Defining faith

Podcast episode

Letters to the Editor


Audio version of letter to the editor, "Oxymoronic," by Saul Harmon Gritz

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I had written a letter to you in answer to David Child’s letter (April 24) suggesting a nonreligious column in addition to your religious section — I, as an atheist, without belief, to promote my nonbelief. David wrote back, shorting me out with a ridiculous speech-making letter, which I had answered.

Now, you’ve published a letter titled “Self-Wrongeous” on May 15 by Dorothy Casey where she tells me that I am not an atheist, ending her disagreement with all that I had written even though she said what I had said, in her own words.

I see the problem as one where the definition of the word is defined by each of us relative to our own wants. Putting an “a” in front of the word, to be a part of that word, reverses the meaning, which says that an atheist believes there is no god. In other words, there is no sentient being answering our prayers and deciding who are its favorite people. She agreed with that as if she was correcting me.

The problem seems to be with the word “belief.” Of course atheists have a belief! There is no sentient being out there. Agnostics also have beliefs, but on this topic they don’t know or care about it, as Dorothy has said the same thing in her own words. My statement that atheists don’t believe was based on the supposition that we were talking about God. She says an atheist has faith in their opinion, and therefore they have a belief, which is a knee-jerk reaction to my letter. “Faith” in this context should not be used in reference to both atheists and agnostics. It is, to me, oxymoronic.

Because she sent her letter via snail mail, I assume she is without a computer and cannot look up tbepp.org and be educated on many more subjects she probably agrees with; she just doesn’t know it.

  • Saul Harmon Gritz
  • Hillcrest

Lindy’s Nazi Antics

I would like to comment on the topic of Charles Lindbergh and the Nazis (Under the Radar: “Faulconer Funder Nails Top Airport Spot,” and “Gleason a Miscreant,” Letters, May 8).

Lucky Lindy clearly had a clear affinity for Nazi Germany. He established a residency there. He constituted nuptials there, while still married to his American wife, and fathered several German children. Lindbergh was also popular in Nazi social life. At Hitler’s order, Hermann Goring presented him with the prestigious German Eagle medal.

With regard to Colonel Lindbergh’s World War II record, his pro-Nazi antics disqualified him for service in the U.S. Army Air Crops. President Roosevelt personally pulled his ticket. By the war’s closing years, flying for private contractors, it is true that Lindbergh sortied alongside American fighters.

The degree to which these experiences favorably impressed him, however, remains unclear. His wartime journals harshly criticize American troop behaviors in Japan; in 1970 he published arguments contending the U.S. had lost the Second World War.

Lindbergh’s bigoted views also render problematic his legacy. Interested readers should skim through his 1941 Des Moines, Iowa speech. Clear thematic overlaps connect his language to Nazi racial ideologies about Jews.

  • Jeffrey Demsky
  • via voicemail


Zero coverage of multiple fires in greater San Diego? Thirty homes burned in Carlsbad and no coverage?! No neighborhood stories online covering all these terrible fires?

Why have a website if you’re just ignoring major news in San Diego?

  • Shane
  • via email

See Neighborhood News on SDReader.com, May 14-16, San Marcos, Carlsbad, Rancho Santa Fe. — Editor

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More from SDReader


In response again to Saul (or Paul) Harmon Gritz once again... "Oxymoronic": Dear Mr. Gritz, I rather enjoyed writing my "ridiculous speech-making" response to your very mixed-up letter about atheists. I rather enjoyed reading ot too! Quite enjoyable. Now you are back with more gobbly-wobbly about atheism. First off, You are aware that I would tend to agree with the also gobbly-wobbly writer Dorothy Casey that you are no atheist. Secondly, as I have explained plain and simple with logic and fact, and now must make clear to you...how wrong all of you christian theists are... and you all know it; though will not admit it; Atheists...by definition and by their lives do not have any theistic beliefs! Finally Saul or Paul; there are so many topics and issues and events and persons to have regular discussions and articles about in any public media regarding secularism, free-thought, atheism, agnosticism that interest so many people that the San Diego Reader could have a great and long-term column based upon these things... just look how long this weekly magazine has been filled with kind of this discussion so far! ...and by the way I never did see any letter by your in response to my response to your letter anywhere via SDReader at all.

Mr. Stirling is well-qualifed to answer Mr. Demsky (in his letter of May 22), but since I have written on this matter I consider Demsky’s arrogant word-juggling to be pathetic.

Mr. Demsky’s hero, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is without a doubt one of the biggest liars and double-crossers in American presidential history. His dirty double-crossing of Henry Wallace showed that Roosevelt had to send Wallace to China so that the nomination for vice president in 1944 could be done behind Wallace’s back. As for Lindbergh being a bigamist, Roosevelt leaves Lindbergh in the dust in his betrayal of Eleanor. Let’s recall Roosevelt’s open remark that Henry Morganthau “was trying to Jew me” (meaning Roosevelt.)

Mr. Demsky’s conception of greatness is as hobbled as his low and absurd denegration of Lindbergh. While Roosevelt did not connive at Pearl Harbor, neither did he and General Marshall show any brains in handling the almost-too-obvious intentions of Japan. There is still much to be discovered about Pearl Harbor and Mr. Demsky’s invincible ignorance does not help. As for Mr. Demsky’s reference to academic historians, it is obvious to everyone except Mr. Demsky that the present historical profession in the United States is dominated by the intellectually and morally crippled partisans of political correctness and allied ideologies.

via voicemail

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