From One Atheist to Another

ABQjournal Opinion: Letters to the Editor
Cancer Patient Has Many People To Thank in 2007

I am an atheist. As you could imagine that it is hard for one of my persuasion to want to give thanks to anybody for any reason. About a year ago I was diagnosed with CLL, one of the forms of leukemia. …

All of the above and many many more deserve my best wishes. I wish there was a Santa Claus so I could send a letter to him in your behalf.


I am always interested in public declarations of atheism. While there is no need to convert people to atheism, other atheists need to know it’s safe to come out and speak up. So bravo to Bob Dye for opening with that. Further, I’m very glad he has survived his cancer. (And, I add ruefully, without some sickbed conversion.)

My only quibble is as “one of (his) persuasion,” a fellow atheist: I am grateful every day. I see no reason that atheism should play any role in reticence to give thanks, to love one’s neighbors or strive to live by the Golden Rule. These are humanity’s best qualities, not god’s or religion’s. mjh

This Week’s WTF?!

ABQjournal Opinion: Letters to the Editor
Sell the Subarus, Save Planet

I’VE HAD IT! If you think humans are directly responsible for global warming— which we aren’t— I have a great solution: Sell your car and ride a pony to work and sell your house and live in a tent.

That way you will be doing your part while those of us who don’t believe we are responsible for global warming can keep driving our SUVs and live in warm houses. This way, global emissions will be cut and we’ll all be happy!

Come on “activists,” really do your part and sell those polluting Subarus and live in a tent. Let’s do it for the children.


For the past eight years, AmeriCo has been ruled by a coalition of self-serving biznizmen and gaggle of idiots. I’m not sure which Mr. Paez is. mjh

All god’s children

Atheists turn the other check as religionists continue their relentless attack on our very humanity. Last week, the Pope identified atheists as history’s greatest villains. Never mind the Inquisition and the first Crusades.

Now, Nit Romney explains that he is broad-minded enough to understand everyone who worships Jesus and that no one who worships Jesus should have any concern about him. Whew, that’s a relief — NOT! Perhaps someone will introduce Romney to an atheist. He’ll be astounded to discover that some atheists are decent people living without a god. It is possible, Nitty.

In fact, his calling secularism a religion reveals how much his own faith circumscribes his world view. This is a common tactic of people one must regard as either benighted or disingenuous — everything is a religion to them, science, secularism and humanism, included.

As for Romney having it both ways — ruled by god but not by religious superiors — I’m not so sure. I understand that the supreme Mormon leader can pronounce any Mormon as unworthy and to be shunned by the community. I believe in such cases, even family members stop acknowledging the ‘unclean.’ Pretty powerful. Is Romney strong enough to stand up to such authority? (Mind you, my understanding of Mormonism comes largely from one episode of South Park. However, that episode balanced its harsh light on the teachings with the observation that Mormons are super-nice people, which is the consensus, now that other religionists have mostly stopped beating them and burning their homes.)

Next time you laugh at a religion (say, Scientology or Christianity) or fear someone with faith (say, a muslim or Buddhist — ha!), remember we are all human beings, all prone to the same ignorance, mistakes and potential, though Romney doesn’t agree. We all need to grow together as one kind. Religion isn’t helping, though it tells you it is. mjh

RealClearPolitics – Articles – Faith In America – The Full Text of Romney’s speech

“It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the churches in America, we share a common creed of moral convictions. And where the affairs of our nation are concerned, it’s usually a sound rule to focus on the latter – on the great moral principles that urge us all on a common course. Whether it was the cause of abolition, or civil rights, or the right to life itself, no movement of conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the convictions of religious people.

“We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.

These American values, this great moral heritage, is shared and lived in my religion as it is in yours.

“And you can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me.” [mjh: Romney just told the nation he isn’t my friend or ally.] (entire speech)


Atheists behind the greatest cruelty, says Pope – Telegraph, By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

Pope Benedict XVI has launched a powerful attack on atheism, saying that it was responsible for some of the “greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice” in history.

In the second encyclical of his papacy, the Pope urged Christians to put their hope for the future in God and not in technology, wealth or political ideologies.

His 76-page document, Spe Salvi, comes in the context of rising secularism in Europe and a spate of books attacking belief in God, including the “The God Delusion” by the Oxford academic Richard Dawkins.

In the document, the highest form of papal writing addressed to the whole Church, Benedict XVI said that many people rejected religious faith because they no longer found the prospect of an eternal after-life attractive.

Instead, they had put their faith in human reason and freedom in the hope that the “kingdom of man” would emerge.

In a scholarly analysis, he said that these ideas had originated during two periods of political upheaval, the French and Communist revolutions.

He said that Karl Marx and the 19th and 20th century atheism spawned by his revolution could be seen by some as a “type of moralism” responding to the injustices of the time.

Atheists argued that “a world marked by so much injustice, innocent suffering and cynicism of power cannot be the work of a good God,” the Pope wrote.

Whether the error is the headline writer’s or the pope’s, the quarrel is with Marxist Communism or the biggest practitioners thereof. People are capable of astonishing cruelty, whether they are believers in god or not.

Please notice, though I despise this particular line of “reasoning” and have no use for a pope whatsoever, I do not call for his death, as so many devote believers in god would seek for those they disagree with. I don’t claim to be a better person because I’m an atheist. My point is there are good atheists and evil worshippers. We are all human beings and need each other more than god. peace, mjh