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For HumanistNetworkNews.org
July 15, 2009

Don't confuse graveling with clarification

(Re:  Letters to the Editor, Humanist Network News, July 8, 2009.)

Billy Brakatselos of Ajo, Arizona, wrote that:

"I believe that everyone (should) preface their philosophical-religious beliefs as" For me, there is-isn't etc." . . . It would clarify a lot of things said and unsaid."

Suit yourself Billy, but when someone offers their opinion, it can be safely assumed to be their opinion without the use of such a disclaimer. I see this suggestion as the continuation of the sort of social deference which religion insists upon, in a desperate rear-guard attempt to stifle criticism which it knows it cannot refute.

Silence and deference never advanced any cause. It is not going to help end religious bigotry towards atheism and atheists. Only assertive and unapologetic atheists can achieve that. Obviously there is a time and a place for different tactics, but meekly devaluing your own opinions just because they are a minority view only furthers the agenda of religious bigots and fear-mongers.

Drew Shaw, Duncan, British Columbia, Canada

Women and sexuality

(Re: Oprah, Anti-Vagina, Anti-Sex, Humanist Network News, July 8, 2009.)

This is more a comment than a letter to the editor:

The first time I heard Oprah refer to her vagina as her "vah-jay-jay" and to her "pee-pee" first with Dr. Mehmet Oz and then to Dr. Laura Berman, I was SUPRISED to say the least.

I wonder if it has anything to do with her being sexually molested, at an early age by a relative, for several years. To have sex therapists on and other sexuality specialists…as guests…on her show…and still refer to parts of her body as if "they" are "down there" is absolutely remarkable.

No offense Oprah, but vibrators and clitoral stimulation and you and Stedman have been in a 20 year PLUS…relationship, he might have to teach YOU a few things.

Women who refer to their genitals as "down there" it's as if the sexual part of their bodies, don't really exist or they don't want to know about that part of the body…how unfortunate…how sad, really.

Carol Harrison, Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada