Letter to the Editor: Mendenhall’s suggestions should be considered

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In the past fourteen years, I’ve read many op/ed pieces in the Collegian.

The two that appeared in yesterday’s paper were the best I’ve ever read. The odds that they would appear in the same issue approach the astronomical.

Mendenhall is right. K-State should require all students to take a course in comparative world religions. Given the world in which we live, I don’t understand how you can consider a graduate of this university educated and prepared for responsible engagement in society without it. Brinton is right, too. Altogether too much hate speech is reinforced by the pervasive and injudicious application of certain religious texts. University courses that teach students to take seriously the historical and literary contexts of sacred writings will equip them to avoid the egregious and hateful applications that more sectarian interpretations all too often yield.

I urge President Schulz and Provost Mason to consider seriously the negative impact of a university curriculum devoid of an organized and systematic approach to the study of religion and religious texts from a comparative, non-sectarian approach — especially in light of the fact that, with the recent emphasis on the recruitment of international students, this university is far more religiously diverse than it was even five or ten years ago.

Please relay my appreciation to Ms. Mendenhall and Mr. Brinton for their thoughtful observations and vital contributions to the university community.

Best regards,

David A. Jones

Campus Pastor

Ecumenical Campus

Ministry at K-State

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