Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dear Mr Robertson,

Being european, and lacking a TV set, I have to admit that, until now, I hardly noticed the deplorable attack against a sikh temple in Wisconsin. Let me first express my empathy with the victims and my deep conviction that violence is never the solution, regardless of the conflict.

A friend pointed me to that recording of you making a few sad and regrettable, but most of all, simply incorrect claims about atheists.

I would like to take the opportunity to urge you to take into account and acknowledge the following facts:
  • I am an atheist.
  • I do not hate god. God does not exist. How could I hate a nonexistent entity?
  • I can not say anything about "the expression of god" because I have no idea what you mean by that.
  • I am not angry with myself. Well, sometimes, when I mess up, I'm temporarily upset. I bet the same goes for you. We're just human. But in general, I'm rather happy with what I've achieved so far, and I have extremely high hopes for my personal future. I sure hope that I get to contribute more, to "pay forward" more than I do now. I'll take some time for considering that. Thanks for the reminder.
  • I am not angry with the world. In fact, I think that the notion of being "angry with the world" makes precious little sense. The world is 13.7 billion year old and consists of a vast void of empty space - the observable universe is a sphere with a diameter of about 29 gigaparsecs containing something like 10^24 stars. How would I even manage to be angry with every single one of those stars, every potential living being on one of the planets surrounding those stars, every animal on our own planet, every single human being that ever lived or is alive right now?
  • I am not angry with society. "Society" is an abstraction of rules and patterns of human behaviour. I surely criticize many of those rules and patterns, and some of those might actually make me angry at times - but in general, I tend to be rather thankful for living in a stable, economically sound society that allows me to indulge in many of my vices and live a comfortable, healthy life full of joy and peace. Thanks for reminding me of the good things in my life, and...
thanks for listening.

While you meditate on those facts, this might give you the opportunity to also reflect on the fact that you have blamed a whole group of people, made huge assumptions about how they feel and think, and massively contributed to hate and violence against a religious minority. In my book, this is what constitutes hate speech. While you're at it, this might be the time for a sincere apology to all atheists in all the world.

Kind regards,

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