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Johnson on Religious Right

October 26, 1994

The column by Warren Johnson, "Who's the Model for the Christian Right?" (Commentary, Oct. 14), is right on. It's time people of faith stood their ground against the onslaught of intolerance toward any opposing view that may deter their agenda. God has blessed us with a democracy. Democracy works best when we can see each other as brothers and sisters, fellow citizens who are able to discuss the issues and reach a compromise. Democracy will not work if we resort to name-calling, division and hatred.

Why does the religious right attempt to shipwreck my faith because of my political views? There are hundreds of issues with hundreds of degrees between the far right and the far left of each one. Why then do we need the black and white labels of "conservative" and "liberal," except to create an us-against-them mentality?

The Pharisees, the religious leaders in the Roman Empire during Christ's physical presence on Earth, believed that they were chosen by God to represent him and to interpret and impose his moral and political views on citizens while keeping close political ties to Rome.

Sound familiar?

MICHAEL H. MOBERG

Santa Maria

* I found Johnson's column to be less than persuasive. He cites biblical cautions about the love of money to disparage capitalism and support government controls. While I agree that the Bible is not a "capitalist manifesto," I have yet to uncover any Scriptures that argue for government coercion either.

Furthermore, it is debatable whether our free-market economy is responsible for the many social ills that Johnson ascribes to it. Despite any inherent flaws, however, I would argue that capitalism in the long run raises all ships, and its non-coercive nature makes it the most moral choice available.

DAVID C. BLOXHAM

Huntington Beach

* Johnson's article was most welcome in view of interest in "family values" as discussed in all political circles today.

As a person who dedicated a great deal of time to youth activities and youth groups, I was impressed by how frequently teen-agers would ask many of the same questions cited by Johnson. As a Scout leader, I was asked to explain behavior observed in parents that could hardly be considered Christian. These young minds needed guidance they were not getting at home. The commitment of parenthood must be recognized by parents, by the community, yes, and by the denizens of industry along with the federal government in order to preserve the family.

There are problems. They are real. We do not need the hypocritical pollution espoused by the religious right.

JOHN P. MEEHAN MD

Arcadia

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