The phrase "God bless America" is, as atheist Gail Pepin puts it in an Oct. 11 Chronicle news story, upsetting and confusing.
She's feeling "left out of the grieving process" that other Americans are experiencing. Those "praying" folks are dealing with this tragedy by being, in her words, "emotionally involved with a supernatural cause and effect."
I guess we should feel better now that Ms. Pepin has been able to define so many Americans' deeply held beliefs. I am offended by her remarks. She glibly puts down people of faith, implies that her workload is heavier because her co-workers are out there praying, and complains she's not comfortable with this public display of faith.
I defend her right to believe as she does and express herself. I am not convinced that she would do the same for me. But right now, our service members are doing just that.
This is not a "religious" cause we are joining. This is about freedom. Ms. Pepin would not be afforded the same opportunities to speak out if people like Osama bin Laden win. Ms. Pepin "opted out" of faith, so it sounds like whining to me to complain that others have not done the same.
Prayer is a choice. I am grateful that many Americans are choosing to pray in this painful time ...
Michelle Stewart, Fort Gordon, Ga.