Epicurus- the pioneer of Atheism --- All goes back to the Fall. God did not create sin, but created Man, giving them a free choice. He knew they would sin, but loved them anyway, and therefore sent Jesus to take the punishment of sin away.
In Saudia Arabia and many other Islamic nations, Edgar Allan Poe would have been sentenced to lashes or killed for this statement. Not all that different than what Glen Beck would do, if he had the power. Religion stifles our greatest minds.
This is one reason why keeping religion - ALL religion - out of government is important. And government neutrality on the issue of religion is NOT the functional equivalent of promoting atheism. It is the government taking no sides on the issue of relig