Sam Bagg decries the discrimination that atheists suffer, but his op-ed piece (“Waiting for our show,” 10/21/08) is rife with prejudice against religious people. He claims that although in the past “Jews and Catholics were portrayed as weak-willed followers,” now “we have weakened these prejudices and shown them to be universally false.” Yet he then goes on to reinforce those exact same prejudices with statements about “the religious public’s categorical mistrust” — painting all believers as part of a single, unthinking mob, even as he calls for us to appreciate atheists as individuals. Worse, and perhaps most offensively, he makes the sweeping claim that those who believe in God haven’t thought through their beliefs because they blindly “take their values from a book.”
For a call to inclusiveness, this is remarkably intolerant. I’ll acknowledge that atheists are moral as soon as Sam Bagg recognizes that those who have faith can also be rational, intelligent and clear-thinking individuals.
The writer is a sophomore in Pierson College.