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This Issue:

SUNGODS AND CHRISTIANITY


THE RELIGIOUS

BATTERED

MEANING OF EVOLUTION
WOMAN

JEALOUSY

ENVY

AMERICAN ATHEISTS
"Aims and Purposes"
1. To stimulate and promote freedom of thought and inquiry concerning
beliefs, creeds, dogmas, tenets, rituals and practices.

religious

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 cultural activity as will be useful
and beneficial to members of American Atheists and to society as a whole.

"Definitions"
1. Atheism is the life philosophy (Weltanschauung) of persons who are free from
theism. It is predicated on the ancient Greek philosophy of Materialism.
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 interference in human life; that man-finding
his
resources within hirnsett=can and must create his own destiny; and that his potential for good and higher development is for all practical purposes unlimited.

Vol. 20, No.2

February, 1978

ON THE COVER

EDITORIAL
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
NEWS
O'Hair Takes on the Nativity. . . . . . . . . . .
.
A Day Off for Area Atheists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
.
Indian Atheist Centre Disaster
Relocation of Colonel Ingersolls' Statue. . . . . . . . . .
.
Moslems
FEATURE ARTICLES
Cognitive Dissonance and Religious Zeal, John F. Higdon
Sungods and Christianity, James Erickson
The Meaning of Evolution, G. Richard Bozarth
The Religious Battered Woman, Anne Gay/or
Jealousy, Shibles' Corner: Warren Shib/es. . . . . . . . . . .
Envy, Pam Thoren
AMERICAN ATHEIST RADIO SERIES
POEMS

2
3
.4
8
10
12
13-14

16
18
19
20
. .. 22
23

25
28

Editor-in-Chief:
Madalyn Murray O'Hair/Managing
Editor:
Jon Garth Murray/
Editor: Edmund Bojarski/Assistant
Editor: Barbara Grimes/Circulation:
John Mays/
Production:
Ralph Shirley/Non-residential
Staff: Anne Gaylor, Warren Shibles,
Ignatz SahulaDycke,
G. Richard Bozarth, Voltaire E. Heywood, James Erickson.

The American Atheist magazine is published monthly by American Atheists,


2210 Hancock Drive, Austin, Texas, 78756, a non-profit, non-political, tax-exempt,
educational organization. Mailing Address: P. O. Box 2117, Austin, TX, 78768;
copyright @ 1977 by Society of. Separationists, Inc.; Subscription rates: $15.00 per
year; $25.00 for two years. Manuscripts submitted must be typed, double-spaced
and accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The editors assume no
responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts.

THE AMERICAN ATHEIST MAGAZINE

Post Office Box 2117


Austin, Texas 78768
Enter my subscription for one year at $15.00 (two years at $25.00).
NEW

Total Enclosed $,

RENEWAL

--'-

Name
Address

Annie Laurie Gaylor


At five feet three inches and 100 pounds,
she may be the tiniest Atheist leader in the
country, but Annie Laurie Gaylor, who
heads the University of Wisconsin chapter
of the Freedom From Religion Foundation,
has had considerable impact on state-church
separation.
Due to her efforts, the past three commencements at the University of Wisconsin
(mid-year ceremonies included) have been
held without prayers, ending a 122-yearold abuse, and making Wisconsin the first
major college to forego graduation prayers.
In a "bloodless coup" Annie Laurie
gained Wisconsin Student Association support and the backing of the senior class
officers at the university and appeared
before the procedures committee to presant the case for freedom from religious
services in a public school commencement.
(There is still a moment of silence, she
reports, but one is quite free to look
around,
yawn, scratch oneself, etc.)
A junior at the University of Wisconsin,
22-year-old Annie Laurie is
majoring in journalism, and is a staff
member of the student newspaper, the
Daily Cardinal. Very active in feminist
causes, she has been on frequent picket
lines since junior high school, and with
her mother, arranged the first two demonstrations last summer against Madison's
sexist judge, Archie Simonson, who made
world-wide news with his remarks about
rape, resulting in his recall. You may have
seen Annie Laurie's picture in Time magazine (reprinted in the January, 1978
issue of the American Atheist) where,
responding to Judge Simonson's admonishment that women dress more modestly,
she wore a nun-like outfit in one demonstration and carried a sign asking: "Is
this what you had in mind, Judge?"
New challenges for Annie Laurie and
her group are to prevent the use of
university
resources
in
collecting
religious preference
information
from
students on behalf of area churches, and
to strike the words "In the year of our
Lord"
from
university
diplomas.
Annie Laurie, who was named for the
Scottish ballad, is a capable portrait painter;
one of her favorite subjects is Bertrand
Russell. She has a twin brother, Ian Stuart,
an older brother, Andrew, and a younger
brother, J arnie, all college students. She is
the daughter of Paul and Anne Gayl?r.
Her mother is the founder of the activist,
Madison-based Freedom From Religion
Foundation.
FREEDOM FROM
RELIGION FOUNDATION
726 Miami Pass
Madison, WI 53711

City, State, & Zip

(608) 238-3338
Page 1

The American Atheist

~/

C__ t.rial

~)
by JON MURRAY

"0'Hair
Raids Bingo Party," said the Austin American Statesman caption with another untoward photo
of our noble leader for which photographers get
promotions.
The proper citizens were aghast. After
all, "Why didn't she just send her attorneys," said the
church
officials
when confronted
by reporters.
Doesn't she know the difference between right and
wrong?
The answer to that pointed question is a loud Yes!.
Perhaps she understands that difference better than
anyone might know. Although
it places her in a
small minority group, Dr. O'Hair knows all too well
the difference of those two small words of much
human debate over centuries. At least one other
has come to the realization that that which is proper
is not axiomatically "right."
I am speaking of Peter, Peter Ooboza that is. Editor,
or former editor I should say, of a very different
newspaper out of Johannesburg, South Africa called
The World. I say former since October of this year
when he was detained by government security police
along with freedom of speech in South Africa. The
paper, the only black voice of independence in his
area, was guilty, as he was, of the terrible crime of
"articulating,
without fear or favor, the aspirations
of our people," in his own words,
We here at American Atheists articulate and often
even holler for "our people," American Atheists
and indeed Atheists of every nationality, on a daily
basis. We have been somewhat more fortunate than
Peter due to the more subversive nature of our
system of government. Losing one's insurance is a
bit less obvious than direct police intervention but
it gets the job done just the same if we allow it to.
Yet, we do continue to shout, a course which often
brings more heat from our own than from those we
challenge. We have made a very important choice
between two alternatives known to Peter as well.
As he put it to the Harvard Crimson in November
of '75, "One has to make a choice whether to be
outspoken and go to jail, where you'll be silenced,
or take a milder platform, so you can keep working."
The soft approach served us well for some years
until the separation forced by our exodus from
social circles and society's grasp to survive gave a
perspective to the struggle for freedom that had
never broken on the horizon before. One must
be forced into a different world than those around
him, almost a sub-culture
in order to have the
"born again" (pardon the use of words) awakening
that being fed-up, and that alone, is simply not
going to hack it anymore.
In Peter's case it took a year at Harvard studying
journalism in 1975 to give him the inspiration that
our extra-social existence gave us. He described it
in a letter to some of his American friends upon

Page 2

returning to Africa. "For the first time in my life,


I could distinguish between what is right and what
is wrong. The thing that scared me most during my
Cambridge year was the fact that I had accepted
injustice and discrimination
as part and parcel of
our 'traditional
way of life.' After my year, the
things I had accepted made me angry."
What we had accepted made us angry as well.
One of Murphy's
laws says somewhat the same
thing. "If you are not worried, you don't fully
understand the situation."
We are now worried
beyond belief. The sudden realization
that you
are adrift
in a sea of discrimination,
selfishness,
inequality,
etc., is wonderful.
At that point one
can fight by the light of day rather than at night.
It will astound you how well you can fight unreason once you have seen the light.
(These
phrases keep popping up -- I'll write it off as
some small bit of undigested indoctrination
that
still remains as a sign of life inside). The realization that you are surrounded by injustice serves
to bolster your ideals to a fervor that you never
before thought possible.
Groups like the ACLU
nationwide
fight what
they bel ieve to be the good fight, never for a
moment recognizing that they support the system
by accepting and working
within
its guidelines.
They fight for freedom, but only within the bounds
that they are allowed. The realization that the basic
human right to disagree is limited by the very system
they work within never surfaces. Must one "pray"
the court for redress on a religious freedom issue?
Is this justice or is it mockery of the puny plaintiff
begging a higher power for redress? It's quasi-religious
to defer your human dignity to a black-robed pontifical authority on a bench -- yet do we dare question
the system itself, the whole concept of appeal to a
higher authority? Yes, we do. Those golden few of us
that understand.
As long as the systemic discrimination
ingrained in
the present systems of government, jurisprudence
and social power is ignored we have no hope for the
liberation of the human mind for the amelioration of
the human condition. We must press for nothing less
than changing the whole system, the basis on which
it moves in totality. Too large of a task you say? Perhaps not quite so.
The primary vehicle, perhaps also the only one, is
the education of masses of people. If the majoritythat great silent body that has retarded human progress for generations by resisting change at every turn
could be reached and educated as to the nature of
the system then they alone could be responsible for
its fall by the use of one small word, "NO.
A general is only as great as the willingness of his army
(continued on p. 11)
II

The American A theist

Dear Editor:
The logo depicting three atomic orbital electrons on the cover of the American Atheist
magazine reminds me of the
American Nuclear Society and
the Atomic Energy Commission.
Considering the ANS's and the
AEC's long continued efforts to
delude the public, and the AEC's
involvement with nuclear weapons, I wonder - and havewondered since I first saw it - what
could have led American Atheists to adopt a symbol having
such associations. I now see it
even on the front of the American Atheist Center. Perhapsyou
could explain this to your readers sometime.
I th ink of you as candid, and
as promoting universal friendliness. Why display a symbol
having such unsavory, even sinister, connotations?
Earth orbiting the sun would
seem to me to be a nice iconoclastic symbol, if you like orbits.
The best interpretation many
of my friends could put on your
display of the symbol you seem
to have adopted is that it is a
sign of naivete; it is unworthy of
you.
During the last sevenor eight
years the anti-nuclear power
movement has grown enormously in this and in western European countries.; the August 11 issue of Nucleonics Week, nuclear
industry journal, speakscasually
of the "practically nonexistent
nuclear power market." (From a
high of 35 domestic salesof nuclear reactors in 1973, annual
sales fell every year since
to three during 1976, and none
so far in August 1977.)
I don't see why, as Atheists,
you should take any stand on
the nuclear power issue; but
especially, I don't see why you
should gratuitously flaunt a symThe American A theist

bol of a technological monstrosity.


H. W. Ibser
Sacramento, CA

What, if any, policy your


organization may have I do not
know, but you might further be
interested in knowing
that
through public notice I have
Dear Mr. Ibser,
asked those of Mr. Scott's
You confuse the scientific friends or associates, who are
method and its finding with strangers to me, who might be
politicians' manipulation of the interested in remembering him
same.
to make contributions in his
Our atomic symbol only repre- name to any organization doing
sents our conviction that through research in diabetes, to the Southe use of reason and the in- thern Poverty Law Center, or to
vestigative techniques of the the American Civil Liberties
scientific method can man solve Union. Mr. Scott was a diabetic
human and other problems. Id and he had for years been a conest, we cannot depend on tributor to the latter two organizations. Such a memorial gesprayer and faith in god.
Don't make us, or our sym- ture would, I believe, please
bol, into ogres. No matter who Mr. Scott and I hope would not
uses this type of representa- be in conflict with your policies
tion - our use of it is pure and should any of your members
even noble. We ask for the choose to so remember a colliberation of man's mind only. league who had publicly supWe need not retreat from that ported your cause during his
which is elemental: the atom. lifetime.
Margaret V. Scott
Seek out and chastise the
Los Angeles, CA
corrupters.
The Editor
Dear MissScott:
Thank you very much for
Dear Editor:
This letter advisesyou that on your letter and for the digniJuly 5, 1977, Mr. Ernest C. Scott fied way in which you handled
was found dead in his home of the final affairs of our fellow
Atheist, Ernest C. Scott. We
heart failure.
In going over his desk in an could only wish that you had
attempt to understand h is af- included our organization in the
fairs, I discovered his affilia- donations list, but your letter
tion with your group. Though his may encourage other Atheists
next of kin, I live out of state to remember us in their insurand had not been aware of this ance policies, wills and memorial
aspect of his evolving convic- donations lists. We hope in the
tions. I thought you might be future to dedicate the various
interested in knowing that out rooms in the new American
of regard and respect for my Atheist Center to those who
brother, after considering litera- remember us and furnish each
ture from, contributions made to room with the necessary acIt
will
work
and his membership card in your coutrements.
group, I made the .decision to exactly as it does in hospitals
make funeral arrangements in and universities, and anyone
accordance with what seemedto wishing to know more about it
have been his wishes: cremation is invited to write us directly.
The Editor
and no funeral and/or religious
service.
Page 3

lil[.__._:

_N_EWl_S

J,Jllltli1fi1"lfll(fa'' 11111IIfll

o'Hair
takes on
the Nativity

Staff Photo by Lorry Murphy

Madalyn Murray Q'Hair with suit in hand faces what she considers offensive manger scene

The news which fills one half of the magazine is chosen to demonstrate, month after month, the dead reactionary hand of religion. It dictates'
good habits, sexual conduct, family size, it censures cinema, theater, television, even education. It dictates life values and lifestyle. Religion is
politics and, always, the most authoritarian 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.

