Dick Yarbrough (“Methodist squabbles show ‘organized religion’ an oxymoron,” July 31) not only fails to follow his father’s advice “to never talk politics or religion with people,” but he proceeds to mirror the actions of what he disparages as righteously-indignant “Bible thumpers who will pull out one sentence from one verse of one chapter of one book of the Bible . . . to convince us that they are on the side of God and everybody else is going to hell in a wheelbarrow.” Yarborough’s mirroring begins by offering a version of Matthew 7:5 (“Get the log out of our own eye before we worry about the speck in the eyes of others”), but he further applies the technique secularly by pulling one quote each from quarreling United Methodist North Georgia Conference Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and Dr. Jody Ray, minister at the Conference’s largest church, Mt. Bethel, adds some shopworn humor and jumps ill-advisedly to offer unsolicited advice regarding a dispute about which he displays little understanding. His advice may be well-intentioned, but his column’s tone smacks of self-righteousness.

Perhaps Yarbrough’s father’s advice to him should be modified as “never talk politics or religion with people, but if you do, don’t be hypocritical in doing so.”

Gregory Marshall



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