Thanks to Danny Westneat for his revealing column about American’s intolerance of atheists [“Poll finds Americans’ growing tolerance stops at atheists,” Local News, June 22]. Based upon this survey, one’s belief in God accounts for 50 percent of the people in this country not feeling comfortable with atheists, especially if they are members of one’s immediate family.
Had I been asked this question, I am not sure how I would have answered it. However, taking a broader view of the involvement of atheists in this country, I certainly am more comfortable with those who do not believe in God than with those who claim a belief in God and then use God’s name to justify all kinds of atrocious behavior and activity.
We know that people have become more tolerant of gay and lesbian people in this country because they have discovered that their own family members have this sexual orientation. If we take a cue from this dynamic and want to break down this intolerance of atheists, then those of us who believe in God have a responsibility to get to know and understand people who do not believe in God, especially if they are members of our immediate family.
Doing so, we may find that we have more in common with each other than we assume.
Rev. Ron Moe-Lobeda, Seattle