Page4

The American Atheist

Jane Daugherty, reporter for the Austin American


newspaper perhaps put it best as she reported on 14th
December, as follows:
"Kneeling next to a plastic statue of Joseph beneath the towering Christmas tree in the [Texas]
Capitol rotunda, Atheist activist Madalyn Murray
O'Hair unveiled the latest in a series of church-state
law suits, this time calling for removal of the Nativity
scene from state property.
'
$9 MILLION

DAMAGE

SUIT FILED

"The $9 million damage suit, filed against Gov.


Dolph Briscoe, Attorney General John Hill and Board
of Control Director Homer Foerster, contends that
the state officials abridged O'Hair's constitutionally
guaranteed freedom of [from]
religion by allowing
the Jesus, Mary and Joseph statues to be displayed on
state property.
"O'Hair and son, Jon Garth Murray, specifically object in the suit to the Nativity symbols including:
" 'Any physical representation of Jesus of Nazareth, his purported mother, Mary, her purported husband, Joseph, their mule, the three male individuals
known in the Christian tradition as 'wise men' and all
related objects ... commonly believed by Christians
to have been present at the purported birth of Jesus.'
"The suit also asks Briscoe, Hill and Foerster to
'state why the symbols are not displayed on Ground
Hog Day.'
"The Nativity scene suit asks U. S. District Court
Judge Jack Roberts for an injunction prohibiting further display of the creche at the Capitol.
"A hearing on the preliminary injunction was set
for December 21st.
"John Murray said, 'We hope to have it heard before Christmas.' He further pointed out that Atheists
had no objection to the giant decorated cedar tree because 'it's a pagan symbol.
" 'What we're saying is - if they bring this Christian myth in, they should have Hanukkah ... someting for Vishnu ...
" 'The pagan symbols do not bother us...
the
lights on the tree, the decorative balls, they are all
pagan symbols which are recognized as of superstitious invention.' rr
Although it was not made a part of the suit, Dr.
O'Hair and Jon Murray, plaintiffs in the suit, objected to the traditional Christmas carolling insofar as it
included Christian religious songs.
Within several days Gov. Dolph Briscoe announced
that the annual Christmas carol hour for ~tate employees would be conducted as usual despite the
challenge by Atheist leader Madalyn Murray O'Hair.
Then, inconceivably, according to another newspaper report "A spokesman for Briscoe's office said
Ms. O'Hair had critized the annual hour for state
employees and threatened to disrupt the gathering."
This was, of course, a blatant lie. By that time
Dr. O'Hair and Jon Murray had already left the

The American Atheist

A BLATANT

LIE

Austin, Texas, American Atheist Center in order to


make a number of appearances in California and to
participate
in the Solstice celebration of the Los
Angeles Chapter of American Atheists.
The lie did not daunt Gov. Briscoe who, in a letter to Texas employees, stated:
"My fellow state employees, a challenge has been
raised to our right to gather and participate in the
annual Christmas carol hour as we have done traditionally."
Of course, no such "challenge" had been raised,
but Gov. Briscoe is running for re-election and feels
that he can gather rei igious votes by accusing Dr.
O'Hair . But, to add insult to injury he continued in
his letter stated the employees "lawfully
have the
right to gather in a peaceful assembly ... This year's
Christmas carol hour could be considered a tribute to
those who helped create a nation of free people ... r r
Surely Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Thomas
Paine and many other of our founders turned in their
grave as the Governor equated "creation of a nation
of free people" with Christianity.
A few days later, Gov. Briscoe again urged persons
to come out for the carroling "in defiance" of the
Atheists "challenge",
SUES DR.O'HAIR

FOR $30.

MILLION

Again, just days later, a local Austin attorney attempted to sue Dr. O'Hair for $30 million, seeking
an injunction
to enjoin her from disrupting Christmas carolling. By then, the Murrav-O'Hairs had been
out of town for over a week, knowing nothing of the
threatened "challenge" or "d isruption". A straw man
had been deliberately built by the Governor of Texas
and enough emphasis had been put on it that a citizen
lawyer actually thought a disruption was planned!!!!!
The attorney, however, begged the court that he
has suffered "grievous distress, disgust, revulsion and
the physical fear that his constitutionally
guaranteed
rights were being infringed."
Although he is the southwest consultant for Playboy magazine and does nude photography
of the
nature of the centerfolds of that magazine -- he
passionately stated in his complaint,
"I believe in
Christ. I believe in God. I'm tired of nobody standing
up to do anything about this."
He had, earlier in 1977, led a summer search for
local' beauties to pose, in nude pictures for a 'Women
of Texas' issue of Playboy.
The attorney's suit, of course, is just a "nuisance
suit" to cause Dr. O'Hair some litigation costs - and
is completely without merit.
Naturally, no action was taken in district court on
the" attorney's request for injunction to prohibit the
absent Dr. O'Hair from "disrupting"
the carolling
program. However, at the urgent calling of Governor
Briscoe, about 1,000 persons did turn out for the

Page 5

carolling, but Jon Ford, the political editor, of the


Austin
American
Statesman
newspaper opined,
"Apparently,
no serious plans to disrupt the singing
were ever contemplated."
But, on the day of the carolling the governor was
all smiles and when questioned about the turnout
said, "1 thought it was great. It showed strong support for the traditional Christmas observance." Asked
if he thought participants may have been demonstrating indignation toward O'Hair, Briscoe replied,
"1 think you could say it's just a lot of Christmas
spirit. "
The following day arguments were heard in the
U. S. District Court for the preliminary injunction to
remove the nativity scene . The assistant attorney
general of the state of Texas argued the case and declared that the presence of the nativity scene in the
rotunda of the capitol building did "not have the
primary effect of either advancing or hindering religion." A witness for the state, the director of the
Board of Control, testified that the nativity scene was
merely a 'Christmas decoration.'
Dr. O'Hair's attorneys argued that the state's
storage, maintenance and display of the nativity
scene resulted in unconstitutional
entanglement of
state and church. A brief filed pled that "Persons
who do not share those beliefs (of religion) may feel
that their own beliefs are stigmatized or officially
deemed less worthy than those awarded the appearance of (official) endorsement."

JUDGE DENIES O'HAIR

*******",..-t:.;c*****

******

BABY JESUS .: AND THE LITTLE LORD


One can only succomb to laughter as the religious
community continues with its antics. For, it was just
before the Baby Jesus was confronted in the creche
and Nativity scene that Dr. O'Hair had the Little
Lord facing her.
Called to appear on WCIX [Channel 6] television
in Miami, Florida, when she walked into the studio
of the "To The Point" show, she was introduced then
to plans for a face-off between herself and Little
Michael Lord Jr. The young evangelist healer was
especially flown in for the show to see what would
happen when O'Hair was confronted
with a child
for Christ.
The Miami Herald newspaper in a malice filled
article reported it this way:

ATHEISM'S FIRST LADY


TURNS OTHER CHEEK
TO THE LITTLE LORD

PLEA

As was expected, on the 23rd of December, with


the Christmas season upon him, U.S. District Judge
Roberts ruled that the nativity scene should stay. ln
his six page opinion he found that the work on the
tree, decorating, placing the nativity scenes is "seemingly done during employees official duty. hours.
Special illumination
for the nativity scene may be
supplied by the state .... the objects are stored in the
capitol during the year. " but that this was not state
involvement with religion.
He went on to find that "the Christmas season itself, for better or worse, has become largely a secular
holiday, celebrated by the whole nation for a variety
of purposes" and that "the nativity scene was intended as just another decoration for the Christmas tree
in the Capitol. .. The nativity scene, while obviously
having religious significance, has also become in many
instances just another symbol of the holiday season."
The case was immediately appealed to the Fifth
Circuit in New Orleans, Louisiana.
That august body sat on the appeal until 10th
January, 1978. Meanwh ile, the nativity scene wh ich
ordinarily has a prolonged stay in the rotunda, was
this season quickly removed and stored away.
The case now begins its routine wending through
the federal courts, with a hearing on the merits of
the case to be called later in the year.
When contacted concerned with the appellate

Page 6

court ruling, the O'Hair attorney, Judith Abbott,


stated, "It's a little early to start talking about how
many days there are before Chistmas, but we're going
to proceed on the merits of the case."

The article written by Barry Bearak, after the


heading, went on to say:
"Madalyn
Murray O'Hair, the grande dame of
American Atheism wanted no part of the "miniature
monster. "
" 'I know him by the vacant stare in his eyes," she
said of the 10-year-old evangelist Little Michael Lord
Jr.
"But she would not debate him.
"When the two finally sat shoulder-to-shoulder
on
WCIX-TV's
[Channel 6] "To The Point," O'Hair,
famed for her fiery anti-gospel turned into a sweety.
" 'Come-on, I'm 58 and this little boy is 10."
O'Hair said before the show. "What can I say to the
child? You're precocious? You learn well. .. ? If I
knew he was going to be here, I would not have
come.'
"She saw the mismatch.
"Lord - blond, dimpled, cute as an Osmond, a
little Jackie Cooper for Jesus - 'saves' souls with
songs and preaching. He was "born again" when he

The American Atheist

was 2 and hit evangelism's stump at 5.


"O'Hair's the one whose lawsuit drove prayer from
public schools. She is an overweight woman with gray
hair and a tone that sounds so stern she must chew
thumbtacks with her cornflakes: the Tugboat Anne
of Atheism.

" '1 appreciate that she didn't attack me,' Little


Michael said after the show. '1 thought that she would
be mean."

With television antics like that - and news reporting of this calabre, how can we win? Well, we just
need to keep in there and keep trying.

Decemb!!r__21 ,. 1977

Wketl tl,e peop\e


\voulJ cry ~t,
their at1S\ver from

mysterious

@vermr \\JOulJ
~rJIeS

z:

be si\eI(e'" -

1\e. myster\OOs 2Pverrr:;r,


~i~
at: \ast
.
the cryel ~s
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~tDsa~

Otri~for~

The American A theist

..

Page 7

IN DENVER,

COLORADO

'A day 011' lor area atheists

Jacquelyn Barnard
and her 10-year-old
daughter, Brigitte,
pose in front of the
"solstice tree"
Sunday. Like
others in the local
atheist
community, they
exchanged gifts on
the,holiday - but
they didn't call it
Christmas.

Atheists celebrate 'Christmas'


Trees, presents, dinners and pickets near church

PageB

The American Atheist

If the trend keeps up, it may be possible that local


Atheists can get an even break in some newspapers!
On this occasion, the Rocky Mountain News reported
out of Denver, Colorado on 26th December, 1977.

HAPPY SOLSTICE EVERYONE


"They had trees in their homes, exchanged pre-ents and had big dinners with their families, but
Christmas was definitely not a religious celebration
for 20 or so Denver residents.
"They were avowed Atheists, members of the Denver affiliate of Madalyn Murray O'Hair's American Atheists organization. Mrs. O'Hair, a Texas Atheist, filed the court suit that led the U. S. Supreme Court to
declare prayer in the public schools unconstitutional.
"To the members of the Denver group, called the
Quest for Truth Chapter, Sunday was a time to celebrate the winter solstice, an observance that predates
Christian ity.

CHURCH PICKETED
"Six members of the organization, led by its chairwoman, Jane Conrad, also picketed the First Church
of the Nazarene, Denver, for approximately
half an
hour Sunday morning.
"The Rev. W. Donald Wellman, pastor of the
church, said the picketers stayed across the street
from the church and were orderly. He said he went
over to talk with them and to invite them to the
church for a cup of coffee. They declined and soon
left.
"Mrs. Conrad said she and her colleagues were protesting the Rev. Bob Harrington, a New Orleans evangelist, who was preaching at the church. Harrington,
she said was a prominent opponent of Mrs. O'Hair.
"After
the protest, Mrs. Conrad went to her
daughter's home for dinner with her family. Her companions did much the same.

JUST A DAY OFF


"The Atheists' view of Christmas was not uniform.
Lewis Williams, who also picketed the church, said
Sunday 'was just a day off' to him.
"On the other hand, the group's vice chairwoman,
Jacquelyn Barnard of Lakewood, not only had a
'solstice tree' in her home but also Iit candles on a
Hanukkah menorah earlier this month in commemoration of the Jewish holiday.
"Ms. Barnard was reared as a Jew and her 10-yearold daughter Brigitte practices Judaism. Her two sons
are Atheists.
"Another member of the group said he was not doing any celebrating but would if he had a family.
The friendly spirit (of the season) is fantastic,' he
said.
"He was reluctant to be identified, he said, for fear
of losing his job as a teacher.

'COME OUT OF THE CLOSET'


"Although
Ms Barnard talked about the need for
Atheists to 'come out of the closet,' she also said that
Atheists were the victims of bigotry and hatred by
others in the community.
" 'We're an "outgroup."
People think we're unAmerican and communists ... They think we're seeking the violent overthrow of American life.'
"Mrs. Conrad said she has received 11 death threats
since she became known as the leader of an Atheist
organization.
"Publicity
about her beliefs last May cost her the
column she wrote for 'Mobile Home Life' magazine
under the byline 'Plain Jane,' she said. Mrs. Conrad
describes herself as a freelance writer, pol itical activist and a consumer advocate in the field of mobile
home living. She was appointed by Gov. Dick Lamm
as a member of the Colorado Mobile Home Licensing
Board.
"Williams said his father disinherited him. Ms Barnard said her parents were 'appalled' when she told
them she had become an Atheist. They are reform
Jews and members of Denver's Temple Emanuel.
"The probability
of ostracism explains why there
are only 20 dues paying members of their organization although there may be many more Atheists and
agnostics in the area, the Atheists contend.

