Regarding the recent Perspective column, “Beware when secular agendas are cloaked in robes of religion,” [Dec. 1, Page 6], I found myself alarmed that your publication would enter into such a discussion. By presenting facts and figures bolstering his own argument, Rev. Zandstra is doing precisely what he decries: injecting religious “street-cred” into a patently nonreligious issue. His biography and disclosure of being a clergyman arguing “against a priest and a nun” immediately set off flags for me. If he were committed to the argument that religion should not be part of environmental issues, he would have avoided inflammatory statements like “radical environmental, leftist organizations,” and the like. These statements belie an obvious point of view on his behalf (religious conservative, pro-business Republican) that, even if correct, negates his entire point. Whether these groups are radical, leftist or giant pink elephants is beside the point. By adopting a counterpoint, with facts and figures to bolster his argument, the Rev. Zandstra is doing precisely the same thing as the “radical lefties” and their Catholic spokespeople.
Religion and politics make for poor bedfellows. The founders of this country realized this and took great pains to separate them (and by extension, separate religion and environmental regulation). By publishing articles in trade publications with a stake in a specific industry, and decrying “radical, leftist” agendas, Rev. Zandstra does a disservice to all involved. In my view, faith is an intensely personal thing, and has no place in politics, regulation or anything besides faith. As a plastics industry professional, I believe your newspaper would be well-served to steer clear of this territory. Stick to plastics — that's why I read Plastics News.