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The Truth, at last, Revealed about

FREEDOM
UNDER SIEGE
by Madalyn

Organized

Religion

Shocking? Perhaps. But it is only a small


part of the fascinating mountain of eVidence
gathered in FREEDOM UNDER SIEGE by attorney Madalyn Murray O'Hair and her researchers as
part of their ongoing fight to preserve the First
Amendment guaranty of the separation of church
and state---a guaranty of not just freedom of religion but freedom from religion.

Murray O'Hair

Organized religion is working to destroy


your freedom. It strives to influence your etected
representatives and to write the laws under which
you live, to regulate your children's schools and
dictate what is taught there, to censor your entertainment and choose what you and your neighbors can see and read, and to determine for all
women the right to control their lives and their
bodies. And it is your money that makes this
tyranny possible. The churches have their billions
inves1Bd in profit-making enterprises; and their
wealth grows daily from gifts, grants, rents, interest, capital, gains n government subsidies. TheY
are now financial giants, no longer dependent upon
their parishionen for support. What they count on
is their freedom from taxes. The churches' billions
are accumulated at your expense.

, Official government and church figures


prove that churches have as their membership only
a minority of our citizens. This book shows the
continuing pressures that this minority exerts on
the lives of the majority of Americans.
Mrs. O'Hair deals with politics, not religion;
with separation of church and state, not Atheism.
This report shows how your treasured liberties are
slowly being eroded as the churches increase their
power over every aspect of American life, limiting
your freedom of choice and even your access to
information regarding those choices.
FREEDOM UNDER SIEGE dares to focus
on the facts about this growing book-a threat that
our politicians and the press, radio, and television
have been unwilling to confront.
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F,EBRUARY 1976
Volume 18
No.2

N THIS ISSUE:
rank Sinatra & Religio
Different Rules for Diff

COMPULSORY
EDUCATION AND
AMISH

THE

THE RIGHT NOT TO BE MODERN


A FASCINATING
EXPLORATION
OF THE
RIGHT TO EDUCATIONAL AND RELIGIOUS
FREEDOM, CULTURAL
PLURALISM,
AND
COMMUNITY IN AMERICA.
The Amish are one of America's most durable
ethnic minorities. Their community is tightly knit,
their economy horse-drawn, and their theology,
according to some, primitivist.
Yet the vibrant
forces of change have only reinforced their scorn
for the "acids of modernity."
The Amish's stubborn resistance to compulsory
public education has long been their focal point in
their rejection
of assimilation
into American
society. For more than fifty years the Amish and
public school authorities have clashed over the issue
of compulsory
education, which, to the
Amish, seriously threatens their survival as a
people. That clash has raised profound questions
over the broad themes of pluralism and assimilation in American culture as well as the constitutional right to freedom of religious expression.

Compulsory Education and the Amish traces


the history of the conflict between the Amish and
school authorities culminating in the historic case
of Wisconsin v. Yoder In that case the Supreme
Court declared that Wisconsin's state education
laws constituted
an unequal restraint on Amish
free exercise of religion.
Compulsory Education and the Amish examines
the many lega, social, and religious ramifications of
Wisconsin v. Yoder, as well as the broad issue of
compulsory education in modern society.
Contributors
to this case study
include:
Joseph Stoll, a long-time leader in the Amish
parochial school movement;
William Ball, the attorney who conducted the
three-year
defense of the Wisconsin Amish;
John A. Hostetler, a professor of socio logy and
anthropology at Temple University and author of
many books on the Amish;
Donald Erickson, a professor of education at
the University of Chicago;
Stephen Arons, a lawyer and teacher at the
University
of
Massachusetts,
Amherst;
and
Leo Pfeffer, noted constitutional
lawver for
the. American Jewish community.

Please send me(


) copy (copies) of COMPULSORY EDUCATION AND THE AMISH. I enclose $9.50 for
each copy (includes postage and handling).
You may charge to my:
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February

1976/American

Atheist-

Zip:

Date

THE AMERICAN ATHEIST MAGAZINE

LETTERS TO THE' EDITOR

Vol. XVIII, No. 2


February, 1976
Editor: Madalyn O'Hair
Contributing Editor: Jon Murray
Cover Artist: Jo Kotula
THE AMERICAN ATHEIST is published monthly
by the Society of Separationists, Inc., 4408 Medical Parkway, Austin, TX, 78756, a non-profit, nonpolitical, educational organization.

Dear Madalyn,
Have just read your article on W. F. Jamieson
and note your closing bewilderment as to why
Jamieson's efforts failed.

Mailing address: P. O. Box 2117, Austin, TX,


78767. Subscription rates: $12.00 per year; $20.00
for two years. Manuscripts: The editors assume
no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. All
manuscripts must be typed, double-spaced and accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
ON THE COVER:
Thomas Alva Edison
1847-1931
Inventor (esp. of the electric light, phonograph)
and American Atheist
CONTENTS THIS ISSUE
News
Frank Sinatra
Sundry

4
5 thru 16
Editorial

C.A.W

".17

There was a growing element of rebellion within


the orthodox churches as evidenced by declining
church memberships immediately after the Civil
War with a booming economy bolstered by our
"infant industries" under Republican high tariffs.
And on the crest of this came the greatest conflict
between Science and Religion encompassing the
entire Christian world, but of particular significance to us in the United States. This reached its
peak with the Darwin Bombshell of Evolution
which rocked the old church doctrines to their
foundations and compelled modification or abandonment of almost all the pulpits were previously
saying. The result was the greatest boost to Huxley's 'agnosticism' worldwide the church has ever
faced.
1873 was the founding of the 'Truth Seeker'
(magazine) with a countrywide receptive audience
(my uncle in a small hamlet southwest of Wichita,
Kansas, was an avid subscriber for many years) in
the period of Ingersoll which followed. There must
have been much that went before beneath the surface and not reported in the large city newspapers
to have made the Truth Seeker the success it was.

American Atheist Radio Series


Thomas Jefferson on Christianity

18

Your W.F. Jamieson movement came right up


to the volcano in church circles sparked by the
Evolution climax, and got lost in the debris.

Short Stories
That Old Bogey Fear
Different Rules for Different Fools
Bible Contradictions

22
25
28

Charles Sumner (from Kansas incidentally) was


one of the great liberals of his time and some of his
utterances verged on open agnosticism.

Poems
Human Kind

29

Book Review
Compulsory Education and The Amish

30

Darwin, the discoverer, Huxley the scientist,


with unchallenged prestige in his field, and Ingersoll the popularizer were the Three Horsemen who
. brought down the previous orthodoxy in shambles
and it has never been the same since.
It was an exciting time with many great heroes
whose names have become buried in the sands of
time. The organized churches have used every
effort to seethat none of this is truthfully reported
and available to the public at large.

RELIGION IS REGARDED
BY THE COMMON PEOPLE AS TRUE
BY RULERS AND THE CLERGY
AS USEFUL
BY THE WISE AS FALSE

There was a large element of liberalism in Kan(con't.


February

1976/American

on page 20)

Atheist

NEW
For many years the 'secular' community in the
United States has been saying to your editor that
one of the motion picture greats, who was an
Atheist, was Frank Sinatra. There was a story that
he had openly said this very thing in a major magazine publication, years ago. Therefore, seeing that

FRANK

S
we had a major American Atheist meeting coming
up in April, 1976 -- the sixth annual national
American Atheist Convention -- I decided to write
to Frank Sinatra and ask him to appear and/or
give a benefit performance at the Convention in
behalf of the American Atheist community.
I
received the following reply:

SINATRA

December

Ms. Madalyn O'Hair


Atheist Spokeswoman
Society of Separationists
P. O. Box 2117
Austin, Texas 78767

9, 1975

Inc.

Ms. O'Hair:
I will not attend or perform
contribute

to your Atheist

Convention

held at the New York Sheraton

or
to be

on April 9th,

10th, and 11th of 1976, thank God.

cA...L. ../.. ;,.i;:


Frank Sinatra

FS:du

February

1976/American

Atheist-

I breathed a sigh of relief in a way (because of


the reported Mafia connections he has) and in
another way I was chagrined to lose any celebrity
as adhering to our cause. I filed the letter away.
Within about two weeks, the news media was
carrying the story nationwide -- obviously Frank
Sinatra had released it.
Our office was flooded
with calls asking about the national convention,
when it would be held, exactly, and where. We are
going to have good attendance, apparently, thanks
in part to Sinatra's press release.
About that time I decided to look up the old
article which had caused the secular community to
claim Sinatra in its ranks. I found it in a reprint
which had been distributed,
by the thousands,
almost gleefully, over the country.
I reproduce
it here.
The claim was based on an interview
which Sinatra gave to Playboy in February, 1963.
The pertinent part follows:
Playboy:
All right, let's start with the most basic
question there is: Are you a religious man? Do you
believe in God?
Sinatra: Well, that'll do for a start. I think I can
sum up my religious feelings in a' couple of paragraphs. First: I believe in you and me. I'm like
Albert Schweitzer and Bertrand Russell and Albert
Einstein in that I have respect for life -- in any
form. I believe in nature, in the birds, the sea, the
sky, in everything I can see or that there is real
evidence for. If these things are what you mean by
God, then I believe in God. But I don't believe in
a personal God to whom I look for comfort or for
a natural on the next roll of the dice. I'm not unmindful of man's seeming need for faith. I'm for
anything
that gets you through the night be it
prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniel's.
But to me religion is a deeply personal thing in
which man and God go it alone together, without
the witch doctor in the middle. The witch doctor:
tries to convince us that we have to ask God for
help, to spell out to him what we need even to
bribe him with prayer or cash on the line. Well, I
believe that God knows what each of us wants and
needs. It's not necessary for us to make it to
church on Sunday to reach Him, You can find Him
anyplace. And if that sounds heretical, my source
is pretty good: Matthew, Five to Seven, The
Mount.
Playboy:

self in organized religion?


Sinatra: There are things about organized religion
which I resent. Christ is revered as the Prince of
Peace, but more blood has been shed in His name
than, any other figure in history. You show me one
step forward in the name of religion and I'll show
you a hundred retrogressions. Remember, they
were men of God who destroyed the educational
treasures at Alexandria, who perpetrated the Inquisition in Spain, who burned the witches at
Salem. Over 25,000 organized religions flourish
on this planet, but the followers of each think all
the others are misguided and probably evil as well.
In India they worship white cows, monkeys and a
dip in the Ganges. The Moslems accept slavery and
prepare for Allah, who promises wine and revirginated women. And witch doctors aren't just in
Africa. If you look in the Los Angeles papers of a
Sunday morning, you'll see the local variety advertising their wares like suits with two pairs of
pants.
Playboy:
Hasn't religion faith just as often served
as a civilizing influence?

