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Christ's Message

December 30, 1988

Coretta Scott King's column (Op-Ed Page, Dec. 22) furthering Christ's message of forgiveness and love for your enemy was timely. Not just timely because of the Christmas season, but because the message is relevant for events occurring recently that have high potential for reducing political tensions between warring factions in the Middle East and between the United States and the Soviet Union.

In her discourse, she emphasized that the message was a part of many religions. Indeed, the message is also valid for secular reasons. The secular rationale is:

If you want to defeat your enemy, you will improve your chances if you understand your enemy.

If you want to understand your enemy, you will improve your chances if you are charitable.

Therefore, to triumph, you should love your enemy.

Of course, there may be times when, even after understanding and loving your adversary, you still have to resort to the use of force. Yet even then, you will be better off because of understanding and charity. From this viewpoint then, her message is always timely. For any level of conflict.

DON PAYNE

Anaheim

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