After Clark's posting concerning the lack of god-belief in Britain, I checked my reference

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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 Dear Editor: 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 1,068 women. 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. Sincerely, Brent Yaciw P.O. Box 8046 Seminole, FL 34642

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