'Day Of Prayer' Exploits Tragedy
Allen J. Gies

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Gies, Allen J"
Subject: Re: God Bless America?
Date: September 14, 2001 7:03 PM

You hit it on the head: The religionists are exploiting a tragedy to issue forth their propaganda. They are very practiced at doing this and immune to any human sensitivities about it because they do this almost any time somebody dies. Their emotions are so utterly scarred from conducting funerals and exploiting death and grief for personal gain and for the furtherance of their cause that they not only think nothing about doing this today, they will viciously attack anybody who thinks there's something wrong with what they are doing.

I have only this to say to them: This tragedy will scar us all for life and has uprooted countless lives. Please let us deal with it the way we think is best. Please do not ask us to pray to a deity, not while we are wondering what kind of deity could have possibly been in charge on Tuesday!

Perhaps they see this too. Perhaps they see that this event could result in wholesale loss of religious faith on the part of Americans, as happened in Europe after World War II. Still popular is the notion that people cannot be moral without religious faith (it's a bigoted lie, but it's still almost as popular as it was during the times of Washington and Adams). Perhaps they're thinking that they need to try to save religion from the inevitable fruit of its not being an effective explanation for the evil which befalls us.

Nevertheless, I still try to have patience. I will grieve and I will speak out. If somebody thinks I'm evil for this, so be it.

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

Graphic Rule
Added: September 14, 2001

Graphic Rule

From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Gies, Allen J"
Subject: Re: God Bless America?
Date: September 14, 2001 10:02 PM

Falwell and Robertson see this as God's judgement, but many do not. Christian fundamentalists are not a unified lot by any stretch; as many as follow Robertson, many more than that denounce him.

In fact, many fundamentalists read the words of Jesus forbidding public prayer and thus will not participate in today's activities.

We cannot be lumping them all together as thinking one thing. The only thing they all have in common is fundamentalism, but since the Bible is such a hodge-podge of contradicting values, it's only possible to apply bits and pieces to one's life: they will never be unified on any matter.

I do see the in-your-face singing as a sort of "reminder" to those of us who do not believe. I have always seen the various activities such as public prayer to be a kind of "statement" to the rest of us -- even since I was a child. You can't help but think that, because that's how it comes across when seen in light of their evangelism efforts.

Are they trying to guilt-trip us? It sure seems that way: they need to explain this tragedy to themselves. They surely didn't do it. They have avoided God's wrath through faith in Jesus. But why did it happen? why did God allow this to happen to us? Well, if it wasn't them, then God must be sending a message to those of us who don't believe.

So, yes: They are sending a message to us. And thus is their right, I suppose, but this is being done both on national television and at the behest of our President.

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

Graphic Rule

Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995-2006 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.