RELIGIONS' FOUNDATIONS
IGNORANCE, INDOCTRINATION, INADEQUACY
"Mrs Conrad charged that the foundations of most
religions were 'ignorance, indoctrination
and inadequacy.' People turned to religions, she said, when
they did not understand themselves.
"The Denver Atheists' general goal is a complete
separation of state and church. But several said one
of their key concerns now is the rise of 'born again'
fundamentalist
and evangelistic Christianity.
They
see that movement as threatening not only Atheists
but people who believe in other religions.
Mrs. Conrad was described by other members of
the group as the catalyst for its formation. She, in
turn, says she decided to try to organize this year
after attending an Atheists' convention in New York
organized by Mrs. 0' Hair.
"They accounts of how they became Atheist varied, but most said their exposure to many faiths,
each claiming to be the true faith, led them to question the premises of their own religion. That questioning ultimately led them to Atheism, they said."
TAKING

CHRIST OUT OF CHRISTMAS

Students came home from Plant High School giggling over


the signs in the classrooms: "Have a Merry ... " or "Have a
Merry Holiday."
Christmas is forbidden. Teachers say the word did not come
to them from on high, but from the office. Apparently somebody's scared Madalyn Murray O'Hair might become wrathful.
from The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, Dec. 21, 1977

The American Atheist

Page 9

ground. The loss to the Atheist Centre is quite extensive and it requires at least 50,000 rupees to reThe American Atheist Center has received the fol- build it. [Editor's note: $6,175 in U.S. dollars]
lowing correspondence from Lavanam, Director of
"Just before the cyclone Atheist Centre was busy
with a series of functions; 600 people participated in
the Atheist Centre of India.
a cosmopolitan dinner in the Harijan locality;
"Dear Friend,
"You might have already heard about the worst cy- GORA's two grandchildren were married and on the
clone of the century which devastated the coastal 15th [of November] GORA's 75th birthday was
region of Andhra Pradesh, in particular, Krishna and celebrated in which many friends from all over India
Guntur Districts. The cyclone and the tidal wave in participated. The guests had hardly left when the
the Bay of Bengal left behind more than twelve thou- cyclone descended with full fury.
sand dead; rendered hundreds of thousands homeless;
"ATHEIST CENTRE is dependant on public cothe rice crop in millions of acres was completely de- operation and support for its activities. Some friends
stroyed; livestock was wiped out; communications
have already come forward to help us in salvaging
failed and transport came to a standstill. The city of operations. However, we need the financial support
Vijayawada is one of the worst affected areas. Thou- from very many friends to rebuild the centre. Theresands of huts, semi-permanent structures were level- fore we appeal to you to extend your cooperation by
led to the ground. One hundred people lost their lives contributing generously at this critical juncture. We
in the city itself.
are confident that we will be able to carry forward
"Atheist Centre bore the brunt of the cyclone and the social change work uninterruptedly.
all but one hut were wiped out. Twelve huts and
"Any help is welcome. Please send your contrisemi-permanent structures were smashed. The calam- bution.
ity is unprecedented in the history of the Atheist
"In spite of the severe damage to the Atheist CenCentre which has been active in social change work
tre, we are already engaged in the general relief work
for the last four decades. The institution built up by in the two districts."
GORA with great effort suffered a heavy loss. The liWith regards, Sincerely yours,
brary consisting of 5,000 books, the exhibition with
Lavanam
In addition to this public declaration of distress,
Vijayam also wrote a personal letter to our American
Athejst Center, as follows:
"Dear Dr. Madalyn O'Hair,
"We seek the assistanceand cooperation of Atheists
all over the world in rebuilding the Atheist Centre.
"We are sure that we will be able to carry forward
the work uninterruptedly. From January 1978 we
shall publish The Atheist' in anew form.
"In spite of a severe loss to the Atheist Centre, we
are also engaged in helping the cyclone victims and
tidal wave affected people. Lavanam and all of us are
helping in the affected areas to remove debris and
even human bodies which are strewn on a wide area.
It is a great calamity to the people in the Andhra
Pradesh. The Atheist volunteers joined in the relief
operations along with many others. Lavanam is the
general secretary of the relief operations committee
in the tidal wave affected area. Hence he is in the interior of the District.
"The publication of The Atheist' will be delayed
GORA during his visit to the United States
this month. But hereafter it will be regular."
Regards, Yours, Vijayam
115 large size photographs depicting the life and
The American Atheist Center has already forwardwork of GORA, the offices of The Atheist' [maga- ed a reconstruction grant of $500.00 to The Indian
zine] and Telugu monthly, 'Nastihika Margam,' Book Atheist Center - the money taken from our own
House with stocks of GORA's literature, printing
operating funds as a sign of our solidarity with the
press, Vasavya Mahilia Mandali and residential ac- international Atheist community
and specifically
commodations - all these were destroyed in the to signal our commiseration with our Indian fellow
cyclone. The main house is badly damaged and re- Atheists in their terrible calamity.
quires urgent repairs. The hut in which GORA lived
To assist others who desire to help, contributions
and worked for decades and wh ich has been a monu- to our organization are tax-deductible.
If you will
ment of h is simplicity was also levelled to the help our Indian Atheist Centre, we will channel the
INDIAN

Page 10

ATHEIST

CENTRE DISASTER

The American Atheist

money to them. We, ourselves, pledge a total of Pleasemake your check/money order payable to:
Indian Reconstruction Fund
$1,000 from our own American Atheist Center to
c/o S.O.S. Inc.
that in lndia during this year, the first $500 already
P. O. Box 2117,
being committed and on its way to India atthis writAustin, Texas 78768
ing.
This disaster occurred in late November 1977 but
The hard' workers at the Indian Atheist Centre will
mail did not reach us in Texas until the last days of
December. We have put out an immediate response.' appreciate your generosity. Thank you.
(Editorial continued

from p. 2)

to follow his commands allows him to be so. If for


one moment the troops say no, the campaign is
lost. It is time for the people to say no to their leadership as well. Can we all be jailed or expelled? The
sheer numbers would prevent that.
If organized religion could establish a system of
ingrained compliance from scratch in several hundred
years, the establishment of a system of human dignity
can be accomplished in that time (or less) as well. It
seems preposterous that dignity and pride in oneself
cannot be impressed upon a populace with any
amount of force, but servility and denial of one's
worth can be disseminated as quickly as the common
cold.
Peter sums it up in classic words concerning his
own South Africa. "My fear is that when history
catches up with us, there's going to be an awful lot
of white people in this country who will repeat
those tragic words that were said in Germany at
the end of the Second World War, when every German there said, 'I did not know it was happening.'
It's true that for evil to succeed it takes far too
many good people to keep quiet and stand by."
This 'situation is extant in tile United States at
this time. We, as American Atheists, know that
we cannot allow it to go unnoticed. For this reason
we seek litigation which is educational first and
perhaps rewarded (monetarily, etc.) later. Once
the news media exposed Nixon he was forced to
resign. If through litigious education we can show
up religion for what it is, just as Watergate showed
up Nixon for what he was, the American people
may drop religion as they did their president.
So, breaking up a bingo game or being arrested
in protest activities at a City Council meeting
brings about a kind of public demonstration and
thus education which are needed to awaken that
sleeping giant, the .people, to action. We must expose
overt discrimination in the system which has remained as covert as that of World War II in Germany.
Peter came to the final conclusion in his own
struggle that "the enforced silence of jail was
preferable to another kind of silence -- the voluntary silence of those who stayed out of jail."
Liberty should not be had only at the extraordinary cost of one's human dignity. As an
American Atheist
I should rather remain an
Atheist in bondage than a hypocrite at large.
I shall not practice my lifestyle on my knees.

The American Atheist

I wish to free all of you from the necessity of ever


having to practice your lifestyles on your knees
either. Yet, for this Dr. O'Hair and I are both reprimanded. You cannot have your liberty and serenity
at the same time, a choice must be made. On the
cover of each of our issues are persons who have
made the choice and I urge you to do the same. (If I
sound like Billy Graham asking you to cross the fifty
yard line to be saved, so be it).
"Peter Ooboza is in jail," says The New Yorker of
November 11, 1977, "and has been silenced, just as,
he had feared in his milder days whenever he contemplated the disadvantages of the outspoken path."
My hat is off to a man of dignity.
Another Peter, here in Austin, has come to the
conclusion that administrative remedies with the
school board are of little value, in his protests as
a teacher.
You may say, "You cannot fight in jail, it is a
useless exercise!" Standing up for your rights is
never useless. You have then demonstrated your
desire to stand free. Whether you lose that right
or not is not as important as your willingness to
demonstrate it.
EACH ONE BRING ONE
Have you fulfilled your New Year's resolution, which
we so graciously gave to you, to add one member to
the organization or one subscriber to the magazine?
If not, PLEASE, do it now!

The Editors

SEX LIFE OF JESUS


British film maker David Grant will reportedly
come to the United States this year to shoot one of
the most controversial movies of all time.
The film will be based on Danish screenwriter
Jens Jorgen Thorsen's much-publicized script, The
Sex Life of Jesus. The play portrays Jesus Christ as
engaging in homosexual relationships.
According to the current schedule, the $1.2 million production will be filmed in the United States
early th is year if a book based on the script is well received before then. The book was scheduled for release in the United States during the Christmas holidays.
While Grant insists the movie depicts Christ very
favorably, he adds that the Catholic Church "isn't
projected in a very complimentary way."

Page 11

COLONEL INGERSOLL!
FRONT AND CENTER, PLEASE!!
Should "Old Bob" be moved from his pedestal in
Glen Oak Park to the Peoria, Illinois, county courthouse?
A committee of the Peoria County Bar Association
has requested Park Board "reaction" to the idea, saying the statue of Col Robert G. Ingersoll cou Id become a commemorative
focus for the Bar Association's centennial in 1979.
The request issued from a prestigious law firm and
has already been discussed by the Peoria Park District
Board.
Since its dedication in 1911, the life-sized bronze
figure of the famed lawyer and Agnostic, modeled by
renowned Peoria sculptor Fritz Triebel, has looked
down the boulevarded lower entrance to Glen Oak
Park and there is good reason for the statue to be
there.
Col. I ngersoll was one of the officers who helped
to train cavalry regiments atCamp Lyons during the
Civil War, in an area bounded by the present park.
Union soldiers tented on the level prairie there, and
sometimes got their fresh milk from cows grazing in
Birket's Hollow which is also now Glen Oak Park.
Between May 1861 and June 1864 some 7,500 soldiers trained for the Union Army there, and the commanding officers of the eight regiments (five infantry, two cavalry, one battery) included Col. Ingersoll,
who headed the 11th Calvary in 1861.
But it was not alone for his Civil War undertakings
that Ingersoll was known, although he carried the
title of "Colonel" to h is end.
It was in the field of peerless oratory and puncturing humor that he made h is mark.
Mark Twain said after hearing Ingersoll, "It was the
supremest combination
of English words that was
ever put together since the world began," and one
biographer said I ngersoll possessed "the language of
Shakespeare, the tenderness of Burns, and the justice
and wisdom of Lincoln."
I ngersoll and h is brother Clark opened a law office
in Shawneestown in 1855,the year after R.G. was admitted to the Illinois Bar at the age of 21, but they
soon moved to Peoria, spending 20 years there until
he left in 1877 for Washington, D. C. and New York.
While he was a young lawyer he sponsored the
Peoria Female Seminary, one of the early "fern-sems"
which were the only educational institutions open to
women.
Triebel's statue, showing I ngersoll at a later point
in his life, with well-rounded stomach and orator's
stance, has been a landmark of Glen Oak Park, II Iinois, for 66 years.
In the Peoria County Bar Association's communication with the Park Board, it was noted, "If it is
acceptable to the park district then we would have to

Page 12

Ingersoll Mon.ument at Glen Oak Park, Peorta, Illinois

get approval of the county and work out the details


of moving ... " It is an astounding idea that one of the
heroes of American Atheism is being considered as a
focal point around which such a reactionary entity as
the Illinois State Bar should structure a centennial.
What is the world coming to? Atheism, we hope!

