Expressions of religious belief

Obihiro, Hokkaido

For a second, I had hoped that Paul Gaysford’s April 1 letter, “Sentiment that does not console,” was just an April Fool’s joke. Gaysford rebukes Megumi Watanabe for saying, in her March 29 letter (“Hope for 3/11 survivors“), that the children who died in the March 11, 2011, disasters are watching us from above.

Watanabe was responding to a Japan Times article in which a parent was quoted as saying that her daughter was watching from above. The same parent had attended a Buddhist ceremony marking her daughter’s passing into the afterlife. Did Gaysford even read the article to which Watanabe was responding?

Gaysford also asks if Watanabe, “as a Japanese,” really believes in the Judeo-Christian monotheistic God, then answers with “I doubt it.” News flash for Gaysford: There are Japanese Catholics and Protestants. There might even be a few Jews and Muslims. I see a church full of Japanese Catholics at Mass every Sunday morning. Many of them converted as adults. Gaysford seems to think that being Japanese automatically renders a person incapable of believing in God from a Judeo-Christian perspective. Why is that?

Gaysford’s letter is not the first one I’ve seen in which the author questions The Japan Times’ decision to print a letter that refers to God. What is it about secularists like Gaysford who seem to want to silence any and all public expressions of religious belief?

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

jennifer kim