SHOP TALK by BRAD ROLLINS
For nearly six years, Lamar Hankins has contributed thought-provoking grist for San Marcos’ ongoing community dialogue through his weekly column, Freethought San Marcos.
More often than not, I disagreed with opinions Hankins laid out in his pieces, but I’ve also appreciated his willingness to take unpopular stands on national, state and local issues.
My vision for the opinion section of the Mercury has always been to offer our readers a buffet of perspectives from local contributors. However, writing a weekly column is hard work — as Hankins can attest — and I’ve been unable over the years to recruit other voices to balance his. Consequently, Hankins’ opinions have, by default, come to be synonymous with the Mercury itself in a way I never intended and with which I am not comfortable.
Now Hankins has set up a website of his own, Texas Freethought Journal, and readers can find his work there as easily as they can at the Mercury. The timing seems right to discontinue the Freethought San Marcos column in the Mercury effective immediately.
I asked Hankins if he wanted to write a farewell column, a courtesy I thought he was due after contributing to the Mercury for so many years. He opted instead to write this announcement:
Announcement from Lamar Hankins
After writing more then 230 columns for the San Marcos Mercury since November 2008, most under the column title Freethought San Marcos, Lamar W. Hankins will no longer write for The Mercury. Readers can find his columns at his blog, Texas Freethought Journal, and at the Rag Blog.
Hankins’s columns have been published or referenced by The Waco Tribune-Herald, The Freedom From Religion Foundation and the American Left History blog. He can be contacted via email through the Contact page at his website.