Letter of the Day (May 18): Suffering

  • Updated: May 16, 2014 - 6:34 PM

If we learn from it, that’s rare. For most, it’s a curse.


Photo: John Alvin • Fresno Bee/MCT,

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In a May 11 article (“Bachmann prepares for role as outsider,”) Michele Bachmann is pictured at a tribute in Monticello and quoted as saying, “One of the greatest gifts that God can give to any human being is suffering and hard times. It’s given to use for our benefit. It’s given to us to teach us … to make us better.” I disagree with this statement. To quote a favorite author (R.F. Capon): “The trouble … is: torture to teach us what? cancer, to improve us how? earthquakes to advance civilization in what way? … It simply won’t wash. For a few great souls, poverty may be a blessing; for most men, it is what it is: a curse. Now and then a terminal disease ennobles; most of the time, it is miles from being even the best of a bad job. To set God up as an instructor who uses such methods is to make him the warden of the worst-run penitentiary of all.”

Suffering and hardship happen. Let’s not say it’s to teach us anything, but rather that we can, if we choose, learn how to cope with it, and maybe, sometimes, even learn from it.

Cara Knittel, Burnsville

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