Sinatra:
Remember that leering, cursing lynch
mob in Little Rock reviling a meek, innocent little
12 year-old Negro girl as she tried to enroll in
public school? Weren't they -- most of them -, devout churchgoers? I detest the two-faced who
pretend liberality but are practiced bigots in their
own mean little spheres. I didn't tell my daughter
whom to marry, but I'd have broken her back if
she had big eyes for a bigot. As I see it, man is a
product of his conditioning, and the social forces
which mold his morality and conduct -- including
racial prejudice -- are influenced more by material
things like food and economic necessities than by
the fear and awe and bigotry generated by the high
priests of commercialized superstition. Now don't
get me wrong. I'm for decency -- period. I'm for
anything and everything that bodes love and consideration for my fellow man. But when lip service
to some mysterious diety permits bestiality on
Wednesday and absolution on Sunday -- cash me
out.
Playboy:
But aren't such spiritual hypocrites in a
minority?
Aren't most Americans fairly consistent
in their conduct within the precepts of religious
doctrine?

You haven't found any answers for yourFebruary

1976/American

Atheist-

Sinatra:
I've got no quarrel with men of decency
at any level. But I can't believe that decency stems
only from religion. And I can't help wondering
how many public figures make avowals of religious
faith to maintain an aura of respectability.
Our
civilization,
such as it is, was shaped by religion
and the men who aspire to public office any place
in the free world must make obeisance to God
or risk immediate opprobrium.
Our press accurately reflects the rei igious nature of our society,
but you'll notice that it also carries the articles and
advertisements of astrology and hokey Elmer
Gantry revivalists. We in America pride ourselves
on freedom of the press, but every day I see, and
so do you, this kind of dishonesty and distortion
not only in this area but in reporting -- about guys
like me for instance, which is of minor importance,
except to me; but also in reporting world news.
How can a free people make decisions without
facts?
If the press reports world
about me, we're in trouble.
Playboy:

news as they report

THE BICENTENNIAL

In NEW YORK

Are you saying that

Sinatra: No, wait, let me finish. Have you thought


of the chance I'm taking my speaking out this way.
Can you imagine the deluge of crank letters, curses,
threats and obscenities I'll receive after these remarks gain general circulation? Worse, the boycott
of my records, my films, maybe a picket line at my
opening at the Sands. Why? Because, I've dared to
say that love and decency are not necessarily concomitants of religious fervor.
Playboy:
If
line, offending
omic suicide,
tape and start

CELEBRATE

you think you're stepping over the


your public or perhaps risking econshall we cut this off now, erase the
over along entiseptic lines?

Sinatra:
No, let it run I've thought this way for
years, ached to say these things. Whom have I
harmed by what I've said? What moral defection
have I suggested? No, I don't want to chicken out
now.

at

C'ITY

the

AMERICAN
ATHEIST
CONVENTION

APRil

9 - 11 at

I\IEW YORK SHERATON

the
HOTEL

7th Avenue at 56th Street

Make Your Plans Now!

Come on, pal, the clock's running.


For more

End of excerpt from Playboy


And, that is the history of the current incident.
However, you can attend the Sixth Annual
National American Atheist Convention .... information in the next column .... even if Sinatra doesn't .
February

1976/American

Atheist

-6

information
and reservations
contact
Jon G. Murray
Society of Separationists,
Inc.
P.O.Box2117
Austin,

TX 78767

NEWS

million;

A $1.2 million printing plant at 2548 S. Federal, headquarters of the sect's newspaper;

The news presented in these columns, which


fills approximately
one-half of the magazine, is
chosen to demonstrate to you, month after month,
that the dead reactionary hand of religion is always
on you. It dictates how much tax you pay, what
food you eat and when, with whom you have
sexual relations, if you will have children and how
many, what you read, what plays, cinema and television you may see, and what you should or should
not bel ieve about life.
Religion is politics and, always, the most authitarian and reactionary politics.
We editorialize
our news to emphasize this
thesis. Unlike any other magazine or newspaper in
the United States we are honest enough to admit
it.
GREEN GROW THE BLACK MUSLIMS
Most counties and cities finance schools, fire
departments and community
services from the
money these political entities receive from the
ad valorem tax ... that is, tax on real estate. Often
supplementary funds are found in sales taxes.
Everyone pays more taxes when a group, such as
the religious community,
is spared from the tax
burden.
In Chicago, the Black Muslims are quietly
forging a rnulti-milfion-doltar
real estate empire
and other tax payers take on a greater burden so
that the Black Muslims can wallow in the green.
The sect estimates its realty holdings, already,
at $14.5 million, including a broad and impressive
collection of commercial properties, apartment
buildings and homes. The investments are concentrated in Hyde Park, Chatham and Pill Hill.
Jewel of the holdings is the Holy Temple of
Islam and its school valued at $5 million. The
domed temple is topped with a rotating gold star
and crescent, symbol of the sect. The temple's purchase was partly financed with a $3 mil/ion loan
from the Libyan government.
The Muslims have purchased, renovated and
developed a new three story sales and office bu iIding build at 78th and Cottage Grove, valued atS'l

eA

modern $% million clothing store and office


building at 79th and Champlain, and a new bakery
a few doors west at 79th and Vernon, valued at $%
million;

A $2 million cluster of five ultra-modern brick


mansions at 49th and Woodlawn, which house top
Muslim leaders and their families.
The group's holdings also include some 500
apartment units in more than 30 buildings and
more than 20 single-family homes. These apartments and homes are rented to members of the
sect.
The Muslims have poured substantial sums into
improvement of buildings they have purchased.
In 1968 they acqu ired the former Rapid Roller
Co. plant (on Federal st.l for $150,000.
They
spent $200,000 on renovation and $750,000 for
equipment.
The former Chesterfield Saving & Loan Assn.
Building and an adjoining lot at 8300 S. Cottage
Grove were acquired for $300,000 and converted
into the Salaam restaurant,
valued at $500,000 ..
The sect purchased a one-story building at 79th
and Champlain in 1961 for $100,000. The building
was razed and replaced with a new two-story
structure which houses a Clothing store on the.
ground level and affices on the second floor. The
new building cost, verified by Jon Ali (assistant to
the supreme minister of his sect) was $500,000.
The Muslim's income is derived from contributions of members and from various business enterprises, Ventures include a mutli-million dollar sea
food
import
agreement with
several foreign
countries.
Poultry and produce shipped from 15,000 acres
of farmland owned in Alabama, Georgia and Michigan are sold through Muslim's supermarket and
retail outlets.
A clothing factory and apparel
stores and a bakery are other sources of income.
Muslim
million.

assets are estimated

February

1976/American

by

Ali

Atheist

at $46

Explaining
that the sect frowns on investment
for profit, Ali stated, "We pray five times daily, do
not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages. We believe
in clean, modest and conservative dress for both
men and women."
He also noted that the word
Muslim means "submitter".
This means, Ali stated, that the sect believes in peace and in nonviolence despite its black separatist ideals.
The ideals, all based in a "religious" philosophy, are therefore eligible to take a free tax ride
on all these "religious businesses," and "religious
investments. "
They pray and you pay. Theirs is the green (of
the tax free dollar); yours is the red of the taxpayer's debt.
(source:

Chicago

Daily

ity. He was born in County Cork in 1805, to a


Roman Catholic family that was forced by England
to contribute one tenth (tithe) of its total income
to the Protestant .Church. By the late 1820's
Coveney apparently had had a bellyful of Christians of both sects, and he set out for the United
States. By the time he reached Michigan in 1833,
he was a skilled carpenter, and he prospered. Whatever his religious feelings, he was able to reconcile
himself to marrying a minister's daughter, and the
couple purchased property near Buchanan, where
they spent the rest of their lives.
Coveney was a rich man and was paying half
the expenses of the local school when his controversial monument appeared. On its east face was
inscribed

News 8/23/75)

JOSEPH COVENEY
MONUMENTAL GALL
A recent visitor from New York City found
himself some fifty miles southwest of Kalamazoo
in the town of Buchanan, Michigan and asked his
business associates there if there was anything
worth seeing in Buchanan. There was indeed, and
on a freezing winter morning he was taken out to
the town's cemetery to visit one of the most remarkable monuments in the United States.
When in 1870 Joseph Coveney, a respected citizen of the town, planned to erect a memorial
monument, the Common Council of Buchanan
granted him the best space in the cemetery. Rumors had it that the stone was going to cost three
thousand dollars and would be one of the most
beautiful monuments in southwestern Michigan, a
source of considerable civic pride. Imagine, then,
the general outrage and consternation
when in
1874 the monument was unveiled to reveal graven
on its surface what a local newspaper called "slanderous inscriptions
. . . against Christianity."
People were particu lartv baffled because the
author of the violent Atheistic sentiments on the
stone had a great reputation for generosity and
love for his fellow man. This sort of dichotomy is
perhaps less puzzling today, but to the Christian
citizenry of Buchanan in the 70's it was completely
inscrutable.
But Joseph Coveney had early in his life witnessed some of the grimmer effects of ChristianFebruary

1976/American

Atheist-

8'

He died as he had lived


a disbeliever -in the Bible God
and
the Christian religion.

A FREE THINKERS MONUMENT


The world is my country.
To do good is my religion.
A word to the wise.
God in the constitution is the end of liberty.
On the north side of the monument wa{

FREE RELIGION
The more Priests,
The more Poverty.
Nature is the true God.
Science the true religion ...
On the west face of the monument

was

FREE SPEECH
The more Religion,
The more Lying ...
The Christian religion begins with a dream
and
ends with a murder.
And on the south face was

RELIGION

FREE PRESS
The more Saints
The more Hypocrites.

"Thirty two thousand virgins given by command


of the Bible God to an army of twelve thousand to
debauch. (Numbers: 31) A poor consolation to
Mothers."
The offending monument was quickly defaced
by indiqnant townspeople, who scribbled on it
with red chalk; broke off small ornamentaldecorations, and spewed tobacco juice over the inscriptions.. Bridling in particular at damagecaused by
a rninister'sson, Coveney proclaimed: "1 was raised
in a CatholiG_cpuntry, but it remained for a Protestant Christian to try to refuse me the' right to maintain this monument in a public cemetery:'
'
'The town council atielilpted to srnooththinqs
over by denounCingthevandalism and called attention to Coveney's many good works, but the
ripples spread as fqr as Chicaqo, where the influential Daily Times deplored the inscriptions and their
author.
But in time the furor died qway; and when in
1897 Coveney went to rest beneath his curious
tombstone, the local obituary was calm enough,
mentioning the stone and adding that Coveney
. was a follower of Paine. Mr. Coveney left
one of the largest estates in Berrien County."
A group of freethinkers made a yearly pilgrimage from Chicago to view the stone up until the
1930's, but they are gone now, and Coveney's
radical sentiments have been largely obliterated by
time and the elements.
American

Heritage

BUSINESS

Once there is a precedent anything can expand.


Imagine the impact that the following case will
have on all health insurance programs. Katherine
Kuhlman only dreamed of this, but Mary Baker
Eddy's Church hasmade it a reality.