The American Atheist

FANATIC

MOSLEMS

Charles V. Eimermann of Shorewood, WI was kind


enough to send us a clipping from The Milwaukee
Journal containing an article entitled "Religious Fervor Dominating Moslem World" written specially for
th~ Journal by Gwynne Dyer in London. Ms. Dyer
writes:
"Within five years, it may be impossible to buy a
legal drink anywhere between Morocco and Pakistan.
A wave of religious fanaticism is sweeping the Arab
world - indeed, the whole Moslem world - and the
consequences could be literally revolutionary.
"Puritanical conservatism is no longer confined to
such states as Libya (where signs at the airport are
only in Arabic) and Saudi Arabia. Those you could
explain easily enough. They are cultural backwaters
of the Arab world, dominated by fundamentalist
Moslem sects, but rich enough now to make the rest
of the world put up with their eccentricities.
"Traditional Islamic Sharia law is now also being
enforced in the oil rich Gulf states: 40 lashes for
Moslems who drink, sell or manufacture alcoholic
drinks, amputation of the right hand for thieves (and
of the left leg for second offenders), 100 lashes for
unmarried adulterers and public stoning to death for
their married partners in crime.
"This development could be explained, of course,
in terms of the dominating influence of Saudi Arabia
in the Gulf states. But how do you explain the fact
that the same laws are being introduced in Egypt, the
cosmopolitan heartland of the Arab world?
DEATH

FOR HERESY

"In fact, one new law will impose the death


penalty on any Moslem Egyptian who renounces his
religion. In a country formerly ruled by secular law,
and with between 10% and 20% of its population
Christian, th is is a legal revolution.
"The phenomenon extends to all Moslem countries, Arab or not. In Tunisia, the most French and
Westernized of France's former North African colonies, women un iversity students have reverted in large
numbers to traditionally modest forms of dress.
"In Turkey, a totally secular republic for the last
54 years, nobody pretends any more that the nation
can or should be totally European. A frankly religious
right-wing party is allowed by the army to take part
in politics, something unimaginable only 10 years
ago.
"Even in Malaysia, at the outer limit of the Islamic
world, orthodox dakhwah (rnissionarvl groups have
been persuading people to throwaway their radio and
TV sets and burn their furniture in the name of Islam,
despite repeated government appeals.
REACTION
liThe

Malay

dominated

under intense pressure from Malay religious fanatics


to bring even the non-Malay, non-Moslem 45% of thepopulation under the sway of 'the religious courts.
"Why is this happening? Basically, it is a reaction
by the poor and the unlucky against modernizing
influences from the West that they blame for their
misery.
"Modernization is fine if it elevates you into the
education level, income and lifestyle of the burgeoning Egyptian middle class, but to most of the
nine million desperate new proletarians scrambling
for a living in the jammed streets of Cairo it looks
rather different. To such people the myth of an
Islamic Golden Age of justice and equality before
Western influence corrupted society explains a lot.
"Anti-Western, back to the Koran sentiments have
been floating around the Moslem world ever since
Westernization .beqan over a century ago. Western
values and Western behavior are 'the silken curtain
which conceals the hands of greed and the dreams of
exploitation,'
wrote an Egyptian school teacher
named Hussan al Banna in the 1920s.
"But the Moslem Brotherhood he founded has almost always been banned in most Arab countries. So
why are Westernized regimes run by comfortably
middle class, relatively sophisticated people now
caving in to these know-nothing traditionalists in
country after country?
"Because they are badly scared.
RIOTS A WARNING
"The convulsion of rioting in Cairo in January was
a clear warning of the passionate resentments building
up among impoverished Egyptians. The July assassination of a former Egyptian cabinet minister
responsible for religious affairs by a group call ing itself the Society for Repentance and Flight from Sin
was another sign of the times.
"Similar fanatical groups, committed to violence
against a sinful Westernized system, are known to
exist elsewhere.

Atlantic
Ocean

Moslems now number


about 475,000,000

BY POOR
government

is coming

The American A theist

The Moslem ,world stretches from the Atlantic to


the Pacific across Africa and ASia.

Page 13

"So President Anwar Sadat is bringing back all the


old religious laws, and has pictures of himself praying
in mosques published almost daily in the press.
"Pakistan's
ultra-Westernized
Prime
Minister
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto tried to buy off the mobs protesting h is election victory last spring by declaring
prohibition of alcohol and promising a return to
Islamic law.
"In some places, such as Saudi Arabia, government
and public opinion are at one about Islam's role in
the state. In others, like Turkey, even the bulk of
working class and peasant opinion would not back a
return to the old ways, so the scope for backsliding
into medieval theocracy is strictly limited.
"In the majority of Moslem countries, where
Westernized elites rule impoverished, still traditionalist masses,the situation is explosive. That is why the
governments are trying so hard to appease popular
demands. Their policies and even their lives are at
stake.
"In some casesthe appeasement will work. But it
would be dangerous to assume that in countries like
Syria, Egypt and Jordan the present Westernized
elites can go on holding power regardless. Another
military disaster like 1967, for example, could finish
them.
"There are literally dozens of would-be Col.
Moammar Khadafys waiting for their chance."
It was hardly a surprise to read recently on the
Associated Press wire that: "Police in Bangkok. today arrested three Moslems on charges of trying to
kill the king and queen of Thailand and plotting the
secession of Moslem provinces from Thailand."

A LETTER

WHICH WON'T BE PUBLISHED


IN TIME
December 29, 1977

Mr. Ralph P. Davidson


Editor-in-Chief
Time Magazine
Dear Editor:
It is more than apparent that your cover story on
"The Evangelicals ... " (Dec. 26) was written under
the supervision of an evangelical. I think had Ostling
been a Hindu he would have done it far better. As it
is, the sweetness - the saccharine kind - really came
across sicky sweet!
It is more than apparent as well that the "God
business" is not only good business, IT IS BIG
BUSINESS AND
SHOULD
BE TAXED! PTL
doesn't stand for "People That Love" as stated by
religious huckster Bakker but for "Pass the Loot!"
There's no crook like a religious crook and they are
currently having a real field day in the U.S. Billy
Graham's 28 million dollars would never have been
disclosed - as Graham's vast financial holdings have
never been revealed until this past June; the result
of some keen investigative reporting done by Robert
Hodierne and Mary Bishop on the Charlotte Observer.
(Why didn't your "evangelical Ostling" reveal that little tidbit?)
Let's tell it like it is, shall we? Graham just didn't
"decide" to disclose his financial holdings for the first
time this year, the Observer expose forced him to do
so. He really had no choice. He was caught by the
Eleventh Commandment: 'Thou Shalt
Not Be Found Out" - only he was! Evangelicals - like all religionists - as I
have personally learned the hard way
over the years - are past masters at the
art of playing with words - your Ostling and Graham are no exceptions. Oral
Robers is still"mum"
sitting on his loot!
The so-called iIIuminaries, viz., "tarnished phonies" mentioned in your article all attest to some mighty strange adherents of a faith whose Founder had no
place to lay His head.
Jason King
Arlington, VA
DATE YOUR C.LIPPINGS, PLEASE!
We are grateful for the clippings you'
mail us because it keeps us au courant of
events reported in publications we would
not otherwise come across. Please, however, pencil in the page, date and name
of the publication to make your contribution as useful as possible. Thank you
for this valuable service and keep up the
good work!

Page 14

The American Atheist

MORTAGE

FUND DRIVE

We want to extend a very heartfelt "thank you" to all of you who are making the Mortgage Fund Drive a
reality. Again this month, we are listing those of you who are contributing - often for the second time. We
can hardly explain to you how grateful all of the Atheists of the United States must be to you for this saving
action. Without the symbol of the national headquarters, we feel that Atheism in our nation would be having
an even harder time.
Would you believe we have one 'beautiful' difficulty?
There are more of you sending money than there is
space to credit you. We have approximately 60% of the mortgage assured at this point - and if it keeps up we
can have a mortgage burning party by the end of June: perhaps to celebrate the Summer Solstice which this
year falls on June 21st, at 1: 10 Eastern Standard Time [18: 10 Greenwich Mean Time] .
We began with a mortgage of $147,000 - figure out yourself how well we are doing. If your name is not
listed this month, it will be listed next month. Pleasekeep it up?
$15.000 contribution:

$50.00 contributions:

$25.00 contributions:

Richard Sholten

Dan A. Mitchell
John Diamond

L. E. Baker
Carl W. Lorick
Barry Cashman
William Darling
Albert Rosner
Frances Flora
Alvin E. Rhodes
Walter Boyer
H. Vandermeulen
Richard P. Pharis
Jay Kay
Louise J. Minster
Wayne Myers
Rudolph Roshanka
H. E. Peppin
Joan Ratliff
Allan R. Supak
Charles Walker
Hank Toennes
Dr. Howard A. Felding
W. R. Horne Sr. [loan)
Claude Gower
Edward Bronson
Freddy Anderson
N. V. Nelson
Arthur Goldie
Christie S. Glicker

$1,000 contribution:
$45.00 contribution:
Dr. Jim Miller
James Willard
$500 contributions:
$40.00 contributions:
Betty Fulford
Simon Zhukowsky
$100 contributions:
W. David Wood
Rochelle S. Armijo
L. W. Kullman
Ellen Marden
Albert L. Stanelle
Queen Silver
Reece L. Thacker Sr.
Maxwell W. Morton
$75.00 contribution:
Gunnar Lysell
$70.00 contribution:

Dean Dequaine
Phillip J. Hels
Andrew Lutes
Bob Scharf
Patrick and Janice Watson
$35.00 contributions:
William C. Barwell
J ulianno Markiw
$30.00 contributions:
Roy Bunch
Reynold D. Bourquin
Chester V. Gates
John Bailey
W. F. Thornton
Gary A. Thomas

Ernie Krumm

.$20.00 contributions:
$25.00 contributions:

$60.00 contribution:
Clark G. Crippen
Kenneth Malpas
PaulM. Kay
William A. Hudson
$50.00 contributions:
Neil Lewis
Arthur L. Pangborn
Herman VonBorstel
Joseph Kirby
George F. Smith
Jack Hornung
Florence Riegert
Roger Frohn
Dennis Baas
M. D. Farlow
Roland L. Pattyn
E. W. Gotch
M. Palkovitz
Pete Emmons
Emily Stevenson
David Coleman
Marilyn Cox [$25 gift/$25 loan) Richard Blauman
Douglas and Arlene Nelson
Margaret M. Amberson
Chester Wisniewski
Donald E. Armstrong
Steven Riedhauser
Estelle and Leo Bloch
Kevin Quiggle
Hebard R. Olsen
A. T. Wille
Jim Hardy
Ralph W. Wilberg
E. Hamm
Jerome and Doroth D. Schiff
John Heise
Miles E. Calhoun
Anne Gaylor
Ralph and Ann Heidsiek
Mervin Wideman
Arthur Orrell
Solo S. Roth
Leonard Whittier
David and Kathryn Brown
Edmund H. Winterbottom
Elinor T. White
George C. Schneider
Richard Weimer
Wallace Bliss
Leo Kane
Vernon Fox
Herbert Trackman
George Kouba
David B. Martin
Don Latimer
William 1. Ford
George M. Kaull
Alton R. Pittman

The American A theist

Steve Gaynor
W. J. Shuryla
Julius Papineau
John C. Parker
Hugh MacLennan
E. Denton and Mary Morris
Joseph Meidl
David F. Bennett
Charles V. Eimermann
Randolph Hunt
Virginia K. Dreier
James R. Piaser
David J. Pearson
Walter Pagels
Fred Birstol
Dorothy S. Klein
Russell H. Stoner
Franklin W. Marshall
Ronald E. Lavender
Francis H. Graham
K. Schmidt
Calvin Wight
Velma Robertson
Arthur J. Ando
Lee Marsa
John W. Miller
G. Richard Bozarth
Peter Smits
A. Brown
Raymond Cook
Joseph Cunningham
Allen Eckert

$25.00 contributions:
Howard L. Glick
Dominick J. Florio
Ronnie E. Haws
Alreen Hanlon [loan)
Alfred W. Ismond
Emily S. King
Melvin Kollman
William F. Lennon Jr.
Robert Linger
Robert L. Conrod, PhD
Norman Ghinger [loan)
Leon T. Fulcher
Robert F. Brown
Steven M. Silvia
$15.00 contributions:
Alan R. Heinlein
Ruth Baublits
Leo Nelson
Ethel Rene
Rudy Simons
Gustavo and Bertha Echeverri
J. R. (Ray) Redbourne
David N. Miller
R. L. McAndrew
Ceelest Hand
Oleg Burenko
Alan J. Bell
Thomas Helms
J ames Bowers
Daniel M. Lamer
Robert Munford

11 1.05 contribution:
Jack Ross
$12.00 contributions:
Eric P. Sandgren
Noah D. Conner

Page 15

COGNITIVE

DISSONANCE

JOHN F. HIGDON
In the June, 1977 issue of the American Atheist I
advanced the premise that religious superstition is
advanced by magical thinking, often found normally
in children, which is perpetuated by clergy who teach
that "thinking is as bad as doing." This pernicious
idea then servesto keep people under the domination
of fundamental religionists and in the process also
creates .and perpetuates various forms of psychopathology.
In the present article I propose to discuss some
possible reasons why fundamental religionists feel the
need not only to cling so tenaciously to their false
and damaging beliefs but also to proselytize and force
others into bel ieving their falsehoods even in Iight of
massive evidence contrary to their beliefs. To successfully overcome religion's forced indoctrination, we
will do better to know the enemy and his motivations.
It seems clear enough that gaining converts to fundamental religious theologies has as a major intent
expanding churches' wealth (financial power) and
influence (social power). There's also comfort in
numbers. Power strivings of this sort motivate many
human activities; however, fundamental religionists
have often demonstrated a singularly vicious quality
in their activities, a viciousness seldom found in the
context of other human activities. Along with their
zeal fundamental religionists also demonstrate a profound rigidity found nowhere else except perhaps in
the fixed delusional systems of paranoid schizophrenics who, incidentally, I have found to have often had a fundamental religious upbri.nging.
Psychologists are aware that people who feel an
exaggerated need to assert unfounded ideas repeatedly and loudly, are displaying evidence for their
own doubts, as described by Shakespeare's Hamlet
when he said, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Psychoanalysts and others refer to this as
reaction formation. Over-zealously emphasizing a
concept despite evidence to the contrary seemsto be
some people's way of magically counteracting or
offsetting their doubts by attaching exaggerated
emotion to their belief system. Such a psychic
mechanism could understandably lead to a feeling of
need to proselytize; to not only defend one's bel iefs
but use even vicious means to convince oneself and
others of thei r efficacy.
The psychologist Leon Festinger described a related conceptualization in a series of research studies
of what he 'called cognitive dissonance (vide,
Scientific American, October, 1962). Festinger proposed that if a person holds various ideas that are
inconsistent with one another, the person will feel
uncomfortable and will in various ways try to make
them more consistent. For example, the person who
is raised fundamentally religious, let us assume, matures and acquires a reasonably sensible secular education. As he learns and matures, he learns some sci-

