Saturday, June 25, 2005
A Gem in The Edmond Sun - Leaman Harris on Religious Intolerance
There are days when I come across unexpected treasures in the world wide web. Had never heard of "The Edmond Sun". A small city chartered in 1925, Edmond,Oklahoma, has a population in the low 30,000, predominantly white. Daily circulation of The Edmond Sun is below 11,000.
Under the byline of Leaman Harris, on June 21st The Edmond Sun published a column on religious intolerance that is worthy of national newspapers. Mr. Leaman is serving a one-year assignment that is "nearing its end".
I quote from the article:
- "You can check these statistics by searching on the web for "Statistical Abstract of the United States 2004-2005." These statistics are in Section 1, Population, Table 67. The Abstract is a publication of the U.S. Census Bureau. The government is not allowed to ask questions about religion on the census taken every 10 years, but the Abstract references the study done by the City University of New York as a reliable source.
- "The most significant fact about this study is that 14 million more people claimed to be atheists in 2001 than in 1990, a more than 100 percent increase. It is a larger gain than that experienced by the Catholic Church and non-denominational churches combined. Meanwhile, non-Christian faiths are making significant gains. If the goal of fundamentalist evangelicals is to convert Americans into followers of Jesus Christ, then they are failing.
- I am convinced that the reason for this failure is the bigotry and intolerance displayed by a relatively small but very loud and arrogant group of fundamentalist evangelicals."
Reading Mr. Leaman's column gave me hope. Mr. Leaman did his home work and produced a column full of facts and figures on this important topic. Very timely. Perhaps all is not lost.
I wish him well.
---Walt Whitman (1819-1892)