... and maybe some anti-hypertensives.

Ok, well I don't actually drink.. so scratch that.

I got home from the night shift, and was reading my local paper. The letters to the Editor are always interesting. This morning, however, there was a huge (1/2 page) letter all about how Atheists think they are Gods, and are afraid to be accountable for their actions in front of the "divine presence". It went on to say how selfish we are and how stupid we are as well!

I wrote a response... then rewrote it with all the naughty words edited... and after two or three rewrites, hopefully came up with something that can be printed in a public newspaper.

The thing I am waiting to see, is will they print my letter unchanged? They have a policy of only printing letters that are under 250 words, and say that they edit for taste/accuracy, but the letter I responded to was more like a 2000 word essay, and was quite nasty.

Shortly after I sent it.. I suddenly realized that I actually have not told many friends, family and coworkers that I am actually Atheist... I guess they are going to know soon enough!!

I may need some counseling once this thing is published..

Views: 749

Comment by Rev. Tom Hicks, D.D. on July 9, 2009 at 12:59pm
If you need any advice or counselin', I'm here.
Comment by Jen on July 9, 2009 at 1:08pm
Thank you very much
I know I come across as silly much of the time, but I am actually pretty concerned about how people are going to react to this. I tried to be diplomatic, but when I re-read it.. I think it sounded pretty angry.
It is so frustrating to know that I have to censor myself so I don't offend theists, but it is perfectly ok for others to take potshots at Atheists.
I have a feeling I will need all the support I can get. :(
Comment by Monika on July 9, 2009 at 1:13pm
Just remember who you're friends are. They will see you through whatever you may face.
Comment by Rev. Tom Hicks, D.D. on July 9, 2009 at 1:23pm
It's natural for everyone to get angry. I normally let things pass without incident. I'm rarely offended. It's all a matter of choice & personal views. A theist normally has no knowledge about atheist or other religions for that matter. It's only what they see & know. They don't teach science & evolution classes at Sunday school (though they will have to if creationism breaks it's way into public schools. I'll see to it that they will).

Their ignorance is somewhat their own fault since the knowledge of the world is at their fingertips in this day & age, but the hardwirin' of the garbage that they have come to "feel" that is the truth is hard to sever. These people got their ideas from people they trust, therefore it must be true. They want their loved ones to be in a paradise when they pass. It's hard for 'em to imagine that someone they loved suffered a great deal for nothin'.

Just stick to your guns. Try not to insult others for their belief for it may be the only thing they have. Without it they might rape & kill you or kill 'emselves. But never pass a chance to show 'em the wrongs of their god & contradictions that their bible contains that are not talked 'bout in their churches. Always keep an open mind. Sort of like I respect the idea of deism even though it has no proof. It's still a more probable idea than the Christian theology.
Comment by Dave G on July 9, 2009 at 2:48pm
Good luck, both with the letter and the aftermath. You've got people here if you need a sympathetic ear or any advice.
Comment by Jen on July 14, 2009 at 2:00pm
Sorry about the long wait for a response, I was on night shifts.
Ok here is my reply.

I was completely stunned by your letter. It is clear that you have never actually spoken to an Atheist or even tried to find out a single fact about our beliefs. As a general rule, I am not very vocal about my Atheism, but I simply can't sit back and let someone spread complete falsehoods about Atheism the way that you have.
I am a member of a large online Atheist community. These people listen to each other, support each other.. and we care about each other. Most of our contact is by phone or online, and I have to tell you, they are the kindest and supportive people I know.
There is no-one who has ever suggested that they are God... or that we are God-like in any way. I would really like to know where you heard this..perhaps you have simply made an assumption, and decided it was fact.

I am not mad at God.. to me, there is no God, and that is evidenced by things that I have heard and seen. The world and its creatures are not proof of divine hand, they are proof that nature works very well, and maintains an amazing balancing act to keep everything spinning along. I cannot prove God doesn't exist, you can't prove that God does exist. You are welcome to your own beliefs, and I am certain that you have good reasons to believe what you do. I should be allowed my beliefs without public ridicule and lies being spread about who I am.

Your third point is the one that upsets me the most. I can't believe your suggestion that all Atheists are amoral people who don't want to be accountable to a higher power.. I am certain there are Atheists who have questionable morals, but there are also religious folks who lie, steal and even kill. A person could even suggest that they feel they have a free pass, as long as they ask for forgiveness. Atheists generally believe in personal accountability. The fact is, that our neighborhood/city/country and world works more smoothly when everyone behaves themselves. I don't lie or steal, I don't benefit from other people's suffering.. and I don't follow the rules just because I am afraid of divine retribution! I think that I have an personal obligation to behave morally!

I would suggest that you try talking to a few folks who are Atheist or Agnostic, and find out what they are truly like, instead of continuing to spread your misconceptions about some very good and kind people.

Jennifer Edmunds
Comment by Johnny on August 3, 2009 at 6:50pm
Featured! And please let us know if it does get published Jen.

Comment by Gary Bergeron on August 9, 2009 at 10:27am
I found nothing nasty or angry in your response, Jen. It was clear and concise.
It represents us folks very well. Well done!
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on August 9, 2009 at 10:46am
You can link the studies (on the site somewhere, I think posted by doone) that prove atheist countries are the most peaceful to back up the fact that those without religion are actually MORE moral.
Comment by Mr. Atheist on August 9, 2009 at 3:14pm
Do be sure to post an update (and link to it from these comments, so I won't miss it)!


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