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Brandon Jordahl, Fargo, Published May 19 2012

Breathtaking ignorance shocks more than Jon Lindgren article

In her May 7 letter to the editor, Carol Clancy reported she was “shocked” by the article pertaining to Jon Lindgren and the Ten Commandments monument. What seemed more shocking to me was her breathtaking ignorance on the subject of freethinking.

She, first of all, doesn’t understand that atheists, or freethinkers, are some of the biggest advocates of freedom of religion. We are the first to stand up for these rights, and also the first to stand up to those who wish to manipulate public policy by taking advantage of the fact that they are the majority. That is the issue here.

We are dealing with a monument honoring Yahweh’s laws standing in front of a public courthouse as if to be some reminder of the values upheld within that building. Let us not be misled – Clancy would not support any other religion’s constituency placing its laws in front of her public courthouse. Her problem is in not understanding the difference between the criticism of religion that some nonbelievers take part in and outright legislation against religious freedom. Most religious people don’t understand this because, as we all know, they don’t understand that you may be against an activity and still fight for people’s right to do it.

“Freethinker” is a term used to describe someone who looks at religion and political and social issues with as little bias as they can manage. We do not assume God, nor do we assume he is loving. We would need justification to believe these things.

My only reaction to her complaint that Christian beliefs don’t get enough coverage in the news is to ask her if she is really being truthful in this inquiry or if her entire letter is a joke. She had a problem with an article about Lindgren’s beliefs being on the front page, and when she realized that it was used to bring up an issue that could be deemed worthy of the front page, the monument, she was only more infuriated. This is simply because she doesn’t agree with him. It was an incredibly childish reaction, and we should all see straight through it.

I believe a good idea for The Forum would be to bring on a nonbeliever as an opinion columnist, as there are about three openly Christian columnists, to be fair. It would be helpful for people to understand the other viewpoint on some of the religious issues recently brought to our attention, rather than only hearing from believers.

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