Sunday Reading

(source:

AS A PHONE(Y)

Christian Science Church practitioners who


treat patients by prayer over the telephone must be
paid for those treatments by the Southern California retail food industry's health insuranceprogram.
Refusal to make the payments would constitute
religious discrimination becausethe "absent" treatment of patients by Christian Sciencepractitioners
is part of their religion, it was ruled by Henry C.
Wilmoth; the, umpire who sided withtrustees of
the Retai] Clerks Union in the dispute:
.
.
The Food Employers Council, which opposed
the pavrnents, argued that paying for treatment by
telephone could open the doorofthe
Industrv's
health trust fund' to abusesby u'nsc'n:"pulous"faltH

healers.'

..'

'.

'.

.,{

But Wilmoth noted that the union' arid rnan>


agement trustees of the fund had previously agreed
to pay Christian Science practitioners for spiritual
treatment of physical illness when thattreatment is
made in the office of the practitioner A,; a face-toface basis.
Actually,' the spiritual treatment during office
visits is based on prayer and, Wilmoth reasoned,
"once we have accepted the metaphysical, what
kind of physical restriction can we define as realistic (in the treatment of patients)?"

Aug/1975)

OUR LAND IS HIS LAND


Pope Paul has created a new diocese in the Pensacola-Tallahassee
areaof Florida.
It might be wise to ask our fellow citizens when
they plan to havean American Catholic Church insteadof a Roman Catholic one,
(Sou rce: Associated

Press)

Further, he asked, "If we agreethat the Christian Science practitioner is a bona fide practitioner
of the healing arts, isn't a requirement that the
patient and practitioner occupy the same room
during the treatment no more than the imposition
of an unnecessary and arbitrary inconvenience?"
Therefore, he ruled that the insurance claims
submitted to the Southern California Retail Clerks
Unions and Food Employers Benefit Fund must be
paid even when they are for treatments by telephone.
February

1976/American

Atheist-

Medical doctors are not normally paid for medical advice given by phone, and most doctors insist
patients visit the office for treatment or advice.
The umpire, however, said that Christian
Science is unique in its reliance on spiritual in preference to secular curative measures,and to not
pay the practitioners for those treatments would
constitute religious discrimination.

He said the treatments could also be made by


radio, but he did not elaborate.
Many other religious groups believe in spiritual
healing, achieved by relying on the power of God,
but so far, at least, only the Christian Science
Church treatments are covered by the trust funds.
Payments for office visits made by Christian
Science practioners started in Clerks Local 805,
which is headed by a member of that church, but
all clerks' locals in Southern California will be covered by the decision.
The public affairs representative of the church,
and himself a practioner, said many insurancecompanies do make payments for "absent" treatments,
although this is the first time such payments will
be made for treatment of members of the clerks'
union.
It is estimated that there are 900 Christian
Science "faith healers" in Southern California
alone. They do not object to have broken bones
set by surgeons becausetheir representative said,
"that's mechanical, but we do not usemedications
or immunizations (unless required by law), and
while there are no rules against blood transfusion,
we just don't do it."
"We rely on prayer, and most treatments are by
telephone' But we don't refer to them as telephone treatments. We call them absent treatment
or spiritual treatment.
"Practioners ... usually chargeabout $5 to $10
for each treatment" and "earn their living" that
way.
(Source:

Los Angeles

Times,

12/18175)

REWARD UNCLAIMED
The $1 ,000 reward offered to anyone who
could provide scriptural proof that Jesus Christ
was born on December 25th remained unclaimed
into January, 1976.
Mrs. Marian Slape, who made the offer, reported at the beginning of the year that she was not
worried that there would be any claimants. "There
is no such scripture," she said.
Mrs. Slape's offer had drawn telephone calls
from Tennessee, Illinois, Pennsylvania and other
parts of the nation, "and ~II are favorable. They
are all agreeing with me" she said at her home in
Jerome, Idaho.
Mrs. Slape said that some of the callers claimed
to have literary works to prove dates of Christ's
alleged birth but rnosfwere for dates other than
25th December.
When asked how long she intended to maintain
her cash offer, she said, "There is no need to recaII
it."
CHRISTIAN TOLERANCE
Following the publication in respect to Mary
Kelly Housman and Mike Housman which was
printed in the Ft. Myers (F lorida) News-Press,and
reproduced in the American Atheist/Vol.
XVII,
No. 12, page 20ff, the following "Letter to The
Editor" appeared in that newspaper.:
MAKE ATHEISTS LEAVE AMERICA
Editor, News-Press-If Atheists do not believe in God, they should
leave America, as Americans believe in and live under "one God". American money has printed on
Jt "I n God We Trust"; if they do not believe in
God they have no right to spend or earn American
money.
, I, too, am a born-again Bible believing Christian and looking forward to a much better life with
our Lord JesusChrist.
Donna Walczak
Punta, Gorda, FL.

February

1976/American

Atheist-

10'

THERE'S HOPE
For a country which only four years ago imposed a one-year jail sentence on those who publicly
advocated contraception)
Italy has done a complete about-face. A billl was recently approved
which provides free contraceptives and birth control advice to all Italian Citizens.
(Source:

American

Family

Practice,

Nov/1975)

THE GOOD LIFE AND GOD


Utterances of public officials upon their return
to private lives often leaves one wondering how
much bad influence they were when they were in
top echelons of government.

peal to the flesh" a Baptist minister began a campaign to put the torch to records by Elton John,
Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones -- and lesser
rock stars.
After labeling the music immoral church officials
of
the
Lakewood
Baptist
Church
threw
about $2,200 worth of records into a bonfire,
The pastor and youth director of the church
said that he had seen statistics which showed, "Of
1,000 girls who became pregnant out of wedlock,
984 committed fornication
while rock music was
being .plaved." He said he could not rember the
source of the statistics.
--

Take the case of Ezra Tafte Benson who was


the Secretary .of Agriculture of the United. States
uner Eisenhower from 1952 to 1961.
Now. a member of the "Council of Twelve"
which rules the Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints (the Mormons), he recently told a
Rotary Club in Seattle, that the nation's abundance was not an incident of nature, but "an integral part of the divine plan for America."
He Continued that the nation's strength and
prosperty is coupled to God's favor. Socialism,
Atheism and totalitarianism
are the price to be
paid, Benson said, "when we turn away from God
and turn to government to do everything for us.'"

He asked the teen-age members of his church to


bring Top 40 records which they felt unleased unrestrained carnal appetites. But, he sadly, added,
Teen-agers in the church felt they couldn't give the
records away.
The minister hopes to expand the crusade to
other churches. "During the days ahead, we Americans need to be listening to more patriotic music."
(Source:

"We have exchanged those God-inspired principles upon which this once mighty nation was built
for a mess of shoddy values." he said. "America has
a spiritual foundation,"
he exclaimed. "Her wellsprings are religious. Our need is for greater spirituality, ..."
Seattle

Times,

POLITICS

11/19/75)
<

SAVED FROM FORNICATION


Meanwhile, a part of the spiritual foundation
was showing in Tallahassee where the Pope had
just staked out a new diocese for the Roman
Catholic Church. Damning rock music.for its "ap-

rock music

"There's a rhythm to our bodies and when we


hear music with a similar rhythm we respond to that
beat. Too much of th is can affect you in the wrong
way," he said.

As he called for abolition of price and wage


controls, a cutback in "wasteful" government programs he said that the nation's troubles are the
result of turning away from the divine to seek answers among men.

(Source:

,-

He. said that what) was wrong with


is "the sensual beat".

AND

Miami

ROMAN

News,

11/29/75)

CATHOLICS

The Connecticut Legislature at its last session


enacted a bill permitting
meditation
in public schools to circumvent the United States Supreme Court ban on prayer in schools. Connecticut
and New Jersey have prohibited the use of Medicaid funds for most abortions even though the
Court has ruled that most antiabortion legislation
is unconstitutional.
The actions in both states,
many politicians believe, point to the strong influence of Catholic voters in the two states, which
along with New York are among the most Catholic
states in the union.
February

1976/American

.Atheist-

11

All three states now have Catholic governors:


Brendan Byrne of New Jersey, Hugh L. Carey of
New York and Ella T. Grasso of Connecticut. This
is a natural development of the demographic and
political forces at work in the region.
All three states have large Catholic constituencies. All three states demonstrate the coming together of the New Deal alliance of labor and liberals with Roman Catholics, who are re-establishing
ties with the Democratic party.
The three Democratic and Catholic governors
replaced Republican administrations
by running
middle-of-the-road
campaigns which attracted the
Roman Catholic voters in major swing voting.
Numbers tell part of the story of Roman Catholic influence in the three states. Roman Catholics
comprise 44% of the population of Connecticut,
41% in New Jersey and 35% in New York. Only
Rhode Island, with 63% of its population Roman
Catholic,
and Massachusetts, with 51 %, have
larger Catholic populations, according to both the
U. S. Census and Catholic Almanac statistics.
The Roman Catholic share of the voting population is even larger according to polltakers who project Catholic voters as 53% of the electorate in
Connecticut, 48% in New Jersey and 40% in ,New
York.

prevailed in all three states until the courts stepped


in and declared most of such aid unconstitutional.
But there are also considerable pressures for such
aid from other religions.
Unlike parochial aid, the abortion issue was a
clear defeat for the church in New York even before the Supreme Court ruled in favor of virtually
unrestricted abortions. In New York, abortion was
legalized with few restrictions even before the
Court acted and despite the strong opposition of
the church and of Catholic legislators.
I n New Jersey and Connecticut, the recent legislative and administrative rulings barring the use of
Medicaid funds for abortions are viewed by politicians in both states as rearguard actions and are unlikely to withstand court challenges.
The church's defeat on this volatile issue demonstrated to many" politicians
that clergymen;
Roman Catholic or. other; had lost some of the
legislative influence 'thev once had. The Assembly
Minority
Leader of New jersey (a Protestant)
echoed some regional politicians when he recently said that he did not think that "the church,
more than any other group, can control a big bloc
of votes either at the polls or in the legislature."
(Source:

New York

Times,

11/2/75

p , 7)

THE SHRIVER CONNECTION


The large Roman Catholic populations in the
three states have impact on the state legislations
as well.
There is general agreement that during the time
of Cardinal Spellman, he had considerable influence in state and national affairs, largely because
politicians perceived him as an undisputed leader
of a monolithic church.
Today, however, some of the authority of the
church is no longer unquestioned, so the Roman
Catholic heirarchy has lost some of its influence on'
government and politics. New leaders are less visible, but still powerful.
Through its own lobbying, and the stance of
Roman Catholic legislators, the church has been
most influential publically in the two, often bitterly fought over issues of abortion and state aid to
parochial and private schools.
The Roman Catholic
February

1976/American

position on parochial .aid


Atheist

12

Sargent Shriver is the only Roman Catholic


among ten Democrats and two Republicans contesting the 1976 presidential primaries.
He is the brother-in-law
of John F. Kennedy
who broke the historic precedent of Roman CathoIics bei ng barred from election to the presidency of
the United States. Since our inception as a nation
the Protestants have felt that this office was peculiarly their own. Since the odds are so overwhelmingly against such an event, in a 'Christian' nation,
-no Jew has ever even openly aspired to the office.
The Black Muslims, just beginning power, may
have a better chance at the office than any Semite.
Sargent Shriver, however, as Kennedy, has carefully considered the religious makeup of the major
states before he entered the competition for President. Shriver knows that in the final analysis, the
heavy turnout of Catholic voters for Kennedy was
a decisive factor in key states that determined the
election.

