Nearly 50 years ago, shortly after I took over the editorship of The Dispatch, a post I held for 22 years, I instituted the custom of marking Christmas and Easter by printing words from the Bible in the editorial column to explain the festivals. Editors of The Dispatch have followed the custom since. I had never heard of any objection until I read the letter in the April 8 edition of The Dispatch.
I am not a Christian fanatic. In fact I am a religiously conservative Episcopalian. I believe fervently in the separation of religion and government.
Newspaper editorials give information as well as opinions. Would you have television and radio stations stop playing Christmas music because some songs tell the Christmas story?
Bigotry can exist outside of religion as well as inside. Are you sure that you are not a nonbelieving bigot? It appears that you are the one who would force his opinions on others. I am 91 years old but young enough to defend my views.
(Emerson is former editor of The Brainerd Dispatch and a resident of Spearfish, S.D.)
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