Letter Writing


I wrote some letters today, and I thought I’d share them here. The first is to Tom Sears and his shit-eating grin in response to his opinion piece entitled ‘What are the atheists afraid of?’:

Tom,

I find it comical that you ask what atheists may be afraid of yet your column is a fear induced rant full of unsubstantiated claims about atheists’ characters and intents. I suggest you ask your so-called atheist friends if they’re simply lazy, or if they’ve in fact failed to “give religion a serious chance”. Isn’t it quite “ego-centric” to make generalizations about people simply because you believe them so and not by actually doing any research? Maybe you should give talking to your friends a chance.

I also invite you to “fill many columns” to support your claim that “our nation was founded on Christian/Judean principles”. Good luck with that.

Since you’ve invoked statistics, I would have to ask why you’re afraid of a mere 3% of Americans? You charge that atheists fear what their children may think if they see a nativity scene and further charge that we won’t allow our children to make an informed decision on their own concerning gods and religion. This begs the question, would you allow for YOUR children to make such an informed decision? Have you?

You also may be very surprised to hear that as a federal holiday, Christmas does not solely belong to Christians anymore. By being federally recognized, it is a holiday for ALL Americans; therefore, your assertion that atheists should get their own holiday is not just ignorant but hateful and exclusionary. Christmas now is a holiday celebrated in a variety of different ways, many without any religious affiliation at all (ie – Santa, Rudolph, mistletoe, lighted trees, gift-giving, big meals with friends and family, etc).

Christmas, unfortunately for you and Mr. Tabor, is quite something for many without Christ just as it is for you with Christ. Rather than fear that, begrudge that, and attack the characters of those for whom that holds true, perhaps you could open your heart to simply accept that and realize it is no threat to how you choose to celebrate the holiday. Failure to do so merely reinforces the charge of the FFRF’s display, that religion “hardens hearts and enslaves minds”.

The second is to a Frederick Meekins who recently wrote ‘Have Yourself A Theistic (Not Atheistic) Little Christmas’:

I think you’ve put the cart before the horse here:
“If anything, what atheists exhibit when they manifest goodness is remaining Judeo-Christian moral capital. These individuals professing godlessness remain largely good because they have been acculturated in a milieu largely Biblical in its underlying ethical orientation.”

If anything what the religious exhibit when they manifest their holy morality is the prevailing moral capital of their times and locale. It’s social morality that dictates the selective choosing, interpretation and discarding of the moral law of their holy books. From rationalizing ham sandwiches and shrimp cocktails to rejecting slavery and stoning adulterers and unruly children, society’s morals dictate “Judeo-Christian moral capital”, not the other way around.

Nazi Germany was not godless, so scratch that off your list. Also, Stalin prohibited abortions. How do you explain that? Furthermore, had the church not conspired to overthrow the Communists in a vain attempt to restore their lost power and place of wealthy privilege that they had grown so accustomed to, there very well could have been a much different relationship between church and state in Soviet Russia.

As history has shown, societies professing faith in a god, even a “Judeo-Christian” one, are far from immune from atrocities. I know, the religious like to point to how long ago (comparatively) such atrocities took place as some sort of justification that their moral system works. Ironically, that justifies just the opposite, and justifies my initial point. Social morality dictates religious morality, and as social morals in the West have generally progressed, so too have “Judeo-Christian” morals for the most part. Since the holy books haven’t changed yet “Judeo-Christian” morals have over time, how can you argue that society needs “Judeo-Christian” morals? It’s very clear which one is dependent upon the other.

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13 Responses to “Letter Writing”

  1. I like both letters. I must confess that Meekins’ book, Yuletide Terror & Other Holiday Horrors, looks like it could be an amusing read. (Yes, I have a warped sense of humor.)

  2. He does have a shit eating grin, now, doesn’t he?

    I’m beginning to think it was a mistake to put that placard up in the Washington State Capitol for Xmas. It should not be there on Xmas day.

    However, it should be there the other 364 days of the year (365 in leap years). Those are the atheist holidays. Christians should have at least one day of their own. Maybe if we do that, they’ll shut up the other 364 days.

  3. Maybe if we do that, they’ll shut up the other 364 days.

    We could only wish…

  4. Tis the season for writing letters, here is one I have just written in response to the religion fest on tuesday:

    I feel compelled to write and congratulate the Christian Community Centre for their open “human focused” messages of compassion, acceptance and family in Tuesday’s advocate. I would also like to give the local Catholic diocese an honorable mention for extending good will to the community,and not echoing the bigotry of their Pontiff.

