Dear Editor:

My response to the two individuals who rebutted my opinion on 3-2-13 about faith. I do not proselytize, and my opinion was never intended to be personal.

"It's a pity they have a closed mind deaf, dumb, and blind; and totally ignorant."

The truth is the many who claim to be transformed by Christ's love are deeply, even murderously, intolerant of criticism. It is clear that such hatred draws considerable support from the Bible.

To Mr. Gross: I don't need your prayers, those who wanted to impose prayer on others are demonstrating not their confidence in their own faith, but their lack of confidence in it. After all, there is no such person as God Almighty, your prayers are in vain.

To Mr. Boyd: Albert Einstein did NOT believe in God, and was indeed an atheist, as was most of our Founding Fathers of our Constitution. Evolution, my dear friend, is as well as smarter than we are, infinitely more callous and cruel, and also capricious ... No divine plan, let alone angelic intervention, is required.

Both of you,Mr. Gross and Mrs. Boyd, are absolutely, positively proof that religion poisons everything. And, specifically to Mr. Gross, who finds himself disturbed about letters like mine, it is the fear and cruelty of religions; like yours, that has caused misery and suffering to the human race.

Faith ... "Real, old-fashioned visceral faith is now found only in those countries where it is persecuted."

"Faith is one of the seven deadly virtues, and it is probably the most overrated of those deadly virtues too."

"The 'evidence' for faith, then, seems to leave faith looking even weaker than it would if it stood alone and unsupported, all by itself."

"Either faith is sufficient or else miracles are required to reassure those, including the preachers whose faith would otherwise not be strong enough."

"Faith is at its most toxic and dangerous point not hen it is insincere and hypocritical and corrupt but when it is genuine."

"If I had faith I would not presume to act or think as if God owed me an explanation. Surely that is the point of faith to begin with: To fill the unbridgeable void between evidence and the entire lack of it."

Heaven and Hell: "Just consider for a moment what their (Christians) Heaven looks like, endless praise and adoration, limitless abnegation and abjection of self; a celestial North Korea."

"Nothing proves the man-made character of religion as obviously as the sick mind that designed hell, unless it is the sorely limited mind that has failed to describe heaven except as a place of either worldly comfort, eternal tedium, or continual relish in the torture of others."

God: Indeed, we know enough at this moment to say that the God of Abraham is not only unworthy of the immensity of creation; he is unworthy even of man. What's the point of an ineffable deity if he can be so readily comprehended by banal mammals like ourselves?

One is presuming that this is the same God who actually created the audience he was addressing. This leaves us with insoluble mystery of why he would mold a covetous, murderous, disrespectful, lying and adulterous species. What a mad despot this is, and how fortunate we are that he exists only in the minds of his worshippers.

It is to me an appalling thought that anyone could wish for a supreme and absolute and unalterable ruler, whose reign was eternal and unchallengeable, who required incessant propitiation, and who kept us all under continual surveillance, waking and sleeping, which did not even cease after our deaths.

I will point out to Mr. Gross and Mr. Boyd that the very "first" recorded rebellion of the free intelligence was against the unreasonable dictates of religion, and will close by saying that this great tradition, which takes us from Democritus and Lucretius through Galileo and Spinoza and Voltaire and all the way to Darwin and Einstein is the record of humanity's triumph over barbaric theocracy and its scriptural guidebook. There is more beauty and symmetry in this achievement and more genuine brotherly love than in any invocation of the absent dimension of the supernatural.

And finally: "A few words about my favorite world thinker, Stephen Hawking ... One page, one paragraph of Hawking is more awe-inspiring, to say nothing of being more instructive, than the whole Genesis and the whole of Ezekiel."

Free Thinker,

Joseph L. Koperna

Tamaqua