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Crump's Concern

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I hope you can attend the book discussion that Rabbi Zamek and I are leading, first here at church, then at Beth Shalom, on Nov. 5 and 12, respectively. The author of Reverence: A Forgotten Virtue, will be keynoter at the Prayer Breakfast on Friday, Oct. 31, 7AM at the First United Methodist Church. Stay after church services to see the short film El dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) scheduled for showing after each worship service this Sunday, November 2nd. TWe live in a world where the religious political card continues to play. Note the obligatory God Bless America sign-off of political speeches, regardless of party. Note the embarrassing statement by undersecretary of defense for intelligence, Lt. Gen William Jerry Boykin, who claims terrorists or Satan targeted our nation because we are a "Christian nation." I rather he had said, "because of our religious freedom," but even those words do not adequately explain why a super-power is attacked on its own soil. Columnist Nicholas Kristof is disturbed by what he calls the deterioration of the great intellectual traditions of Catholic and Protestant churches (NYT 8-20-03). He says 47% of non-Christians in our country believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus. Overall, 83% of Americans believe in the Virgin Birth, while only 28% believe in evolution. More strange, is that belief is associated with evolutionary theory, as if scientific principles were matters of conversion or faith. Kristof says intellect ought not be opposed to religious faith, but increasingly, heart or mysticism is set in opposition to reason, "leaving the scholarly and religious worlds increasingly antagonistic. "The heart is a wonderful organ," says Kristof, "but so is the brain."