Putting The Free In Free Will

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Editor:

While I respect Ms. Marsh's right to her belief in her response to my letter to the editor, her letter provides living proof of the intolerance of dogma. It's precisely this attitude of "my belief is the only true way" that is at the root of much of the problems of the world.

For many years, we had a wonderful man in our midst. Dr. Charles Meister of Pine, who made his transition earlier this year. Not only was Charlie one of the most profoundly spiritual people that I've ever met, he was a well-respected academic and undisputed expert in world religions. I would urge you to read his book, "Religion, Bane or Blessing" if it's still available in print. I believe his last book, "From Terrorism to World Peace" is still available at amazon.com.

Charlie stated that all of the world's religions (more than 42,000 different flavors and denominations according to the religion research website, www.adherents.com) may be classified into only two categories: uniters or dividers. If you assume the divine mantle of authority that allows you to affirm which one religion is the only true belief, you've made all other religions wrong. That makes you a divider. This belief fosters intolerance and, in it's worst form, war.

If you honor all paths that lead to God, Charlie would call you a uniter. Jesus himself said, "In my Father's house are many mansions." This acceptance promotes love, harmony and peace.

That doesn't mean that the spiritual path that you have chosen isn't right for you. There's a correct path for each of us to worship as we are internally led. Or, not to worship. That's the beauty of the gift of free will.

Remember, as much as some people would lead you to believe otherwise, the Creator doesn't have an official religion.

What's important is that you actively live the core belief of your chosen faith on a daily basis -- no matter what it's called. And, respect others for what they believe, even if it's different than your own belief.

That's called tolerance.

Larry Brophy, Payson

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