Columbia, SC — The comments about Rev. Neal Jones’ Dec. 19 guest column (“The Christmas story: Neither fact nor fiction”) are a good example of how many Christians unquestioningly accept the tenets of their religion. Many writers argue that what they believe is true simply because they’ve been told it is or they’ve read it in the Bible. These responses exemplify not the use of reason, but self-righteous credulity. But it is their condemnation that is disturbing.
Rev. Jones stated his own conclusions about certain claims of conventional religion, and said that while it is possible to reject the dogmatic stories regarding Jesus, one can still admire the Christ and learn from his teachings. He wasn’t advocating a rebellion against Christian principles or anything of the sort. He was making a point for reason and self-determination regarding the spiritual path we follow.
Rev. Jones’ life and actions are in harmony with the basic code of decency and ethics honored by every religious tradition devised by humankind, as those of us who know him can attest. To condemn Neal Jones for expressing the reasons for his beliefs is not what Jesus would do. I’m saddened to see too many people throwing stones, and not enough good Samaritans in that crowd.