Page 16

AND

RELIGIOUS

ZEAL

ence and gradually develops some ethical system. As


he does so he finds that what he is learning needs to
be verifiable by empirical means; he learns to accept
or reject ideas on the basis of scientific evidence and
perhaps by what he seesasthe effect of the given belief on human happiness. Simultaneously, however,
he holds a fundamental belief system that is not accessible to empirical verification, scientific logic, nor
even any rational ethical justification. His knowledge
of science then collides head-on with his superstitions, and he becomes uncomfortable as he becomes aware that his religion and his scientific intellect cannot be simultaneously correct.
In order to reduce the cognitive dissonance or
psychic discomfort that his inconsistent beliefs cause,
the person has at least three alternatives. He can decide his religious system must die from -the lack of
either evidence or ethical justification, and turn to
science and his non-religious ethical system for his
rife structure. Or, he can reject the scientific method
and rational ethics, maintaining his religiosity in spite
of all of the evidence to the contrary. To do this
successfully, however, presumably would require the
rejection of most scientific data since acceptance of
any reality-based evidence might serve as a threat to
the person's entire religious structure. Thus, we find
the insane spectacle of people trying to disprove the
theory of evolution, or various other scientifically
derived systems having fairly solid evidence of their
merit. The conversation of such persons is often
found to descend into an incredible and ludicrous
string of cliches, since, just like the. severely disturbed paranoid schizophrenic, the fundamental
religionist is unable or unwilling to consider logical
conceptualizations since logical thought would have
to ultimately destroy the cognitive structure he feels
such need to defend. We'll further discuss the reasons for his need to defend it later on.
Still another alternative is for our uncomfortable
maturing person to maintain both religious and
scientific bel iet systems at once. Such persons are the
"religious scientists" who are so touted and appreciated by fundamental ministers, who use such people
to "prove" the efficacy of their superstitions. Such
"rei igous scientists" often say they don't know the
nature of "god" but that there must be one because
we don't have all the answers. Such a humble attitude of "not knowing" would actually be quite
laudable if it were not for the fact that any spiritual
concept of a personified "god" is distinctly unparsimonious, ultimately inhibiting of rationality and
highly pernicious to boot. The fact that an occasional educated person can hold such views without
much psychic discomfort stands as a monument to
some people's ability to compartmentalize their
knowledge along quite arbitrary lines to preserve an
irrational belief system.
Which of the three above alternatives is chosen presumably would depend on the person's deepest value systems; the value he has been taught to place on

The American A theist

reason, his intellectual honestY,and


his ability to
tolerate psychic discomfort stemming from the dissonance of his ideas. And I submit that all these in
turn may partly hinge on whether the person was effectively
trained
by religionists
to confuse his
thoughts and real ity or taught by secularists to distinguish the two. Only if he can do the latter sufficiently can he objectively judge belief systems on
their empirical merits.
To illustrate the discomfort that could inhibit the
maturing person's capability to become objective and
rational, we might picture the necessary and distasteful internal sentences he must tolerate:
"My life-long belief in a 'god' has neither any
evidence nor any ethical justification
in terms of increasing anyone's long-term happiness. I have wasted
a significant portion of my life, my time and energies, on a system of belief without merit. I've been
intellectually,
socially and sexually stultified completely unnecessarily by my superstitious fundamental religion. I've gained nothing by fooling myself
except some temporary but illusory comfort which
prevented better and more real comfort in the long
run. My belief has done nothing but help perpetuate
the domination
of myself and others by a powerhungry minority."
If the person is able to follow those statements by
statements such as these, he will have matured by
virtue of reason: "I'm glad I realize this now. Better late than never. I will now go ahead and try to
advance human progress by use of rationality and an
ethical system which is devoid of the excess baggage
of superstition and rei igious bigotry."
But if the person, for perhaps various reasons,
feels insecure, thinks
that
ideas are dangerous
("thought magic"), thinks that he needs the approval
of other fundamental religionists, or otherwise can't
tolerate the pain of having been wrong, he will be
incapable of changing his views and will continue on
with a life partially stultified by distorted, irrational
thinking. The most basic reason it may be difficult to
make such gains toward rational beliefs, is that many
people think being wrong reflects on their entire
worth as human beings. The psychologist Albert Ellis
has developed an entire system of therapy around the
idea of maladjusted people holding such irrational
views and the idea that we can help them by debunking their irrational views with empirical evidence.
.
Some religionists argue with Atheists by saying, in
effect, ,"Prove that there is not a god! You can't;
therefore, that proves there is one." Th is assertion of
course presents a logical fallacy reveal ing a weak
line of reasoning: they are asking us to prove a negative, which is impossible. Rationally one can only
present evidence for or against the positive existence
of something, or perhaps at least present evidence
that a belief system represents some maximal pragmatic good for humanity. In other words, the burden of
proof rests on the fundamental clergy and they have

always come up lacking. They have no evidence but


blind faith, and increasing numbers of us demonstrate that we can practice sounder ethical systems
without
the worse-than-useless rei igious claptrap.
Where does Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance leave us, then, in our understanding of
religious fanaticism? I believe fundamental religiosity, because it is by defi n ition a set of bel iefs unfounded on fact, must leave its perpetrators with
grave doubts. One way to try to resolve the doubts
or inconsistencies with scientific knowledge is to
raise one's level of zeal and make up by proselytizing
what one cannot accompl ish by use of fact or logic.
Outward manifestations of enthusiasm may be used
to "balance,"
in effect, the religionists' own inner
doubts, cause them to rigidify their belief systems
and at the same time polarize their beliefs to get
as far away as possible from the rationality which
would be so potentially
damaging. Therefore the
fundamental religionist, like the delusional paranoid
erects a belief system intended not to enlighten but
to defend the life style and fragile self-esteem of its
perpetrator.
The
fundamental
rei igion ists and
other delusional people thus protect their fragile
self-esteem from the inroads that any rationality
would threaten to make on their value systems.
We will be slow to win the battle for rationality
unless we are aware that fundamental
religionists
are fighting for even more than social, sexual and
financial domination. They are also fighting to preserve justification
for most of their preceding lives
and behaviors. They are fighting to condone the
vast cruelties in past history, particularly their own
past histories, that were done in the name of rei igion. They are fighting to avoid the pain of the realization of their own substantially wasted and stultified lives; their own relative lack of real social and
sexual satisfaction.
Every nonbel iever is a severe th reat to the fundamental religionist because every nonbeliever serves
as evidence that the pain and suffering caused by
religion was all unnecessary. That may be the most
painful fact for the religionist to face. This is whv. fo
quote Bertrand Russell, "The gradual emasculation
of the Christian doctrine has been effected in spite
of the most vigorous resistance, and solely as the
result of the onslaughts of free-thinkers."
(Has

Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?,


1930).
If we increase our understanding of fundamental
religionists' motivation,
then, we can better pursue
the battle for reason and human happiness and pursue it eagerly, hoping the battle can it.. .iain on a
verbal level. Rationality
and true ethics will ultimately win if we work hard enough. It must; for, as
Robert Green Ingersoll taught us to say:
"Reason, observation, and experience, the holy
trinity of science, have taught us that happiness is
the only good, that the time to be happy is now and

(continued on p. 30)

Page 17

The American A theist

~/

$un~odsand <thristianq,y
JAMES

ERICKSON

"The Jesus story ... has a great number of correspondences with the stories of former sungods and
with the actual career of the sun thru the heavens so many indeed that they cannot well be attributed
to mere coincidence,
or even to the blasphemous
wiles of the devil.
If it can be demonstrated
that Christianity
is a
partly rewritten version of the ancient and universal
sun-myth, the whole intellectual basis of Christianity
vanishes. Our forebears, in their ignorance, thought
the sun was a god. Many of our contemporaries
grovel before a veiled version of the same diety. It is the
purpose of this brief essay to rip off some of the veils.
The sungods represented light and summer, and
they were always in conflict with darkness and winter. InCh ristian ity th is Iight and darkness struggle has
been rewritten to be a contest between good and evil.
Jehovah can be identified
with the sungod of
Phoenicia, the Adon or Lord. Disguist!d sun-myths
abound in the Old Testament.
The similarity
between Moses in his ark of reeds
and the solar deity Ra in his boat in the sky is well
known among the high critics.
Sampson's hair represents the rays of the sun. His
strength varies with its length.
Cain and Abel represents the twin brother myth
which runs thru much of Asiatic mythology.
Cain,
the sun by day, slays Abel, the brother of the night.
Noah is the emblem of the hidden sun of night
and winter in Hades. He is safely preserving the
inhabitants
of the ark so they can reappear in the
spring, or above the ground. The grey dove is a
Hindu symbol of winter. When the dove does not
return it means that winter is gone. The flood legend
is often found in religious folklore, possibly having a
tie-up with the great floods which followed the last
ice age.
Jonah and the fish story is the Phoenician myth of
the sun. The three days that Jonah remains in the
darkness of the fish probably represents the three
months of winter.
Joseph's coat of many colors is the bright tints of
the Aurora. He was the representative of fall and winII

Page 18

ter when the sunsets are colorful. The winter clouds


take him away to the dark western land of Egypt.
The red blood of the sunset causes Joseph to be
mourned by his father as slain by the nite monster.
In Egypt he is imprisoned, but as he approaches the
equinox
his prosperity
increases. The dream of
Pharaoh symbolizes summer and winter.
Now let us consider the wandering
martyr
of
Galilee. Was Christ a sun of god, or a god of the sun?
The birth, death, descension, resurrection and ascension of Ch rist closely follow the I ives of the solar
deities.
Constantine,
the first
Christian
emperor,
was
devoted to the sungod, Apollo. If one compares the
stories of Christ and Apollo the similarities are striking. They both were born in obscurity,
at which
time their mothers
had difficulty
finding
refuge.
Three gifts were presented to each; and soon after
birth each was carried to a peaceful land. Both were
patient and hid their greatness. Apollo cured the sick
as Christ did. Both died in ignominy, yet appeared in
triumph after death!
Jesus is a personified sun. His story is an allegory
of the sun as it appeared to wander thru the sky for
a full
year.
It appeared
to weaken
until
on
December 21 there were twice as many hours of
darkness as daylight.
The forces of darkness had
apparently won. However, the ancient zodiacal constellation, Virgo, challenged the supremacy of darkness at this time. She gave birth to a new sun to
replace the dead one. Like the Virgin Mary giving
birth to Jesus on Christmas, the sun was born among
the beasts of the zodiac.
The sun grew up in obscurity.
It got stronger
and stronger, and on March 21 it was victorious.
The hours of light now- exceed the hours of darkness. The sun has been resurrected.
It was Jesus'
time of victory, too, as he arose from obscurity to
confound the priests in the temple.
On June 21 the youthful
sun reached its greatest victory in the longest day of the year. Between
March 21 and June 21 the sun performed
many
miracles as seeds flowered
into plants. Jesus also
went through such a period. One of his "miracles"
was the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus, like the
sun, was the wondrous food-giver!
After June 21 the days became shorter. The sun
had been betrayed, as Jesus was betrayed by Judas.
Soon the forces of darkness and evil conquered the
sun once more. The darkness that accompanied the
death of Jesus, the purple robe and the thorny
crown were all emblems of the sunset and winter.
About
2,000 years ago a continuing
astronomical event took place known as the "procession
of
the equinoxes."
The rising of the sun in the spring
equinox shifted from the constellation
of Aries, the
ram or lamb, to the constellation
of Pisces, the fish.
(continued on p. 30)
The American A theist

THE MEANING
G. RICHARD
Religion hasalways been at war with science.When
William Harvey discovered that blood circulates in the
human body powered by the pumping heart, religion
was quick to condemn this "false doctrine." Comte
de Buffon dared to instruct humanity that the earth
rotates on its axis, and was pressuredby religion into
denying it! Likewise, old Galileo eventually broke
down and swore he believed the sun orbits the earth.
When the first famous American scientist, Ben
Franklin, invented the lightning rod, he was damned
by religion for diabolically trying to thwart god's use
of lightning to punish sins. When at last science discovered a defense against smallpox, innoculation was
resisted and damned by religion because, Iike Iightning, smallpox was one of god's tools for punishing
sin.
Religion lost all those hard fought battles, causing
untold numbers of deaths to defend the "truth" as
revealed to them by god. One might think religion
would begin to doubt the veracity of the "truth" it
claims to possess.Not likely! In fact, religion is now
once again at war with science, this time over evolution.
Religion declaresthat "the faithful cannot embrace
that opinion which maintains either that after Adam
there existed on this earth true men who did not take
their origin through natural generation from him as
from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents
a certain number of first parents." (Pope Pius XII,
Encyclical, Humani Generis, quoted in Catholicism
edited by George Brantl, p. 46)
Science pays no attention (has it ever, really?), but
calmly informs the rational that "for the student of
human evolution the new finds [of hominid fossils]
make it possible to more clearly discern an evolutionary pathway traversing the past 14 million years.
That pathway can now be traced with little fear of
contradiction from generalized hominoids (the larger
branch of man's family tree that includes the apes)to
the hominids and from the hominids to the genus
Homo." ("Ramapithecus" by Elwyn L. Simons,
Scientific American, May 1977, p. 28)
The battle is on, and the battlefield seemsto be the
textbooks that are to be read by students in our
primary and secondary schools. And some religious
victories are being won here and there. This can only
aggravatean already sad problem noted by Professor
Lee Carter: "The conflict between a student's religious background and twentieth century thought
creates much mental anguish and often accounts for
his 'inability to understand' many of his courses."
(Lucifer's Handbook, p. 13) These "creation-science"
textbooks, if allowed in our schools, can only serveto
increase that mental anguish by teaching that the
Genesis gibberish is a legitimate scientific theory.
Some rational people have attempted to mediate a
peace treaty to spare civilization the nastiness of
another major religion-sciencewar. Such a person was
H. G. Wells, who suggestedChristianity "is no more

