UP Catholic 04 01 2016 E Edition Page 6

6 April 1, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC LETTER TO THE EDITOR www.upcatholic.org Including Massage Therapy LETTERS TO THE EDITOR are welcome for publication in The U.P. Catholic newspaper. Those that address issues of specific interest to the Catholic communi- ty will be given priority. Letters to the editor reflect the opinions of their authors and not necessarily The U.P. Catholic nor the Diocese of Marquette. Letters should be received at least two weeks prior to the intended date of publication. All letters are subject to editing and are printed at the editors discretion. Letters under 300 words are more likely to be accepted for publication. Letters must be signed and include the address and telephone number of the author for verification. All let- ters submitted for publication in this newspaper become the property of The U.P. Catholic and will not be returned. Please specify whether your letter is intended for publication in The U.P. Catholic or if it is a private opinion you wish to express to the editor. Send your letter to: The U.P. Catholic, Attn: Letters, 1004 Harbor Hills Dr., Marquette, MI 49855, or e-mail your letter to: editor@dioceseofmarquette.org Editor: History can teach us a great deal about reli- fion, especially in todays atmosphere domi- nated by the news of Christians and other mi- norities being persecuted and killed by Muslim extremists in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The fact that religion is always dealing with a transcendent God means that we creatures can sometimes get it wrong when it comes to worshiping God who is totally other. One of the most common ways to get it wrong, it seems to me, is voluntarism, by which what is thought to be Gods will is exalt- ed over what is thought to be Gods mind. And even though both Gods will and mind are be- yond us, most of us come to know much of God the Creators mind through the observation of nature, discussion and reason. And because we dont think God can contradict himself, we conclude that Gods will cannot be something that goes against his mind or that we would consider irrational. And this is precisely what Muslim extremists deny, because they believe in divinely sanctioned violence against the innocent. In the Middle Ages, some Christians, too fell into voluntarism, by forcing people to change their religious beliefs through violence, and this voluntarism had to be abandoned and Christianity had to be purified. On the other hand, in those same Middle Ages, two great philosopher/theologians, one Muslim named Averroes and one Christian named Thomas Aquinas, found ways of supporting each others views of God. Today, too, we need Muslim and Christian authority figures, thinkers respect- ed in their respective faiths, to come together to discuss and arrive at truths that will bring reconciliation and healing. In 2006 in his address at the University of Regensburg in Germany, Pope Benedict XVI made an effort in this direction, but was terribly misunder- stood, unfortunately. Another effort must be made, in my opinion, with more preparation and participation, lest the slaughtering and the leeing from homeland of millions of people set back civilization hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Roland J. Mayer Ontonagon Religion can be learned from history

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