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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %DEMONIZE PEOPLE DISAGREE FIRM BELIEF CONVICT LOVE 961111 If we believe that any person who disagrees with our deepest convictions must be an agent of the devil---and so worthy of alienation and destruction---then we alienate ourselves from all possible human sources who might help us to recognize our most profound errors. We trap ourselves within a prison of our own making and from which we forbid our own escape. We do not succeed in undercutting the power of the devil by deionizing those people who disagree with our most profound convictions. Instead we ally ourselves with the devil in alienating ourselves from those whom we demonize. We cannot serve God who is Love by demonizing anyone. When we alienate others we alienate ourselves from God, for others are God's children whom God who is Love cherishes---even though we do not. When we qualify ourselves for self-righteousness we alienate ourselves from those whom we judge not to be righteous according to the criteria we have chosen so that we can judge ourselves to be righteous. Such qualifications and judgements alienate us from God who is Love---for we clearly indicate that we do not consider open and honest dialogue with others and God to be important to our personal and communal integrity. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================