After Clark's posting concerning the lack of god-belief in Britain, I checked my reference
After Clark's posting concerning the lack of god-belief in Britain, I checked
my references and sent in the following letter. Please feel free to
plagiarize me, and if anything gets printed, send me a copy!
June 18, 1996
Letters to the Tribune
The Tampa Tribune
P.O. Box 191
Tampa, FL 33601-4005
An opinion poll conducted by the British Humanist Association found that 43
percent of British adults believed in God. The poll was of 1,000 men and
In the US, polls show that 85-90% or more of the people believe in God. If
one listens to the grandstanding/pandering of religious/political leaders,
one would most certainly expect that the US would have far fewer social
problems (far less crime, etc.) than Britain. Yet, according to the CIA World
Factbook, incidents of murder, rape, and other crimes are "minimal."
Perhaps this answers the question that has been brought to my mind of late,
among all the political posturing and editorializing about the burnings of
black churches. Please note that this has nothing to do with race, and I am
not advocating destruction of property nor endangerment of lives. The
question of which I speak is equally applicable to natural and man-made
horrors. This same question has been uttered by the wiser of those accused of
witchcraft in Salem, those enslaved by their fellow humans past and present,
those crammed into concentration camps, and countless others applying
rational thought to worldly events.
Where is this "god?"
Logic dictates only a few possible answers. If a god exists, he is either
callously unconcerned with these tragedies (at best), or incapable of
stopping them. Either answer requires a significant redefinition from the
omnipotent and benevolent deity of modern theology. Of course, the most
rational answer is that no god exists, and such acts of humans and nature are
the sad result of random circumstances that produced sick minds or
uncontrolled forces. Crime in society, rather than being lessened by
god-belief, is aggravated by the irrational state of mind encouraged by
elevating faith over reason. The churches fear these answers far more than
any flame, because they destroy the very essence of their existence rather
than mere physical buildings.
Whether it be individuals or some concerted effort, I sincerely hope the
individuals responsible for burning these churches are caught and punished. I
also hope, with equal sincerity, that their actions cause all churchgoers to
take a closer look at the basis for their beliefs, the true effects of said
beliefs on society, and the nature of the deity they profess to worship.
P.O. Box 8046
Seminole, FL 34642
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank