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A Matter Of Opinion

Lynn’s column: What do your symbols signify?

In my opinion, the best read on our pages today is Lynn Swanbom's column. Lynn is our letters coordinator and opinion page copy editor and she used her master’s degree in English and rhetorical studies in interesting ways on the job.

Her column today looks at the storm and the fury of religious debates on the letters page and what it might all mean. Her last graphs were my favorite:

And so, in the spirit of the topic, I have prepared a sermon for each side of this debate.

To those who rejoice in the victory of the strict "separation of church and state" interpretation of the First Amendment: Remember when you write that if your purpose is to convince others of your viewpoint, caricaturing and baiting opponents will probably not accomplish it. You wouldn't want to make converts by shaming the unconverted, for which many of you criticize religious evangelism. If the removal of the cross from the badge was to you a symbol of acceptance and respect for other human beings, please adhere to that meaning.

Fellow religious folk, please let go of certain symbols if it means hanging onto the wonderful things the symbols mean. The cross is a symbol of something beyond religious tradition. Remember that "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" was not part of a melodramatic martyrdom, but a real one. The speaker showed no malice toward those who unjustly and literally deprived him of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Show us what your symbols mean.

What do your symbols mean? Blog lines remain open all day.

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A Matter of Opinion is really a matter of three opinions – those held by the people responsible for the opinion pages of The Spokesman-Review. Check in regularly to find out what they’re up to, what they think and where they differ and to joust with them if you want.