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Statement About Christian 'Aura' Found Troubling

August 22, 1993

I would like to suggest the Rev. Leonard Jackson of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church now also confront his religious prejudices head-on ("Confronting Racism Head-On," July 25).

Jackson stated that an FBI agent gained his trust (in helping foil an alleged white supremacist plot to bomb the church) when he "realized that he was the chief agent for the Los Angeles area and that he was a Christian."

Jackson goes on to say that "there's an aura about Christians; you don't have to wear a collar for people to realize exactly where you stand." Jackson should know, as other people already recognize, humane people also have their hearts in the right place.

Is Jackson insinuating that a Muslim, Buddhist or Jew, for example, cannot be humane?

The adjective Christian means someone who is a decent, humane person. Jackson has inferred that unless you're a Christian, a person cannot be a compassionate, sympathetic or tender person toward the suffering and the distressed.

Inasmuch as African-American has evolved from colored to black to Negro to now African-American, I think the time is overdue that anyone, regardless of religion or race, who is characterized as being a tender, compassionate and sympathetic person be hereafter known with the adjective humane .

Let's use the adjective Christian as someone who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. Let us remember there are other religious denominations besides being Christian.

BARNARD SACKETT

Hancock Park

Insightful Coverage of 'Best-Kept Secret'

Your article on the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science ("This Operation Is a Success," Aug. 8) is superb. We couldn't have asked for more insightful coverage than you delivered.

We truly feel that Drew is one of the best-kept secrets in America. Thank you for helping us share this fact with a wider audience.

MELVIN SHAW

Director of Development, Drew University

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