Why Does Positive Atheism
Make Such Comments?
Terry Peck

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "The Peck's"
Subject: Re: Front Page Facelift; G. W. Bush Quotes; Fancy Hit Counter
Date: Sunday, October 01, 2000 8:25 PM

It is a good thing to expose liars. It is a good thing to point out that certain people are dangerous. It is a privilege to have the resources to wade through this madness and see it for what it is and share those findings with others who haven't the luxury either to spend the time or to do the thinking involved in catching these opportunistic charlatans. In this we seek to benefit our fellow humans.

I'm sure you can relate: Many Christians think it is a good thing to alert their fellow humans to the wiles of the Devil, or to warn people that they are going to hell. While I don't think there is any evidence to support believing that either the Christian Devil or the Christian Hell exist, the people who seek to warn us of these "dangers" do so in love and in all sincerity. I disagree with these Christians only in the fact that I fail to see any reason for believing that the Christian Devil and the Christian Hell are actual dangers: to me they are mythical. But I will not go out trying to change those Christians who quietly and privately hold these beliefs. I will hold reserved respect for those who act on their beliefs by trying to warn their fellow-humans of dangers that they sincerely believe are real. But my respect for their self-consistency does not exempt them from my criticism of their views. (See H. L. Mencken to this effect.)

For me to warn people of real dangers not by jumping up and down but by providing exact and verifiable quotations from these individuals is an act of both truthfulness and respect. Truthfulness because I am not providing my opinion, but am simply showing, through their own words, what these individuals are up to. Respect because our readership is intelligent enough to be able to see the same things we see when we read the words of these dangerous leaders of the various anti-American movements.

I would never try to silence a Pat Robertson or a George W. Bush. I want them to have unfettered liberty to say whatever they want. At the same time, I want access to their statements and the right to point out to others the sentiments behind those statements. I want to be able to compare what Al Gore says with what Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson and James Madison said. Column A: the sentiments that founded America; Column B: the sentiments that are rapidly destroying the foundations of this once-great nation. I want to be able to show, by comparison and by reasoned argument, that the founding principles of the United States are still superior to any system that has ever been since the heyday of the Roman Empire -- and in many ways, even superior to that culture (but in other way, not). I also want to show that the founding principles have never been fully implemented, and that people (particularly Christians) have opposed, from the start, those founding principles and sought either to thwart or overturn their implementation.

Now, you tell me: What is not positive about any of that? If you can show me that any of the above is not "positive" then I will reexamine my views as well as my understanding of the term positive.

Meanwhile, to find out (a rough clue) about what we mean when we use the term "Positive Atheism," please check out our statement to that effect. Please be aware that after a brief break, I will return tonight to my current project of revising this statement, in hopes of posting it before an anticipated medical condition places me out of commission within the week, and I will not be able to do much if any work for several days. So, this is not the final draft, and I have already slated some of this material for deletion. This is just a rough idea of some of the discussions that have occurred during the past two years, in our efforts to win dignity and to halt the injustices that are everywhere leveled against atheists. This is us trying to do our own part, because we are such a widely despised minority that we can expect absolutely no assistance from others in this matter -- not even those you'd expect to help the despised, the disadvantaged and the "disenfranchised," so to speak.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

Graphic Rule

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