Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2002 23:34:25 -0700
To: O****
From: Darwin Bedford <>
Subject: Re: "Questions for Believers" phamplets

Hi O****,

Attached is pamphlet entitled "Questions for Believers" as an MS Word document.

I have also made it available at ...

Regarding your questions on faith ...

Main Entry: 1faith
Date: 13th century
1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY
b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God
(2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
synonym see BELIEF
- in faith : without doubt or question : VERILY

Yes, it appears atheists can have faith -- i.e., see 1,a and 1,b (1) and b (2).
No for 2,a (1) and a (2) and 2,b (1) and 3 and probably for 2,b (2).

Do you know about the Godless Americans March on Washington Saturday, November 2, 2002?

Darwin Bedford

At 11:37 AM 6/22/02 -0400, you wrote:

Mr Bedford,

I hope I am correct in assuming you are the person who went to the Hillcrest Chapel to hand out pamphlets entitled "Questions for Believers" or something to that effect?  Are those pamphlets available on your website anywhere?  Do you have them as a MSWord document to send out?  I'd be interested in obtaining a copy.

I live in Baltimore.  (That poor girl who emailed you about her nightmare...  I have the deepest sympathy for her.)  I attend college here, but grew up in various locations in America and Europe.  The religious student groups here are fairly influential, and occasionally exert pressure on the rest of the student body to convert.

One of my good friends here is a Christian.  When the question of religion was brought up for the first time, he was surprised (but very accepting) to find out I was an athiest, and I was also a bit surprised (and just accepting) to find out he was a Christian.  In the discussion that followed, he explained to me how in his church, the entire focus of religion was on the individual's relationship with god, whatever that may be.  This obviously isn't my opinion on religion, but it's not that much different than a preference for tea over coffee.  He couldn't fathom the idea of trying to impose his beliefs or views on anybody else.  Quite unfortunately, his type is in the extreme minority here.

Religious groups keep telling us how we're going to hell, how Jesus loves me, and all the religious banter they like to spew.  I've even been verbally attacked before, blamed for the political rights of homosexuals, academic cheating, and other such things.  Well, I'd like to turn the tables on them, make them feel how it is to have THEIR beliefs questioned.

I'm first and foremost about freedom of religion, whatever that may be (which should also include athiesm!)  I'm more than happy to point out all the errors and inconsistencies to a Christian to help them take a logical view of their religious views.  But people have the right to believe what they want, whatever it is.

Finally, I have a question to ask of you?  Do you have faith?  Not *a* faith, but faith in general.  I say I do.  Not in any kind of deity or religion, but in myself.  I'm strong enough to have faith in myself, I don't need any pre-packaged faith spoon feed to me.  Why can't an atheist have faith?  It doesn't mean I'm religious, it means i don't need anybody else to tell me what to believe.  Doesn't this mean that those who claim a "faith" are those who don't really have much faith at all, since they need somebody else to give it to them?

- O****