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Saturday, January 07, 2006

 

Barhorst: God, me, and Death

By Terry Barhorst, right

I really don't understand this notion some have that death is a punishment. If one of my children should become wounded or ill, to the point of helplessness and terrible pain, I would surely bring them home to care for and bring them back to health. My actions might confuse some people, but I would not think of that confusion as a punishment either.

I believe that a majority of religions believe that our bodies are a husk in which we spend earthly time. Then, for whatever reason, we go on. It is a body that is punished by disease, actions--of self and others--and accidents, and only a minority of these husks come to a point where the "I" is released because of "old age."

Those demagogues, who believe that claiming death as a punishment to the individual involved is useful as a political statement, have completely lost connection with whatever God in which they claim faith and belief. That they do it for political reasons is reprehensible. Politicians, demogogues, and clergy claiming death as a punishment are wrong. In point of fact, even terrorists better understand the truth of death.

Death is a loss, and in some cases a punishment, to those left behind, but not the dying. In every religion except one that I have studied, the dying are going on. Those left behind mourn their own loss. This must be believed, for it is consistent with the belief that there are entities who are all powerful and wise.

Terry D. Barhorst

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