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A premise of Christianity is that righteous torture can repair evil

To The Daily Sun,

In Latin America and the Caribbean region, Chile is one of only five countries where abortion is absolutely prohibited ... even when it could save a woman's life. Over 60 percent of the world's population now live in countries where abortion is generally permitted, and more than 25 countries have liberalized their abortion laws in the past two decades. Chile is not one of them.

There are geographic and political reasons why Chile has such stringent abortion laws, but suffice to say that it is overwhelmingly Catholic. This brings us to another wretched idea that Christianity has spawned i.e. "glorified suffering" (GS).

One of the premises of Christianity is that righteous torture — if it's just the right amount, i.e. intense and prolonged enough — can somehow repair the damage done by evil and sinful behavior. Millions of crucifixes are a testament to this belief. Shia Muslims beat themselves with lashes and chains during Aashura, a form of sanctified suffering. Asceticism and fasting is a part of both Eastern and Western religions because it supposedly induces an "altered state" and brings us closer to divinity. Our ancestors lived in a world where people had very little power to control pain. An aspirin and heating pad would have been a "miracle" to the writers of the holy books.

The best that religion could do was to make some sort of "meaning" of it, such as turning it into a spiritual good. The problem with this is that it has made people more willing to inflict it not only on themselves and their enemies but also those who are helpless including the sick and dying, the children and of course draconian conservative abortion laws.

Michelle Bachelet, the Socialist president of Chile, is attempting to crack the barrier of ignorance in this country isolated by the Andes from many of the social revolutions throughout the world.

George Maloof

Plymouth

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I heard voice of the people speaking in our town of Meredith

To The Daily Sun,

I am writing to thank the residents of Meredith for coming to the Selectboard Public Hearing Jan. 26 regarding the proposal for three single-lane roundabouts for the intersection of Routes 3 and 25 and its corridors. Your thoughts are important to the functioning of our town. It is simply amazing that 400 people were out and about while riding the wave of a snowstorm. We must all gather in support of the issues that affect our livelihood, civil liberties, and constitutional rights. It is the people's place to live. We, the residents, come first in Meredith.

I am now running for a Selectboard position. I will make sure that the people of Meredith are informed on the issues. I have always been an advocate and a protector of the people and their individual liberties. My voice is here to represent all walks of life. I have no bias toward groups, nor am I running with an agenda, other than protecting and defending the citizens' interest.

As I traveled around Meredith with my petition (500-plus signatures) against the proposal of three single-lane roundabouts, I heard the voice of the people speaking in their town. The spirit was coming from their hearts and I could see it in their faces and expressions. I heard the opinions and tried to translate them into action and we together were successful.

Rosemary Landry

Meredith

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