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 now cringe every time I hear politicians saying 'God Bless America' or other religious statements. I don't remember seeing/hearing as much "god speak" during the Gulf War. Nor do I remember our local politicians invoking god/prayer during any other recent local crisis--it's always been 'people are in our hearts and thoughts'--not 'lets take a minute to pray to god for people'. I think the President should unify the U.S. based on it's citizens love of family, home, freedom, democracy, and country, not their love of or belief in god."
"I still don't know what I need to get me through this. And if invoking god or a belief that he/she/it ever has, is currently or may sometime in the future bless America helps others get through it... I'm really tempted to let them have it. It isn't hurting me. When/if it starts to (I'm a little afraid of seeing theocracy develop because we're fighting people who claim their god has identically blessed them), then I'll make some noise about it."
"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