Merle Hexum's most recent letter is disturbing and wrong on many levels. Merle is certain--beyond a shadow of a doubt--that his morality and his version of Christian faith are the real deal and that the morality and faith of those with opposing views are a fraud. Merle's attitude is breathtaking in its arrogance and dangerous. It cannot go unchallenged.
To say that Sarah Palin's critics hate her and loathe her "godliness and righteousness" is silly and false. Merle does not understand the concerns of those critics and, therefore, has no business attributing hatred and ugliness to them. Many of Sarah Palin's critics are devout Christians and highly moral people who question her qualifications and use of political power. (Plenty of McCain supporters have voiced the same concerns. Collin Powell, a distinguished Republican has just announced his support for Obama, in part because he doesn't think that Palin is qualified.) These Christians have a faith that is generous and confident--not hateful and fearful--in the face of challenge.
Sarah Palin's critics have political values and goals that are dramatically different from hers. Her critics are deeply concerned about a failing economy, reckless spending of a magnitude heretofore unknown to man, the growing disparity of wealth in this country, an arrogant foreign policy, the sinfully high cost of health care and higher education, the ongoing despoiling of our natural environment, and so on. These are the concerns of many "godly and righteous" people.
Merle is also wrong to mock higher education. He refers to Obama as "an elitist with a Harvard law degree". (Merle has not limited his sneering attitude to eastern Ivy league schools. In a letter of his published a few years ago, he made a similar reference to me; and I've been wholly educated in Minnesota.) Higher education must be valued, not treated with disdain. What do those who belittle excellence in education value? Ignorance? Mediocrity? Don't we all want our children to be well-educated? Does Merle not understand what excellence in higher education has done for this country? Through the honest application of the scientific method, the reach of human knowledge and understanding has been greatly expanded. Without real science, we would not have the quality of life in this country that is the envy of the world. To require strict adherence to a narrow religious dogma such as Merle's and to belittle the acquisition of knowledge will, in the long run, place our way of life at risk.
A religious faith that belittles learning and that is afraid of scientific discovery is a shallow faith. Such a faith fails to recognize that science takes us deeper into the mystery of life without eliminating the ultimate mystery. The question of what lies behind that which science makes known will always remain.
That's where science ends and religion begins. Those who are "godly and righteous" according to Merle's narrow definition should come to grips with this and stop judging those with conflicting views.
John Minge, Perham