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As Hannukah arrives and Christmas and Kwanzaa approach, the prospect of doing “Gift Week” here on the Bleader has proved too revolting for common consent. So instead we’re going to go all Linus Van Pelt this week and break up the party with our favorite religious texts. When people ask about my beliefs, I always say I’m religious but not spiritual. After all, an excess of feeling can be a real impediment to forcing one’s views on others.

My text comes from the Book of Luke, chapter six, when Jesus comes down from praying all night in the hills to deliver his Sermon on the Plain. “But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your cloak do not withhold your coat as well.”