Until atheists are respected, religious tolerance will remain an ideal

The idea of a god has never made sense to me.

Even during my early childhood, the notion of an invisible figure watching over us struck me as fallacious. I found it difficult to believe that an allegedly rational being could allow evils such as genocide to persist. The customary counterargument is that we cannot understand the ways of God, or that "he" is "testing" the victims. Both reasons are uncorroborated, and the latter offends me.

A prominent and misguided opinion is that atheists and agnostics lack morals. This is evidenced by political rhetoric, as well as other media. In 2007, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney stated in a speech that "freedom requires religion," implying that those who lack belief cannot enjoy liberty. According to journalist Robert Sherman, in 1987 President George H.W. Bush went so far as to say, "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."

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