Hard to Be an Atheist
Nonbelievers struggle to find their own ways to respond to 9/11, and to promote a non-religious patriotism.
"I recognize that the quote 'God Bless America' means well, which gives me some feeling of pride; but the stark Christian tone in it reinforces my knowledge that atheists are a minority here. Being an atheist, I feel no reason to pray over the bombing. But I feel a great deal of rage that something that dramatic could find its way onto U.S. soil."
Atheist Responses to 9/11
"I think anyone, atheist or not, responds to tragedy the same way others do. With disgust, unbelief that another human being could commit such an act against another, and the yearning to help in some way that benefits the survivors of such a disaster. Being atheist doesn't mean you have no feelings or morals, it merely means you believe in one less god than everyone else. You offer comfort to the bereaved,sympathy
to those in mourning and do your best to help in any way you can. You try to explain to your children that not all people are capable of such monstrous behavior, and shield them as best you can from the ruthless media and any immediate danger, while telling them you'll do your best to always try to protect them."
"I personally just respond with horror and grief as I have seen in many. I applaud and respect the bravery of those who gave their lives to help others or are currently still helping, and all the others (including the passengers on the fourth plane) who worked to minimize human suffering and death as much as they possibly could. I am both comforted and impressed by the surge of human spirit, from the world's response to our own coming together while at the same time, I feel incredible sorrow because of the staggering number of dead, and every crying news anchor seemed to drive it in harder, even more than the eerily Hollywoodesque explosions did."