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This is a letter I sent to my local newspaper hoping it'd get published. It never did.
Our local newspaper has a “Letter to the Editor” section where people submit their ideas and opinions hoping to have them published. Since I started working there I have started reading the paper daily. I read one of these letters one day and laughed at what I had been printed. Submissions are to be limited to 400 words and my response to what I had read was a little over 700 words. I spent hours whittling it down until finally I got pretty dang close to the 400 mark (this guys letter was slightly over 400 words so I figured mine could too). My response never got published so I decided to post my 700+ full response here. Because I will very likely not get the newspaper's permission to reprint the article here, I'll summarize it. This guy wrote in claiming a good portion of our history is wrong because of Atheists. He then goes on to rant about how the school system is trying to teach the Theory of Evolution as Fact, how pastors may not be involved in politics, why in his mind abortion should be stopped,  sex education in public schools, and gay marriage.

This is in response to “Losing our way as a nation” (Wednesday June 6, 2012).

What is your proof to back up your radical claims? If we are to teach religion in our public schools, then we are to teach all of them. Public schools are a place to pursue knowledge, not religious enlightenment. It only makes sense to omit Christianity from public schools for this reason. If one desires more knowledge of “God”, “His Son” and “The Bible”, then one should attend a church. The first Amendment clearly states that there shall be no established religion in this country. This is interpreted as a separation of church and state (the government). Since  public schools are funded with our tax dollars, it only makes sense to keep all religions out of them. If a child wanted to pray, they may do so in a church or in their own homes, not in a place of academics. How would you like it if a Buddhist wanted you to stop what you are doing and spend hours meditating? How would you feel if a Wiccan forced you into one of their rituals? I'm sure you wouldn't like it. So what makes it okay for Christians to force their beliefs and rituals onto other people?

Any logical person knows that The Theory of Evolution is nothing but a THEORY, hence why it is referred to as “The Theory of Evolution”, not “The Facts of Evolution”. When one is presented with this or any theory, it is up to the individual to analyze the evidence presented to them and make an independent decision. I think it is morally wrong to tell school children that Evolution is indeed fact, rather we should be letting them know that this theory, as well as anything else being taught to them, should have it's validity questioned, the evidence presented analyzed, and come to a conclusion themselves based on their own research.

I believe a pastor has every right to voice his or her opinion on political matters. However, if those opinions revolve around and are based off of religious logic, then they have no place in political debates. This goes for Christians, Buddhist, Taoists, Wiccans, and every other religion in this world.

As for the Abortion debate, what lie is this unnamed decision that you mention based off of? Fifty million seems to be a vague number. Is it fifty million babies aborted to date? This year? This week? Or this month? I do not know because you are not clear and site no references in any of your cases. As far as I'm concerned, you're spewing nothing but closed minded, mislead opinions. Have you ever questioned as to why women choose to proceed with abortions? Reasons are abound from rape to unwanted pregnancies. My argument is going to target unwanted pregnancies. Do you really think that parents of unwanted children will be good parents? Do you think “they'll be responsible” like “they're suppose to?” No. While it is ideal to do so, the world does not work that way. Unwanted children are abused and emotionally neglected. If a child’s needs are not met, including their emotional needs, they grow up into dysfunctional adults and seeing the state of the world we live in now I believe that is the last thing we need. What makes you think these fifty million potential tax payers will be honest, law abiding citizens? What makes you absolutely positive they will be paying taxes and not taking advantage of governmental benefit programs or have their housing and meals paid for by our tax dollars in prison?

Now do tell me what exactly is wrong with putting a condom on a banana? Would you rather them show the boys how to put a condom on by telling them to pull their pants down and giving them erections? It is absolutely necessary to be teaching teenagers these things. I'd rather teens have sex and know how to do it safely than to do it without any knowledge of how to use protection. One may argue that they would rather teens not have sex, while ideal, this however is but a fantasy and is an unrealistic expectation. Teens are making it obvious that abstinence preaching is not working by having sex. Instead of fighting it, it's time to accept it and give the teens the knowledge to practice safe sex. Even so, there will be accidents or unwanted pregnancies. However, those numbers will be minimal compared to now. It makes logical sense to me to give them the knowledge to do it safely, than to assume that they will not because we tell them not too. We must teach teenage girls that in the event of an unwanted pregnancy, they must be able to realize whether or not they are capable to properly care for another life. We must teach them to realize when they are not ready and provide support as well as encouragement for them to find the strength be able to give the child up for adoption so that the child may have a better life.

Here in the U.S, marriage is a legal bond that comes with legal perks. A traditional marriage is a marriage that is performed based on the culture of the people involved. “Traditional Marriages” vary across the globe. I do not see how allowing gays to marry will destroy the meaning of traditional marriage. If anything, allowing gays to marry will establish the term “Gay Marriage” - a legal bond between two homosexuals. Two completely different topics with even greater differences in meaning. If your argument against marriage is supported purely by “It's a sin”, you must realize that your support for your argument is nothing but an opinion that cannot be backed or verified by any facts.

I write today because I see a closed minded person trying to instill their beliefs onto everyone else while spewing out unverifiable counterproductive opinions. Atheist are not the only people holding this country back. You must realize that radical, close minded, religious people who do not know how to mind their own business and let other people be, are a big part of our nations problem. We are not losing our way as a nation because of Atheists, we are losing our way because people like you think that you are right solely because of your religion. If someone does not see things your way or believe in what you believe in, then in your eyes they are damned to hell and are a burden of society. Perhaps it is time you take a second look at what might be the actual burden in society today.
© Copyright 2012 Mario D. Aguilar (grim_paladin at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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