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Readers Write: True religion seeks peace; rejecting sensational pictures

Letters to the Editor for September 22, 2014 weekly magazine:

Green: Spiritual leaders should call for peace not war.

Price: Clicking on sensational pictures shapes our consciousness and our world.

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    Muslim pilgrim prays as visits the Hiraa cave, at the top of Noor Mountain on the outskirts of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 2, 2011. According to tradition, Islam's Prophet Mohammed received his first message to preach Islam while he was praying in the cave.
    Hassan Ammar/AP/File
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True religion seeks peace, not war

Regarding the Sept. 15 editorial “Defeat of Islamic State lies in rejecting piety at gunpoint”: I agree that “[t]he long history of spreading a faith by the sword – which includes Christianity – must end.” But the editorial needs to go further. It needs to call on religious leaders throughout the world, especially Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist, to tell their followers that their true religion is a religion seeking peace, not war. 

It should also honor the smaller religions, and those who do not follow an organized religion, and ask them to join this intent to seek peaceful resolution of disputes and conflict.

Anthony T. Green
Lacey, Wash.

Rejecting sensational pictures

Thank you for the Sept. 15 editorial “When sensational images are only a click away.” It’s clear in today’s world of easy choices that better discernment is needed to live better lives. I appreciate the reminder that we have a moral choice to protect ourselves from mental images no matter where they appear. We seem to live in a world where we are losing our ability to handle all the images that are foisted onto us. 

I agree wholeheartedly with author Susie Linfield’s observation mentioned in the editorial that we are being swept up against our will, surrendering to images and abandoning ourselves to them. We desperately need to assert our autonomy from malicious, harmful, salacious, and less-than-perfect images. We need to assert our ability for a higher presence of mind. We shape the world with what we click on in our consciousness as well as on the computer. Thinking is a public act. 

The founder of The Christian Science Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “Stand porter at the door of thought” (p. 392). If we do not, we are running the risk of becoming indecisive and ineffectual. 

Steven Price
San Rafael, Calif.

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