Published Friday, January 18, 2013

Shootings and religion

Before we knew any facts it had already started... It is utterly disgusting how many articles in Letters to the Editor and other sections of this newspaper where the author is striving to connect these mass shootings to a loss of religiosity in this country.

The problem is that it’s almost as if these writers haven’t actually contemplated what they are implying. To connect any of this violence directly to the spread of freethinking, humanism, agnosticism or atheism is absurd at the least.

Any unbiased look at facts will quickly disprove this theory. If taking God out of the classroom or even the overall reduction of religious practice had any correlation with violent crime then secular nations should be cesspools of murder, and death ... but it’s quite the opposite.

You would also expect that the prison population of the U.S. would be made up by a drastically larger percentage of atheists by population percentage than their religious counterparts, which, even at the highest overstated estimates is not true.

For a world-wide perspective it is conveniently ignored that there are, and have been, almost constant wars throughout our history between different religious factions. This currently includes almost every religious one can think of and some you’ve never heard.

If your causation for these violent crimes is a belief or disbelief in God then almost all statistics show the more secular country or person, the less violent or troublesome they are. To truly grasp the argument think of it this way -- the right stretching to link these shootings to atheism is the equal and opposite reaction of the left stretching to link it to the availability of guns -- both are gross over estimations of the goodness of their positions.

Joseph R Breyne, Grantville

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