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Faith bashing?

Dear Ronald, Stan and others I might have somehow hurt:

As a newcomer to these pages, I was moved to join a discussion already
underway about the repercussions of extremism, not of faith. As the
descendents of Crusaders, we "know" something about that that many others do
not; I did not recognize the discussion I was joining as entirely foreign
(i.e., "non-Sinclair"), given that family history. We Sinclairs/St.Clairs
have, as I understand it, a surprising quantity of perpetrators and victims

I have never in my life "bashed" faith - quite the opposite. I wish I had
more of it. At times, however, I wish others would have a little less. Our
ancestors are sometimes honored for killing others for the same reasons that
others kill us today, and that's a shame. Like you, Ronald, my "faith" tells
me to treat my fellow human beings as well as I know how, and I find
expressions of a faith different than mine both of great interest and
refreshing. Acceptance of that variety of faith, however, is the key to our
survival as a species. Our ancestors, swords in hand, didn't appear to
recognize the value in the diversity of faith. Spilling blood in the name of
one's god is nothing to be proud of, so I believe that some of my ancestors
- your ancestors, presumably - did evil things.

Far from trivializing the deaths of innocents last September 11th, my
comments were meant to merely continue a conversation by warning that,
today, it's not only Islam that threatens others. As it has always been -
during the time of Christ, during the Crusades, during the "cleansing" of
the New World by the Spanish, during the partitioning of Southern Asia into
India and Pakistan, during the massacres in Indonesia and Malaysia - it is
those who believe that they, and only they, know the truth that most
threaten others. To believe that it is only "them" that perpetrate such
atrocities is dangerous - we need only look at parts of our own family
history to see the dark side of humanity. Unfortunately, in our age of
technology, one (or 5, or 19) fanatics can kill far more innocent people in
a blink of an eye than they could even decades ago, never mind centuries
ago. So I disagree that numbers somehow make one atrocity that much worse
than others - evil is evil, whether it kills one or kills thousands. A
mounted knight's sword a thousand years ago caused enough devastation in
innocent families to warrant the same anger and disgust as we feel now about
the murders last September. Rosslyn Chapel is a wonderful monument to faith
- most are moved by its beauty - but not all who worshipped there
necessarily deserved its sanctuary.

If I somehow made you think I was denigrating faith, I sincerely apologize
for my lack of clarity. Faith, as practiced by the overwhelming majority of
Sinclairs, St.Clairs, Sinklers and others, is a rich and uplifting thing. My
scientist/atheist friends feel it, too, but at different times, perhaps,
than others of different faiths. Faith is about hope and love, and not about
bringing death and destruction to disbelievers. I crave faith, I don't
disdain it.

Like every family, we have our skeletons. We also have our disagreements.
Stay at the table, though - it might yet be what you're looking for. I'm new
here, so I don't know how it will work out either. I'll try to be a good
conversationalist, though, if I'm allowed to stay.


David St.Clair

-----Original Message-----
From: Stanley St. Clair [mailto:srstclair@alltel.net]
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 1:41 PM
To: sinclair@quarterman.org
Subject: Re: ...Islam puts most western cultures to shame?

Dear Ronald,

Most of us are on the list for these same reasons. John Quartermain has
asked that we return to the subjects which are more Sinclair in nature. The
advantage of a list like this is that we see varying viewpoints. We do not

[ Excess quotations omitted. ]

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