Father Peter Milward, in his Aug. 22 letter, “Legacy of Christian humanism,” would appear to have no idea what I’m talking about.

No doubt, in Milward’s alternative universe, Thomas Jefferson, Jeremy Bentham and the many other thinkers who helped us break free from the “educators of Europe” either never existed or were devout Christians; Galileo was not forced to recant his heliocentric theory on pain of death, but was canonized; the French Revolution was fought to strengthen the benevolent rule of the Catholic Church and the aristocracy; and the American Revolutionary War was a struggle against the evil forces of secularism.

Meanwhile, on planet Earth, belief in supernatural spirits is the very definition of superstition, as is the belief that birth control — including the use of condoms to stop the spread of AIDS — is a sin.

I am not a student of Milward, so he can save his overbearing Malcolm Muggeridge act for those he has the privilege of teaching.

Not believing in an absolute monarch sitting on His heavenly throne, I will “gainsay” whom I like, when I like, as is everyone’s right. Luckily I live in an age when “gainsaying” doesn’t get me tortured and killed on the orders of malevolent clerics.

jim makin

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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