The Kennedys put together a list of fourteen


(14) important states where the percentage of
Roman Catholics was great enough to swing these
important electoral college votes. They included several states that have presidential primaries
early this year:
New York
40% Roman Catholic
Pennsylvania
29% Roman Catholic
Illinois
" 30% Roman Catholic
New Jersey
39% Roman Catholic
Massachusetts
51% Roman Catholic
California
22% Roman Catholic
Michigan
24% Roman Catholic
Ohio
30% Roman Catholic
Wisconsin
31% Roman Catholic
Maryland
" 21% Roman Catholic.
New Hampshire was too small to be on the
Kennedy list, but its Roman Catholic population is
very high, concentrated in the Democratic Party.
And, it comes first in the primary schedule, followed by Massachusetts a week later. The name of
the game is to make a strong showing in both of
the states and one has a running start toward the
nomination.

Fundamentalist ministers paraded to the platform to oppose legislation they said would destroy
the family.
"Our religious heritage and Christian faith that is what you are taking away from us," said the
minister of Grace Baptist Church of Bloomington
Indiana.
'
A sore point with a number of Baptist churches
is a provision that would allow police or health
officials to take custody of an abused child for 2.4.
hours pending court action.
"I will resist to the point of death anyone who
attempts to kidnap my child," said the pastor of
the Dyer Baptist Church.
The good pastor never understood that his child'
would be safe as long as he did not batter it. Health
officers were not planning the kidnapping of loved
children but the rescue of abused ones.
.

The non-ideoloqical Democrats usually coalesce


behind one candidate when he is chosen.

"This bill condemns the abilitv of family leadership, since it places the discretion of the state
above the God-given wisdom for family leadership." said the president of the Indiana Fundamental Baptist Fellowship. \

Shriver is the only candidate who happens to


be a Catholic, the only one who has expressed his
unhappines with the current wide availability of
legal abortions, and the only one who has had informal help from "right-to-life" activists.

The bill, a product of a joint legislative committee provides, also, for more comprehensive record keeping on elusive child-beatjng parents,
penalties for physicians who do not report casesof
battered children, and county child-abuse agencies.

Shriver does not flaunt any of this, except the


Kennedy connection he claimed in his announcement of candidacy. But when he was George McGovern's vice presidential running mate in 1972 he
specialized in campaigning among ethnic, largely
Roman Catholic groups; he went to Mass several
times a week; he had Michael Novak, the Roman
Catholic philosopher, as a speechwriter. He did not
hide, at all, the Shriver Connection with Roman
Catholicism.

But, like the Bible says: (Deuteronomy 20:1821 )


"If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son
which will not obey the voice of his father or the
voice of his mother ... Then shalt (they), lav hold
on him and bring him ... unto the gate ... And all
the men of his city shall stone 'him with stones
that he die ..."
,

{So ur ce : New York Times,

(Source:

Seattle

Times,

12/8175)

11/17175)

SPARE THE ROD


AND SPOIL THE CHILD

TO THE LAST AMEN

A crowd of flag-waving sign-carrying opponents


filled the Indiana House chambers and spilled out
into the halls in December when a hearing was held
on proposed anti-child-abuse legislation.
'

"On May 3, 1675, a law was passed in Massa~husetts requiring church doors to be locked durIng t~e service. Reason? Too many people. were
sneaking out before the sermon was concluded.
February

1976/American

Atheist13

PRAYERS

AGAIN!

When school started in September, 1975, in Okaloosa County, Florida, the School Board there decided to reaffirm a policy of mandatory daily
prayers and Bible-reading in the public schools despite opposition by teachers and the 1963 Murray
vs Curlett ban by the U.S. Supreme Court.
After several dozen pupils crowded the Board
Meeting to support classroom prayers, the board
voted 4-1 to reaffirm its policy.
Almost
immediately
the Florida
Education
Association and the Okaloosa Teachers Association
filed suit in a Federal District Court to halt the
prayer and Bible-reading.
"The purpose and effect of the policy is the advancement of religion which denies the rights of
teachers and their students, guaranteed by the
freedom of religion provisions in the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution,
" the suit said.
The President of the Teachers Association said
that teachers were being intimidated, harassed and
threatened with dismissal if they did not obey the
school policy. One teacher had classes monitored
by the principal to detect if board policy was being
followed.
"School officials may have good intentions, but
a policy mandati-ng teachers to force religious exercises on students is not the proper way to renew a
moral commitment" he said.
Schools with public address systems were having devotionals each morning which included Bible
readings, a moment of silent prayer and the pledge
of allegiance to the flag. In schools without a PA
system, teacher conducted the service in each classroom. Students were allowed to leave the classroom if they did not want to participate in the devotionals.
The President of the Teachers Association concluded,
"The real problem is the inability of a school
board and school authorities to understand the
fundamental principle invoved in this controversy.
"The principle is separation of church and state,
and that is as American as apple pie."

February

1976/American

Atheist

14 .

The United States District Judge, of course,


immediately held that the required daily prayer
and Bible reading was an unconstitutional
exercise and ordered it to be halted.
That should have been the end of it. But, almost immediately the Superintendant of Schools
stated that he would appeal the decision.
Then, Robert Sikes, Democrat, in the House
of Representatives in Washington, D. C., called
on his House colleagues to act on legislation permitting voluntary prayer in schools.
He opined,
"There is a hope that a substantially new
Supreme Court can be induced to review the
ruling which is now in existence, and to provide
one more in keeping with ... the desires of the
American people:'
Another Florida Representative, L. A. Bafalis,
introduced a discharge petition to remove the
prayer issue from the Judiciary Committee and. to
bring it before the House.
"Time after
to correct this
referring to the
school prayers.
whelmingly are
Constitution) to

time, bills have been introduced


ridiculous decision;'
said Bafalis,
Supreme Court ordered ban on
",.. the American people overin favor of an amendment (to the
permit prayer in school:'

With this much interest again aroused, it was


natural that George Wallace should get in on the
act. He was traveling in the Florida panhandle in
December to raise funds for his bid for the presidency and he came out in headlines for "God in
school".
Wallace told audiences gathered to hear him
that he "believes in the separation of church and
state" but not in the separation of "God and
state".
He unequivocally came down for "volunt~ry prayer."
Meantime, no one has tried to get back tax
funds which were expended by the school in
the legal fight to retain prayers. No one is asking
the School Superintendant to continue his appeal
to a higher court from his own pocket, and, the
non-theists of F lorida have never even contacted
either Representative Sikes of Representative Bafalis to
educate them to the fact that they are
using tax payers' dollars in the pursuit of that
which is forbidden by the U. S. Constitution.

(Source:

San AntonioEExpress

1/28/76

February

1976/American

Atheist-

15

(Editor's
each
Item
rnacazine.
none of

SOMEWHERE

HE STANDS

note:
which

our
best to authenticate
to the
American
Atheist

We do
is sent

We have received
which
indicate
the

cident
happened,
presumably
occurred

or
in

three
town

of
in

the
date
December,

give us all references.


This
good not to rU[1 -- and here it is.]

the following,
which the inon

1975.

story,

which
it
Please

however,

What he finds oppressive about


religion is its
advertising, its neglect of the poor, and its admonitions about man's sin.
"When a child is brought up in a church and
taken to Sunday school," he said, "he is brought
up with an inferiority
complex. We ought to get
people to believe in themselves. "

is too

Ernsbergger, gloveless and hatless and wearing a


corduroy suit in a breezy 33 degrees, got curious
stares but few comments from drivers passing. He
brandished a hand-held placard that read "Please,
Let Karen Die" which referred to Karen Ann Quinlan, the comatose New Jersey woman whose
parents sought court permission, against some religious objection, to allow her to die.
A sign on his back said, "Here stands 687,000
tons of religion
That's a lot of bread. Feed the
starving Americans."
00'

He said the figure was a surveyor's estimate of


the weight of the Providence Methodist Church.
Ernsberger, served in the United States Marine
Corp in Vietnam and his service there earned him a
Purple Heart.

PANDERING

;" "',(\f

"~~1

,,~;>;

I~~;

FOR

VOY"ES

James B. Longley, Governor of Maine, appeared


at his regular week Iy news conference in late December with four persons who are working on a
petition
drive to have prayer returned to the
schools of that state.
Gov. Longley said he would support legislation
establishing prayer in public schools.

Sometime in December, 1975, Mark Ernsburqer


launched a one-man picketing crusade against what
he designated as "religious oppression."

He declared that the banning of school prayer


violates the constitut ional guarantees for religion
and ex presio n.

As heavy traffic drove by the real estate broker


picketed on the sidewalk of Providence United
Methodist Church.

"I feel strongly that freedom of religion is one


of the most precious things offered by our constitution,"
Longley said. "I have felt and feel even
more strongly now that the taking of the opportunity of prayer from our schools violated this
guarantee of freedome of rei igion and freedom of
speech."
(Source:
Newark
Star Ledger,
12/24/751

"I'm tired of man being told (by religions) that


he is imperfect and a sinner," said Ernsberger, who
said he does not know whether to believe in god or
not.
0

\
J

EDITORIAL

~tfAW
~
COMMITTEE

of ATHEIST

WOMEN

We have something to squawk about!


Under Christianity
away, like an empty

the idea developed and became deep rooted that the earth was a throw-

pop bottle.

The "real"

life was "life

in the hereafter"

through

all "eternity",

and our ancestors spent all of their lives preparing for death, with endless prayers, supplication

to god,

and attendance at church.


In this philosophy

our present life was a "vale of tears" through which we passed to the ulti-

mate happiness after death.

If we lived in squalor, filth,

clutter,

it did not matter for these were

ephemeral inconveniences on our way to the glorious clouds where the Angel Gabriel reigned.
Because of this contempt
sprawling,

for

life and for the earthly

ugly, enlarging by accretion

shoddy business and factory

haphazardly,

with

things, our cities have grown to be

the growth

areas, and a certain contempt,

everywhere of cement acres,

in planning, for the users of the facilities.


,"r

As Atheists we should insist that the Garden of Eden is here and now. We should demand that
every place we shop, or do business is an accomodation
Therefore,

we ask women particularly,

in your neighborhood,

to beauty and to the good in life.

Atheist women, to begin this campaign in your block,

in your city, in your state.

It starts with you -- where you live, it includes the

others in your cities with our philosophy.


We ask you to form a CAW (Committee of Atheist Women) and go first to the nurseries in your
community

and ask them to join you.

Then pick out one business street, or one area which the city

or state owns, and start to demand that they be landscaped.

Every parking lot in every major center

can have trees planted so that the cars are sheltered by shade, and from bad weather.

If the name of

the game in the United States is capitalism, and it is -- then we as the persons who make it all go -have the right to demand that there is emphasis on beauty, convenience, and quality.

