LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Zero tolerance’ is a matter Christians can consider

In response to the letter from The Right Rev. Kevin Brown, (“Border crisis is about basic human dignity,” June 20) I must point out that he does not speak for the entire Christian world. His claim that “people of grace, people who believe in a God of forgiveness, and people who believe in a God of second chances do not talk about zero tolerance” is best called ecclesiastical tripe.

Indeed, many millions of Christians do talk of this. He tells us we should all agree on what it means to treat one another with the basic dignities of humankind. Unfortunately there is no single subject on which everyone agrees.

He asks us to judge whether an action is good, right, and of the loving God. He illustrated his point by citing the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. He did not mention we were, at the time, at war with Japan. He also did not mention our internment of Germans and Italians, also at war with us. All three countries desperately trying to destroy America and all its people.

Do we need to let murderers go freely about so we do not mar them with the inhumanity of prison? If a single parent commits a felony, shall we send the children to jail along with mother or father? Which best illustrates basic human dignity? It seems there needs to be an agreement on what is basic human dignity and when should it be disregarded.

He talked of a God of second chances. Perhaps he was referring Judas’ second chance or Peter’s second chance to take back his three denials, or the second chance awaiting those who have rejected him at the second coming. Did Jesus offer a second chance when he destroyed the money changers? God is not only a loving God but also a JUST God. Sometimes there are no more chances.

“Zero tolerance is a language of legalism and not the language of grace.” The Ten Commandments are of the same language. The requirement to accept Jesus Christ and ONLY Jesus Christ is of the same legalistic language. By its nature and decree, Christianity is an exclusive religion. And according to Christ, he did not come to bring peace, he came to bring salvation.

Christianity is not a religion of a big hug, a stroking of the head, and a gentle “it’s going to be alright dear”. There are many, many things in this world that are not tolerable, thus zero tolerance is something Christians are permitted to speak and think.

Like Rev. Brown, I also do not speak for all Christians.

The Rev. Dr. Daniel E. Forsee

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