'Infidel' pleads for toleration of all views


I read Charlotte K. Albertson's letter in the April 27 Wildcat ("Religious faith provided student direction") and could not let it go unanswered, for the letter raised several important questions with me. First of all, here was a letter which clearly and blatantly expresses religious beliefs and promotes a religion, Christianity. It seemed to have been printed unedited and intact. The question raised with me is, "Suppose I or someone else had written a letter expressing my (or their) view (which, remember, is only my opinion, as is Albertson's position) that there is no God, explaining how that view helped them through school as Albertson was helped by her belief, and promoting non-belief, or atheism. Would that letter be published, whole and unedited? Would the letter-writer be able to escape criticism, maybe even scorn, from many sides? Few, I'm sure, will do much to criticize Albertson.

These are questions I feel we must ask ourselves. Do we really have freedom of religion in this country, or are there too many looking to suppress views they don't agree with? Can people possibly have freedom from religion, and have others respect it? Can we all be mature and respect the views of the others, which are, after all, only opinions?

In my years as an infidel, I've never been one to attack the views of others. I've treated others with respect and toleration. Many people of many faiths have ridiculed me, argued with me vehemently, and condemned me to a hell that may or may not exist. I've done nothing to earn this treatment except have a different opinion than is the mainstream. I'm not saying Christians or any others are bad people, but I think more toleration and respect is necessary. I'll always let other have their views, and they should do the same for me.

But would such a letter get published? Would anyone in this predominantly Christian society even have the guts to write it (except perhaps myself when I'm a senior)? Would anyone have the confidence that they would get their due respect? I doubt it.

Jay Ernst-Fernandez

Business Sophomore

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