James K. Sewall

Grove City

The recent article in the Herald about the defaced statue of the Virgin Mary for me is a very sad commentary on the institutionalized Christian church in the United States. Two 13-year old boys were involved in stoning the statue.

Those of us who have counseled youths over the years know quite well that the teen years are marked by anger, insecurity, searching and questionable behavior. Therefore, it seems to me, the main concern should not have been with the statue but with the youths involved.

Would Christ not have done the same as he did with the prostitute at the well or with the tax collector, talked to them, changing their lives forever?

Therefore, is punishment in the form of rejection ever appropriate in dealing with the youth? Of course, not. The conclusion is that the institutionalized church does not exemplify true Christianity any more than Iraq exemplifies the true Islamic faith.

My own personal belief is that the way to bring God back into the schools is not through prayers but through love. As St. Paul stated “faith without love is like a bell that makes no sound.” It is useless.

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