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Follow Jesus’ teachings and love, help one another

Freedom of religion is a wonderful thing. So long as you don’t hurt anybody or anything, you can believe what you want.

The problem with organized religions is that, although they believe in God, they can’t agree on how to worship and have killed or persecuted others over their differences in beliefs. Organized religions have evolved into a set of rules, regulations and rituals, which has resulted in divisiveness.

There is an old saying “No matter what you do, there’s going to be somebody who doesn’t like it,” and through different interpretations of the seven different Bibles available, they are now divided into dozens of denominations. Even today, several churches are separating themselves from the Methodist organization over such differences.

The oldest known Bible dates to the fourth century and is kept in the Vatican. Before the printing press was used in Europe in the 15th century, Bibles were copied by hand by monks who changed and added their own thoughts, which are now taken as gospel. The top 10 verses that were not originally in the New Testament are Mark 16:17-18, Luke 22:20, Luke 22:44, Luke 24:12, Luke 24:51, John 5:4, John 8:7. John 8:11 and 1 John 5:7.

When reading the Bible, I believe one must use common sense. For example, the Bible says that God so loved the Earth that he gave his only son to die for our sins. When I read the Old Testament, I don’t see God’s love. I see a stern God as expressed in the second commandment. When you look at what was going on 2,000 years ago, nobody believed in God except the Jews, so it seems to me that He sent his son to die and be resurrected in order to prove his existence. And it worked, as there are over 254 million people in the world who now believe.

In my opinion, people like Paul were the TV evangelist of their day. He said a lot of good things, but would include his own personal prejudices.

Former President Jimmy Carter said, “Male religious leaders have had, and still have, an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. The have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women through out the world.”

I believe this philosophy also apples to homosexuality. Even Pope Francis has said, “Who are we to judge?”

God gave us the 10 commandments to live by and that’s it. I believe there are no other sins.

So, don’t be so fast to condemn somebody, just because “it’s in the Bible.”

Follow the teachings of Jesus to love and help one another.

William Wilson| Jeffersonville, Ind.