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They Place Little Faith in Sartwell

June 20, 2005

Re "Why We Worship the Irrational (and Katie Holmes)," Commentary, June 16: Crispin Sartwell and the Los Angeles Times have utterly wasted 21 column inches of space saying nothing of value about anything, only disrespecting all religion while making Sartwell out to be a bit of a perversity himself.

I can only speak for Christianity, as that is my faith, and will point to the fact, lost to Sartwell, that there are many theologies within Christianity and diverse opinions as to the nature of God and Christ from there. Sartwell chose Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, the father of existentialism, as his Christian philosopher. Hardly a true Christian theologian. I'll not address the other points made of Christianity, as they are simply inane. I would ask that The Times consider making better use of the Op-Ed pages, and that Sartwell grab his remote, sit back and enjoy whatever media celebrity he may be worshiping at the moment.

Rich Hall

Valencia

*

Sartwell writes that the beliefs of Scientology, like those of "any religion," are "arbitrary," "perverse" and not subject to "rational justification." But Sartwell seems to know little about the beliefs he dismisses. Two key beliefs are that humans potentially have a specific set of abilities: to communicate with anyone about anything, resolve problems, accept change, live without drugs, be well and happy, etc.; and that Scientology pastoral counseling ("auditing") eventually creates or increases these abilities.

These claims can be rationally justified by examining the life histories of those who have experienced a given form of auditing and seeing whether they subsequently acquired the corresponding ability. What is arbitrary and perverse is that Sartwell assumes that these beliefs are irrational and could not possibly be justified.

Michael R. Gardner

Burbank

*

Sartwell in his doublespeak essay demonstrates that he believes, as many pseudo-intellectuals do, that a sign of superior intelligence is to believe in nothing.

Sunny Kreis

Santa Monica

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