopic. Religion has been manipulated throughout history, often by zealous factions seeking to fulfill their own agendas. This does not necessarily undermine the messages they teach.
Religions are not monolithic entities. While the Church of Latter-Day Saints was the driving force behind the “Yes on 8” campaign, the ethical issues of gay marriage, oppression of minorities and imposing one group’s religious beliefs on others is literally splitting the Mormon faithful apart. Not all religions are the same; how did the Buddhists weigh in? Further, belief and reason are not mutually exclusive; I, like many other people, have been able to reconcile my faith with science.
Worst of all was Sturm’s belligerent tone. I am neither a child nor deranged, and these are the only kinds of people who would believe that their god(s) would smite them for sinning or blaspheming. Many of the religious rituals Sturm derides bring people comfort and allow for introspection. While Creationists remain the bane of my existence, actively deriding the beliefs of others as Sturm recommends merely lowers the level of discourse and marks the speaker as a dick.
I have my own reasons for believing in God. I would grant Sturm’s disbelief more respect if he did not carry himself like Richard Dawkins.