April 20, 1994, to President Clinton, on atheism and ethics

Dear Mr. President, I read the following quote attributed to you (from your April 16 radio address) with a double dose of horror:

The mother had one plea for the intruders: "If you believe in God, please don't shoot my children. Shoot me." The reply was cold and terrifying. "I don't believe in God," said one of the gunmen. Then he shot her daughter dead.
Of course, the story is horrifying because of what happened.

But it is also horrifying that the President, who swore to uphold the right of religious freedom with the other rights in the Constitution, chose to emphasize that the murderer claimed to be an atheist, implying that his atheism allowed him to do it.

Most atheists, just like most Christians, Jews, Moslems and the rest, are decent, moral people; a few atheists, like a few Christians, Jews, Moslems and the rest, are very bad people.

I understand that it is not politically expedient to give much time to atheists, but please don't call us murderers!


Jon Dreyer