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Thursday, July 4, 2013
Atheist is anxious about church-state ties
In the commentary “When atheists pray” (June 15), R. McNeil Foster suggests that when faced with a life-threatening situation, atheists suddenly discover God and start praying for help.
I am an atheist, and I don’t pray for help at any time because there is no evidence that it would have any effect.
People may believe deeply that God answers some prayers, but a strong belief is not evidence. Faith is in the realm of emotion, not science.
Foster says that atheists are “spending vast sums of money” to promote atheism.
I think he has confused atheists with Christians, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and others who spend a lot of money promoting their brand of religion by advertising and proselytizing.
Foster seems to think that atheists are creepy ghouls who live in a “dark, basement netherworld,” but if other atheists are like me, they are just regular people who think that natural explanations for the things that happen make more sense than supernatural ones.
What I am worried about is keeping church and state separate in order to preserve our freedom of religion (and non-religion).
Consider health, sea level in climate debate
On June 25, President Obama announced a comprehensive plan to address global warming that includes setting limits on carbon pollution from both new and existing power plants.
In Virginia, power plants emitted nearly 45 million metric tons of carbon pollution in 2011. That’s equivalent to the yearly pollution from 9.2 million cars, in a state with a population of just 8.2 million.
This carbon pollution costs us. It costs us our health as we see more cases of asthma, heat stroke, cardiovascular disease and other air-quality and heat-related illnesses.
Increased storm surge and rising sea levels threaten ecosystems and businesses dependent on the Chesapeake, as well as coastal homes, farms and military bases.
That’s why Obama’s plan helps communities prepare for the impacts of extreme weather.
Critics may argue that this climate action plan will result in increasing energy prices, but that line of thinking demonstrates a lack of faith in our businesses to innovate and change with the times.
Inaction is the most expensive decision we can make for ourselves and especially for future generations.
I thank Obama for following through on promises he made during his inaugural and State of the Union addresses.
We need all our elected officials sharing similar long-term perspectives.
God’s designs for Israel seen in current events
The continents of South, Central and North America and Australia may all be considered occupied land, forcibly taken from the original inhabitants by the English, Spanish, etc.
On the other hand, Israel is not occupied land. The land has been given to it by the owner and creator of Earth.
Chapter 10 of Genesis explains where the descendants of the three sons of Noah, the progenitors of Earth’s present populations, settled during the centuries after the Great Deluge — Ham in Africa, Shem in Asia and Japheth in Europe.
Approximately 700 years after the flood, God gave a sliver of land to the descendants of faithful Abraham (Jews), as a “perpetual inheritance.” The land given to them is tiny compared to the Arab lands (cousins to the Jews).
The Bible states that God has plans for the modern nation of Israel that will bring great blessings to the inhabitants of Earth; but before that can be realized, a special event has to take place to condition peoples of Earth for this reality.
All nations (including the U.S.) will soon gather against Israel to destroy it. God will intervene to save Israel.
An amazing swim team
Immediately after I finished reading “Forming a team”(June 30 news story), I was left with an amazing feeling that not only a swim team was formed.
A team creating change has also been formed. I read about an amazing team — people, organizations and businesses that pooled their resources to make sure that needs are met within our community. Absolutely amazing.
It is very nice to see the impressive efforts of people pooling together their resources and connections to reach out to the greater good of our community and not themselves. May this provide inspiration so that we can see more collaborative efforts like this in the near future.
Weather Journal7 wintry scenarios for Sunday