On June 30, 2023

Everybody can be good, kind, caring and giving


Dear Editor, 

In my letter to the Brattleborow Reformer on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009, with the   headline, “Homelessness is a sign of a society that’s failing,” I wrote, “We spend a lot of time preaching about the importance of good deeds and gratitude, and not enough time making any tangible change. It’s really simple. If we don’t take care of each other, we are the problem.”

In a recent letter, May 31, 2023, titled, “It is who we are,” four churches from the community congregations tell us that their faith informs them, “they know life’s ultimate meaning is welcoming and caring for our neighbor. If it’s true their traditions of faith challenge them to do so,” what took so long?

The writers of the May 31 letter now declare, “As congregations of faith, we pledge to set a tone of radical welcome for our unsheltered neighbors.” However, it’s been 14 years since I wrote that, and their pledge of radical welcoming now sounds as hollow as the biblical commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” 

It looks good on paper, but it has never been reality. Then again, since “faith” is based solely on beliefs, dogma and intra-spiritual apprehensions and superstitions rather than proof, there’s nothing substantive about faith either.

The true reality is that for the past 15,000 years following the emergence of walled-in agriculture and human settlements, property ownership and later, the “corporate voice,” drove a permanent wedge between the haves and have nots. Over 12,000 years later, the Christian faith has not only failed to alleviate the poor, but the religion also amplified poverty and dangerous divisions to this very day. In an 1803 letter objecting to the use of government land for churches, James Madison wrote, “The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.”

There is no historical foundation that supports belief in faith as a tangible means to effectively advocate for or solve state issues before the greater diversified secular communities.

It’s entirely misleading and simply not true that belief in faith is what makes us loving, caring, and welcoming people. In fact, more often than not, beliefs in faith are daily being fought over and one of the most divisive and dangerous aspects of human behavior.  

What we do know is that “everybody” can be good, kind, caring, giving, loving, peaceful people without make-believe religion and faith. In fact, those attributes are innately human throughout 200,000 years of our evolution. We could not have survived this long as a species without those humane traits. That is who we really are.

Vidda Crochetta,


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