Bully's insecurities are showing

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Thursday, January 24
I'm writing in response to Dan Valenti's Jan. 19 column titled "Atheism wilts before truth, logic," which was itself in response to Peter Albertson's "Glass House on Atheism" (Jan. 9). Mr. Valenti doesn't understand the concept of atheism at all. He attributes to it all sorts of things that are actually true of theism. He obviously isn't able to think outside his theistic box.

As an atheist all my adult life, I can tell you exactly what atheism is: It is the lack of belief in any sort of theism. It is simply the response to theism of saying, "I don't believe it." It's the rejection of the belief in any god or gods. That's all it is. It's knowing one doesn't have to be locked into a god-belief, and opting out (or never getting sucked into it to begin with). It's being free from the addictive superstitions of religion, seeing that religion and morality are two entirely separate things. There is absolutely no call for an atheist to "explain" themselves — the burden of proof is entirely upon one who presents something as true; i. e. the theist. Theists make the most outrageous claims, without any proof that stands up to close examination. Atheists don't believe them.

That drives some theists nuts, as in the case of Mr. Valenti, who then attacks in a mean-spirited screed filled with all sorts of nonsense, showing how faulty his thinking on this subject is.

An atheist's life is very far from empty, at least for every atheist I know. Not being bogged down by superstition and addictive rituals, we are free to think about whatever we choose, whenever we choose, and for however long we choose. Our lives are very rich. I've had to give a lot of thought to what moral values I wanted and why, to how I see and experience the world, to what my priorities are. I prize logic and reason — along with kindness and justice — above anything.

Mr. Albertson wrote a thoughtful, civilized column, acknowledging but soft-pedaling his atheism. Mr. Valenti's column in response was just the opposite. It's clear Mr. Valenti is very threatened by atheists' pointing out that the emperor has no clothes, as 'twere. I know theists who aren't the least bit threatened by an atheist not believing their religious philosophies. We each think the other is mistaken but, as civilized people, can agree to disagree without insulting or physically harming each other, and still live together peacefully. Poor Mr. Valenti is behaving the insulting, bullying way of one who is very insecure and unsure.

CATHLEEN GROVES
Savoy

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