- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 28, 2001

Perhaps the headline for Nelson Marans´ April 21 letter to the editor should have been “New age tolerance” rather than “B.C. comic strip exhibits stone age humor.” The presumption that Johnny Hart´s “B.C.” comic was “offensive to all who practice religious tolerance” is not just grandiose, it´s wrong.

Given the spreading influence of relativism, which denies absolute truth and debases tolerance, it is not surprising that someone expects “a message of support for all peoples and religions” on the “occasion of Easter.”

Easter, however, deals with the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. While Jesus did teach us to love one another, including our enemies, He did not teach support for all religions, nor that all are true. Rather, He said that He was and is the only way to God (John 14:6). He rose from the dead to prove it.

Everyone does not accept this, which is understandable. As Richard John Neuhaus wrote last year in First Things, “to say that Jesus is Lord is necessarily to say that no one else and nothing else is lord. This has been and always will be controversial,´ and is thought outrageously offensive in a culture whose highest truth is tolerance, with tolerance understood to mean that all truths are equal, which is another way of saying there is no truth. In ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, as also in encounters with those of no religion, all participants are of equal human dignity but their beliefs are not equally true.”

If people such as Mr. Marans accuse Mr. Hart and others of “bigotry” because the latter exercise a religion with which the former disagree, who is really practicing bigotry?

Mr. Marans writes, “Despite explanations by the writer, the message is clear: Judaism is no longer valid as a belief.” Charging Mr. Hart with bigotry and intolerance, Mr. Marans seems willing to disregard and distort the words of Mr. Hart.

As reported in The Washington Times on April 12, Mr. Hart stated, “The God of Judaism and the God of Christianity is the same, and the people of Israel are his chosen people, and Jesus is one of them. This is a holy week for both Christians and Jews, and my intent was to pay tribute to both. I sincerely apologize if I have offended any readers, and I also sincerely hope that this cartoon will generate increased interest in religious awareness” (“Easter B.C.´ sparks controversy among Jews”).

That Christianity grew out of Judaism is a historical fact. Mr. Marans is misguided to claim an expression of belief is an “obscene attack” and “should no longer be published” when no harm was done and the author´s intentions were not malicious. Though abused in inflammatory, illogical and contradictory statements, words still have meanings. Truth is still true, and, as Mr. Marans demonstrates, all ideas are not equal.

In the name of “tolerance,” however, better explanations than those posed by Mr. Marans should be offered for not tolerating an idea.


Manassas, Va.

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