Letter at length, March 17

The Jefferson Center is not so open-minded

No Mensa meeting was missed to make time to write this letter. I probably should let you know that my pants are held up by a belt — not a draw string. My shoes have positive heels. My wallet doesn't have a shoulder strap. I don't do yoga or tai chi. I don't eat organic food. And did I feel stupid when I recently discovered that Ram Dass wasn't a computer term. Though I'm at an obvious mental disadvantage, I'm going to try.

After reading an article describing a recent survey stating that "More Americans say they have no religion," Mr. Semes (of the Jefferson Center) wrote: "Those of us who cherish critical thinking, intellectual honesty and secular values are overjoyed to see these results — especially the figures which indicate traditional organized religion playing a diminishing role in many American lives today." (See March 14 Tidings letter to the editor "Overjoyed to see more Americans lack religion.")

The Ashland Jefferson Center's Web site boasts the following terms: critical thinking, science and reason rather than supernaturalism, open-minded and realistic, separation of religion and government, freethinkers, secularists, humanists, atheists, agnostics and skeptics, sharpen your critical thinking skills"¦ fine-tune your intellectual honesty.

You have every right to be skeptical of my spiritual beliefs, but you may want to re-examine your assertion that you're "open-minded." (Someone once said "Some people are so open-minded their brains fall out.")

I find statements like "Sharpen one's critical thinking skills and fine-tune one's intellectual honesty" so typically condescending.

It will probably surprise Mr. Semes that I agree that it would be much better to have fewer religious people and churches — though my reasons are much different.

Most religions (generalization) observe a set of rituals that, if practiced conscientiously, allegedly win the favor of God or Gods.

True Christianity is not a religion. Only the belief in what Christ did on the cross counts.

Bob Calhoun

Eagle Point

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