    The same cannot be said for Pastor Kuss, nor Pastor Haden. I found Pastor Kuss’s attacks on scientific theory and approach ill informed, and ungrateful. I think the Pastor was projecting when he claimed that scientific minds try to bait Christians. Scientific minds are usually “hell” bent on scientific enquiry until they are distracted by Creationist attempts to undermine the teaching of science. What says Pastor Kruss of the great scientists who are Christians and who accept evolution – take Francis Collins – a born again no less and one of the pioneers of the genome project?

    Pastor Kuss derisively claims that we are presented with the latest theory of evolution, as if it’s some new fad. Clearly he knows nothing about evolutionary theory – oh, it gets refined, constantly and each time the theory becomes more concrete. I tell you what, why don’t we test some other theories like Gravity or does Pastor Kuss still think we are held to the earth by angels.

    I presume too that Pastor Kuss, drives a car/bike, sees a doctor when sick, watches television – all results of science, the scientific method and the science minded.

    Then we are on to the bible and where I suspect the good pastor may have missed some Religious Education classes as well as some Science and Maths. Pastor Kuss claims more than 99 % of the bible is dedicated to “gods promise of a Son”. For such a bold and over reaching statement to be true only ½ a book out of the 66 books of the Bible (Good News version) could be dedicated to anything else but Jesus and we don’t have to go past Genesis or Leviticus to blow that proposition out of the water.

    I found Pastor Haden plain disturbing with his glee at the coming of Jesus as a ruling tyrant to whom all will bow and serve – a “dreadful yet glorious” day mixed in amongst the Christmas good wishes.

    The simple fact of the matter is that we are here, with all our idiosyncrasies, cultures and beliefs – we are all that we have. There is no one to save us, we are entirely responsible for our disasters and triumphs.

    If we concentrate not on which god, or which book of ancestral fairy tales is the “true word”, but on helping each other and if we do this not just at Christmas time but each and every time, then the world will be a better place.

  5. Nope. Give the Christians an inch, they’ll take a mile. Give them one day and they’ll claim the year (and all of history, and the founding of the nation, etc).

    Let’s get right down to it. EVERY theistic religion is offensive to other religions because they insist their way is the only way and if you don’t follow it, you’re going to suffer, bad (except maybe the Jains who somehow think all religions are right). So to a Jew or a Muslim that baby Jesus in the manger symbolizes Christians saying to them that their religion is incorrect or a lie and they’ll be burned to a crisp for eternity. Merry Christmas! To all of us, these displays should be an offense. They represent irrationality, divisiveness, an excuse to deny others their rights, and remains arguably the single greatest obstacle to peace in the world.

    So no, I’m not bothered by the FFRF’s display. I’ve actually had quite a lengthy debate over the display and the whole subject of displays with CL recently in this post from last month. You might enjoy it, SI. There’s a lot of SCOTUS citing.

    I’m unfamiliar with the subject of your ire Sean, but it looks like a good letter to me.

  6. Give em a cigarette and they’ll take the whole habit?

  7. Give them a snort and they’ll form a cartel.

  8. You poor soul. Your letter is not worth any response. It is a very childish, immature letter not worthy of my time.

    Tom

  9. “Not worth a response” yet you did respond, and with none of that so-called Christian love and warmth. Thank you for again proving the FFRF’s claim that religion “hardens hearts”.

    Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

  10. “Childish”? “Immature”? Explain. You should have a child capable of writing a letter like that, Tommy!

  11. Good job on both letters, but I’m afraid you’re just wasting your time, other than providing yourself blog-fodder, they won’t care what you say and it certainly won’t change their minds.

  12. Re context of the letter – ine was inresponse to Christmas messages.

    @Cephus,

    I beg to differ on the wasting my time. The letters encourage others to think about something that they would normally skim over and the die hards get their nickers in a knot and I can have fun for weeks.

    That and making a mockery of the leaders of certian churches might reveal their stupidity to some members of the flock.

  13. Well to a certain degree, Cephus is right. It could be just for shits and giggles and blog fodder. Personally, I have several reasons. First, for newspapers, I’ll CC to the editors. Second, if there’s a comment section, I’ll throw it out there. Third, when someone makes ridiculous claims, I want to see if they can or will defend them.

    To that last bit, sometimes I’m really amazed by their arguments. Sometimes it’s just the audacity, sometimes it’s the twisted logic, and sometimes it’s a little trick that I need to figure out, and those I think are important to figure out because they can get a lot of mileage out of those.

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