Letters to the editor Featured

9:49am EDT July 22, 2002

Great cover, great idea and great piece on Roddey v. Wecht!

It doesn’t take any brains to figure out SBN is seeking to draw more attention to the importance of public policy decisions. You’re doing an exemplary job. Keep it up.

Cliff Shannon

president

SMC Business Councils

Spiritual angst

I am writing to you to express my extreme disappointment with many points made in [William Armstrong’s] “Workplace Spirituality” article that appeared in the August 1999 issue of SBN. I view the article as describing another means through which “superiors” (bosses, politicians, teachers) can thrust their religious viewpoints upon others. Here are the specific issues I have with the article.

1. The workplace is not a “good place to start.” It seems to me morality problems should be dealt with at home or within oneself rather than at work. There are also numerous other opportunities outside of the workplace for this type of activity.

2. “Spirituality in the workplace must allow for differences in belief systems.” It is sometimes the differences in belief systems that causes some of the social ills we are faced with. But more importantly, there seem to be no allowances made for those whose value system is not religiously or spiritually based. Remember, freedom of religion includes freedom from religion. Atheists and agnostics are afforded equal protection under the Constitution, as are believers.

3. “It should be OK to believe.” Again, the implication is that it is not OK to not believe.

4. The entire concept of religion or spirituality being necessary to formulate, justify and live a belief system is an insult to all nonbelievers. If you check your statistics, nonbelievers are more intelligent, have higher incomes and are less likely to commit crime. Based on these facts, why not consider working toward eliminating a belief in God and spirituality to improve the world and workplace?

The main point I am trying to get across is that religion or spirituality is not required to develop a healthy belief system and moral standing. The inclusion of it in the workplace is a direct challenge to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

For nonbelievers, it seems just another way to force religion down the throats of every American citizen.

David Kloss

Cleveland

Editor’s Note:I have one simple question: How can one even develop a healthy belief system and moral standing without some foundation upon which to build them? Without some framework of religion or level of spirituality – without a belief in something or someone, you believe in nothing and stand for nothing. So, then, where do your morals come from? Or your energy? Or your ideas? And how do you explain the many successful entrepreneurs who do place their faith in — and gain strength and endurance from — belief in a higher power? Yes, I believe in God, so I guess that places me among the intellectually inferior. And that’s OK by me.

Dance with the devil

Congratulations on two great articles [in the October issue of SBN] — your opening editorial, “A Match Made in Heaven,” and the feature article on the Hallmark/Tassone/DDF&M merger. Both are first-class/excellent because they get into the guts of running businesses and recognize that people are businesses.

On a personal basis, their appearance is also incredibly timely. I have just faxed your editorial to a business associate/friend of mine whom, after five long years of trying to get financing for his high-tech start-up, is about to “dance with the devil,” I believe, in order to obtain financing.

It happens all of the time, I know — but that doesn’t mean one has to stand by and watch it and accept it. And I know the old saw about “a bad deal is better than no deal at all.” However, tell that to the ex-president of Extrel.

Congratulations also on the excellent article about Hallmark/Tassone for delving into the really important matters and congratulations to Hallmark/Tassone and DDF&M, of course, for having the brains to do likewise. If my friend is able to swallow the editorial, I’ll send him the Hallmark/Tassone article next.

Thanks again for timely, excellent information.

Perry Murphy