I am deeply amused. I’m no fan of “faith & religion” sections of newspapers—axe them and expand the funny pages, I say—but here’s one editor with smarts who gets the thumbs up from me. He gets lots of complaints that those dang non-Christians are being over-represented on the religion page; some of them are typical bigotry of the dominant delusion:
A couple of critics wanted to know why we were wasting ink on these “false” beliefs when Christ is the only path to salvation. Another caller said he was tired of having “that Islam religion … shoved in my face.”
Now here’s what I like: the editor decided to apply some common sense and science to the complaint. He looks at the demographics of the region his paper serves. He tallies up the content of the articles published in his section of the paper. He compares them. He comes to a conclusion.
Although Faith & Values isn’t ignoring Christians, my tally does suggest that we are giving nonreligious people less attention than they deserve. We’re already taking steps to correct that.
Whoa. Now there’s a demonstration of commendable Values (I note, though, that it wasn’t driven by Faith, but by evidence and social consciousness). I’m already impressed, but the guy goes a step further and does even better.
Some might argue that the religion section is meant for religious people, just as the Sports section is intended for sports fans. (Because I myself have little interest in sports, I don’t expect that section to cater to me.)
But this analogy is faulty. Nonreligious people have their own codes of ethics and explanations for the meaning of life. Many pursue independent spiritual paths; others are happily secular.
I think these people deserve more coverage in F&V. What do you think?
He’s asking for input. Go ahead, say nice things to Mark Fisher (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the Columbus Dispatch about his sensible and fair attitude. I guess I won’t lobby to have his pages replaced with double-sized copies of Cathy, Garfield, Marmaduke, and Family Circus.