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Subject: Re: Not a fundamentalist ( 7 of 63 )
Posted by Kathleen Adams

But Ann...I said what I think, too, and what's more I did so (I hope) without impling that everybody who disagrees with me is either "older" (although I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean -- hidebound, perhaps?) or ill-educated. Because I know they are not. I have found that most thoughtful people have good reasons for whatever religious (or non-religious) views that they hold, and all I ask for is the same consideration from others.

Mr. Adams, I did read the interview, and as I do with everything by you, I read it carefully. You ask how I can be offended, and you seem to assume that my remarks are an example of our "era of offense taking," a trend which I also deplore. (The late, great comic strip "Bloom County" once referred to this as "offensensibility.") However, this is not simply an example of me nitpicking away trying to find something, anything, to be offended about. First of all, I don't offend that easily. (You have only my word for that, of course.) Second, what other kind of reaction can you realistically expect when you seem to categorize all or most religious people in such an unflattering way?

Atheists, agnostics, Buddists, Christians, Hindus -- in my experience (and I can't believe that your experience is that much more limited than that at of little ol' me), all kinds of people hold all of these different beliefs, and many others. To imply, as you did (and as have other atheists of my acquaintance), that the majority of people who believe in a higher being fit into some tidy little categories, and to further assert that you (a well-read, well-traveled man) know only a few exceptions to your tidy (and unflattering) little categories is inexplicable.

My atheist acquaintances are always saying things like this, too, but adding "present company accepted" -- like the only thing I'm worried about is my own little image. I can only assume that they, and perhaps you, don't find many exceptions because you would prefer not to -- similar to some religious fundamentalists who look for outward and ugly signs of sin in everybody who disagrees with them.

Like all of us, Mr. Adams, you most certainly have to take your philosophy from your life experience. That your life has taught you not to believe in God, I do not dispute. A man's gotta do what a man thinks is right. What I do dispute is your contention that it is OK to use that life experience to belittle other people's beliefs. Whether you intended to or not, that is exactly what you did. Because, you see, my life has taught me that there is a God. Isn't that life experience as valid as yours?

And just to prove that I can have a philosophical disagreement and not take it personally, I'd like to add that I still love your books and will be first in line to see the movie when it comes out, hopefully sometime before the Last Trump.
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