A collection of brief stories:
- A Christian wrote a letter in support of Dawn Sherman‘s lawsuit against Illinois’ mandatory moment of silence law:
… As a Christian whose children attend public schools, I was outraged to learn of the mandatory “prayer/reflection” requirement set forth by the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act. This is another case where our government is abusing power and infringing on our personal liberties…
- Senator John Kerry got it right (unfortunately) when he talked about atheists running for public office yesterday:
“The vast majority of Americans say they believe in God,” Kerry said, responding to a question about the likelihood of an atheist or agnostic winning the presidency. “The vast majority of America, at some time, goes to church, and I think it matters to people. When you are choosing the president of the United States, people vote on the things that matter to them.
“So I think it is probably unlikely that you are going to find somebody who stands up and says, ‘Well, I don’t believe in anything,’ and you’ll get a whole bunch people who get excited about voting for that person,” Kerry said. “It’s just a fact.”
- Philip Pullman says he isn’t promoting atheism in The Golden Compass, which is now being release as a movie starring Nicole Kidman:
How do you respond to the claim that your books are anti-Catholic and promote atheism?
… In the world of the story — Lyra’s world — there is a church that has acquired great political power, rather in the way that some religions in our world have done at various times, and still do (think of the Taliban in Afghanistan). My point is that religion is at its best — it does most good — when it is farthest away from political power, and that when it gets hold of the power to (for example) send armies to war or to condemn people to death, or to rule every aspect of our lives, it rapidly goes bad. Sometimes people think that if something is done in the name of faith or religion, it must be good. Unfortunately, that isn’t true; some things done in the name of religion are very bad. That was what I was trying to describe in my story…
Is there an underlying message for atheism in your book or did you simply want to write a fantasy story, like Tolkien?
What I was mainly doing, I hope, was telling a story, but not a story like Tolkien’s. (To be honest I don’t much care for “The Lord of the Rings.”) As for the atheism, it doesn’t matter to me whether people believe in God or not, so I’m not promoting anything of that sort. What I do care about is whether people are cruel or whether they’re kind, whether they act for democracy or for tyranny, whether they believe in open-minded enquiry or in shutting the freedom of thought and expression. Good things have been done in the name of religion, and so have bad things; and both good things and bad things have been done with no religion at all. What I care about is the good, wherever it comes from.
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