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Skip Religion, Stick to Sports 

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Your May 4 article "In Overtime They All Pray to the Same God" [Hot Type], provoked the following thoughts: Martin Marty of the University of Chicago, I think, agreed with me when I suggested that there is a great paucity of intellect in the realm of the Christian Right. A friend, who wrote a book on right-wing Christian education while living among them for over a year, was hounded unmercifully because he had to be saved from his Jewishness. As a youth I was not permitted to read the Bible because only the priests were capable of proper interpretation. However, it is clear that Skip Bayless ("In Overtime...") created an apologia for those goofs on the Knicks team. It is unfortunate that a sports maven needs to foist himself off as a religious arbiter. This is not uncommon for some Tribune writers (where critics of TV garbage become experts on basketball and jazz just because it's on TV). Nevertheless, Bayless should have written a letter to the editor rather than pollute the sports page with his interpretation of what another writer should have done. Perhaps the take of Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect is instructive: an Eagle Forum cutie insisted that the Bible reveals itself. When pressed to apply some logic to the matter, she responded: "It's faith." Strange, but she must condone the persecutions and assassinations in the name of Jesus during the Inquisition based upon her faith alone. Forget due process and forget individual rights. Skip, it doesn't matter that Ward thinks he would have failed God to not force his Bill of Attainder upon Konigsberg; even radical Christians need to use some brainpower. These are dangerous people who profess the glory of God by insisting that we have individual free will but would deprive us of it with their anti-intellectual insistence upon "truths" revealed in the Bible based upon their possibly maniacal insistence upon revelation that is incapable of confirmation. There is no room for interpretation. Idiots like Thomas only need to punch up their PDA and find the answer to every question in the world. If it is inconvenient, they will dismiss the Old Testament. Their heritage is one of intolerance, bigotry, and hate based upon a need to deprive others of their intellect and free will. Skip should have skipped on over to the editorial page rather than try to sell this antisocial rubbish in his column. His article was a critique on journalism and religion, not sports. Context, bull. We have all the context we need. This is simply a matter of three boobs, lacking in compassion and charity, trying to humiliate another human being for the "sins" of others. This is not only anti-intellectual, but also un-American. Christians killed "heretics," as did every other religious fanatic. It is time to put intolerance into the context of real life. Things have not changed that much. Dubya would allow people who have messianic delusions to fry even today. How is that different from 2,000 years ago?

Hank Browne

Chicago

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