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Re: Former Christian

Sep 07, 1995 07:55 PM
by Murray Stentiford, Scientific Software and Systems Ltd

Replying to Paul J.

> [Murray]
> True. The challenge arises when trying to carry out the spirit of one of
> our primary and hopefully least-hidden agendas. The Original Program
> statement puts it well with regard to members, and I don't think it has
> much less relevance to non-members.

PJ <Doesn't that cut both ways, Murray?>

Yes, it does, Paul, but to my eyes there are signs - small ones, but
signs nevertheless - of a dialog process, and while I don't expect any
wondrous conversions, as said before, I think it is worth pursuing a
while yet. The communication will probably die of its own accord when the
possibilities have been exhausted, anyway.

I have been in numerous dialogs with various sorts of evangelical
Christians in my life, and have found that sometimes a degree of mutual
respect and understanding can emerge, and other times it is just a
bruising encounter. Sometimes, I have been pleasantly surprised when the
other person didn't fit my stereotype of them.

PJ < I don't think you are
taking into account the aspect of HPB's quote which emphasizes
the expulsion of people who refuse to recognize the rights of
others to their own beliefs. ... etc>

No, that's part of the picture, a necessary protection when all else has

PJ <It irks me to see someone as cherished as Art being used as a
punching bag by a fundamentalist.>

Yes, I felt that keenly. Daniel spoke of people getting wild, but it was
he who seemed to be wild at the prospect of a fundamentalist walking away
from it all.

We all know that being confronted with somebody apparently hostile
towards us is a significant challenge. The TS claims often enough to see
the common threads of wisdom in different religions, and I am just trying
to give light to the idea that here we have an opportunity to actually
*do* it, even if the common ground seems to us fairly slender and in the
middle of a swamp.

When we identify and put energy (by replying) into the positive or
non-hostile aspects of posts like Daniel's, we help to lift the tone of
the whole dialog, or at least give it a chance to lift.

I appreciate very much what Art is doing, responding from his rich fund
of knowledge and experience.

Murray Stentiford

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