Jack T. Rummel, DMD
I normally find a pearl of wisdom in each of Dick Biggs` monthly columns, but his February column dealing with principles clearly stepped out of the realm of management advice, and entered the field of religious proselytizing. I feel this is a move your magazine should not support.
To imply that one must accept "Biblical principles" in order to follow a master mentor`s formula for success smacks of religious bigotry. America may have, as Biggs states, been "founded on Judeo-Christian principles," but the America of 1776 is a far cry from the America of 2000. The descendants of the original white Anglo-Saxon Protestants who populated this country are destined to become a cultural minority in the United States within the next decade.
Current estimates indicate that 3 million Muslims live throughout North America. Several colleges and universities report Muslims are the fastest-growing minority group in their student populations, prompting the University of Miami (Fla.) to plan construction of a 14,000-square foot mosque on campus.
For the 2000 United States Census, the Census Bureau installed toll-free phone lines in six languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Tagalong, and Vietnamese, according to a recent issue of Newsweek. Examine the winners of the annual Intel science scholarship competitions and you will find an increasing number of Asian and Indian surnames among the finalists.
There is no doubt in my mind that many of these bright, non-Christian, non-Jewish students will become dentists.
Ethical principles are not the exclusive domain of any one belief system. Variations of "the golden rule" are to be found in most major religions of the world. America has prospered in the past 300 years because of our cultural and religious diversity, not in spite of it, and I predict that we will continue to do so, even as we become more and more diverse. Future breakthroughs in dentistry will be made by the students of today, many of whose surnames our "founding fathers" would neither recognize nor pronounce correctly.
I respect Mr. Biggs` adherence to his own religious beliefs; however, I invite him to join the America of the 21st century where "timeless truths" and moral principles can be held by people of many religious persuasions.