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Letter to the Editor on Returning to Church Buildings


Posted June 8, 2020


Dear Editor:

Matthew 18:20 in the Bible states,” When two or three are gathered together in my (Jesus’) name, I am there in the midst of them.” The verse also advises how to deal with disagreeable people in the church, but let’s concentrate on Jesus being ”in the midst of them.”


If Christians truly believe the above excerpt from Matthew 18:20, why is there such hand-wringing over when people can return to church during the lockdown? Could it be politics?


Between sanctimonious White House posturing and a sometimes-pious public at large, there’s a lot more heat-than-light Bible thumping going on. This has been evident since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mentioned praying for President Trump, and his subsequent questioning the Speaker’s sincerity.


Holier-than-thou-ism isn’t confined to the President or Speaker Pelosi. A piety virus appears to some degree anytime someone anoints a tragedy as “biblical” in nature.


When Mother Teresa died a few days after Princess Diana of Wales, you could sense the frantic rush of journalists scrambling to give equal reverence to the Catholic missionary as they did to Princess Diana.


Following Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s death in 1996, Chicago media almost fell over themselves trying to out-profound each other with glowing tributes to Bernardin.


I was reminded during a recent online church service that the church isn’t a building. It’s the people within it.


A New Yorker magazine cartoon once showed God and an angel looking down on earth with God saying, “I’m starting to prefer the ones who don’t believe in me.”


I can’t speak for God, but I imagine him saying “For heaven’s sake, people. You’re overthinking this.  Just worship online.”


Jim Newton

Itasca, Il 60143


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