Reed Secular Alliance President Leslie Zukor’s Letter to the Editor was published on OregonLive.com on Tuesday, Febuary 10th. In it, she defended the ethics of atheists and their capacity to do good works. She also discusses her own service with the Freethought Books Project, as well as that of her peers, one group of which went down to Louisiana to rebuild houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
The morality of nontheists was under attack, due to Russell Mathews’s Letter to the Editor in last week’s Oregonian, when he suggested that “Godlessness” was to blame for the January 24th downtown shootings. As it turns out, atheism had nothing to do with the killings. The gunman was a young schizophrenic man without the Health Insurance to buy neuroleptic medications for his mental disorder.
Zukor was thrilled to be published on OregonLive. “It’s great to stand up for your [secular] values,” she said. “I consider myself to be an atheist, as well as an advocate for the mentally ill. There’s no way that ‘Godlessness’ had anything to do with the murders. Universal healthcare could have eliminated all of this, and the gunman, who committed suicide, could have had a reasonably productive life.”
One response to Zukor’s Letter to the Editor wasn’t positive. “You’re only an atheist until you feel the unknown. Your time will come; have patience.” The blogger assumed that Zukor’s atheism is only based on inexperience. That is hardly the case, according to the RSA President. “I’ve faced a lot of adversity in life. It’s only through my struggles that I’ve realized that an all-good and all-powerful God, who at the same time permits evil, cannot by necessity exist.”