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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 22, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Religion: the religious right and a camp for nonbelievers

Only leadership needed is from God

I have to disagree with the article on the religious right [“State’s religious right: ‘a leaderless army,'” page one, July 21]. Jesus’ and God’s teachings are all the leadership we need. I believe churches should focus less on same-sex marriage and instead focus their energy on the sanctity of life.

The church needs to speak of morality and personal responsibility regarding life. The pastors who were insulting others never helped any cause, but people will listen to reason and follow God’s teachings.

— Todd Welch, Everett

Close marriage of religious and conservative hurts politics

The U.S. Constitution establishes the separation of church and state as one of the primary governing principles of our nation.

However, over the course of our 233-year history, this dictum has been bulldozed by the marriage of conservative Christianity and conservative politics. Our Founding Fathers never intended to have our nation’s politics so closely aligned with any religious belief as a unity of this nature would only threaten and undermine the right to freedom of religion.

In addition to the threat that a fusion of church and state poses to our founding principles as a whole, it is arguable that the bond between religious and right also greatly hinders American Christianity and the Republican Party. In this union of piety and politics, all Christians are portrayed as political conservatives and all Republicans are painted as devout believers.

This governing image is a gross generalization and simply is not true! If anything, dissolution and lack of leadership within the religious-right movement of Washington state can only bring about good for the Republican Party, Christianity and our nation as a whole.

— Megan A. Wilson, Seattle

Religious right might be realizing Republican isn’t its party

It may be that supporters of the so-called religious right are taking a second look at the political choices they are making. President Obama and his supporters are engaged in a campaign to bring health care to all Americans — the poor, the widows and orphans — as in biblical terminology, while the opposition, led by the bankers and money lenders, seek to stop, delay and deny that campaign.

People who claim to be followers of Christ might well be taking a second look as to which side they are on, as in labor’s terminology.

— Carl Schwartz, Sammamish

Keeping an open mind includes talking about God

The story on the camp for children of atheists and nonbelievers [“Kid’s camp for nonbelievers,” News, July 20] says thinking for yourself is encouraged at the camp.

Not really.

If the camp wanted children to think for themselves, they would also have believers presenting the case for belief in God.

— Dan Hochberg, Seattle

There are more nonbelievers than you might think

Thank you for highlighting one of the fastest-growing segments of society. The article on nonbelievers’ camp gave a few statistics from the Pew Forum on Religion. These percentages — 1.6 percent of U.S. adults are atheist, 2.4 percent agnostic — do not sound significant until you compare them with major religions from the same Pew survey. This same Pew survey says Jews make up only 1.7 percent of the adult U.S. population, Mormons 1.7 percent and Muslims 0.6 percent.

Thus, the total percentage of atheists and agnostics makes up the same percentage of population as Jews, Mormons and Muslims combined.

If you again look at that same survey, they list the total percentage of unaffiliated as 16 percent. That is almost as much as the total for mainline Protestant Churches.

Just putting the numbers in perspective.

— Don Van Valkenburg, Seattle

Comments | More in Media, Politics, Religion, Republicans


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