Atheists are not bad people and atheism is not a bad word. It’s merely the idea that people prefer evidence and science over Scripture.

We don’t want to change anyone’s beliefs, but what we want is to be able to exercise freedom of and from religion. God shouldn’t step outside of its churches or private Christian schools. God should not be on money or in the pledge of allegiance. Religion should not step on the toes of government, just as the government shouldn’t step on the churches’ toes.

Religious people adamantly believe that their beliefs are right — “the one true way.” That’s fine. However, what’s not fine is when those people try to force others to adhere to their personal beliefs. If someone doesn’t believe in it, they shouldn’t have to abide by someone else’s rules.

With Yes on 1 being successful, it’s very clear that has happened.Many people I know have gotten married without God involved in the ceremony, or their lives, yet their marriage is completely legal in the state of Maine. Atheists tend to fight for the rights of all humans; we’re all equal.

Contrary to popular belief, I believe that atheists tend to be more law abiding than Christian counterparts. A 2001 study showed that 76.6 percent of all prison inmates were Christian; whereas only 0.4 percent of admitted atheists were in prison.

Stop labeling atheists as bad people. We’re just exercising our constitutional rights. It’s American.

Ryan Michael Dalessandro, Lewiston

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