If we are Atheist

businesspeople we should attract customers by emphasizing this life style, leading the way for a better
human life.
Start this auxiliary committee

today!

February

1976/Amerlcan

Atheist-

17

American
Program 357
KLBJ Radio

Atheist

30 August, 1975
Austin, Texas

Hello there,
This is Madalyn Mays O'Hair,
back to talk with you again.

American

Atheist,

In the times current of the celebration of the bicentennial of our nation, it might be appropriate
and timely to consider what Thomas Jefferson
really thought about Christianity.
His Memoirs
and Correspondence, edited by his grandson, published in 1829 is instructive.
Let me read just a
few items to you from that work.
In a letter to his nephew and ward, Peter Carr,
Jefferson offers the following advice:
"Fix Reason firmly in her seat, and call to her
tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with
boldness even the existence of a God; because, if
there be one, he must more approve the homage of
reason than of blindfolded fear.
Do not be
frightented from this enquiry by any fear of its
consequences. If it end in a belief that there is no
God, you will find incitements to virtue in the
comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise
and in the love of others which it will procure for
you. "
The god of the Old Testament Jefferson pronounces "a being of terrific character -- cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust." (Jefferson's Works,
Vol. IV, p. 325)
In h is letter of advice to Peter Carr, he thus refers to Jesus Christ:
"Keep in your eye the opposite pretentions:
first, of those who say he was begotten by God,
born of a virgin, suspended and reversed the laws
of nature at will, and ascended bodily into heaven;
and second, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic
mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity,
ended in believing them, and was punished capitally fat sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the
Roman law, which punished the first commission
of that offense by whipping, and the second by
exile or death in furea."
His later opinion
February

of Jesus was expressed in a

1976/American

Atheist-

18

!I

Radio

Series

letter to John Adams' written


h is death:

shortly

previous to

'The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father,
in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the
generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.'~
I n the gospel history of Jesus, Jefferson d iscovers what he terms "a qround-work of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstititions, fanaticism and fabrications;" and he says, "If we could
believe that he really countenanced the follies, the
falsehoods and the charlatanisms which his biographers father on him, and admit the misconstructions, interpolations and theorizations of the fathers of the early, and the fanatics of latter ages, the
conclusion would be irresistibie by every sound
mind that he was an imposter." (Works, Vol. IV,
p.325).
For the Christ of theology, Jefferson had nothing but contempt.
What he thought of the doctrine of the trinity, may be gathered from the following:
'The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God, like enother Cerberus, with one body and three heads,
had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands
and thousands of martyrs."
In a letter to John Adams, dated AG-gust 22nd,
1813, he says:
"It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to
pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticism that
three are one, and one is three, and yet, that the
one is not three, and the three are not one. But
this constitutes the craft, the power, and profits of
the priests. Sweep away their gossamer fabrics of
fictitious religion, ana they would catch no more
flies."
His hatred of Calvinism was intense. He denounces the "blasphemous absurdity of the five
points of Calvin," and says that "it would be more
pardonable to believe in no God at all then to
blespheme him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin. "
What Jefferson thought of the Christian system
as a whole, is expressed in the following passage,
found in a letter written to Dr. Woods:

"I have recently been examining all the known


superstitions of the world, and do not find in our
particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming
feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables
and mythologies. "
In his work entitled Notes on Virginia the following caustic allusion to Christianity
occurs:
"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction
of Christianity, have
been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned, yet we
have not advanced one inch toward uniformity.
What has been the effect of coercion? To make
one-half of the world fools and the other half
hypocrites. "
Writing to Dr. Cooper, he alludes to Christian
revivals in the following language:
"In our Richmond, there is much fanaticism,
but chiefly among the women. They have their
night meetings and praying parties, where, attended by their priests, and sometimes by a hen-pecked
husband, they pour forth the effusions of their
love to Jesus in terms as amatory and carnal as
their modesty will permit to a more earthly lover."
Of the priests and ministers he said,
"In every country, and in every age the priest
has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance
with the despot, abetting his abuses in return. for
protection to his own. "
,
In 1822 Jefferson wrote:
'We have most unwisely committed
to the Hierophants (a priest
in ancient Greece) of our particular superstition
the direction of public opinion -- that lord of the
universe. We have given them stated and privileged days to collect and catechise us, opportunities
of delivering their oracles to the, people in mass,
and of molding their minds as wax in the hollow
of their hands. "
His hatred of the priests was life-long, in addition to the remark I have just read, he had written
half a century before:
"If anybody thinks that kings, nobles and
priests are good conservators of the public happiness, send him here (Paris). It is the best school
in the universe to cure him of that folly. He will
see here with his own eyes that these descriptions
of men are in abandoned confederacy against the
happiness of the mass of people. "
While Jefferson detested the entire clergy, of '
wh~tever denomination, regarding them as a worthless class, living like parasites upon the labor of

others, his denunciation of the Presbyterian ministers was particu larly severe, as evidenced by the
following:
'The Presbyterian clergy are the loudest, the
most intolerant, of all sects; the most tyrannical
and ambitious, ready at the word of the law-giver,
if such a word could now be obtained, to put their
torch to the pile, and to rekindle in this virgin
hemisphere the flame in which their oracle Calvin
consumed the poor Servetus, because he could not
subscribe to the proposition of Calvin, that magistrates have a right to exterminate all heretics to the
Calvinistic creed! They pant to reestablish by law
that holy inquisition which they can now only
infuse into public opinion. "
A short time before his death, Jefferson made
the following significant declaration respecting his
belief system: "1 am a Materialist." In support of
his Materialistic
creed, he argued as follows:
"On the basis of sensation we may erect the
fabric of all the certainties we can have or need. I
can conceive thought to be an action of a particular organization of matter, formed for that purpose
by its Creator, as well as that attraction is an
action of matter, or magnetism of loadstone. When
he who denies to the Creator the power of endowing matter with the mode of motion called thinking, shall show how he could endow the sun with
the mode of action called attraction, which reins
the planets in the tracks of their orbits-or how an
absence of matter can have a will, and by that will
put matter into motion, then the Materialist may
be lawfully required to explain the process by
which matter exercises the faculty of thinking.
When once ~ quit the basis of sensation, all is in
the wind. To talk. of immaterial existences, is to
talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, God, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no God, no angels, no soul. I
cannot reason otherwise. But I believe that I am
supported in my creed of Materialism by the
Eockes, the Tracys, and the Stewarts. "
These anti-Christian views of Jefferson were for
the most part written after he had retired to private life. When he ran for President, however, the
more orthodox journals violently opposed his election on these grounds. At his inauguration, some of
these journals appeared in mourning, while flags
were displayed at half-mast, in token of grief because an "Infidel"
had been elected to the presidency.
February

1976/American

Atheist

- 19

His administration was probably the most purely secular that the country has ever had. Christians
were accorded the same privi leges accorded to
Deists, Infidels and Jews -- and no more. During his
eight years incumbency of the office, not a single
thanksgiving proclamation was issued. Referring to
his action in this matter, he says:
"1 know it will give great offense to the clergy;
but the advocate of religious freedom is to expect
neither peece nor forgiveness from them. "

out. that' the military and the rrnssionarv have


been partners for years. The CIA has funded some
.. of the missionaries in return for intelligence in
the countries where they practiced. Our President
condones the practice and indeed applauds it.
Religion has been built into our military at a high
cost to the tax-payer. It almost took over our
space program, with the Pentagon planning all of
the moves and the religious community being over
zealous in its desire to be used by government.
It frightens me quite a bit that there is little or
no interest in uncovering the Watergate of religion.
Everything can be exposed in the United States but
Christianity -- it is still sacrosanct.

Jefferson 'manifested the strongest attachment


to TbOl'OJt ..Paifl4b When Paine returned from
France, Jefferson furnished a national ship to bring
him home. After his return, he became the honored guest of the President, both at Washington and
Monticello.

Well, I ~HI hammer away at the small hole


which gives the trickle of information until I break
it agape. If no one else will do it; I shall.

As I find these references from Jefferson, I am


stunned by just how successfully the Christian
advocates have rewritten our nation's history so
that the pablum we ingest at our public schools
puts Jefferson in the camp of the Christians. He
wrote with a frankness to John Adams which can
only be _interpreted to be an exchange between
confidents. Yet, I am still unable to find correspondence by John Adams as compelling in its
statement as this from Jefferson.

This informational broadcast is brought to you


as a public service by the Society of Separationists,
Inc., a non-profit, non-political, tax exempt, educational organization dedicated to the complete and
absolute separation of state and church. This series
of American Atheist Radio Programs is continued
through listener generosity. The Society of Separationists, Inc. predicates its philosophy on American
Atheism. For more information, or for a free copy
of the script of this program, write to P. O. Box
2117, Austin, Texas. That zip is J8767. If you
want the free copy of this particular script, ask for
number 357. The address again for you is P. O.
Box 2117, Austin, Texas, and that zip, again, is
78767.

Have we been purposely kept from the information? Who has done this? Why? The myth of a
Christian nation has brought to us in our-rimes a
church which feels that it owns the country, I
speak of Christianity. The churches now, indeed,
overtly and covertly, recieve more money per year
from the taxpayers than does the military. At the
.me time we are reading exposes, which creep
LETTERS

to

THE EDITOR (cont. from page 3).

sas where I was born, Ingersoll was a public hero in


most rural areas, and a Unitarian church to which
my mother belonged, was founded in Wichita in
the 1890's. Birkhead was the local minister at
Wichita when he first broke away from his Methodist serninarv training, later. moved to. Kansas City,
Missouri, where he furnished technical advice (acknowledged) to Sinclair Lewis in his story of Elmer
Gentry. Birkhead was a pronounced agnostic who
visited our home frequently when he first came to
Wichita to see my father to discuss the "Atheist
science", i.e. philosophy in which field Herbert
Spencer was then pre-eminent and father had read
deeply.
Darwin-Huxley-I ngersoll! How much we owe to
them today!
;:,-'9~,~th,~~tta, Scottsdale, AZ
February

I will be with you again next week, same day of


the week, same time, same station. Until then, I do
thank you for listening and goodbye for now.

1976/ American

A theist-

20

Dear Mrs. O'Hair,


With pleasure, I'm sending you a portion of my
hometown newspaper (The News-Virginian, Waynesboro, V A).
.

Public

Please note back page, .


(Public Library). This is
proof that it can be done, ..

L. L
I Ura.ry

<

so please tell all members of


S.O.S.- to get on the ball.
.
This book should be in all
public libraries, all of your
books should. I'm working
on that here in Waynesboro.

. "''F-~om Undo 'er or..,.--.-.;.&""'-&


"'"'5 e Aile
Impact of OrganizedReUgicx:\.(al
Your Liberty
and "Iotir
Pocketbook"
by Madalyn
Murray O'Hair was donated"by'
Arnold Via..

May the New Year be a New Year for all of us.


