Letter to Editor 02

I am not a minister or politician, so I do not claim to be an authority on either subject. I am a disabled Vietnam veteran. I have fought for our country and the right to express my opinions if I choose to do so without anyone hating me or calling me names — especially by the people who have done nothing to earn the rights and freedoms that each of us enjoy today. I have sat in church pews for many years listening to what the minister had to say about God, talking to God and trying to understand what it all meant.

Of course, God was with me in Vietnam and we talked quite often in that time, but we soon parted ways because I didn’t agree with many of the things that he had allowed to happen. We finally reconciled with these few simple words — O ye of little faith — are your friends better off with you or with me?

Even I knew the answer to that question, so we have a better relationship since then, but something has happened recently that greatly upsets me. I have PTSD from my experiences in Vietnam and it is difficult for me to get to sleep, but when I finally dosed off one night, I dreamt that I was sitting on a pew at my church and the devil was sitting beside me in the form of a church member I recognized.

I asked the devil why he was in my church since he promotes everything that God is opposed to.

The devil told me that he was on the job of collecting souls to keep the fires of hell burning, and I quickly told him that he would not get any from my church because we all believed in God and his teachings.

The devil asked “Are you sure? I have already collected many souls from your church. Does it surprise you to learn that when many of your fellow parishioners had the opportunity to choose money or God, that they chose money?”

I was well aware that many of my fellow countrymen had taken up the practice of throwing the stones that are tearing the country apart, but I was not aware that so many had sold their souls to the devil and are still showing up at church on Sunday morning asking to be forgiven.

This is the ultimate betrayal.

Terry Swindell

New Alexandria