December 21, 2012
To the Editor:
The column “Annual conflict: Atheists vs. Believers” by William Hamilton really offended me.
“But why are the Atheists such zealots?” It seems to me that as with so many other things he writes about, he is the zealot. I believe that almost any popular definition of God fails to meet my requirements and therefore I call myself an Atheist. I do not support organized religion and in general I think organized religions are bad things.
However, I really don’t care if religious zealots have symbols of their religion on display at various time during the year. Just because I am not religious doesn’t mean others can’t be. I enjoy Christmas carols, trees, the Hanukkah celebration, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashana and other religious holidays. I read the Bible because it is important literature just like Moby Dick or Hamlet.
I believe in “live and let live,” and even though there is a constitutional separation of church and state, I am willing to put up with religious symbols during historically significant celebrations during the year.
There are some Atheists who are zealously fighting to maintain a strict separation of church and state. They are just as zealous on their side as Mr. Hamilton is on his side. I think both outlooks are dangerous and very counter to the spirit of this season.
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So I say “Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Joyous Hanukkah” to all, and to all a Good Night.