Very truly yours,
Arnold L. Via, Grottoes, VA

The Black.coats Are Cornirig


the United States apprroaches its 200th birthday, an army of churchmen are planning
Bicentennial celebrations. The first of these programs, according to Variety, will come from Billy
, Graham. The Walter F. Bennett advertising agency has announced
.
.
As

From:

'The Village

November

February

~/

24,1975,

1976/American

Voice'
page 3.

Atheist

21

That

Old

Bogy

, Fear

IGNATZ SAHULA-DYCKE
Fear of any kind is the number one enemy of
reason. The Western individual, when he speaks of
fear, only rarely if ever realizes how much he contributes to the prevalence of one of its most insidious varieties: the fear of an. imagined God. Man's
intelligence is in many respects arnazinq, but so is
his naivete when he, unthinkingly believing something he hears, depends on it more than-on his own'
judgment. He then behaves in accord with what he
has been told, not intelligently
as he otherwise,
normally, would. In the Western nations this happens to him as a matter of traditional practice. Almost as soon as a child learns to say "mama", it
also hears the word "god" -- and though quickly
learning to associate pleasurable happenings with
words like "mama" and "papa", it as rapidly learns
to couple with the word ~'god" the occasional unacceptableness of its behavior and, at times, the unpleasant experiencing of pain. It persists in memory when the mother, 'saying "MvGod"
or "God,
look what you've done" or such, at the same time
administers a spank to its buttocks -c before
straightening up the mess the child stirred up.

I n the Western world's cities and hamlets, from


palace to hovel, first the parents and, next, trained
religious workers impose this yoke upon the young
-- upnelo In It by near tv ever voodv because eVelyone has had the habit imposed upon him that same'
way. It is a vicious circle. We could view this ridiculous situation as a hugely malicious joke played by
the Fates on the West if at the same time it weren't
so harmful, and causing trouble which it is pressingly important we correct. Fear of this kind, if it
doesn't produce an inhibitive effect on the normal
thinking and latent talents of man, certainly wastes
the time he expends in coping with it. In fear of
God, a few thousand years ago the Ammonites in
propitiation considered ethical the sacrificing of infants to Molech; only four and five centuries ago
we of the West burned heretics at the stake to preserve the potency of the fears innate in the N icene
Christian doctrine; and today hardly a soul deems
reprehensible our sacrificing the sanity of the selfsame Christianist dementia. This custom of ours is
approved of by our authorities for the same reason
that ancient authorities approved of theirs: for securing blind compliance.

By this and other, calculated, means, God has


become a household word as well as a commonly
used expletive, but only because of the grip on the
West by its religion: Christianity. And at about the
time the child ought to be learning the facts of the
matter - by hearing from its parents that the word
is a hangover: the result of the Western peoples' indulgence of ancient but now exploded superstitions -- it is one nice Sunday packed off to where
children are told that the word so familiar to its
ears represents an existing something -- God.
This, though at first astounding news, the child
along with others five or six, learns to accept as
valid fact. Why not -- hasn't all this been told it by
that proper Sunday school teacher: an adult who
"knows"? And so Sunday after Sunday the child's
indoctrination
progresses until every bit of 'the
nonsense of superstitious religionism becomes part
of its developing personality. The tragedy in this
farce is that for at least a long time when not for
the duration of their lives it prevents everyone of
those growing tots from speculating about and
seeking for the possibly determinable meaning to
itself of life, and to life of itself. Each child this
way becomes unknowingly
a slave to ideas conceived for it by someone else.
In this manner the child's indoctrination -in our
Nicene Christianism terminates with its mind all
Febru-ary

1976/American

Atheist

- 22

jammed with concepts of heaven and hell, along


with other dogmas of whatever sect its parents expose it to. If this isn't injustice then it certainly is a
-cotossal blunder. Every generation this way "educates" the next one to react to fear throughout its
days till death, and to unprotestingly, even devoutlv, accept it as though it were a systemically unavoidable component
of human existence. The
,brainwashed individual only rarely comes to realize
that, this which happened, happened of artifice,
and that he has been duped. When he doesn't, the
fear eats away inside his mind like the worm in an
apple, usually for life leaving him with his mentality in a state of narcotized mediocrity.

<

Although these are less superstitious times, religious dogmatism still prevails, producing the same
old desired result: keeping the people from thinking and reasoning. Two factors contribute to this.
Most of the people don't give the matter the needed reflection, being too busy coping with the problems of making a living, and the rest are spellbound
by the luxuries purchasable by the dollar. Anyhow
-- why think? It's hard work, and when anyone occasionally wonders about life and death, the old religious answers dispense with further thinking - the
very result they were anciently conceived for.
When the individual doesn't look into the validity
of those answers, he is kept from discovering that

his acceptance of them is actually responsible for


much that in his life sorely irks him. As a result,
when the average man asks his neighbor's opinion
of this or that, the pat answer he gets is "God only
knows." Trite, but it's the modern paraphrase of
the ancient belief the witch doctors with an eye on
gain for themselves succeeded in implanting.
"God's watching your every move," the people
were told -- a sentence that, soon believed, was
next amplified by the ascription to God of the
priests' worst characteristic: vengefulness.
In the vengeful God the priesthood now commanded a haunting body which, after a bit of refurbishing, emerged from the fog of ancientry as
our Judeo-Christian God -- one who, they said,
could and would avenge for your any transgression, and, sauce on the pudding, a God that,
if you were "tempted"
to feel free, as for
example to come to church only when you desired,
or didn't respect and comply with sundry other religious dogmas, would consign you to the everlasting fires of hell. The bel iever is to this day given to
understand that the only way to escape that God's
ire is do whatever the Apostolic Successor, Bishop,
or Pastor, commands -- and even when he doesn't
take it too seriously he, for the sake of approbation and peace, pays lip service to it because his
sanctimonious or fanatically religious neighbors
do.
That the priesthoods themselves pay little attention to their religious dogmas and precepts is ever
since the days of Boccaccio proverbial, and well
illustrated by the droll story of the padre who on a
Friday enjoying a generous slice of ham was interrupted by a group of callers, all parishioners. How
dared he eat meat on Friday, they asked. His reply,
"Don't do as I do, do as I say," might get a laugh
but it isn't very funny, pointing out the hypocrisy
of most of the officialdom of Christian ism. All its
members are astute men who, except for having a
ha~der time bamboozling today's more intelligent,
humanity, are of the same stamp as the original
group that in Nicaea in A.D. 325 formulated most
of the spectral dogmas for controlling the unthinking -- dogmas postulating not only what happens to
anyone after he dies, but, also, what will befall
anyone who here on earth will not do as they tell
him. Out of that synod in Asia Minor emerged -besides -its santion of the Judaic Father-God the
martyr Son-Redeemer, and the all pervading Holy
Spirit -- a new version of Jesus' mother, no longer
to be known as the mother of a number: of siblings
Jesus among them but now averred the Virgin

Mother of God, having asexually (!) conceived


Jesus via the agency of the Holy Spirit. Unable to
find any record of the thinking that in the synod
developed the Holy Spirit concept and its link with
Mary, I lean toward thinking that it inductively
materialized out of the old Greek myth of Leda
and the Swan -- in it Leda made the mother of Pollux by the God Zeus, he disguised as a cob swan.
The Holy Spirit is in Christianist depictions of the
Father, the Son, and the Spirit, a dove -- a concept
for the above and other purposes connoting greater
delicacy than a swan. I've already alluded to the synod's astuteness, but now must add creativeness,
for some of the Nicene Council's work must be
seen as arising from most dumbfounding afflatus.
However, inexplicable here is that whilst the Christian believer deems the Leda story pure fable, he
. takes the Christian paraphrase of it' as the holy
truth, incontrovertible
testimony to the power of
organized propagandizing and indoctrinating.
To me, Greek mythology is no less real, or. unreal, but far more esthetically imaginative, than the
mythology
of Christian ism. Both are interesting
phenomena of romantic thought -- though the latter, the inferior of them, alone remains with its
fears haunting Western life. It's astonishing, but
not flattering to Western thinking, that the absurdities of Christianist origin persist largely respected today despite the disenchanting history of
their employment by post-Nicene hierarchs who,
with the apostolic shepherd's crook inherited from
Peter upraised, sentenced to torture, burial alive,
stoning to death, burning at the stake, etc., anyone
whose reasoning aroused him to rebel against their
fantastic dogmatism.
Of late days, the hierarchs' apologists have said
the hierarchs did such things very regretfully, in
their time only because obligated to (not mentioning to what or whom obligated). I'm moved to indignation when nowadays I chance to read one or
another article lauding some individual or set of organized Christianism;
am I to suppose today's
Christianism is worth praising, or defending, more
than in their time were lauded the actions of the
Inquisition? Which is the more outrageous, the Inquisitor's killing of heretics, or the force-feeding of
Christianist nonsense killing the normality of millions of minds: On what grounds do today's religious dogmas deserve praising -- dogmas today
the same and as stultifying
as they were in the
Dark Ages? Because Christian indoctrination
postulates that fear alone is able to hold the "sinful
and bestial" human in check? Have all of us forFebruary

1976/American

Atheist

- 23

gotten the power for good Innate in our conscience, cultivatable by meansof education?
- An interesting difference between Christianism
and various Eastern religions exists in that the
latter need no modernizing because in them Deity
is a concept acceptable as much to reason as to
superstition. Most such theosophies deem their
Deity or Deities in one 'or another way related to
man. They nota-bene, encouragethe believer to become not a blind idolater but a thinking, speculating, seeker of possible truths. There's a marked disparity between any religion of that kind and Christianisrn. Christianity forbids him to 'entertain any
thoughts about God other than those it prescribes.
They', challenge him to fearlessly try penetrating
the- riddle of isness -- that Way teachinq'hirn to appreciate the marvelous interaction of cosmic
forces. They do not command but invite. They
do not threaten him, They thus' appeal irresistibly to man's instinctive desire to be at peacewith
all of creation.
, ..To my waY of.thinkinq, all religions are redundant, this of course excluding ethical philosophies
such as those of Confuciusand Mencius. But, hung
up on religion as the West is,what a boon it would
be were it to profess belief .in a rel-igion not commanding as Christian ism does, that the believer not
do this or that becausethe Bible savs.so"- a pretense holding the Bible to be a repository of infallible truths beyond the pale of diacritical examination or man's complete understanding. The difference between Eastern religions and ours is that the
former attempt to condition man to understand
life on the basis of participative, cogitative humility; the latter, ours, insisting that only by obeying
its dogmas will the believer be able to escapethe
wrath of Jehovah.
Every Christian sect today is far more concerned about its flock's belief as materializing, after services, in the vestry's tiller than in the congregation's belief in its superstitious dogmas and precepts. The byword is that whoever brings money,
believes. Having long now relegated the hows and
whys of moral ethics to a minor place in church affairs, all the major Christian sects and sub-sects
should expect their decline. Only one or two of
them have any excuse for existing such as before
A.D. 325 prompted anyone to embrace Christ's
precepts. Practically all of the sectsare beguiled by
the lustre of coinage, are cluttered with property
and obsessedwith and committed to amoral activities, although committed -- they ten us-- to worFebruary

