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Evangelicals' Behavior Is Close to Mainstream

September 19, 2002

"Pollster Prods Christian Conservatives" (Sept. 14), about George Barna stirring the emotions of conservative Christians with poll results, suggests that fundamentalists are essentially no different in their behavior on average than those who do not consider themselves religious. It may be that faith is invalid insofar as it affects human behavior. It hints that experience, rather than ideology, may be what motivates people to live their lives, conscious of how their actions and thoughts affect themselves and others.

Universal truths are at the source of all religions but manage to be obscured by metaphors created by those who attempt to encapsulate and institutionalize the direct experience. Compared with the direct opening to the divine available to all humans, metaphors are empty. Socrates suggested, "Know thyself." It's in that knowledge that we become transformed.

Phil Rizzo

Valencia

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The relevance of religion in the modern world decreases in direct proportion to the increase of scientific knowledge and more widespread education. Atheism is increasing, up from 8% 10 years ago to 14% now, and that's only those who will admit it. As the world becomes better educated, more people realize the absurdity of myths and religious superstitions relentlessly perpetrated on a brainwashed population from earliest, trusting childhood in all of the major religions.

Barna's finding that Christians and atheists live the same kinds of lives should not be a surprise, as religion and morality have absolutely no relationship. Anyone who doubts this is just not paying attention. Current events, as well as the bloody history of intolerance and immorality of the major religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism), should convince any thinking person. I don't think that, if there is a God, he has ever communicated with any human being. If he had, he would have set forth the same rules and regulations for them all and saved mankind all the pain and suffering we have endured throughout history in the name of this "loving and benevolent" God.

Joan Scott

Yorba Linda

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