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January 25, 2013

Atheist's column not disrespectful of Christians

The Daily Star

---- — I am writing to respond to Marci Brunswick’s recent letter in which she criticizes The Daily Star for publishing Emily F. Popek’s column titled, “Finding my own reason for the season.”

Popek described how she and her family would take part in many of the traditions associated with the Christmas season even though she is not a Christian. In what I felt to be a lighthearted manner, she recalled her family’s past celebrations, which included a tree, lights, presents, stockings and a big meal.

The issue for her is that by definition Christmas represents an important Christian religious event, but she is not religious. She informed readers that she would, just as her secular parents did, enjoy the family-oriented and pleasurable activities of the season but exclude the religious meaning. I know other people who are not Christians who do the same thing.

I cannot find anything in Popek’s column that is either disrespectful or inconsiderate to readers of The Daily Star. It is not out of order to publish an account of how someone decides to celebrate an event (or not), especially if that description is tasteful, not vulgar and does not attempt to influence others to perform any kind of unlawful act.

Popek stated that she is an atheist. I believe that Brunswick is inferring that, by publishing the column, the writer and therefore The Daily Star are somehow anti-Christian. I cannot see how this is true. In America a person can be religious or not and is free to express his views. I believe The Daily Star published the column because it was good writing and a seasonal topic.

William Sharick