Re "Atheists 'Out of the Closet' in new billboard campaign" (Our Region, Dec. 2): I come from Quaker pioneer stock but was raised generic Protestant. I believed in God because that's the default position for most Americans. College opened my mind to new ways of thinking. I came to believe no loving God/parent would allow such endless suffering, and that the universe was awe-inspiring in its own right. Nature became my touchstone. If Americans were truly as welcoming as we claim, I would not have felt the need for billboards. If I were treated as an equal in society and in our deliberately secular government, without religious people constantly trying to impose their beliefs, I would have remained quiet. But all despised groups have had to leave the closet, from blacks to feminists to gays, and now us. We're basically good folks, just like you. Please don't allow religious dogma to make us less than equal.
-- Janet Thew, Loomis