The Center For
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Jim Adams"
Subject: Request for info and a few questions
Date: Thursday, July 27, 2000 10:25 PM
We received a letter written from you to Bill Garrett and would like to post it in his discussion with us, since it is part of his reply. I had pointed out that most churches are still about tribal loyalty rather than progress and truth seeking and he replied by sending us your letter with a request that we post it. I have also been talking with Chaplain Al Holm of An Interfaith Chapel of Common Sense Ministry but have only posted one letter from him. I am hoping another discussion will ensue since our discussions with Garrett and two pantheists this week have radically changed our outlook. As I explained to Chaplain Holm, our main concern is the stigma that atheists have always endured. Look up atheism in Mirriam-Webster's and see what I mean. "Wickedness"? My god!
We would also like to be on any mailing list you have. Thank you.
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Thanks for your communication and for your request to be on our mailing list. Next week, when I will have returned home from vacation, I'll mail you a packet of printed material. You will be receiving future reports by mail and the occasional e-mail bulletin.
Because of your expressed interest in pantheism, I thought I might point out that the point of view adopted by many progressive Christians today is "panentheism". As the label suggests, panentheists hold that God is present and can be known in all things. Their belief differs from that of pantheists, who hold to the religious belief or philosophical theory that God and the universe are identical (implying a denial of the personality and transcendence of God); i.e. they believe that God is everything and everything is God.
You should not be surprised by "the stigma that atheists have always endured". Since the first use of the term in ancient Greece, "atheist" has been a deragatory epithet. The early Christians were called atheists because they refused to acknowledge the ancient gods of Greece and Rome. When conservative Christians call me an atheist, they are not using the term as an objective description of my point of view but as a way of dismissing me. At the same time, when people choose to call themselves atheists, they are rightly perceived as a threat to the established order of things.
You have some excellent material available on your website. Would you be interested in establishing links between your site and ours?
James R. Adams, President
The Center for Progressive Christianity
"encouraging churches to care about people who find organize religion
irrelevant, ineffectual, or repressive"
99 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138
voice mail (617) 441-0929 summer phone (570) 525-3901
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