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Feedback :: Emails to the Editor

Letters found in the media in recent times:
all from "Letters to the Editor" columns

"Liberty does not come from some mysterious, imagined, transcendental force, such as Bush's 'God.' It comes from a long history of human effort. Liberty is a social custom. It comes and goes and changes according to human activity. We are now in the midst of a global struggle about it."
Porter Ewing, Van Nuys, CA

from the L.A. Times, Sunday March 9, 2003

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"There is no place for religion in the Oval Office, especially in the 21st century. The authors of the U.S. Constitution knew firsthand that religion intertwined with government causes alienation among people, not understanding. As our Founding Fathers intended, however, there will always be room for religious faith in a President's heart."
Annie Overboe, Villa Park, Ill.

"The President can be as devout as he wants to be. I just don't want him shoving his devotion down my throat."
Herman Kolender, New York City, NY

"The basic problem in the world today is that there is too much religion and not enough common sense."
Richard G. Harms, Issasquah, Wash.

"It is frightening to see this great democracy moving inexorably toward becoming a theocracy. The constant talk about God and faith by Bush and other politicians has the practical effect of leading the electorate to rely more on religious morality than on reason."
Javier Regalado, Huntington Beach, CA

All from TIME, July 12, 2004

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"Samuel Gregg's sophomoric analysis of atheism as a hurdle to business in Europe is amusing ('Corporatism, Entrepreneurship and Faith,' editorial page, Jan. 30). It brings to mind the liberal who could not fathom the outcome of an American election because 'nobody I know voted for the winner.' I suspect Mr. Gregg's exposure to professed atheists is quite limited.
"He assigns the traits of self-obsession and selfishness to atheists without support for the premise, and then proceeds to write an essay opposing, and showing the harm from, selfishness and self-obsession. I am a lifelong atheist reared in a highly moral environment. I care deeply about the welfare of my six children and my grandchildren. I am a proud veteran, well-educated, an activist opposing payoffs to judges, and have testified eight times to congressional committees on the subject of competition in the oil industry. I am now retired. Until today, nobody ever told me my lack of religious conviction disqualifies me from asserting concern about the future of America or my progeny in it."
K.W. Catmull, Tomball, Texas

From the Wall Street Journal, February 7, 2005


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"Mr. Lindh leaves your readers with the misimpression that the existence of evolution is in scientific dispute. In the short term, evolution can be observed in action - from the rise of antibiotic resistance in microorganisms to the changes in bird physiology studied by Peter and Rosemary Grant and described in the Pulitzer prize-winning book 'The Beak of the Finch.' Long-term evolution of species, including man, is confirmed by DNA and fossil evidence that puts evolution on at least as strong a footing as any of the historical sciences such as geology or astronomy. To deny evolution is to deny the principles that support those disciplines as well.
"It's important to draw a distinction between debates over the existence of evolution or of 'intelligent design' (driven almost entirely by those with Creationist agendas) and debates over the relative importance of the many mechanisms by which evolution occurs (driven by genuine research in the scientific community)."
Allen Akin, Palo Alto, CA

From the Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2002, responding to another previously published letter from one Roland Lindh promoting Creationism and quoting from Creationist scientists, which sounds like an oxymoron to AB.net

_________________________


"Your article on molecular biologist Dean Hamer's discovery of a gene for spirituality, the so-called God gene, put too much emphasis on the religious aspect of spirituality [Oct.25]. While such a gene may very well cause those who carry it to experience self-transcendence and to have a feeling of connectedness to a larger universe, that does not always translate into religious beliefs. I tend to get caught up in an experience, have fleeting revelations and insights and feel connected to the world outside me, all of which, according to your article, are indications of spirituality. Having those traits should make me a nun. But I am an atheist. A spiritual gene alone does not cause people to spread their arms, look up at the sky and declare, 'Hallelujah! There is a God!' "
Preeya Phadnis, Milwaukee, Wis.

"Why should be care about the existence of God, with all the evidence that our interest is not reciprocated?"
Mitchell Winthrop, Arlington Heights, Ill.

Both from TIME, November 15, 2004
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"Isn't it silly to believe that a supposedly almighty and omniscient creator has to be implored, coaxed and cajoled into helping people recover from illness? Why heal only some and ignore the rest?"
John E. LeMoult, Xenia, Ohio

"Forget the philosophical questions concerning the impact of religion on health; everyone is making the issue much too complicated. Whether you have a God, a dog or a marital partner, you're going to live longer and have a better chance of healing from illness when you're not alone. And there is plenty of solid research showing that loneliness kills and psychological and emotional support sustains."
Rondi Lightmark, Rhinecliff, N.Y.

"I am 94 years old and have been an avowed atheist since I was 16. Although brought up in an orthodox milieu, I have survived three life-threatening surgeries not because of my prayers or others', but because of the skill of my doctors, the wonders of modern medical technology and my own sound state of mind. There are hundreds of thousands of people who never go to church not because of indifference but out of serious conviction. Is there any doubt that a survey of these decent people would show that they live as long as or longer than regular churchgoers?"
Michael Golomb, West LaFayette, Ind.

"Religion is based on belief. Therefore, there are many religions and an even greater range in individual beliefs. However, science is based on evidence. If 'science is starting to believe' instead of collecting and examining evidence, then we don't have a prayer.' "
Richard Hand, Eugene, Ore.

"The idea that a person's health may be improved by the prayers of anonymous others had a negative effect on my own condition: my blood pressure reached dangerously high levels for hours after I read the article."
Paul Murtaugh, Corvallis, Ore.

All of the above from Newsweek, November 24, 2003.
This was after an article appeared in a previous Newsweek
on the power of prayer.


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