SEABROOK SAYS: The dialogue in Gaston County related to Jews, Christians and Muslims is a hot topic right now – and that is as it should be. Through energetic dialogue, new understandings will be reached and needed changed will quite likely occur. Enter the dialogue starting now:
I am responding to the Jim Pass letter that appeared in the Gaston Gazette on December 30, 2015. I want to thank him for the letter since we need to continue a dialogue on religious issues in hopes that a solution can be found.
Mr. Pass basically concludes that Judaism, Christianity and Islam have such contradictory beliefs that there is no way to reconcile the three religions. He may be right but that is no reason to avoid the joint study, dialogue and understanding. All three faiths start with the uniform belief in monotheism – one god. Christianity and Islam recognize Jesus as a great prophet of God. The Jewish Messiah issue prohibits the Jews from accepting Jesus, who is one of their own.
There is no question that each faith traces its origin back to Abraham so there is common ground. The biggest obstacles that I see are the sacred writings. The Bible and Quran were written 1,500 to 2,500 years ago in a violent, primitive time and in cultures completely foreign to the 21st century. Both texts contain violent language and strange, outdated practices. By meeting and discussing with Jews, Muslims and other Christians, I have found that most of each faith have relegated these passages to a time long ago with no relevance today.
The problems of today stem from the fringe element of all three faiths that use this outdated, violent language to justify many horrific acts we have witnessed recently. The letter put forth by the trialogue not only condemned terrorism, but disavowed the violent language in the Bible and the Quran. That was a huge step forward.
I will keep going, discussing and exploring because if we don’t find a way for all three faiths to live together in peace and harmony, then the world is in for a rough time. I urge Mr. Pass and all others who are concerned with the current situation to join our discussions. It can only help.
Attorney, Gray, Layton, Kersh, Solomon, Furr, and Smith