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An open letter to my neighbors

By Snabag --

I am a frequent reader of this site.

I thought the readers of this site would be interested in a letter I sent to the residents of the gated community in which I live (in Canada). I sent 320 letters which represent about 500 people.

Letters from FriendsImage by Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr
I was inspired to do this after hearing people like Richard Dawkins, Dan Barker etc saying how we atheists need to make it known about our atheism.

-----------

An open letter to residents of Blxxxxxxxx Cxxxxxxxxx
I am reluctantly sending this letter as I am well aware of the social discomfort attached to openly discussing someone’s depth of faith or personal belief.

Although I was never very religious, I did attend Sunday school as a child and church as an adult.

After living sixty years of not knowing very much about religion, but always having some doubts, I developed a keen interest to explore this in more depth. I was willing to go to wherever the search led me. Anyone who knows me personally, knows I am honest and analytical

The truth is very important to me.

After about six years of research on the Internet, reading many books and watching many DVD’s. listening to hundreds of podcasts, attending several debates and meetings, and attending several conventions, I can say that I am now an atheist with a capital A. I know lots of people don’t like the word atheist and choose to call themselves agnostic, freethinker, humanist etc, but the word atheist only means being a non theist or a non-believer in a god. Most of us are all atheists when it comes to gods like Zeus, Thor, Horus, Allah, Mithra, etc, but I just go one god farther.

Statistics prove that roughly twenty percent of the population does not believe in a god and if this is true, there must be at least a few non believers living at Blxxxxxx Cxxxxxxx.

I was very surprised to find out how many friends and associates are unbelievers and just how many will admit it to me, but choose to stay in the closet for fear of what the consequences would be if they admitted their unbelief to friends and families.

My wife, who I love and admire with all my heart, chooses to maintain her own beliefs without any strong desire to follow my search, and I am very comfortable with that; as she is with my pursuit .She, like I am sure plenty of you, is comfortable with her faith and has no interest in other opinions. I have trouble understanding that position as I figure any belief that cannot stand up to critical scrutiny is on shaky ground.

The purpose of this letter is to seek out like minded individuals or anyone else who has a similar curiosity and have friendly dialogue. Anyone who is interested, can contact me as a have a library of books, videos, podcasts, and other information I am willing to share.

Please feel free to contact me in the strictest of confidence at

Yours Respectfully,

Bxx Bxxxxxx
Unit # 82
519 xxx-xxxx bxxxxxxxx@hotmail.com


The results to this letter was as follows:

  1. I received six letters returned to my mail box. Three were sent back blank with no messages and three had messages on them. The messages were as follows:
    • a) plain rubbish
    • b) Do not put your garbage in my mailbox (note: I paid post office to deliver)
    • c) This letter should not have been allowed to circulate in this park. Personal faith opinions are private and should be kept that way. 
  2. I received a very positive email as follows:
  3. Hi Bob I also am an atheist. I am sixty and have been an atheist all of my adult life. In this day and age with all of the scientific knowledge mankind has accumulated, it's hard to believe that educated people would still think that there is a god. I just wanted to let you know that there is at least one person in this community that agrees with you. Regards Bernie B Unit xxx
  4. I received a very positive phone call from a lady who said she had been an atheist most of her life and raised her children as atheists and they are atheist today. She went on to thank me for (as she said) for being so honest and brave.
  5. I received another email from a lady telling me about a Debate that was being shown at her church the next sunday between Hitchens & Craig, I replied to thank her and tell her I had already seen it a year before.
  6. I heard through the grapevine that some complained to the office management
    and were told about me paying post office and not personally delivered.

So, all in all, I never received a lot of response, either positive or negative. I expected more and do think some will talk to me personally when our paths cross.

Yours Truly

Snabag


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