Dear Ms. Jacoby,
I read with interest your article “The Blessings of Atheism” in the New York Times this week. Following the tragedy of the Newtown shootings, you express quite eloquently and personally why you are thankful to be an atheist.
For as you say, “It is a positive blessing, not a negation of belief, to be free of what is known as the theodicy problem.” Rather than being loaded down in the midst of tragedy with the problem of why an “all-powerful, all-good God allows such things to happen,” as an atheist you simply sidestep that concern. Then in a compelling and thoughtful way, in a manner reminiscent (though certainly softer – to me anyway) of the recently departed Christopher Hitchens, you explained how atheists need not shy away from issues of expressing concern during times such as these but instead offer consolation to those in grief.
May I ask you to consider briefly a few concerns I have with the thesis of your article? I admittedly am writing to you as a Christian pastor. You may think then my design in addressing you is to score points or ridicule you. Though you do not know me, please be assured that is not my desire. […]