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Voice of the people

Nov. 12, 2012 @ 10:45 PM

Each religion has 'strange' beliefs

I read with dismay the article by the Rev. Milt Hankins in the Oct. 26 Herald-Dispatch. While the Southern Baptist minister is a political "progressive," which one would assume would cause him to defend individual religious rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, he undermined his progressive credentials by seemingly engaging in a form of religious bigotry. Much like the 1960 fundamentalists who disdained John Kennedy for his Catholicism which they regarded as a cult, Rev. Hankins belittled the "strange" beliefs of Mormonism as a cult and insinuated that no good evangelical could possibly vote for a Mormon for president.

Many firmly held religious beliefs can appear odd to those not of that faith. For example, Pentecostal churches believe in speaking in tongues. Catholics believe that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ during the Mass. Southern Baptists, like Rev. Hankins, believe that one's entire body must be submerged in water to evidence a believer's faith.

It is therefore very disingenuous for Rev. Hankins to attack Mormonism's beliefs as strange or odd when most religious groups have their own idiosyncratic beliefs. Perhaps Rev. Hankins should stick to his usual shilling for Obama, and leave Mormons, evangelicals and other religious groups alone.

Scott Sheets

Huntington

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