In the Jan. 14 issue of The Independent, Publisher Steve May penned a LeadOff editorial titled “La.’s creationism ‘junk science’ law nearing implementation,” which attacks Gov. Bobby Jindal’s support of new guidelines that would allow a balanced study of the origins of life in our public schools. As an avid reader and supporter of The Independent, a personal friend, and a Christian, I take issue with your point of view.
You and others may question my credibility to even weigh in on the subject of creationism or Christian values. Granted, I am not an outspoken spiritual advocate, and that is the very reason for which I feel most called to speak out. Like many, I am private in my relationship with God. I am still learning and eager for enlightenment. I am part of the silent spiritual majority of our community that is tired of the constant media attacks on our beliefs.
I am not an expert on the subject of creationism. I leave that debate to scholars, theologians and pundits of all types. And while I struggle, as many do, to remain on a righteous spiritual track, I feel strongly in certain beliefs. I believe, as do my wife, daughter and several thousand members of my church family, that God created heaven and earth as well as every living thing in it. I believe it as a teaching of my guide to life, the Holy Bible. I believe it on faith. Many millions of Americans share that belief.
My argument with you is not about the fundamental origins of the universe but about your role as a publisher of our community’s newspaper taking a position steeped in an unwavering and singular focus. The Independent Weekly has always “preached” tolerance, alternative thinking and freedom of expression. You have supported the embracement of people of all lifestyles and backgrounds. But, your words suggest that you do not have tolerance for my beliefs as a Christian or anyone in Acadiana who share them.
Your point of view not only contradicts my shared view of how the world was created but it goes much, much further. Your stand is outspokenly self-centered on your personal beliefs and not in support of hearing any teachings to the contrary. While I do not agree, I respect your right to represent your side. However, you negatively describe my beliefs with terms like “discredited pseudo-science” and “educationally regressive new law.” Where is the tolerance in those words?
Your argument is launched on a smokescreen of economic development when you ask, “Is this the message of educational ignorance that we want to send prospective employers considering locating or relocating to Louisiana?” I believe the contrary is true and that bringing a balanced discussion to the classroom by adding a spiritually relevant point of view will shine an inspiring light on Louisiana and its educational system.
You say that our state will have “a difficult enough burden to attract the nation’s new technology-based entrepreneurs and their companies populated with some of the best and brightest talent.” You suggest that the CEOs and boardrooms of America are filled with the spiritually agnostic. Did you ever stop to think that maybe there are passionate and committed Christians among the best and brightest of the business world? Our many local, faith-based private schools are filled to the brim with their children and so, too, are our public schools. If you would like, I can provide you with a list of some of Acadiana’s best and brightest who attend church regularly and believe as I do. They are your neighbors, your readers, your advertisers.
Over the years I have been a staunch supporter of your publication. I have applauded you when you took an unpopular stand or ruffled the feathers of the established norm, all for the good of our community. But on those occasions when you use your bully pulpit to attack the spiritual foundation of our community, I will continue to stand in opposition.
It is my hope that you and your publication will begin to practice what you preach. That you will have a revelation, divine or otherwise, that maybe, just maybe, you have been wrong — and that taking a spiritually tolerant perspective could very well help make our world, our state, a better place.
If anyone would like to comment on my letter, e-mail me at [email protected]