Letter to the Editor: Fair Twin Cities

Dear Editor,

In early December 2022, The Oracle published a letter in which Dr. Berkson, chair of the Hamline Religion Department, defended an adjunct professor’s decision to display a work of Islamic art during an online class. Much ink has been spilled over various aspects of this controversy; this letter addresses only your decision to republish Dr. Berkson’s piece.

As an organization committed to promoting fairness, understanding and humanity, we applaud the Oracle’s editorial staff for making what must have been a difficult decision. Difficult, but necessary and fundamentally correct. Our liberty depends, to a significant degree, on two conditions: the freedom that our press enjoys from government censorship and the ability of our newspapers to resist self-censorship. Where issues arise that may affect the public weal, it is critical that each side of the controversy be given the opportunity to subject their position to the scrutiny of the community so affected. 

While we at FAIR take no side in the debate, we found Dr. Berkson’s defense of that individual both rational and persuasive. Others may, of course, disagree, and we at FAIR believe that the Hamline community deserves the benefit of being exposed to those views, as well. 

By republishing Dr. Berkson’s letter, The Oracle has, in the very best traditions of American journalism, affirmed that it is a forum in which issues important to its community will be fully and maturely examined. We have only one sentiment left to convey to staff of The Oracle: job well done!


Jeff Campbell

FAIR Twin Cities Chapter Leader