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Atheist clarification

Posted: May 16, 2009 9:18 p.m.
Updated: May 17, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The word has been tossed around lately because of the city seal kerfuffle. Because of the negative connotations associated with this word, I get the sense that a lot of people out there don't really know what "atheist" means.

I'd like to clear a few things up for my religious friends in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Atheists are not, generally speaking, evil people. We more or less mirror the population of believers.

The vast majority of us are good, law-abiding, hard-working people. We are police officers and firefighters, doctors and nurses, construction workers, meat packers, soup kitchen volunteers and yes, the odd jerk or criminal here and there.

In short, we're just like everyone else.

It is possible to be an atheist and still be moral. Deep down, every human being with a normal functioning brain knows that it's wrong to, for example, run people over in crosswalks.

Even if running people over in crosswalks were to be legalized tomorrow, I know of very few people, non-religious or otherwise, who would start doing it.

That's because it's repulsive on a human level, and I don't need an all-powerful being shouting from above to tell me that.

Finally, the vast majority of us do not hate Christians or Christianity or even religion in general. I have wonderful relationships with my religious friends, and most of the non-believers I know are the same way.

Certainly there are some atheists who are vocal in their disdain for religion, but the fact is that most of us simply don't think about it all that much.

Personally, I view religion the way most Americans view the sport of Cricket: a quirky thing that other people are interested in, but it's just not for me.


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