The American Atheist

OF EVOLUTION
BOZARTH
committed to the view that man was specially created
than it is to the doctrine that the world is flat or that
it is the centre about which the sun revolves." (The
Outline of History, p. 55) He was wrong. This is the
inevitable war; the battle that Christianity must fight.
Wells' intentions are laudable, but I suspect that, considering his great intellect and understanding, he
knew he was wrong.
Christianity is - must be! - totally committed to
the special creation as described in Genesis, and
Christianity must fight with its full might, fair or
foul, against the theory of evolution.
And here is why.
In Romans we read that "sin entered the world
through one man, and through sin - death, and thus
death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned." (5: 12) But, lucky human
race," Adam prefigured the One to come ... if it is
certain that through one man's fall so many died, it is
even more certain that divine grace, coming through
the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an
abundant gift." (5: 14-15) This interpretation of
Christ's life, as the redeemer bringing salvation from
the evil Adam and Eve's disobedience infected the
human specieswith, has become a root theme of the
Christian vine that entwines about Western civlization.
So, we can read John Calvin in Institutes of the
Christian Religion saying, "In the person of the first
man we are fallen from our original condition. Hence
arises disapprobation and abhorrence of ourselves,
and real humility; and we are inflamed with fresh
ardour to seek after god, to recover in him those
excellencies of which we find ourselves utterly destitute," and these "excellencies" have been "restored
by Christ." (found in Protestantism edited by J.
Leslie Dunstan, p. 58) Of course, Christ requires a
small fee for such restoration; only belief and
obedience. No one should expect freebies from god.
The opposition agrees totally. Catholics see preJesus history as "all men after Adam would be born
with the taint of the Original Sin, inherited guilt; the
race would be blighted and live centuries of longing
for a Redeemer." (Catholicism, p. 59) This redeemer
sure isn't Buddha or Zarathustra. It's none other than
JC Superstar.
It becomes clear now that the whole justification
of Jesus' life and death is predicated on the existence
of Adam and the forbidden fruit he and Eve ate.
Without the original sin, who needs to be redeemed?
Without Adam's fall into a life of constant sin terminated by death, what purpose is there to (.1 . istianity?
None.
Even a high school student knows enough about
evolution to know that nowhere in the evolutionary
description of our origins does there appear an Adam
or an Eve or an Eden or a forbidden fruit. Evolution
means a development (or ascent if one is optimistic)
(continued on p. 30)

Page 19

SPEAKING for WOMEN


annegaylor
THE

RELIGIOUS

BATTERED

At long last, the cause of the battered woman is becoming "fashionable."


There has been a spate of articles, a book or two and a movie, with Sally Struthers
getting convincingly
roughed up. Even the male-dominated wire services in the U.S. are recognizing that,
yes, there is a problem, and, really, men shouldn't be
treating women that way. Battered women finally are
getting P.R.
But there are still those, who just as they did for
rape, blame the woman, who is the victim, for her
predicament.
"Why does she stay?" they ask.
Why does she stay? Why does the woman, whose
husband uses her as a private punching bag, stick
around? The answers are so clear one wonders why
the question is ever asked. She stays because she has
nowhere else to go. She stays because she is economically and emotionally
dependent. She stays because
she may have small children or because her children
may not want the family broken up. She stays because she is ashamed to tell anyone that her husband
beats her. She stays because she fears the unknown;
she has learned to cope, after a fash ion, with being
beaten, but she fears she might not be able to cope
with whatever Iies beyond her home. What she has,
bad as it is, might be better than what would happen
to her if she left. She stays because she has been told
repeatedly by her husband that she is no good, no
one would want her, she could never make it on her
own. Her self-esteem is nil. She is isolated. Her husband's behavior cut her off from friends and family,
and she is beaten, in every respect.
"But,"
says the doubter, "she really must like to
be beaten."
That myth persists. Surely a grown woman must
have something wrong with her to stay in her situation, the skeptic says. She must be a masochist. She
must enjoy abuse. Somehow, th is woman herself is to
blame.
The myth dies hard. It is a simple truth, but one
impossible for many to understand, that nobody likes
to be beaten. Men don't like to be beaten, children
don't like to be beaten, women don't like to be beaten. That is the fact of the matter. Just as a child may
continue to love a parent who beats him or her, so a
woman may continue to love her batterer. It is a form
of childish dependency. And even if there no longer is
affection, only fear, the woman stays because she is
trapped. And there is always tomorrow.
She still can
hope that tomorrow will be better.
The religious woman will have even more difficulty extricating
herself from a battery situation.
According to Mandy Stellman, a Milwaukee attorney and feminist who deals daily with battered wo-

'WOMAN

men: "A religious woman refuses to believe that her


marriage is not forever, and therefore convinces herself that her husband is a loving spouse. She will deny
that he ever abused her or beat her; she believes God
will punish her if she complains. So she will never tell
anyone that her husband has, in fact, battered her or
sexually abused her. Finally, she is so traumatized by
fear of her husband, and by the humiliation,
that she
lies to herself and denies the facts of the abuse."
Battered women have traits and circumstances
in
common, and these make up the "battered woman
syndrome."
The battered woman is someone who
denies the abuse, at first to others, eventually to herself. She is someone who "bruises easily." Every battered woman in the country will tell you that she
"bruises easily." Always, she feels guilty. Somehow,
she thinks, she must be at fault. She believes she
must be doing something wrong, or this wouldn't
be
happening. Although he will beat her drunk or sober,
almost invariably the husband of a battered woman
has a drinking problem. Often, the battered woman is
someone who "had to get married," and the battery
usually started before the marriage. Interestingly,
the
battered woman is almost always someone who is
much smarter than her husband. Th is fact is all but
ignored in the literature on the subject; apparently
that frail, male ego must be protected at all costs.
Frequently
she is someone who was victimized as a
child, either by battering or sexual abuse. She is accustomed to being a victim. She enters the relationship with her batterer with an already low self-image.
Often, the battered woman is religious, a threefold problem.
First, most religions teach that marriages, if not actually made in heaven, should last, and
divorce, even if allowed, is a disgrace. Secondly, the
religious battered woman has read the Bible and
knows very well its opinion of women. There are in
excess of 150 Bible verses that specifically
belittle
and demean women. Her low opinion of herself is
buttressed
by her religion.
Third,
she has been
praying when she should have been acting. Surely, she
thinks, god will help her if she prays hard enough and
long enough. Not only does her god not help her, her
clergyman, if she dares confide in him, will probably
urge her to "work harder at her marriage." Because
she is religious, she has developed no inner strength
that is meaningful or useful to her in times of crisis.
She has relied on prayer to the extent that she has
lost the power to act, to cope, to initiate, to solve
problems, to reason.
If anyone helps her, it will be other women, feminists who have established counseling centers, legal
services and shelter homes. Shelter homes are a temporary answer at best, and one wonders at a society

that tolerates them as a real solution. The abused


woman must uproot herself, bundle up her children,
live in inadequate, cramped housing when she is the
victim! Why doesn't society uproot the male? He is
the problem. He is the one guilty of battery. Why
isn't he hustled away? It is reminiscent of those curfews for women in some foreign countries because
women are being attacked on the streets. The women
are innocent. Why aren't there curfews for men?
Occasionally, the battered woman, whom no one
has helped, and who believes herself powerless to
change her situation, will herself resort to force. Since
she is almost always much smaller than her assailant,
the force will not be physical. She will arm herself
with a gun (or a knife), and she will kill the violent
man, in her desperation.
More often, she will be killed herself.
Why do men batter? And why has society permitted them to continue to batter? Why, when it is a
crime for one man to assault another, is it not a crime
for a man to beat his wife? Why is violence, that
never would be tolerated by society if it took place in
an office or a bar, tolerated in the home? Why does
our society's well-known sympathy for the underdog
not extend to women?
What are the answers? Clearly, men who batter
must be worked with as well as the victims who are

battered. Certain men's need to inflict pain must be


analyzed; these men must berehabilitated.
There are
so many of them, it would be impossible just to lock
them up.
And the battered women? Their immediate needs
must be met. They must be helped to remove themselves from their dangerous situations, to start new
lives, if possible. They must recognize self-worth;
they must know that their husbands' expressed
opinion of them is not the opinion of others, the
opinion of society.
Finally, we must change the way we look at women, the way we "bring up" girls. Young women
must know that they are NOT inferior human beings,
that it is NOT their duty to please men. This business
of romantic love - that there is only one true love,
and if you blow that, forget it - must be dispelled.
Women must know that it is not necessary to live in
fear - that the men who beat them or abuse them
can be arrested and imprisoned, that battery is a
crime, that women are not possessions.
The religious battered woman must come to see
reality - that religion has been part of her problem,
and that true mental and emotional health can come
about only when she can reject her religious dependency sufficiently
to recognize a fact: that the degradation of women is a cornerstone of religion.

**************************************************************************************

The American A theist

Page ~t

SHIBLES' CORNER
lNarren shihles

JEALOUSY
"No true love there can be without its dread penalty
-jealousv,
Owen Meredith
"They
are not even jealous for the cause, but
jealous for they are jealous: 'tis a monster begot
upon itself, born on itself.
Othello 3.3 (I ago)
Jealousy involves a threat of loss of someth ing
one regards as his, or desire for something
he
would like to have but which someone else has.
The latter case is like envy. Envy involves wanting something
someone
else has, and jealousy
fearing the loss of something one already possesses.
The terms are often interchangeable
as in "I am
jealous (or envious) of Your having such a beautiful
house."
"Envy"
is from the Latin invidia,
meaning "envy or jealousy." The root of the word
means "to look askance at, look mal iciously at,
grudge, cast an evil eye upon."
Webster's Collegiate defines envy as: "Painful
or resentful
awareness of an advantage enjoyed
by another joined with a desire to possess the
same advantage."
"an object
of envious notice
or feeling,"
and "to feel or show envy."
It is
a category-mistake
to say that one feels envy,
because envy is an emotion not a feeling.
Jealousy is defined as: "Intolerant
of rivalry or
unfaithfulness;
apprehensive of the loss of another's
exclusive devotion;
hostile toward a rival or one
believed to enjoy an advantage; vigilant in guarding
a possession."
Jealousy is defined circularly
as "a jealous disposition,
attitude
or feel inq."
Again,
emotions
should
not
be regarded as feelings. Thus, the
jealous
person cannot
stand the occurrence
of
certain events. If, in fact, jealousy is intolerance
it would seem to be an irrational emotion to have.
Insomuch
as apprehension,
hostility
and fear are
involved jealousy would also be irrational.
The objects of jealousy here are rivalry, unfaithfu lness, superiority
of another,
loss of mate or
object, desire for exclusive possession. It is rational
to attempt to maintain that which belongs to one,
try to be as able as possible, or even -- if it is mutually agreed upon -- to expect exclusive possession.
What is irrational
is to worry, experience fear, or
become angry over such things. The stoics put it
forward that one can only do what is within one's
power. There is no point in compounding
adversity
by imposing
negative emotions
on oneself and
others regarding that which
is not within
one's
power.
In th is sense, jealousy
is an irrational
emotion and so it would seem desirable to prevent
it and eliminate it. In order to do this the assessments involved in jealousy need clarification.
II

II

I n the first place, because jealousy is not a feel ing


it can be changed and controlled
and is not a necessary or fixed part of human character.
Some
relevant considerations are the following:
1) One may be jealous because he fears the mate
is having an affair or the affair is an actuality.
Insomuch as it is out of one's control one cannot do
anything about the affair. To become angry about
it is to try to change the event as if by magic. To
be angry about something
one has no control
of
serves no purpose. At the moment of learning of
the affair one can attempt
to discuss the matter
with the mate and then determine what action to
take. One of the reasons affairs seem shocking is
because certain
rules of behavior
were implicitly
or explicitly
agreed upon which are now suddenly
broken
without
warning.
If the mate had discussed the matter in advance of the affair no jealousy need have arisen. And if, even after the affair, a separation
is decided upon one need not
be jealous but rather pleased that a more fulfilling
relationship
has been found. After divorce
one tends not to be jealous of the mate but rather
angry. Th is suggests that jealousy partly
involves
possession. If the rules for behavior were agreed
upon there would be little problem with jealousy.
The fact that jealousy is not necessary does not
mean one is free to violate his commitments
and
responsibil ities to h is mate.
2) One may be jealous of the spouse even when
there is no love between them. The jealousy may
be due to thinking
of the spouse as owned, as a
possession, such that it is only the possession of
property
aspect which is defended. A possession
often seems desirable only when it is being taken
away. It is irrational
and unrealistic
to think of
people as property
possessions. To do so ignores
the human context of thought, desire, choice, etc.
For a person to be jealous there must be at least
some one thing which one likes about that person.
Jealousy based on possession is a poor ground of
jealousy.
Once it is realized that human agents
cannot be possessed jealousy becomes envy.
3) One is often jealous-of someone of the same sex
but not of the opposite sex. A man may be jealous
of his wife's affair with another man but not so much
of her affair with a woman. He may be jealous of
her sexual activity but not of her intellectual activity.
One may be more jealous of a lover younger than
himself than one older. What one is jealous of indicates the sort of love which is had between two
people. It is important
then to know what these

(continued on p. 27)

