Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have. -- James Baldwin

Why all this fuss about religion?

dead fish You may wonder why I bother to write all this. Some people have accused me of all kinds of pathology, so I'll take a minute here to explain about me and religion.

It's getting to be more and more on my mind. That is, I'm more and more seeing it as one of the most serious problems in our country and the world. - in our country because it threatens our freedom, our educational system, and our population's ability to think. - in the world because it threatens world peace. Each day I find myself more compelled to speak out wherever I am and let people know there are other views around them.

Most people either agree with me or are offended - two not very useful results. I've no need to talk about this with those who agree. Regarding those who don't, I'm not trying to argue, just to present a point of view. I suspect that many people are Christians (or Muslims or whatever) just because they don't know anything else. I want them to hear what I say as an alternative, not a challenge.

I knew a man who, when younger, was 3 years into a college program to become a minister when he became an atheist. He was very openly atheist at all times. It came across, not as though he had any axe to grind, but just as an integral part of who he was. I was with hundreds of people who knew him and never heard any objection to how he acted regarding his atheism. You couldn't talk with with him for half an hour without it coming up somehow. He was very direct about it, and surely offended people sometimes but also got them to think a little, I think.