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For me, one of the most remarkable sentences in Barack Obama’s splendid inauguration speech on 20 Jan 09 was this:

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers.”

It is the first time I’ve ever noticed a religious politician acknowledge publicly that there are such beings as non-believers. I make this comment because it has always appeared to me that the right-to-die movement is largely made up of atheists, agnostics and sceptics, along with unaffiliated believers.

As Newsweek magazine (26 Jan 09) pointed out in connection with extensive polling by Pew Research which shows America swinging to the left, “…it’s clear that the country is growing more tolerant on social issues, largely due to changing attitudes among younger voters.”

In the next few years I for one expect to see choice in dying law reform in states other than what we have already in Oregon and Washington.

Derek Humphry, Oregon

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