The American Atheist

ENVY

three authors.
William L. Davidson describes envy as an emotion
both selfish and malevolent. It implies the dislike
of one who possesseswhat the envious man himself
PAM THOREN
covets or desires, and the wish to harm him. EagerThis paper presents a brief overview of envy, the
ness for self and hostility lie at the base, which also
emotion our society has rather appropriately nickcarries a realization of inferiority by the envious
named the "green-eyed" monster.
person. Simplified, he who has what I envy has the
There are several aspects of our "human" relations
advantage of me, and I resent it. As a result, I am
which we share with all other human societies past or
happy if he finds that his envied possession does not
present. One such aspect involves the emotion and
give him complete satisfaction. More importantly, if
social behavior known as envy. Although there may
he is caused dissatisfaction and pain, that lowers his
be extreme variances in the manner in which envious
superiority in my eyes and increases my feelings of
behavior is expressed toward others, the underlying
self importance. Although envy is a painful emotion,
feelings which accompany the emotion of envy are
it is associated with pleasure when bad luck comes to
the same from one society to the next.
the person envied. In summary, envy is more likely
. Helmut Schoeck, in Envy: A Theory of Social
to bring pain than pleasure.
Behavior, makes several interesting comments about
William Davidson in "Envy and Emulation" from
the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics makes
the commonality of envy in various societies. He
several distinctions between envy and jealousy, two
states that ethics, religion, wisdom, moral fables and
similiar emotions. Although they have a lot in combehavioral rules among primitive peoples have never
mon, they are two perfectly distinct emotions. Both
had much tolerance of envy, rather seeking to reare malevolent and selfish, both are concerned with
press envy as much as possible because the envious
people and both imply hatred of their object and a
person disrupts orderly function of the society.
desire to harm him. However, there is a deeper maleSchoeck feels that since absolute egalitarianism is
volence in jealousy than in envy and the former is
impossible within a society, the envious person neseen as the stronger passion.
gates to some degree the basis of any society. As a
In summation, Davidson directly implicates society
sociologist, he states that ethnological evidence shows
in several ways. He believes that the emotion of envy
how encompassing the problem of envying and being
assumes society; envy could not exist except in a soenvied is in every aspect of human social existence.
cial environment. Basically it is egotistic, in that it is
For him, envy is one of the inevitable accompaniments of human social life.
based on the self or ego, and is mainly concerned
Since the concept of envy is a universal one, in orwith the individual's interests. However it is condider to understand more about this particular emotion
tioned to exist in that there is an "other" competing
it is important to draw upon a basic definition which
with the individual. It simply implies a relationship
can provide the groundwork for further discussion.
to others, and the idea of a pure "person" - of an
At this time it is necessaryto make a distinction here
isolated aware unit, completely separated from every
between the terms envy and jealousy. In common
other aware unit - is impossible.
English usage, these two words, envy and jealousy,
Karen Horney in The Neurotic Personality of Our
are often incorrectly used interchangeably.
Time describes. the problem of envy as a gradually
To quote directly from the American Heritage
developing feeling of despair as the basis from which
Dictionary, the definition of envy is: "a feeling of
envy is continuouslv produced. She describes it as
discontent and resentment aroused by contemplation
not so much an envy of something special, but rather
of another's desirable possessionsor qualities, with a
what Nietzsche described as a very general envy of
strong desire to have them for oneself. Obsolete:
everyone who feels more assured, more balanced,
more joyful, more honest and more self-confident.
malevolence. "
In The New Religions Jacob Needleman makes a
Again, to quote directly from the dictionary, the
definition of jealousy is: "a feel ing of being fearful or
brief reference to the subject of envy as it is described
by Krishnamurti. Envy is described as being in itself a
wary of being supplanted; apprehensivenessof loss of
contradiction. It is as if an individual is saying, I am
position or affection. Resentfulness or bitterness in
this, I want to be that. and so long as there is any
rivalry, envious."
form of comparative thinking, there must be conflict.
Implied above in the definition of envy is not only
And this does not mean that I am satisfied with
the feel ing or desire to have what another has,
what I am, for the moment I am satisfied with what I
whether it be good health, fame, prestige, power,
am, I only breed further conflict.
money or a beautiful wife, but also a very strong
Frank Schroeder's "Lectures on Aggression" is
negative wish that the other person might lose all of
important to a study of envy because envy is a form
his possessionsor qual ities and fall into a state of abof aggression. Like aggression, envy can be thought of
ject misery. As a result of this, the envious person
as having a three-part definition: emotional, motiwould then become joyful and self-satisfied. What
vational and behavioral. In the first place, envy is
follows is the definition and implications as seen by

The American A theist

Page 23

~J

subjective and grows out of such emotions and feelings as anger, hostil itv, discontent and resentment. In
the second place, envy is motivational
in that most
envious behavior is intended to hurt the one it is
directed toward. And lastly, most envious behavior
consists of responses which bring noxious stimuli to
other organisms. Also as with aggression, three important
factors
impinge on personality
formation
with regard to the development of envy. These three
factors are childhood training, interpersonal relationsh ips and societal factors.
There are many theories concerning aggressive behavior as well as envious behavior. One such theory is
that envy is innate or instinctual.
Freud is a proponent of th is theory. Pau I Torrance in h is book states
that Freud's third stage of psychosexual development, the phallic stage, includes two areas of commonly experienced
disturbances.
These are castration fears and penis envy, and the oedipus and
electra complexes. The logical consequences of these
disturbances
include jealousy and envy. Lorenz is
another
proponent
of this theory
who probably
would regard envy as a positive force which has
helped to maintain the evolution and survival of the
species. Other proponents
of th is theory wou Id regard envy as a physiologically
based response.
Another
theory
concerning
envious behavior is
that basically the factor of frustration
is what produces envy and aggression. Also regarding interpersonal relations, envy is translated from a feeling into
an act which always involves others. Another theory
regarding envy is that the expression of envy depends on the social restraints and their presence and
strength. The two most common social restraints are
the fear of punishment and guilt feelings.
In conclusion
on the "Lectures
on Aggression,"
there remains one last type of theory concerning envious as well as aggressive behavior. This theory deals
with envy and aggression as learned responses. This
theory
concerns itself with three basic concepts.
They are as follows: the effect of reinforcement,
the
effect of punishment and the effect of model ing behaviors.
As a student of psychology,
I adhere to this last
theory, that of learn ing. Because I bel ieve that all
behavior is a result of conditioning
in response to the
multitude of stimuli which we find surrounding us in
our environment,
the remainder of this paper will
concern itself with some of the ways in which we
learn about envy and thus learn how to be envious.
One way in which we learn about envy is through
religious indoctrination.
The teaching of the Ten
Commandments,
found in Exodus 20, is a prime
example of this. The tenth commandment
specifically is a prohibition
against the feeling of envy.
Found in Exodus 20: 17, it reads: "Thou shalt not
covet thy neighbour's
house, thou shalt not covet
thy neighbour's
wife, nor his manservant, nor his
maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything
that is thy neighbour's."

Envy as a concept can be thought


of as having
selfish motives, therefore,
the church's prohibition
against envy is highly consistent with its teaching the
concept of self-sacrifice. I feel there is noth ing wrong
in having feelings of envy, or a concern for oneself,
but when a person acts upon envious feelings to the
extent of physically
hurting another individual,
his
action is unethical.
Our society, in its process of socializing the young,
instills in them such cultural ideas as competition
and
the achievement of success and a high degree of excellence in all areas of their lives, including
the
playing of games and sports, academic endeavors,
attractiveness
to the opposite sex and jobs or professions, among others. Young people are pressured in
subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways to reach
these perfectionistic
goals, so it is easy to understand
how those young people who cannot "measure up"
soon learn to be envious of those who do.
Television lures those who, watching game shows
and soap operas, vicariously live and watch and hope
for their impossible dreams to come true. It seems on
TV that everyone, whether a policeman, lawyer, fireman, doctor, nurse, psychiatrist,
teacher or college
professor,
Iives a Iife far more exciti ng, busy and
thrilling
than that of his counterpart
in real life.
However exciting those lives may appear to be on the
screen, it is obvious that they are nonetheless depicted very unrealistically,
and hence the media provide numerous examples of how young people, including young children watching the Saturday morning cartoons, as well as adults learn to become envious.
Parents teach young children many ideas and patterns of behavior unknowingly,
and one such idea
which they teach' through their modeling behaviors is
that of envy. Through the parents' continuous use of
certain words and phrases, a child soon learns the
meaning of envy. Most such phrases begin with the
word "if." Some of the more commonly used phrases
include the following:
if, if only, if I could just, if I
only had and except for usually followed
by reference to the person envied. Some often used examples
are: If only the weather were as warm as in Texas, if I
had as much money as the Joneses, a better car like
the Smiths, a more satisfying job like my brother, a
big pat on the back from my boss like John gets, a
more exciting life like a detective's, and many others
far too numerous to mention. Living in such an atmosphere of constant expression of desires and comparisons is certain to affect a young child. When these
words and phrases are repeated often enough, it can
be easily understood how much young children are
influenced by envious behaviors.
In his magazine article entitled
"Buried
Envy,"
George Elliott gave an interesting .analvsis of what he
feels to be some of the causes of envy -- the "greeneyed" monster. One such cause is that of competition in all its forms. I n competing with others, we of(continued on p. 27)

Ihe Amtritan Athtist Radio Stri es


THEOLOGY

VERSUS

WOMEN'S

RIGHTS

Good Evening,
This is Madalyn Murray O'Hair, American Atheist,
back to talk with you again.
For some time now I have been trying to seek out
a really good presentation of Christianity's role with
women. I have finally received an article from Arthur
Burton out in California and I think that it will
interest you tonight.
Remember how the black man was portrayed in
the early days in films? Invariably, he was portrayed
as a men ial, as a lazy lout and as' a superstitious and
ignorant clown. You won't see that portrait today.
The blacks of America won't tolerate such a degradation any more!
The molders of social attitudes reflect their own
prejudices when they present images of this or that
group in society.
Consider how the typical American married woman is portrayed in TV commercials. One would
think her whole existence is based on discovering a
better laundry detergent, or serving a brand of coffee in the morning that will start her husband's
day right.
Dr. Maxwell Maltz, in his years as a plastic surgeon,
discovered that one's image of oneself often determines behavior. He would perform surgery and the
personality of the patient underwent a complete
transformation.
Clearly, one's image of being ugly
and freakish changed and this made a considerable
difference in personality.
Every parent or coach of a group of youngsters has
experienced this phenomenon. Drum into a child that
he is stupid or inept, and, after a while, the child will
act stupidly or ineptly, even when he has the potential to do better.
Thus, the characterization
of women as scatterbrains, as inferiors, has a deadening effect on their
consciousness.
We are told that when the Lord created the human, he started with the male. Further, we are told
that it was the male of the species that was created in
the Lord's image. The creation of the female reverses
the biological process in a rather humiliating fashion
to her.
Anyone who raccepts this has to have a slanted
mind toward regarding the man as superior. The female was created as an afterthought, or so it appears.
The male was established as lord and master over
the female.
This invention of the origin of the female played a
decisive part in ancient Jewish society. It solidified
the master position of the male.
The Hebrew males considered themselves so fortunate to have been born males that they put this
The American A theist

blessing into a religious invocation. Every male was


ordered to repeat daily: "Praise to you, God, lord
of ours and ruler of the world, that you did not
create me as a ... woman." It followed as a matter
of course that this Messiah was also to be of the male
sex, as was Jehovah, God.
Naturally, in a male-dominated world, permeated
with masculine ideology, the "Savior" had to be a
male. Further, he was shown to have had 12 immediate disciples to help preach the new word - nary a
female.
From Judaism to Christianity,
the change for the
female was but a transition from one form of spiritual and social enslavement to another. Her subjected
and inferior status was emphasized by Paul, the first
Christian theologian: "For man is not of the woman,
but the woman of the man. Neither was the man
created for the woman; but the woman for the man."
There were no ifs ands or buts about the subordinate role of woman: "let
women keep silence in
the churches: for it is not permitted them to speak,
but to be subject, as also the law saith. But if they
would learn anything,
let them ask husbands at
home."
Paul made sure to point out that the woman was in
transgression. He hammered in the myth of Genesis,
that the woman was the first sinner, and that the
poor, misguided male simply fell victim to her beguiling voice: "let the woman learn in silence with all
subjection. But suffer not a woman to teach, nor to
usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam
was not deceived, but the woman being deceived
was in the transgression."
For the transgression in the Garden of Eden, the
Biblical fairy. tale pinpoints the woman as being the
first human to disobey the lord's command. The
female succumbed to temptation. Her actions started
humanity on the the road to "evil."
To add to her indignities, the female gets punished
hardest. First, she is condemned by the lord to bear
children in suffering. Even more important, she also
loses her freedom to the man, who is given "Divine
Right" of rule over her. Here is the lord's curse:
"I will greatly multiply thy growth and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;
and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall
ru Ie over thee."
Christian Contribution

to Female I)efa, .ation

In pre-Christian history, the relatively tiny Hebrew


state was surrounded by more powerful and antagonistic neighbors. As a result, the Hebrew state was
periodically destroyed and its cities sacked by various
conquerors. The Hebrew illusion that they were a
chosen race was challenged continually by this grim
reality. This bloody reality, however, stimulated an
Page 25

illusion of another type. This was the belief that the


Deity would send a "Savior" to deliver them.
Tertullian, an early Father of the Church, reminded
the hapless women that they were criminals, according to the judgment of god: "The judgment of God
upon your sex endures even today; and with it
inevitably endures your position of criminal at the
bar of justice." He even raved in an oft quoted remark: "Women, you are the gate to hell."
Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, added that woman
was a "plague, a sore, ruin, poisoned sugarwith which
Lucifer wants to buy our souls."
Anthony, the first Christian monk, warned:
"When you seea woman, consider that you face not a
human being, but the devil himself."
It is noteworthy that Christianity was troubled for
many centuries with the question of whether the female had a "soul." Finally, at the sixth century council at Macon, the haunting question was resolved by
vote. One must observe that, as a matter of course,
this council was all male in composition, as have been
all the others. Obviously, only the male can decide
such momentous questions, even when they concern
the spiritual make-up of the female. These males,sitting in supreme judgment never thought" it odd that
they, and not their lord, could render a decision on
" who does or does not have a soul,
Who could be more authoritative than Jerome
(347-420)? He has been designated by Catholic authorities as one of the most learned doctors of the
church that ever lived. His view is quite direct:
"Always bear in mind that it was a woman who
expelled the tiller of paradise from his heritage."
Just as under Judaism, so under Christianity, the
women worked to soread the Old and the New
Testament. They unwittinqlv help plant the ideology
of their own defamation.

