I came across your website on ‘stumbleupon’ and found it fascinating. I think i have always been an atheist as neither of my parents are particularly religious. My mum was brought up a Catholic and came to the conclusion that it really didn’t make any sense to her and threatening children from a very young age with hell and damnation is very wrong and I’d have to agree. Don’t get me wrong my mum didn’t preach this to me at an early age she let me make up my own opinion about god and religion. When all my friends at school used to talk about being christened and I said that I hadn’t they all found it very odd, I think i was the only one. I asked my mum why i was not christened as a baby when all my friends had, she said that when I was old enough to make an informed decision about what religion if any I wanted to follow, it would always be my choice and she didn’t feel she or anyone else should enforce these beliefs on people from an early age. My neighbor is a Christian and she took me to church a few times (i asked her to) so i could see what it was all about and i read some of the bible and i keep coming to the same conclusion that it really can’t be true. So much of it contradicts itself, Christianity isn’t even original it’s basis is so similar to other religions that it condemns, Son of God died for others and rose from the dead is mentioned so many times else where in older religions. 25th Dec isn’t even Jesus’ supposed birthday it’s a made up date to bring Christianity in line with pagan festivals and beliefs. I can understand people believing in religion so passionately a few hundred years ago but I can’t understand how people still think this is true. I truly think that banning the teaching of evolution in schools in favor of God created the world in 7 days is an outrage and amounts to brainwashing. Children should be aloud to make informed decisions about every aspect of their life and holding back this kind of information is scandalous!! Are theists so scared that their religion does not hold up the questioning of school children that they with hold information that will lead intelligent children to ask intelligent questions? I like to think that I live my life in a moral way I don’t steal, cheat or murder people because I don’t have God in my life. I live by the rule if I wouldn’t like it done to me I should do it to others and that suits me fine. I don’t condemn people for believing in God that is their choice, just because I don’t believe or really understand how people come to that conclusion doesn’t make me a bad person in the same way that believing in God doesn’t necessarily make them a good person. Last thing I think your extremely eloquent and well balanced answers to the hate mail you have received shows what a thoughtful, rational and sensitive person you are any many could learn from you. I am so glad I found your site and will definitely be returning soon. Thank You for letting me give my 2 pennies worth.
You make many good points. I agree that it can be difficult to understand why people believe in religion when, to those like you and me, it seems untrue on the face. But there are people who have very rational reasons for being religious, and even though I disagree with their conclusions, I respect their position. I have less respect for those who not only believe only because they were raised to believe but also are unwilling to entertain investigation of their belief.
One point about creationism in schools: I would hasten to point out that nobody in recent times (to my knowledge) has proposed that public school children be taught that the world was created in seven days. Creationism is generally more sophisticated than that — at least when it is trying to get into the classroom. Even so, I completely agree with you that it would be doing children a disservice to pretend that intelligent design is on par with the theory of evolution.
Thank you for writing. I look forward to hearing from you again!