Chris Clapp, a soon-to-be college student, wrote a guest column for the Winston-Salem Journal newspaper. It’s a great example of expressing the positive sides of atheism without denigrating religion.
Here are some of my favorite excerpts:
People ought to be free to seek God, forgiveness or unity with the universe in whatever way they see fit, or not at all. This freedom is exactly what the fabric of America’s democracy is based upon.
Two centuries ago, black men, women and children were used as farm equipment because they were seen as a lesser race. Less than a century ago, women were not allowed to have an equal share in the governing of this nation, yet they were called to adhere to all the laws made by their male counterparts. Many religious adherents used their holy book to justify these degradations. Still today, individuals who choose alternative lifestyles are made second-class citizens because their lifestyles do not fall in line with the faith of the moral majority. Science and reason proved misogynistic, racist laws to be absurd in the past. How long will millions more humans be degraded to satisfy the consciences of religious adherents?
Religion very well may have positive aspects, but we cannot excuse its evils in the name of a few good acts. We cannot allow bigotry simply because bigots may occasionally give alms to the poor.
I see no need to attempt to rob other individuals of their beliefs, so long as their beliefs do not rob me of my freedom.
And here’s a line regarding theists and non-theists that you just need to memorize because it’s so powerful:
We will likely never sing in one accord; but we can find a satisfying harmony.
[tags]atheist, atheism, Chris Clapp, God, Christian, Winston-Salem Journal[/tags]