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Sunday, June 23, 2013
On June 15, I read an opinion column titled “When atheists pray” and wanted to give my thoughts on the matter. First of all, not only atheists understand the necessity of the separation of church and state. I don’t think that many Christians think about how they would feel if, say, a Muslim valedictorian prays to Allah or a Wiccan has a pagan prayer. They believe that they should have their own special right to have a mandated prayer to their god. We, along with many religious people, understand that since there are so many religions, the government doesn’t have the time to promote all of them. Also, I don’t believe the author understands what an atheist really means.
In the Oxford-English dictionary, the definition states “disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.” This is the only aspect of atheism. Most atheists make the positive claim of the non-existence of a god. I also notice that he misapplied the term “faith.” Atheists do not have “faith” in the Christian sense of the word (a belief held without evidence). The default position is disbelief, not belief. I would change my position to theism, if I were given the evidence to those positions of a creator or his supposed “omnipotence” (which is logically impossible, but I digress). I, for one, know that many people are more powerful or more intelligent than I, but I know they exist.
I am really proud that atheists are finally escaping from under the oppressive thumb of religion. I am glad that we are finally getting the chance to make our voice heard in the public. You know, with every atheism-related billboard I see, I see10 or so religious billboards or advertisements. I can’t go to the store without passing three churches. I get accosted at all sides from religion.
“Atheists spend vast sums of money to promote their own religion in their war against those who profess faith in any other religion.” First, calling atheism a religion is as right as calling not collecting stamps a hobby. Remember, atheism is defined as being the lack of belief in gods. There is no dogma or holy text that someone must follow. There really isn’t any way that atheism can be construed as a religion. Secondly, the amount of money that goes into giving atheists a way to advertise for support groups is tiny in comparison to the amount of money that goes into your own religion for the same reason. The hypocrisy of this is palpable.
The writer says that there are no atheists in foxholes. I find this assertion to be bald-faced lie. To think that someone would be ignorant enough to make this claim is shameful. He portrays atheists as cowards who will back out from their own convictions in the face of death. When in reality, there are many atheists who would defend our country until their very last breaths without any utterance of a prayer to a god.
To give a perfect example of this, take Specialist Daniel “Pat” Tillman. This man had a promising career in the NFL, but in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, he dropped everything and enlisted in the U.S. Army. This man, this atheist, was killed in the line of duty. The writer owes him, and all other military atheists, respect and acknowledgement. They put themselves in very real danger to protect his right to sit at home and type up this ignorant hate.
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