You have one of the best periodicals in the world. I love it. But I do not understand the faithful of any religion who read BAR expecting it to confirm their beliefs. Nor do I understand those minimalists who detest evidence possibly supporting Biblical events.
Like a good lawyer, you present evidence, facts, theories, and analysis and leave it to the (jury) readers to draw their own conclusions. And, as any good jury, the readers have a responsibility to listen to the evidence and weigh it. BAR is not a movie; it assumes a level of sophistication of its readers.
Mr. Shanks, I can only hope and pray that you are grooming someone to fill your shoes should your availability as editor end before the magazine does. I can hardly imagine what would become of this altogether delightful creation of yours if your personality, attitudes, prejudices, wit, etc., doesn’t continue to influence the magazine for generations to come. Clone yourself, please, Mr. Shanks. Clone yourself!
I’m still a young fellow. I’m only 81 years old.—Ed.