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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 5, 2008 at 1:43 PM

Capitol building holiday decorations

Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times

Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, holds up a foundation sign at the state Capitol building.

Seek the truth

Editor, The Times:

Those interested might want to reflect on the meaning of the word “myth,” that is, a story that may not be true in itself but that illustrates and points the way to a greater truth [“Atheists put up sign in Capitol building,” Times, News, Dec. 1].

For instance, if I were to point a finger toward the moon and say, “look at the moon,” and you look at my finger instead, you are not seeing the moon.

Venus and Aphrodite were myths that pointed to the realities of love and beauty. Albert Einstein said, “Myth has its charms, but the truth is far more beautiful.” Think about that.

— M.M. Hall, Seattle

Oh, the irony

There is some amusement in “Deck halls with controversy” [News, Dec. 2] that many readers may not have noticed. Freedom From Religion Foundation members are described as delighting in their sign in Olympia, which mocks the meaning of a nearby Nativity scene.

One of the older Foundation members, described as a lifelong atheist, is quoted as saying, “For a long time, we’ve been just a voice in the wilderness.” Does he know who first described himself as a “voice in the wilderness”?

In a King James Bible, you will find that it is John the Baptist announcing that Christ will soon make his appearance. In Luke 3:4, John sees himself as a fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy of such a voice in Isaiah 40:3.

Interestingly, John the Baptist was crying out against careless people who were pretending that there was no God.

— Don Klompeen, Bothell

Life goes on

Why are Christians so threated by a sign? Does it detract from their faith? Will it detract from anyone who truly believes? Will it detract from their proselytizing?

It’s the same response I have to gay marriage: In what way would my own marriage be hurt by any two loving individuals being allowed to marry? Life goes on, faith goes on, with or without a sign in Olympia.

— Susan Neely Gresset, Seattle

Thank you, governor

Thank you, Gov. Christine Gregoire, for defending our freedom to choose atheism. Only if we are free to reject religion are we truly free to practice any religion.

Even as a mainstream Christmas-tree hugger, I feel dangerously threatened by those who say we’ve “gone too far” in practicing religious freedom in our corner of the country.

What I learned in Sunday school was to live charitably with others. I didn’t learn that it doesn’t apply to those with different beliefs. Our leaders need to insist on tolerance and defend our citizens from oppression, exactly as you are doing.

— Charles Wilson, Seattle

Go dark

We are sorry our house is “dark” for Christmas. But by being dark and not putting up our Christmas lights this year, we are saving $7 for two new strands of lights, $3 for replacement bulbs and approximately $10 in electricity use. That totals $20.

This $20 will go to Hopelink (our choice of charities.) We can live without Christmas lights but needy families can’t live without food.

— Randy Hughes and Leslie Addis, Shoreline

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