Paper needs to expand religion coverage
A letter in the March 26 issue of The Outlook ('More sensitivity needed to Christianity') has finally spurred me to express what I believe to be a case of unbalanced reporting in this newspaper.
Candice Brower labels it a 'mistake' to publish Julie Irmer's expanded view of who she feels God is; i.e. 'bigger than the God of Christianity' in the Spiritual Living supplement.' And during Easter week to boot.
Frankly, I applaud Irmer's religious introspection and admittance that there are other ways to approach a god thesis. There are billions of people in this world who approach it from a different position than those who have faith in Jesus Christ. They're called Jews, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, Sikhs, agnostics, Pagans, deists, etc.
And who is to say which one or ones are right? Maybe they're all wrong! So where is the reporting on the spiritual lives of any of these others?
Topics might include: 'Why is a Unitarian considered a Christian when they don't believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ?' What do they believe? 'How can an educated person believe in creationism?' Some think it's possible. 'Why is the Dalai Lama so much more respected worldwide than the Pope?' Could it be what he says? 'Why do the Mormons need two different Bibles?' 'Why aren't there any windows in a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall?' Has anybody ever even noticed that? 'How can an atheist not believe in God?' Is there a secret education?
Are we afraid of offending somebody? Approximately 75 percent of the population of the United States and Canada 'identify with Christianity,' which might mean their parents used to attend a Christian church. Are the beliefs of the majority so untouchable that we report their beliefs as fact rather than faith? Are their beliefs so insecure that a little light shed on another viewpoint will shake their faith? How does one 'grow' in their faith if not for learning about differing viewpoints?
I would encourage Rob Cullivan, your religion reporter for The Outlook, to broaden his viewpoint and include information about other religious beliefs with an aim to inform and educate all of us on what each other believe. More like a 'What I believe and why I believe it.' I would venture that lots of us would be willing to contribute and more would be willing to read that section.
Or he could change the title to Christian Living and keep the content the same. There are spiritual lives other than those of Christians, even in Gresham!
Dave Cary is a Gresham resident.
Anyone with a story idea for the Spiritual Living section is invited to call or e-mail Rob Cullivan. He can be reached by calling 503-492-5116 or sending an e-mail to [email protected]