1976/American

Atheist

- 24

ship. They've fallen prey to the very sins Christ


preached against. The bigger and richer any church
nowadays, the more hypocritical, bigoted and
pagan its congregation.
Every particle of today's Christianism is blind
to the demands of the times -- not only because
failing to recognize that its own salvation rests in
its cultivation of a rational outlook, but, even
when toying with that idea, in yet employing for
it an outworn fear-laden method. The existence of
mankind manifests that life on earth is dynamized
by the rays of our sun, and most of. today's West" ern people, except rabid -churchgoers, are more
than half. convinced it is fact. This is"i:Jnew era indeed, requiring that man cultivate a rationale enabling him to face the facts of life unafraid. Were he
.informed in that way by meansof rational education, he'd gain a lot more spiritual satisfaction and
peace of mind out of his sojourn on 'earth than out
of the religious nonsensehe only half respects today. Even theman whom we call."bad" would un, doubtedly be more easily rehabilitated morally bv
recourse to sound sensethan by the methods we
ROW employ.
Today's Christianism, fortunately for our future
behavior, affects us much lessthan it affected our
forebears. If our times, now, aren't times of Christianist decay then, surely, this scientifically minded
period calls for an ethic formulated and cultivated
. by educational authorities without .anv resort to
the. bogus fear of God. The future is alwavs malleable, it is said, but the maul shaping it must be
swung with plenty of muscle and properly directed. For this the God body is useless;no valid evi_dence exists of theophany. This notwithstanding,
there's no good reasonwhy anyone who believes in
a God shouldn't worship Him. However, I must insist that man's respect for an ethic directing his behavior should never be promoted through the worship. This is irrefutable when we consider that
people who do not worship a God are every whit
as moral asthose who do.

-OPINION OF' THE PUBLIC


People come in three classes: the few
who make things happen. the many who .
watch things happen and the overwhelming majority who have no idea what
happened.
News.Woonsocket, S.D.

'Different

Rules

For

Different

Fools

MORT LEWIS
The November, 1975 issue of "The American
Atheist"
magazine reprinted a news item from the
Chicago Tribune entitled, "Priests to Protest Playboy Promotion."
In synopsis: The Rev. Joseph F.
Lupo, vocational director of the Order of The Most
Holy Trinity, placed an $8-$9,000 advertisement in
Playboy magazine to recruit new members for the
order. Playboy, in turn, used Father Lupo's advertisement to turn out a national promotional advertisement of its own wherein, over the head of a
young man dressed in priestly garb and reading
Playboy,
were the words: "I read Playboy and
found God." The Playboy advertisement copy said,
in part, "When the Order of The Most Holy Trinity
needed new recruits they called on Playboy to do
God's work." Father Lupo's group WqS abashed
and appalled. In a massive miff they contemplated
legal action against Playboy, calling the Playboy
promotion "downright irreverent."
Father Lupo's organization
needed new recru.ts. Father Lupo certainly considered many alternatives before he expended more than $8,000 for
an advertisement in Playboy, much of the content
of which, one would assume, is diametrically
opposed to Father Lupo's heartfelt tenets; yet he
apparently felt no compunction in using Playboy
magazine to further his own ends. It would seem
to be just another case of the end appearing to justify the means -- much like the dictator, while
preaching anti-violence, admonished his people to
"cease all violence immediately, or I will have fifty
of you shot every week until you do." Father
Lupo was trying to capitalize on Playboy's large 18
to 40 year old male readership to serve his own recruiting ends. Nothing wrong with that. But when
Playboy tried to capitalize on Father Lupo's group
to serve its own ends in exactly the same fashion,
there came a collective scream from Father l.upo's
group much as if a marmot had been mounted by-a
moose. In effect the group said: If Father Lupo (in
English Father Wolf) uses Playboy he is to call it a
"proper and strategic use of the 'bad book' to advance the 'good book'." On the other hand, if Playboy attempts to use Father Lupo, Lupo is instructed to screarrifout.'
'dirty pool,' 'downright irreverent,' and legal action is contemplated to stop Playboy from doing what Lupo just did! It would seem
that there are different rules for different fools.

Consider the innocent game of Bingo. Generally


speaking, when played for money, the game is
legally sanctioned for religious and other 'nonprofit' groups while it is illegal for other individuals
or organizations. Whether gambling is, in-and-ofitself, 'good' or 'bad' is not material here. To participate in a Bingo game is to gamble -- a simple
truth not to be denied. Whether one crosses one's
self, clutches one's groin or rubs one's navel counter-clockwise with one's elbow is also immaterial.
These actions have no bearing on the fact that to
play Bingo is to gamble. Gambling is seriously
frowned upon by the clergy of most Christian
churches. Let a roulette wheel start spinning in
public, in any state but Nevada, and the authorities
(who are required to do so by law) will be goaded
by the clergy (who are not) to have the wheel
stopped post-haste. The irreligious miscreants responsible for its operation will be dubbed "racketeers," but it is difficult to see how shooting dice,
playing a roulette whee! or playing cards for
money is somehow "evil" while playing Bingo for
money is somehow "not evil" when all are games
of chance with the odds (and subsequent profits)
arranged in favor of those operating the game. It
would seem apparent that an old widow woman
who loses her welfare check playing Bingo at
church ends up just as hungry as an-old widow
woman who craps out on a dice table in some
other gambling den. There are different rules for
different fools.
The religious organization speaks out at will
against the nonbeliever where and when it pleases,
presupposing the total and undisputable truth of
its beliefs. It assumes for itself some inalienable
right to criticize the "unbeliever at the drop of a
blasphemy and yet it recoils in horror if the unbeliever dares even to suggest a doubt much less to
. -opengly criticize. It acts as if it were sacrosanct -in one meaning of the word -- as indeed it is as far
as the newspapers and magazines in this country
are concerned. One should always be suspect of

those who become enraged at honest questions


simply put. As Shakespeare said, 'Methinks he
protesteth too much." There are different rules
for different foo Is.
Members of most organized religions approach
February

[1j

1976/American

Atheist-

25

approach the nonbeliever as if he were a universally


acknowledged evil. A crud by foregone conclusion.
A cancer. The very 'devil' himself. The nonbeliever
is instantly branded as 'bad: 'no good: 'a damned
Communist: or at best he is called 'misguided and
in serious need of instruction.'
Webster's New
World Dictionary defines the word 'miscreant' as
'an evil person; criminal; villain: or in old usage as
an 'unbeliever; heretic; infidel.' The very dictionary
implies a relationship between a heretic and an evil
person. The obvious fact is that the nonbeliever
may be a kind, considerate and just person and
not, necessarily, evil at all. Because Communists
profess no belief in Godls) * doesn't automatically
make every non-believer a Communist anymore
than
acknowledging one's self to be a Christian
automatically makes one a spotless fellow without
a flaw. Apropos the words: "A holy habit cleanseth not a fou I sou I."
If organized religion cannot convert the nonbeliever and/or silence him, then it attacks him with
the fervor and vicious vindictiveness that would be
deemed 'cruel and unchristian' if someone else did
it. These seem to be the rules of the game as many
of the religious organizations
practice them.
Should an Atheist attack organized religion in exactly the same fashion, i.e., assuming that religion
is nonsense on the face of it and, broaching no debate, puts to public ridicule those who profess it,
he would be set upon like a Sick duck In a tox
factory. He would find that newspapers and periodicals would refuse to publish his statements no
matter how factual, logical and well presented they
might be. If he were in business, his trade would
fall off. If he worked for someone else, his job
would be put in jeopardy.
The believer can flail the nonbeliever directly
and insidiously in magazine and newspaper via
reports on 'holy miracles' and stories such as 'How
God Cured Me of Leprosy' and on television via
stories where terminally
ill patients jump out of
bed and playa set of tennis immediately followi,ng
*The author errs here. Communist parties flourish
in many highly religious countries, notably the
countries where Roman Catholicism is dominant.
Italy has the largest Communist Party in the Western world with France, Portugal, and certainly the
Latin American nations not far behind. One can
say without fear of contradiction by geopoliticians
that the Communist Parties of the Western World
are by and large Christian. -- the editor)
February

1976/American

Atheist

26

~/

the visit of a priest who had admonished them that


"just because your left leg is missing and your right
leg is broken in three places is no reason that you
shouldn't play tennis, if God wills it."
One reads no articles in magazine or newspaper
of large circulation (no articles anywhere until the
advent of the American Atheist) pointing out the
gross stupidity of religion. This state of affairs IS
not brought about because of the fact that there
are no unbelievers sufficiently
articulate to write
articles, but rather because there are no newspapers
or magazines that will publish them, not, to be
sure, because of the religious fervor of the majority
of editors, but as a matter of simple economics.
There are infinitely
more believers than there are
non-bel ievers. * * The bel ievers are better organ ized
and better financed. It takes rare courage to bite
the hand that feeds (however miserly) particularly
if there is a blackjack swinging from the wrist.
There are different rules for different fools.
The Catholic hierarchy contends that admission
of error (confession) is good for the soul, then it
deftly side-steps the necessity of admitting any
potential errors of its own by contending that the
Pope is infallible in things religious and, therefore,
in followinq his orders, (sometimes referred to as
Papal Bull) that it is incapable of committing any
errors. This is an insidious contention and, while
ridiculous on the face of it, serves a very useful and
necessary purpose. The purpose is to condition the
lower religious classes to accept the 'fact' that they
are constantly committing errors -- sins, if you will
.- (and therefore are inferior) for which they must
be forgiven by the ruling religious class which is,
by definition, not capable of making errors and is
therefore a superior. For one to ask for or to
accept the 'forgiveness' of another on a continuing,
nonreciprocal basis is to acknowledge the superior
ity of the one being asked for forgiveness. This is a
part of the not-too-subtle but effective brainwashing that keeps the underl ings in their underposition
- and the leadership in its overposition. There are
different rules for different fools.
There is a pecking order among groups of. hu-

* * The author errs again here. World wide believers


are in a minority. In the United States religion was
never able to capture the hearts or the minds of
even half of our populace. Currently about 35% of
the nation speaks of 'affiliation'
with religion and
23% is openly Atheistic. -- the editor)

mans much as there is among chickens, monkeys,


baboons, elephants and other animals. Such an
arrangement is rather common in nature and,
apparently, serves a useful purpose or it would
have long since been phased out by natural selection. It should be kept in mind, therefore, that no
matter what a person's title, e.g. King, Queen, Mr.
President, Pope, Fuhrer, II Duce or Comrade Party
Chairman, that these are simply different names to
describe the same person: The person at the top of
the pecking order. The Bishop has his spacious offices, his ermine robes, his emerald ring and a multitude to do his bidding, while the nun has her cell,
her rosary, her clipped head and precious little

else. There are different

rules for different

It should be obvious that no leader, religious or


otherwise, can give to his followers what he has not
first taken from them -- less, in most cases, a monumental percentage for 'expenses.' The religious
follower is required to pay in money, goods or
services while the religious leader, for the most
part, pays in prayers, promises and, like the extortionist, in an unspoken, but mutually understood
agreement not to cause the follower any spiritual
or physical grief as long as the follower stays inline and pays his tithes. There are different rules
for different fools.

