In the time frame since our current editor has been at TGI, we have been subjected to various religious articles in our island newspaper, several taking up the front page.
Though we are a small island we do have many religions here other than Christian, and we have many people who are not religious as well.
The TGI editor who I will refer to as ‘our editor’ seems to be a great guy. His running articles are always good, he loves dogs and probably other animals, too, but he does not raise ‘our paper’ beyond his Christian slant. For me, when I open the paper I want news, not religion. If I wanted religion I’d go where it is in abundant supply, namely a church or other house of worship.
Sure, there will be slow-news days. Then find something, anything else, run more wire stories if necessary, but don’t put blissed-out evangelicals with eyes closed with head and hands raised after having been told “they are important” on the front page.
Do these people seeking recognition as being ‘important’ realize others are important, too? What about immigrant families seeking a better life? How important do they think they are? Somewhat less important? Less important enough that many or most evangelicals support the current president’s separation of nearly 70,000 children from their parents? 70,000 children who, subjected to this trauma and may grow up psychologically damaged and many will never be reunited with their parents.
There are some who insist religion should be a legitimate force for discrimination if the Bible reinforces that for them. A well-known example is the cake-baking company that refused to make a cake for a gay couple because it somehow was against their religion. As if the gay couple wasn’t battling enough discrimination in their lives, they couldn’t order a wedding cake from a bakery selling cakes to the public. This was not a private bakery selling cakes at church or out of their home, it was a storefront bakery allowed to make a couple of people feel quite bad, thanks to the what? The Bible, they claimed.
Religion can be a source of good. It can help people get a sense of belonging, and if it makes them happy, fine, but do that on your own time. Personally, I don’t want to see apostilization in our paper, though some do, of course. Those who chose to can be as religious as they want, but why should we all be subjected to it our local news print?
The next day after the front-page article and picture of the evangelical person ran, we had another story on the front page of the second section which started off with “According to the Bible…”
Organized religion is helpful to many, and that’s fine. But I ask our editor to support his religion however he pleases, just not in our paper.
Paulo Tambolo is a resident of Wailua Homesteads.