I received an email from my old college friend and it hurt to read his words. He wants me to remember the memories but he’s severing our friendship. Why? Because in the ensuing years, I remained a Christian and he became an atheist.

He thoughtfully explained that religion has caused much of the world’s strife, malice, injustice and war. He hates religion and sees science as the only answer. 

He cares deeply about injustice and I have dozens of examples of his mental brilliance. To him, a better world is one without God. 

His anger against those who believe in God stands between us. I've studied atheism, but now atheism has a new face. And I never imagined it would be his.

His email came the day before Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. I find it ironic that Lincoln shares his birthday with Charles Darwin—a renowned atheist. The God-honoring Lincoln believed that all men were equal and is best known for his Emancipation Proclamation—setting the slaves free. And yes, he led a war to do so.

Charles Darwin believed men are not equal, nor created by God. Darwin wrote,  "Civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate the savage races throughout the world."  

Lincoln and Darwin. Two influential lives that led their followers in different directions. Two different beliefs about who gives freedom...God or man.

Even though I've lost a friend, I'm thankful I live where freedom means that friends can choose their friends and we can believe or not believe in God. I just wish my friend knew that it’s not God that takes away freedom; it’s people. 

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