Letter: Belief systems help us thrive


This letter is in response to “Somewhere over the rainbow” (Lima News, 2/27/18). The author cites Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor regarding our genetic similarity. The similarity, of course, is great. In such a comparison, one could also include the Great Apes, Orangutans and Chimpanzees with whom we share 96% -98% of our DNA. But biology is not the whole story. All of us who are very similar genetically, are very different socially, culturally, ethnically, racially, and a host of other ways. What we need is an all encompassing unity that does not destroy diversity but treasures it. A better word than “unity”, perhaps, is Harmony. In harmony, it is the very reconciled diversity that creates the beauty. Our differences, nonetheless, can be a source of enrichment or conflict, depending on how one accepts them.

The three major monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) along with Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism put great stress on concern for our fellow human beings, especially those in any way needy. Contrary to what the author says, those religions, and other belief systems, help us to deal and to thrive with our very real differences. Of course, there are instances where inhuman things are done in the name of religion, but are really reflective not of religion, but of the individual will to dominate and gain power.

The author’s statement that “Religions are the rape of our oneness” flies in the face of reality. Lima, Ohio, along with many other communities around the world, witness to religiously motivated people, and those of good will with no religious affiliation, trying to come to the aid of their brothers and sisters in need.

Al O’Dell, Kalida

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