Sunday, May 27, 2007

Northern Exposure

Like most readers, I carry an image of Alaska that was formed in large part by the quirky television program Northern Exposure. A populace comprised of congenial misanthropes and eccentrics who were charming against a backdrop of majestic natural beauty.

The frozen north it seems is not quite as friendly – at least to nonbelievers – as we were led to believe. The following letter has a decidedly less tolerant tone than one would expect to find in the Kenai Peninsula Clarion where stories of moose charges and Grizzly bear sightings make the front page. A certain Alice Shannon, whose letter appeared in the Clarion holds somewhat xenophobic notions in regard to infidels:

“It’s time to stomp out atheists in America. The majority of Americans would love to see atheists kicked out of America. If you don’t believe in God, then get out this country.

The United States is based on having freedom of religion, speech, etc. which means you can believe in God any way you want (Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, etc.), but you must believe.

I don’t recall freedom of religion meaning no religion. Our currency even says, “In God we trust”. So to all the atheist in America: Get out of our country.

Atheists have caused the ruin of this great nation by taking prayer out of our schools and being able to practice what can only be called evil. I don’t care if they have never committed a crime, atheist are the reason crime is rampant.”

Well, Alice certainly has a bee in her bonnet. One hardly knows where to begin with this (but I am sure some readers do!). If I might throw in my two cents worth, I’d like to address Alice’s failing memory, “I don’t recall freedom of religion meaning no religion.” To quote Thomas Jefferson, author of the amendment she so clearly admires;

“But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

So to all you evil-doing atheists (with or without felony records) out there, watch out! Alice Shannon is on to you, and she has the [final?] solution.

My thanks to the Raving Atheist for this gem