Baha'i News -- Relay for Life faith is too narrow

Relay for Life faith is too narrow

Web posted Friday, May 24, 2002

Letter to the Editor

Kudos to the organizers of the Relay for Life last week. The survivors' lap and the care-givers' lap are quite meaningful to my wife and me. Friends tell me that seeing and talking with those who have beat breast cancer is quite inspirational to those who are still battling this awful disease.

Many people find strength and courage in their faith, as they wage their fight. Unfortunately, organizers of the Relay for Life make those who do not follow their brand of conservative Christianity quite unwelcome by their choice of music, prayers and overall religious atmosphere.

Women who follow Hindu, Buddhist, Sunni and Shiite Islamic, Baha'i, Unitarian, Earth-centered, Tao, Shinto, secular humanist and other non-Christian religions are affected by their cancers and need the same support as those who are conservative Christians.

Even some women, who are devout Christians but belong to more liberal denominations, feel uneasy at implications that they are somehow less admirable if they want to give their doctors and medical science some credit for their recovery.

I have brought this up privately with the chairman of Relay for Life, but this year the exclusion of non-conservative Christians was even more blatant than in previous years, so I thought it necessary to go public.

It is important for all those who organize public events for residents of this multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-faith area that we must be inclusive and respectful of everyone. Newspapers are full of examples of what happens when only one belief system is honored.

Andy C. Reese, Augusta


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