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Letters to the Editor

Column illustrated dogmatic practices
Re: “Religious insanity,” March 1

Adam Fowler’s take on Bill Maher’s statement reinforces what Maher said.

Fowler’s intense sarcasm is a defense mechanism used by who refuse to open their mind. That resistance to is exactly what Maher was talking about. It’s the same resistance that stifled Galileo and Columbus, and continues to stifle stem-cell research and contraception education in schools.

Ironically, the actions Fowler so cleverly described are the same actions that so many religious institutions have taken against gays, liberal thinkers and other “heathens” for millennia.

Avery Struthers is a freshman majoring in political science.

Religion used as excuse, not guideline
Re: “Religious insanity,” March 1

I can’t help wondering if Maher’s point was missed.

Over the years I have become comfortably numb toward religion. Surrounded by people of many faiths while growing up, the trend I’ve noticed is that very few people are “faithful” — they’re religious.

They go through the motions of what they’re told is “right,” and when they have lapses in judgment they use religion as their crutch. After all, what’s a sin here and there when you’re going to be forgiven for it by some higher power we’re not even sure exists?

I think the point is that not killing, helping and respecting others and so on are things that should be done regardless of whether they’re printed in a Bible or not.

I’m not going to deny that holy books are excellent guidelines. What I am questioning is the general sincerity individuals have when they claim they are following those guidelines.

While I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a “neurological disorder,” practicing a faith is more than just following a few common sense rules and suggestions. In my experience, all too often people go through the motions just because it’s what they’ve been told to do. When they do that, they’ve essentially stopped thinking.

Ultimately, that’s where Maher may have a valid, if unpopular, point.

Melanie Formentin is a senior majoring in public relations and psychology.