Touching the Hearts of Atheists

atheistmainToday's New York Times Quotation of the Day:

"I'm an atheist, but I thought that was kind of touching."

The statement came from a story about Clay Pipkin, 24, of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Pipkin left his girlfriend's diamond ring in a cab and the cab driver got it back to him. Pipkin offered a cash reward, but the driver (unnamed in the story) refused, saying, "God has provided enough."

That's when Pipkin found his atheism touched by an angel -- and the result is one of the rare positive things the Times has to say about those who believe in God so strongly that they'd rather praise Him than eat at Mammon's table.

Nearly 2,900 years ago, the prophet Elisha did something for Syrian general Naaman that was even better than returning an engagement ring. Elisha was God's instrument in curing Naaman of leprosy. Naaman also offered a reward, but Elisha refused to take it.

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