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Prayer Curbs Violence, Speaker Says

About 30 people crowded into East Chapel Hill High School's auditorium Tuesday night to hear practitioner and teacher of Christian Science David Degler speak about how people can help keep themselves from dangers in the community by practicing spirituality.

Degler, who teaches in Tennessee, said there are three things residents must understand about spirituality before they can use it to protect themselves from dangers in the community.

"The first point that you must understand is that our creator can impact our safety," Degler said.

"Divine love is love that never changes, and it is here, and it is all-powerful. It is different from human affection."

Degler also said he blames recent high school shootings on the fact that teenagers have not accepted that God is divine love.

"My second point is that everyone has an identity or spiritual identity that can help curb violence," he said. "Joy, purity, peace are all the nature of God's goodness, and every individual has this nature that is good."

In Degler's third and final point, he told the audience what to do to help make the community and everyone in it safe. "The answer to the question as to how we can keep ourselves safe from dangers by using spirituality is through prayer," he said.

Degler, who has been in the practice for about 30 years, said he based his speech on two books.

"The basis of my speech comes from the Holy Bible and the book of Science and Health with keys to the scriptures," he said. "These books can help every man and woman find help in their daily lives."

Bruce Schwentker, head of the lecture committee of First Church of Christ Scientist, said he invited Degler to Chapel Hill because he had noticed numerous problems in the area.

"From the news I had noticed a number of bomb threats at the local schools and a slew of violence at rest homes," Schwentker said.

"We felt with all the violence in the schools and in the rest homes that we needed some help to curb the violence," he said.

Joan Hull, a member of First Church of Christ Scientist, said the lecture opened her eyes to new ideas.

"It makes me aware that it begins within my own thinking," she said. "It is also easy to accept so many labels for people but you have to ask, 'Does God see these people this way?'"

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