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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.




Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

Demonetisation Tales

This is the 23rd installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

The Rise and Fall of Emperor Modi

This is the 33rd installment of Lighthouse, my monthly column for BLink, a supplement of the Hindu Business Line. November…

The Humanitarian Cost Trumps Any Economic Argument

Every time a poor person dies, India's GDP per capita goes up. #Modinomics— Amit Varma (@amitvarma) November 23, 2016 So…

Narendra Modi takes a Great Leap Backwards

This is a guest column published today in the Sunday Times of India edit page. In 1958, Chairman Mao ordered…

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Libertarian

Exactly one year ago, on November 17 2015, I sat opposite Steve Bannon in his NYC office as he asked…

20 December, 2007

Atheism = Not Collecting Stamps

Chad English of Ottawa has sent this superb letter to the Economist:

SIR - You ask what accounts for the failure of atheists to organise or wield influence ( “Believe it or not”, December 11th). The answer is easy. Atheism is a religion in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby. When you understand why there are no ‘aphilatelist’ conventions, you will understand why atheists don’t congregate.

We don’t want power and influence as a group. We don’t care if a government member is an atheist any more than we care if they collect stamps. What we do care about is that government officials can separate their personal religious beliefs from their governing duties. A philatelist government that pushes laws favouring stamp collecting at the expense of those who don’t collect stamps is a bad government. The same is true of a religious one.

The separation of church and state is a fundamental principle of a free society. Failure to embrace this principle is to the eventual detriment of the church, the state, freedom, and society.

See you at the next non-meeting.

Chad English
Ottawa

Bravo!

(Link via email from Joby Joseph. Earlier posts on atheism: 1, 2, 3.)

Posted by Amit Varma in Miscellaneous

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