Local papers sometimes have the most interesting articles. Karen Lancaster’s piece in the Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette is proof of that.
Karen, an atheist guest columnist, writes a brief letter to people who view atheists negatively.
We are scientists, doctors, lawyers, teachers and students. We are mechanics, plumbers, waitresses and janitors.
We are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. We are aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, grandparents and grandchildren.
We are best friends and we are sworn enemies. We are atheists, but only because that is the name that is spat at us.
She succinctly explains her take on religion:
From the ancient Indians and their founding of Hinduism, to modern day cults that spring up on just about every street corner, mankind wants to understand the world they live in, but they are generally easily satisfied and they lack certain resources. So rather than take the time to use science to answer their questions, they create a myth to explain it all and allay their fears. But those myths break down when confronted with science.
There’s even this valuable proclamation:
I’d rather see one soup kitchen and homeless shelter built as opposed to the many, many mega churches that keep popping up…
But she’s my hero primarily for the follow part:
You think we need pity and prayer and that we just don’t understand. You believe you are superior to us. That you possess some truth that we do not. Some go so far as to think that we wish to invade your homes, steal your Bibles and eat your children.
Nothing could be further from the truth. We want you to feel safe in your homes and keep your Bibles, and besides, children nowadays taste a little gamey.
She got a child-eating joke in there. Nice.
There are some minor quibbles I have with the piece. Like how “Atheists” is capitalized. And that line about how many atheists “would much rather be called rationalists.” (Really?!) And the lack of acknowledgment that not all religious people view atheists in this way.
Still, it’s exciting that pieces like this are being published!
(Thanks to Carol for the link!)
[tags]atheist, atheism, Karen Lancaster, Chillicothe Gazette, Bible[/tags]