BELIEVE WHAT YOU WANT BUT BUTTON UP
Despite my general agreement with Katha Pollitt’s observations about the futility of atheist “conversions” [“Subject to Debate,” Dec. 3], I am always troubled by believers presuming us atheists to be evangelists for our lack of belief. There have certainly been those who have proselytized for the atheist “movement,” but I really cannot be bothered to concern myself with what anyone else may or may not believe.
The only thing that a committed atheist should be prepared to resist is any attempt to infuse faith-based nonsense into our governments. Each of us has a fundamental right to secular, not atheistic, governments. There is a big difference. Our governments are not permitted to take religious “sides” or positions under our Constitution. That is the promise not only of the First Amendment but also Article VI. That is so each of us will be treated fairly by the government, not to “disprove” the existence of that which cannot be disproved. (That would take a very flimsy deity, indeed!)
I almost always admit that I cannot disprove the existence of any deity. Why should I care? It is really none of my business what anyone else chooses to believe. Or not. That is what real freedom is about. It is my business to preserve that freedom, and I do so by insisting that my governments be secular and that people are not hurt or harassed in the name of religion.
H. WATKINS ELLERSON
ROLL OVER, GEEZERS
Re Lakshmi Chaudhry’s “Will the Real Generation Obama Please Stand Up?” [Dec. 3]: The biggest challenge for ambitious Generation X-ers and Senator Obama is that baby boomers won’t take senior status. People are living longer and playing longer in politics, business and all leadership arenas. The kids have outgrown the kiddie table and are claiming their rightful place at the big table. Unfortunately, the boomers are not ready to make room.
We have the same maturity, experience and qualifications to lead at 46, Senator Obama’s age, as boomers did at 46, Bill Clinton’s age when elected President. Boomers are going to keep booming and will cling to the reins as long as they can. Alzheimer’s may be Gen X’s best hope!
Using the demographic range assigned to the baby boom of 1946-64, Obama is very much a baby boomer himself–notwithstanding pretensions to play the Gen X (and MillGen) cards. Other assignations of Gen X-dom to pundits, bloggers, etc. born in the 1946-64 period reveal a curious boomer bigotry–with boomers (albeit late arrivals) seeking to pass as constituents of the younger group. Ultimately, Obama and any other candidate viewing the electorate sensibly will be paying court to the biggest group out there, that big demographic bulge snaking through its 50s, 60s and soon 70s, all the while remaining every bit as (perhaps more?) viable as ever.