,:-:

...

,,",.

..... ~~:::,4

"My sermon for this morning


of morality in government

is the deplorable lack


leadership today!"
From:

Chicago Sun-Times
December
6,1975,

February

fools.

1976/American

page 31.
Ath e ist-t Z?

Did the writers of the Bible agree? Is the Bible


actually the "inspired" Word of God, or merely
many documents man-written?

Earlier: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.


(Ex. 21 :24)
Later:

Turn

the other

cheek. (Matt.

5:38-39)

A FEW BIBLE CONTRADICTIONS


Does the Bible SUPR0rt the Contention
That God is All-Good

On the Sabbath Day_


Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. (Ex.
20:8)

The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.


(Ez. 18:20)

Later:
One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. Let every
man be fully persuaded in his own mind. (Rom.
14: 15)

Earlier: I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God,


visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the thrid and fourth generation. (Ex.20:

On the Permanency of the Earth

5)
God is love. (I John 4: 16)

The earth abideth forever. (Eccl, 1:4)

Earlier: Ye have kindled a fire in mine anger which


shall burn forever. (Jer. 17:4)

Later: The earth ... and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (II Peter 3: 10)

There is no respect of persons with God. (Rom. 2:


11)
-

On Seeing~
I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. (Gen. 32:30)

Later: As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau


have I hated. (Rom. 9:13)
Does the Bible Support the Contention
That God is a God of Tender Mercy

Later: No man hath seen God at any time; (John


1: 18)
Does the Bible SUPRQrtthe Contention
That God is All-Powerful
With God all things are possible. (Matt. 19:26)
Earlier: The Lord was with Judah, and he drave
out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could
not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because
they had chariots of iron. (Judges 1: 19)
Does the Bible Support the Contention
That God is Never-Changing

Later: Thus saith the Lord of Israel, Put every


man his sword by his side, and go in and out from
gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every
man his brother, and every man his companion,
and every man his neighbor. (Ex. 32:27)
I am the Lord; I change not. (Mal. 3:6)

1976/American

Atheist-

and of tender mercy.


,'':.

Earlier: Nowgo and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not, but
slay both man and woman, infant and suckling. (I
Sam. 15:3)
Does God Tempt Man
God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth
he any man. (James 1: 13)
--Earlier: And it came to passafter these things that
God did tempt Abraham. (Gen. 22:1)

Thou shalt not kill. (Ex. 20: 13)

February

The Lord is very pitiful


(James 5: 11)

28

IV

Lead us not into temptation. (Matt. 6: 13)


<

For a pamphlet containing these and many other


contradictions of the Bible, order from S.O.S. Inc.,
P. O. Box 2117, Austin, TX 78767. The pamphlets
'are 20 copies for $1.00 - free sample with self-addressed, stamped envelope. Order today!

P 0 EMS
THE HUMAN KIND
by
Thelma Lewis
Bright grows the reed by the river.
Brave stands the grain in the sun.
Oh, endless the deep running river,
Eternal the life-giving sun.
Man's hate is the earth-crawling weasel.
His spite is the hawk in the sky.
(Whatever the sceneon the easel,
Note the red and the vulturous eves.)
His suspicions cloud over the morning.
His doubt is the spectre at night.
His righteousness still is adorning
The self-seeking goal he calls right.
His heart is the hound that is baying
Lorn hope over woodland and bog.
While his wailing and wishing and praying
Are lone hunters enveloped in fog.
He loathes his love while embracing
And kills whom he thinks he befriends;
Flings charity, godlike, in pacing
Toward his own and his ultimate ends.
His birth is but leaflet unfurled ..
His death but the fa II of a leaf.
Yet master and king of the world,
He stands in unseeing belief.
Loose the last poison arrow from quiver ...
Let the hunting and preying be done .
Risesstill the bright reed by the river .
Grows bravely the grain in the sun.

MAY JESUS COME TO MY HOUSE


by
C. Calvin Wright
If Jesuscame to my house, to spend a day or more,
I'd like to ask some questions as I met him at the
door.
I'd like to know why God's design puts animals in
pain,
To suffer fear, disease and cold and shiver in the
rain.
I'd like to know why babes sometimes, are born
without a mind;
And are there special reasons for the deaf and
dumb and.blind?
Were the crusadesjustified, with all their blood and
gore?
An why is it that Christian men have always been
at war?
The millionaires and billionaires rule men of every
class,
And we who make their food and wine are told to
go to mass.
We'll get reward in heaven, so the=storv's said,
Will all the wealthy go there too, when they are
finally dead?
Now those of us who don't believe are said to go to
hell;
But will the devil punish those, who really served
him well?
If God needs my belief and love, For reasons so
profound,
Christ should now come down and launch his project off the ground!!
Apparently

our Saviour doesn't wish

to let us
know,
Or maybe he's forgotten, what he started long ago,
So rather than embarass him with questions face to
face,
Let's make life worth the most we can, and let him
fly in space.

February

1976/American

Atheist-

29

r
Book
Compulsory Education and The Amish, edited
by Albert N. Keim, subtitled "The Right Not to Be
Modern" is a new, hard-back book, issued by
BeaconPressin 1975. It is a 5%" x 8" book comprised of 148 pagesof text, the full 33 pagedecision of the United States Supreme Court in Wisconsin v Yoder, 5 pagesof notes, 17 pagesof Bibliography and 8 pagesof Index. Typeset in ragged
edge, it presentsa distracting format. The price, at
$8.95, is steep, particularly since the binding is
also insubstantial.
The Amish have stubbornly refused to move
into modern times and have insulated themselves
by the utilization of a nineteenth century technological agrarian economy, the German language,
and the Ordnung. The latter is the unwritten Folk
Geist authority for their life, and this is in conflict
with the educational theories of our modern state.
"The purpose of Amish education," says attorney
William Ball, "is not to get aheadin the world, but
to get to heaven." There is an insistance on the
ultimate authority of the New Testament for faith
and life.
The Amish arrived in the United States beginning in the 1720's, bringing with them their
own culture and customs, resisting assimilation into the mainstream of American life by forming
their own communities and strengthening their
Ordnung, which finally came to be known as a
Zaun (a fence) againstthe world.
Being non-affluent, their children were permitted to remain in small, rural public schools,
which were locally controlled (Amish influence
could be felt) and reflected the general Protestant
ethic. By the 1860's somefears were already aroused that such participation (in public education)
would corrupt the children. Isolated casesof noncompliance occurred until 1921 when some litigation started. The culmination of all litigation
came in 1972 in the case of Wisconsin v Yoder.
In this casethe parents of two children, age 14
and age 15 refused to sendtheir children to public
school after the children had completed the eighth
grade.
.
The basis of the litigiation and the interpretations of the Amish religion presented deal with
the right of the state to nuture and develop the
human potential of children in its system through
February

1976/American

Atheist

- 30

Review
the process of state education and the right of
parents to control the type of education that the
child will ingest.
It is Justice Douglas (again!) who seesthat a
child of age 14, 15, might have rights of his (her)
own. He points out that if the parents are upheld,
"the inevitable effect is to impose the parents'
notions of religious duty upon their children.
Where the child is mature enough to expresspotentially conflicting desires,it would be an invasion of
the child's rights to permit such an imposition
without canvassinghis views.... As the child hasno
other effective forum, it is in this litigation that his
rights should be considered.And, if an Amish child
desiresto attend high school and is mature enough
to havethat desire respected,the State may well be
able to override the parents' religiously motivated
objection. "
<

He goeson, "It is the future of the student, not


the future of the parents, that is imperiled in
todav's decision.... If he is harnessedto the Amish
way of life by those in authority over him and if
his education is truncated, his entire life may be
stunted and deformed."
The question is not raisedwhether the State hasa
right to dictate the education (and hence the indoctrination) of the young.
There is not an American Atheist .parent who
has not despaired over public education with its
saturation in "the general Protestant ethic" and
many children, of religious as well as Atheist
parent, have also despaired over the situation.
The basic question is not approached. Who has
the right to the mind of a child? What are the
child's rights?
How does society, parent, state, or individual
go about expanding the knowledge of the child,
- broadening their sensibilities, kindling their imagination, fostering their spirit of free inquiry,
and increasing their human understanding and
tolerance? In the important and vital matter of
.education, the children should be entitled to be
heard, or to have the right of their viewpoint
being guarded until they attain an age of intellectual discretion when they may be able to make
knowledgeable decisions on their own behalf.

THE SOCIETY OF SEPARATIONISTS,

Inc.

"Aims and Purposes"

1. To stimulate and promote freedom of thought and inquiry concerning religious beliefs, creeds,
dogmas, tenets, rituals and practices.
2.

To collect and disseminate information, data and literature on all religions and promote a
more thorough understanding of them, their origins and histories.

3.

To advocate, labor for, and promote in all lawful ways, the complete and absolute separation
of state and church; and the establishment and maintenance of a thoroughly secular system of
education available to all.

4.

To encourage the development and public acceptance of a humane ethical system, stressing
the mutual sympathy. understanding and interdependence of all people and the corresponding
responsibility of each, individually, in relation to society.

5.

To develop and propagate a social philosophy in which man is the central figure who alone
must be the source of strength, progress and ideals for the well-being and happiness of humanity.

6. To promote the study of the arts and sciences and of all problems affecting the maintenance,
perpetuation and enrichment of human (and other) life.
7. To engage in such social, educational, legal and cu Itu ral activity as wi II be useful and beneficial
to the members of this Society (of Separationists) and to society as a whole.
"Definitions"

1. Atheism is the life philosophy (Weltanschauung) of persons who are free from theism.
predicated on the ancient Greek philosophy of Materialism.

It is

2.

American Atheism may be defined as the mental attitude which unreservedly accepts the
supremacy of reason and aims at establishing a system of philosophy and ethics verifiable by
experience, independent of all arbitrary assumptions of authority or creeds.

3.

The Materialist philosophy declares that the cosmos is devoid of immanent conscious
purpose; that it is governed by its own inherent, immutable and impersonal,law; that there is
no supernatural intereference in human life; that man -- finding his resources within himself -can and must create his own destiny; and that his potential for good and higher development
is for all practical purposes unl irnited.

The Society of Se p ar a t ro n i st s, Inc., is a non-political,


n o n-p r o f it , educational,
tax-exempt
zation. Contributions
to the Society a'r e tax deductible
for you. Our primary
function

organiis as an

educational
"watch
dog" o r qaru zar ro n to preserve the pr ec ro u s and viable p rm ci p!e of separation
of state and church.
Membership
IS open
to those who are in accord with our "Aims and Pur,
poses" as above.
Membership
dues is $12.00 per person per v ear . An incident of membership
is
a monthly
copy of "American
Atheists
Insider Newsletter".
We are currently
forming
local
chapters and rn e m b e r sh i p in the National
o r qa n rz at io n automatically
gives you entrance to your
locai chapter,
h:oruary

rl

19'76/Amerlcan

At h erst 31