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Got ink!

The following letter appeared in today’s Chicago Tribune:

Thank you for the somewhat-positive “10 things you might not have known about atheists.” It barely begins to make up for your lavish and uncritical coverage of religion, but we Secular Humanists appreciate it.

I’d like to get away from the word “atheist.” Too negative. Secular Humanists DO believe in something, including (but not limited to) salvation in this world, through human effort and virtue. God’s no help; we have to do it ourselves. We value human individuality, choice, dignity, and responsibility. To a Humanist, religion is “ahumanistic,” promoting imaginary deities over people, practicing humiliating worship services, and persecuting and killing those who disagree.

Here’s another, same subject, that didn’t get in:

For many years your religious coverage, which invariably reports religion as
not only believable but praiseworthy, has put my my teeth on edge. I am a proud Secular Humanist, and to us, the smug, ostentatious religiosity of our fellow Americans, reflected in your uncritical religious coverage, has long been an irritating fact of life.

Just recently, however, I have started to have hope. First there was the critical reader reaction to the Catholic Bishops’ pronouncement: how dare they tell people how to vote? And then letter writer Ed Dougal makes a critical point: YOU should have supplied that point of view — not left it to your readers.

I heartily agree. Ed Dougal and other voices have emboldened me to tell you that it is your obligation as journalists to supply a counterweight to the religious fantasies which continue to enslave humanity. Every religous story, every religious festival, if reported, should be accomanied by quotes from kind, thoughtful people — and there are many, starting with Richard Dawkins — to the effect that the religous fantasies being celebrated did not in fact occur and that continuing religous belief may indeed be bad for humanity.

Further, I am emboldened to say that there a lot of us out here who read the Trib, grit our teeth, and wish that our voices could be heard in this happy-land of religious delusion. Let people see the downsides of religious belief and decide for themselves.

By the way, I loved the article on the marketing methods of the mega-church. Religion has followed the proven methods of its fellow merchants in fantasy — politicans and marketers/advertisers. Both groups take over your mind by selling you fantasies and entrusting your salvation to others, whether it’s Hillary or Hilfiger. They’ve found they can be more effective by segmenting their audiences. So too with religion. Why not?

I don’t care if you print this (I’m putting it on my blog). I, along with Dawkins and many others, would just like more-balanced coverage. Ultimately, I would like to see religion accorded the importance it deserves, which, to us Humanists, is little or zilch.

One Response to “Got ink!”

  1. on 22 Dec 2007 at 10:49 pmkre8ive » Got ink!

    […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptGot ink! December 22nd, 2007 by Alan The following letter appeared in today’s Chicago Tribune: Thank you for the somewhat-positive “10 things you might not have known about atheists.” It barely begins to make up for your lavish and uncritical coverage of religion, but we Secular Humanists appreciate it. I’d like to get away from the word “atheist.” Too negative. Secular Humanists DO believe in something, including (but not limited to) salvation in this world, through human effort and virt […]

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