As a pro-life atheist, I strongly disagree with Paul Rinzler’s recent opinion piece “Good News, bad news” (May 23).
To begin, Mr. Rinzler bases much of his opinion on a book by Katherine Stewart, but never provides any detail why Ms. Stewart’s findings are credible other than that she’s “a mom whose children went to a school that had a Good News Club.” So what? Was any damage done to her children? None shared in his article. Somehow I think there’s more to Mr. Rinzler’s promotion of Ms. Stewart’s book than he was willing to share.
But the bigger issue is the obvious fear that atheists, like Mr. Rinzler, have of the promotion of God and religion in the public square. If Mr. Rinzler and his group of atheists are so secure in their belief that there is no God, why then would they worry about activities like the Good News Club—an organization merely promoting a different point of view?
I was raised a Christian and attended church, bible study, and socials until around age 13, when I decided I didn’t buy what the church was selling. After many more years of thought and consideration, I came to the conclusion that I was an unapologetic atheist. Today I remain secure and confident with my decision. That said, learning about God, Jesus Christ, and the scriptures only had a positive impact on me and the way I live my life.
Who, exactly, can argue with the “teachings” of Christianity, like being truthful, faithful, productive, and honest, loving your neighbor, and helping the poor? Is there something wrong or bad about that? Couldn’t we all agree that even considering some of the known embarrassments (i.e. bad things done both by religious folks and in the name of religion), God and Christianity represent a positive force that supports our civilized society?
Considering the Godless teaching that goes on every day, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., in our public schools, it seems reasonable that an opportunity for some balance in after-school programs should be encouraged. If a child learns about God and Jesus Christ and chooses to believe, is that so bad that we should deny the opportunity? I don’t think so.
If Mr. Rinzler is so certain about his atheism, why doesn’t he just aggressively promote the benefits of being an atheist (which there are many) rather than taking the “low road” demonizing the good work of the Child Evangelism Fellowship, a group that believes in and follows the word of God? Wouldn’t that be a better way for him to promote his point of view?
Most of my friends believe in God and live good and generous lives. On Sundays they go to church and learn the lessons of God. On Sundays I go to the golf course and learn many other life lessons. No one can say with any degree of certainty which of us gets more value from how we spend our Sundays. That’s a lesson I think we all should learn. ∆
Gary Wechter lives in Arroyo Grande. Send comments to the executive editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Gary Wechter - Arroyo Grande