LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘One Nation Under God’

To the Editor:

When I read Michael Johns, Jr.’s column, I was both hurt and disappointed. Hurt by the implication that I — as an atheist — lack a proper moral framework, and disappointed that in the 21st century there are still those who cling to the belief that organized religion is a necessity for people to have morals. I do not feel a need, as an atheist, to attack the moral foundations of others, and I am quite confident in my morals and what I choose to believe. I do not feel a need to become religious, and yet some will continue to insist that I am, somehow, lost. In the words of Kurt Vonnegut ’44, “I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of rewards or punishments after I’m dead.” I may not hold the fear of God in my heart, but I am perfectly capable as a human of formulating and understanding my own morals.

Fish On Religion

You are apathetic and bored. Minutes ago, you opened your newspaper or browsed through your favorite news site. You found all the top stories were the current “hot topic” ones, from swine flu to Ms. Prejean’s recent escapades. You want to read something more novel, more substantive. You may even be up for a commentary piece.

If so, I may have the piece for you: “God Talk“, a recent New York Times blog post by Stanley Fish. If you are an English major, you may have heard of him. If not, he is both a Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and a Professor of Law at Florida International University.