The Daily Yomiuri,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8055
I enjoyed Andrew Miller’s December 11, 2007 letter, “Christmas lets us reflect on the meaning of religion,” and I think he is being wrongly beaten up by letter writers to the newspaper. But I am not surprised, because this topic always gets people’s gander up. I am on his side and feel confident in the observation that the predominant religion inJapanis Money, which contributes to the Japanese reputation in the world for moral obtuseness. The anti-discrimination cause is being championed throughout the world, and that is good. But it feels that anti-Christian discrimination is permitted as some kind of justice, or payback for that religion’s history, and as a pillar in the virtuous promotion of a pluralistic society. Well, that isn’t right, nor is it accurate.
It is much easier to practice a religion than to practice a living faith, and the two are usually confused. And, of course, people are free to believe whatever they want with impunity, even if what they believe is demonstrably wrong and poppycock. Detractors use this argument formula against all organized religion, including Christianity. But Christians may use it to profess the truth of Christ and the folly of other creeds. P. Derrick (“Concept of ‘true religion’ divisive, destructive” December 13, 2007) calls this “blind religious arrogance.” But not at all. Christians, like non-Christians, have a right to believe this and, even more, to say it with impunity, without being prosecuted for intolerance or hatred. So, strangely, Christians are criticized today for professing the virtues of their living faith all the while tolerating others, while detractors do not acknowledge the virtues of Christianity to begin with, and probably do not even recognized, understand or accept them. It is silly and annoying to read views expressing how bad Christianity is for professing its own truth, and by appealing to things like peace, happiness, or a vague notion of kindness to express how any other belief is just as good. Not all beliefs have equal merit.
But I could be wrong. And, Merry Christmas everyone!