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Wilfred Sheed on Christians

December 30, 1996

The choice of Wilfrid Sheed's journalistic romp through conservative Christian-bashing as the Christmas morning centerpiece of the Commentary page was unfortunate. The appropriateness of the selection aside, Sheed's article exemplifies the skewed perspective of so many who use the holiday season as an opportunity to take potshots at traditional Christianity.

After excoriating conservative Christians, he recommends contemplating "doing better (with) . . . Confucianism with its great family values, or Shinto with its unparalleled work ethic." Is this the same Shinto whose doctrines and hierarchy gave the principal impetus and apologia for Japanese expansion and exploitation in East Asia during the first half of this century? Are we speaking about the Confucianism whose emphasis upon absolute obedience and acceptance allowed the landed oligarchies of China to dominate an impoverished peasantry for 3,000 years?

The broad oversight of the faults and failures of other religious systems is part of the "anything but traditional Christianity" paradigm that now dominates politically correct thinking in this country

Perhaps seeing the obvious inconsistencies in this position so well-exemplified in the article is The Times' Christmas gift to those who adhere firmly to tenets of orthodox Christianity.

SAMUEL SCHEIBLER

Rector, St. Alban's Church

Brea

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