Your Published Letter-To-The-Editor
Did your letter-to-the-editor get published in a local or national newspaper? We’d like to share it! Send a link to your published letter to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll republish it in this column.
Please remember that we receive an overwhelming number of letters and, due to relevance and content, we regret that we cannot publish them all.
Read some recently published letters from AHA members below.
The Post and Courier (South Carolina)
September 19, 2012
Recently the Democratic Party put the word “God” back into its party platform, despite significant opposition when the GOP (God’s Own Party?) turned the word’s absence into a campaign issue.
A Sept. 14 letter incorrectly called the original omission a sign that the Democratic Party is “no longer a party with the values of our Founding Fathers.”
Our founding document and the fundamental law of our land, the U.S. Constitution, makes no mention of God. Its ultimate source of authority is cited in the first three words: “We the people....”
This God-free Constitution demonstrates that the founders intentionally established a secular country.
You will also find no mention of God in the platform of the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln.
Today both religious and non-religious Americans are working to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all.
People who insist that God should be an integral part of political platforms and governance will find no support from our founders.
They will, however, find overwhelming support for this point of view in countries where American troops are, or might soon be, in harm’s way.
North County Times (California)
Discussing evolution versus sermonizing
October 15, 2012
For those readers who think that anyone is having a "discussion" with Irvin Forbing on the merits of the theory of natural selection, do not be deceived. A discussion involves the possibility that, given new and more probable evidence, either of the parties involved would be willing to alter his position.
Personally, it makes me sad to think of Irvin Forbing wasting away the precious hours of his one and only life trying to prove his theory that just 6,000 years ago, an imaginary invisible sky-daddy uttered a few magical words and "poof," here we are. Furthermore, it makes me angry to think that some fundamentalist religious leader, for the sake of justifying his own existence as such, would so damage the reasoning power of a fellow human's mind, that that person would be driven to make himself look ignorant week after week, defending the undefendable.
Forbing simply continues to heap more irrelevant "facts" upon the reader, without ever showing us any relevant evidence that his theory trumps Darwin's. But rest assured, if Forbing ever does publish a scientifically peer-reviewed paper proving his creationist theory, I will personally nominate him for a Nobel Prize. Don't hold your breath.
The Reflector (Battle Ground, Washington)
Fewer laws better. Forget the Bible, the Golden Rule doesn’t require it
September 5, 2012
Wednesday, August 22, an opinion writer to The Reflector tried to suggest that I believe “conscience” emerged from “primordial slime.” Nonsense. I never said any such thing. I don’t pretend to believe or to know a thing unless there is solid evidence to back my claim. There are already too many dogma-blinded individuals on both sides of this particular argument.
I can claim to know that morality did not come from the English Bible as assembled for King James. The first half of Deuteronomy 21 includes instructions from Moses on how to rape a virgin war prisoner before abandoning her (verses 10 to 14) and the second half of the same chapter tells parents how to arrange for their rebellious child to be stoned to death (18 to 21). I highly encourage everyone to read the Bible cover to cover before making noise about how useful the book is in space-age lawmaking. Such nonsense doesn’t put food in the food bank. It doesn’t bring medicine, that actually works, to the sick in our community.
If you really want my opinion, I believe morality requires a healthy mix of intelligence and empathy. Before you ask the Bible for guidance, you should ask a woman‘s advice.
My critic is also awfully quick to attack childless marriages. Should the law force sterile couples to get divorced? Should the law force sterile couples to adopt children? Let’s (please) think before we vote.
Fewer laws are better. Forget the Bible. The Golden Rule doesn’t require it.
The Guadalajara Reporter (Jalisco, Mexico)
September 29-October 5 Issue
Some readers of the article reporting the Mexican bishops' call for teaching religion in the public schools (September 22-28 issue) might infer that religious belief is necessary to encourage moral and ethical behavior. Such an inference is unfounded. Millions of people conduct themselves morally and ethically without any religious belief. In the words of the American Humanist Association, they are "good without a god." Some 60 of them are members of the Lakeside Freethinkers. These people do what is right not because of hope of reward in heaven or fear of punishment in hell, but simply because it is right. No religious belief is needed to adhere to the Golden Rule: act toward others as you want them to act toward you. On the other hand, some of the drug gangsters responsible for murdering thousands claim to be devoutly religious and strong supporters of the church. Religious belief is neither necessary nor sufficient for moral and ethical behavior.
Kenneth G. Crosby
April 30, 2012
“Freedom” means you can do what you want, and others can do what they want, as long as no one harms the other.
A recent letter claimed that allowing same-sex marriage would infringe on the writer’s religious freedom. How? They aren’t going to be forced into a same-sex marriage; but tolerance of such marriages is part of freedom for all.
No one’s religious freedom is infringed if the government does not erect monuments about religious beliefs. But religious freedom is infringed if the government erects monuments for some people’s religions, or for (or against) religion in general.
An organization that takes money from the government for some public service should not then limit recipients of the service to those with certain religious beliefs, or deny services based on religious dogma. If they want to do that with private money, fine, but not with tax money.
“Conscience clauses” appear to be special rights for religious zealots to force their beliefs on others while refusing to do the jobs they were hired to do.
People should think carefully about what freedom really means.
Paul D. Rolig
Humanists of Idaho