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December 1, 2012
This is the season, the carol goes, to be jolly - but not always on The Times' letters page, especially when the discussion centers on the rhetorically explosive mix of atheists and Christmas. More than a dozen readers sent letters in response to a Times report last week that a U.S. District Court judge denied a church coalition's request that Santa Monica allow Nativity scenes to be displayed in a public park. The Times published four of those letters last Saturday, which drew more responses than the original news article.
May 20, 2009
Re "No God, no reason, just whining," Opinion, May 17 The problem with any blanket statement is that it ignores the far greater gray area. Charlotte Allen's dismissal of atheists and their "self-pity" comes off as self-righteous -- a common complaint about believers. She would be wise to stop perpetuating her chosen group's perceived faults and accept that the world -- and its gods -- is much less black and white than she thinks. Dean Buckley Echo Park The one thing that Allen gets right is that many atheists are motivated by anger.
January 5, 1985
The first page of The Times (Dec. 25) carried a story in which Pope John Paul II was quoted as attributing to atheism "the permanent nuclear threat . . . human exploitation . . . loss of values . . . the scourge of famine", and so on. This is outrageous. The Pope is either incredibly ignorant of world history in general and of the history of his own church in particular, or he is being exceedingly hypocritical. Is it atheism that is responsible for the sectarian strife in Ireland and the Middle East (leaving aside for the moment India, Sri Lanka, etc.)
June 14, 1986 | United Press International
The Rev. Dana McLean Greeley, the first president of the Unitarian Universalist Assn., died Friday after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 77. "Unitarian Universalism and the religious world in general have lost a giant," said Dr. William Schultz, current president of the small, fiercely independent group known for its liberal ideals. The group is based on Boston's Beacon Hill. In 1961, Greeley, then president of the American Unitarian Assn.
May 28, 2013
Re "Bigger education, better outcomes," Opinion, May 24 Ronald Brownstein well documents this country's worsening crisis in higher education and how it bodes ill for our future. He presents compelling statistics, to be sure. But Jane Close Conoley, UC Riverside's interim chancellor, sums up the root problem in a disquieting nutshell: the public is "pulling back from a notion that they should be … supporting the education of the next generation. " Those loath to support higher education probably are too shortsighted and self-absorbed to appreciate Nelson Henderson's timeless aphorism: "The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit. " Edward Alston Santa Maria ALSO: Letters: Scouting's new path Letters: Easily offended atheists Letters: Taxing life-saving devices
April 22, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
An anonymous family of New Jersey atheists is asking a state judge to find that the words “under God” should be stricken from the Pledge of Allegiance. The lawsuit , filed Monday, is nearly identical to one brought in Massachusetts by an unidentified family there. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court could rule in that case any day. “Public schools should not engage in an exercise that tells students that patriotism is tied to a belief in God,” said David Niose, an attorney for the American Humanist Assn.
July 22, 1990
Robert W. Stewart quotes Dannemeyer's press secretary, Paul Mero, as saying, "To us, it's those who believe in a God against those who don't." This echoes what Dannemeyer wrote in a Times Op-Ed piece on Nov. 8, 1981: "The First Amendment provides freedom for religion. The modern interpretation for absolute freedom from religion is erroneous and logically impossible." And what the head of his party, then-Vice President George Bush, told a Chicago airport press conference in August, 1987: "I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots.
June 27, 1993
"No Need for God?" (June 10) demonstrated the arrogance and prejudice that believers have toward atheists. I am an atheist. I have not believed in God since childhood, when God was no more than the other superstitious nonsense children are forced to swallow. Atheists do not make any apologies for their beliefs, nor do they need esoteric guidelines for behaving ethically. My wife and I have raised five children in a religion-free household. I would put my children's ethics against anyone else's.
December 23, 2012 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - My wife was an atheist who loved Christmas. She loved the giving. Loved the smiles on the grandkids' faces. Loved decorating the tree. Really loved the big old, bright Christmas tree in Capitol Park. Loved the food and made a scrumptious clam chowder. Loved all the trappings - except the Christmas music. Wasn't wild about that. But did like some non-religious holiday tunes. Nereida might not have wanted me to mention any of this. Religion or lack of it was no one else's business.
March 8, 2008
Re "How many non- believers?" Opinion, March 4 John Allen Paulos has done what most would consider impossible: He has separated mathematics from logic. To begin with, he conflates atheism with agnosticism, a cause du jour for atheists attempting to bolster their numbers. Later, Paulos conflates again the assumption that nonbelief in a conventional god is aligned with the cause of atheism. Disbelief and honest doubt are not signs of bravery; they are signs of disbelief and honest doubt.
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