the wheel, or burned alive in the fires of this inquisition? No one really knows for sure. The guilty ones
have never shown any inclination to step into the
confession box and divulge figures. The figure could
be up to several millions of women. The small total
population in those years make the proportion extremely high.
JUSTIFICATION

FOR SEXUAL

REPRESSION

In the ancient Greek, Roman and other pagan


religions, the gods married and produced offspring.
The creators of the Hebrew religion, however, did not
allow the possibility that their god could have a sex
life. Marriage was permitted to Moses, the human
emissary of god.
But the founders of Christianity were more pure.
Their god in human form never indulged in such a
"vulgar" thing as making physical love with a female.
Jesus is shown to have been a male, having all the
characteristics of a male, and consuming food and
drink, like any other human. Yet, in the decisive
function of reproduction, he is portrayed as never
having any physical contact with a female in the
sexual sense.The 12 apostles, also all males, were as
one in preaching sexual chastity.
Christianity instituted a general sex repression
from which we are still striving to free ourselves.
They even branded the necessaryact of reproduction
as an "evil passion." The fathers of the church attached a moral and sacred value to celibacy: "We
Christians regard a stain upon our chastity as more
dreadful than any punishment, or eventhan death itself." (Tertullian, Apoliticus)
Interestingly, one of the key Catholic accusations
against Protestantism centers on the pre-eminence of
virginity. In the official Catholic view, the Protestants
are condemned for preaching a "mutilated" kind of
A GRIP" CONSEQUENCE OF
Christianity becauseof this.
FEMALE DEGRADATION
This same sexual view proclaimed that chastity
was a step above marriage. According to Paul, it was
A bloody page in the history of the Jewish- "better to marry than to burn," but even better was
Christian concept of the female revolves around the chastity instead of marriage.
accusation of witchcraft which put women in a liAugustine made it clear that the marriage state
teral chamber of horrors for some 10 centuries. This was clearly inferior to the state of sexual chastity.
infamous persecution started in the early part of Sex is a dirty business, in this view, and the clergy
the Middle Ages and lasted for some 1,000 years. has to be celibate as a precondition to dedication to
The Roman Catholic Inquisition played a major god. This remains basic to the Catholic clergy to this
part in this terrible hounding. Eventually, the Roman very day.
Catholic leadership faced a good deal of competition
Paul made it clear that the sexual act without benefrom its Protestant rivals after the latter established fit of marriage would condemn the poor sinner to
the Reformation. Although the Catholic leadership burn in hell for all eternity. Even in marriage, no pleahad a few centuries headstart, the Protestants quickly
sure was to be derived from the sexual act, since, in
caught the spirit of the hunt. In some cases,they this case,the sexual act was the reflection of an evil
surpassedtheir rivals and so proved themselves "bet- passion.
The Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther
ter" Christians. In fact, the witch hunt even travelled
acrossthe Atlantic Ocean and found a home in what was worse. Luther taught: "The woman's will, as God
says, shall be subject to the man, and he shall be her
was then predominately Protestant America.
How many women went out of their minds in this master"
.
(continued on p. 29)
1,000 year persecution? How many were broken on

The American Atheist.

Page 26

~J

(Jealousy continued

from p. 22)

ties are so as not to be jealous merely because someone else would be jealous in such a circumstance.
Thus the particular ties should be assessedso as to
avoid jealousy. Often jealousy and revenge are
merely learned and adopted from the culture.
One is expected to be jealous or revengeful even
when it makes no sense to do so. He may wish
to avoid being called "cuckold." Jealousy is often
the experience of being unable to cope with a
potential loss without
being clear about just
what it is that is being lost. One says vaguely
"1 am jealous of her," or "I am jealous of him."
4) It is often thought bad to be a jealous person. Jealousy is thus an ineffective means of
achieving what one wants to achieve. Sometimes
it is erroneously used as proof of affection. A
woman may feel unloved if her husband is never
jealous of her. The man is then caught in a doublebind: He is disliked if he is jealous and disliked if
he is not jealous.
5) Jealousy is often unreal istic because it involves an inadequate assessment of other people's
behavior. Because one greatly fears someth ing will
happen or because it could happen he imagines
that it has already happened. A single man may
even imagine that he has a wife, then imagine she
is unfaithful, and then experience actual jealousy.
The fact that women have sexual superiority over
men serves as a constant ground of possible insecurity on the part of the male. A woman may
have no inclinations whatsoever to have an affair
but the fact that she has more potential than the
male to do so creates a jealousy-producing situation. To this may be added the fact that women
and men are not always clear and rational about
their commitments and responsibilities.
6) People seem to be mainly jealous about sexual

matters. This is because few have adequate sex


lives. If such needs were. met it would eliminate
the major cause of jealousy between the sexes.
The existence of jealousy is a sign or symptom of
an unresolved social problem regarding sexual
fulfillment.
The desire for exclusive sexual rights
is partly based on the need for sexual fulfillment.
If one had unlimited availability of sexual fulfillment, sexual relations might be far less exclusive
than they now are.
7) Jealousy is not a feeling and so alcohol, drugs,
acting-out, etc., are not effective in eliminating
it. When one says he is jealous, he is not merely
reporting a feeling within himself. If it were, a pill
or chemical might ease the pain. We do not ask,
"When did you first notice it?" "What does it feel
like?" Jealousy involves present, past, and future.
If one tries to think of a situation in which he was
jealous and then tries to think just of the feelings
involved he would reduce the jealousy by more than
half. When someone says he is jealous we ask him to
tell us about the situation, about what happened
or how he sees his relationships with others. The
cure involves discussing, clarifying, and assessing
the situation.
8) Jealousy may be based on an irrational like
or desire and so be eliminated by reassessment.
If the attraction of a person to another is merely
financial the person is a means rather than an end
and so what that person does may be no ground
for jealousy except insofar as money is related.
Jealousy relates to romantic love in a different
way than it relates to rational love and erotic
love. Love is used rather generally in this account.
Certainly one does not want to lose someone
he loves but a relationship based upon jealousy
is not an adequate relationship. In terms of
rational love, ioss may be desired if it benefits
the friend, loved person, or society.

****************************************************************************************

(Envy continued

from p. 24)

ten find ourselves feel ing inferior to the next guy, because he is doing better than we are. Therefore, because of his superiority to us, we often find ourselves
feeling envious. Another concept is that of equality
and authority. There is no such th ing as equal ity for
all, and the less authority we do have, the more we
find ourselves envious of those who are in a position
of authority. The injustices of a so-called egalitarian
society add to our feelings of envy. The trke phrase
of a ','free and equal America" somehow loses its
meaning because many Americans know that the concept of equality does not exist for them.
And finally, Andrew Greeley makes some very candid remarks about envy in his newspaper article entitled "Competition, Egalitarianism, and Envy." He
relates the news story about a pretty high school
girl whose girlfriends threw acid on her because she
was pretty and had a hairdo Iike Farrah Fawcett-

The American A theist

Majors. He states that this type of incident is not all


that uncommon in a society wh ich stresses both
fierce competition and passionate egalitarianism. He
says that the Yetis or Big Foot are not our secret
monster, but that envy is because we pretend that it
doesn't exist. He feels Americans never study envy
because they're too busy practicing it. Other countries openly acknowledge the presence of envy; the U.
S. unofficially recognizes it. Especially prone to envy
are religious organizations because they know how to
provide disguises which make it look lik= virtue. Envy
may not be quite as powerful a motivation as the
hungers for food and sex - but it's much more difficult to satisfy and apparently more fun, because it
operates all the time instead of intermittently.
In
summing up his article, Greeley concludes with the
following quote: "Stir the acid around, fellas and
girls, there's a lot more unfair people to destroy."

Page 27

ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT
Looking
through the chain-link fence
onto the church parking lot
from my tiny back yard
Listening
to the sounds of Santa Rosa;
birds, dogs, autos on U.S. 101
and a radio playing Dolly Parton
in a neighboring kitchen
on the far side of the Christians' parking lot
What is this dirty slab of stone
and rectangular white lines?
What spirit planted it between me and my
neighbor?
filled partly every seven days
and fully just twice a year
Christmas and Easter
This parking lot and chain-link fence
mocks the Christians' 11 th commandment:
to know my neighbor
Kennon Webber

SERVILE RELIGION
Rei igion!.
prol ific fiend
Who peoplest earth with demons, hell with men,
And heaven with slaves.
Spirit of Nature! all sufficing
Necessity! thou mother of the world!
Unlike the God of human error, thou
Requirest no prayers or praises
Shelley: "Queen Mab"

NOT NECESSARY
The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not
necessary; men alone are quite capable of every
wickedness
Joseph Conrad

GOD NOW HAS A SEX SYMBOL


Kellie Everts (Miss Nude Universe of 1968) is still
taking her clothes off.
However, Miss Everts is now a preacher and assures
the public that God wants her to serve Him in this
manner.
Miss Everts does four shows a night and even works
Sundays.
Miss Everts believes that by showing her 44-21-36
body to lustful men she can somehow bring something spiritual into their lives.
Moreover, she prays for the audience before each

Page28

Kellie Everts ... says she strips 'for the love of God'

performance.
Miss Everts also says that when "they have lust"
she feels "compassionate."
While a nude picture of Miss Everts would certainly brighten up some of our rather dull Christian publications, what would really be interesting would be to
hear her discuss some of God's messages with Anita
Bryant.
It seems a little hard to believe that both of these
ladies are really in contact with the same deity.
Quo Vadis, God? Quo Vadis?
Reverend John B. Denson, D.D.

The American Atheist

'iO h God"

Is Great

In spite of this movie's title I don't expect people


who enjoy religious films to be too happy with this
one. Some for that matter will be furious!
God (played by George Burns) is a supernatural
deity who created the world, animals and man. Then
he went off somewhere else and left man to his own
evolution
(with the exception of a few miracles like
the Red Sea and the 1969 New York Mets).
God now comes back to us and picks Jerry (played
by John Denver) to give the world his message that he
(god) is alive and things can work for man, but man
has to work them out for himself.
Jerry is an assistant supermarket manager who is a
nonbeliever. Jerry tells god, "I'm not religious" and
god replies, "Religion's easy."
After being convinced Jerry proceeds to del iver
god's message. A number of humorous scenes come
out of this.
Receiving publicity
over this, Jerry is invited to
answer questions and meet the leaders of organized
religion.
God reappears to Jerry in private and
answers the all important questions asked by the rei igious leaders. Of interest in these answers is that god
slaps down the original sin concept and gives the guy
who charges 10 bucks for a filet mignon the same
status as Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha.
Jerry is then told by god to take his answers to the
Reverend Willie Williams (who god says he is sick of
hearing everywhere)
and tell Williams to shut up.
As Williams, who looks like the 1976 Religious
Hypocrite of the Year and sounds like Billy Graham,
the "Chaplain of Watergate" finishes a fundamental
sermon about love, Jerry confronts him and tells him
that god wants him to go sell shoes.
Williams then has Jerry taken to court for slander,
where god appears to all of them. God takes the
stand (in Jerry's defense) and proceeds to cut down
to size the current church financed horror movies,
then tells the court their problem is they didn't have
enough faith to start with and disappears. (This
last statement I completely disagree with.)
Jerry is acquitted and sees god for the last time.
God tells Jerry not to worry because he has joined
the best class- of hero, men like Galileo, Pasteur,
et al. God then leaves to go spend time with animals.
As an Atheist,
I don't bel ieve there is a supernatural being who opened the Red Sea and still frequently performs miracles, yet in sp ite of ih is and a
few other flaws, "Oh God!" in my opinion is the
best slap in the face for organized religion since
"Elmer Gantry."
It's Burns at his best and looks to me to be a step
in the right direction!
"Big A"

DON'T
April 7-10,1978,

FORGET

(Theology vs. Women's Rights continued from p. 26)


The predominantly
Protestant settlers of the U.S.
carried on the tradition of oppression of the female.
Those eminent American historians, Charles and Mary
Beard, noted:
"Teachings of the Church fathers on the wickedness of human nature, consecrated by centuries of
Catholic propaganda and taken literally by Puritan
and Anglican, were made, like due process, the law
of the land in their new home. Fines, public confessions, brands, or lashings were usually prescribed ...
and the records seem to indicate that, as a rule, it
was the woman, not the man, who got the heavier
punishment. "
After all is said and done, the Catholics remain the
most powerful
of all religious organizations
in the
Western world. Their teaching carries an enormous
ideological weight.
Yet the 1931 Pope Pius position in an encyclical
on Christian
marriage
still
stands. This states:
"Married life presupposes the power of the husband
over the wife and children,
and subjection
and
obedience of the wife to the husband."
As late as the 1912 edition
of the Catholic
Encyclopedia, it was still boldly affirmed that the women were inferior to the males in soul: "The female
sex is in some respects inferior
to the male sex,
both as regards body and soul."
Men have proven that they will not hesitate to destroy those who have different
opinions
in social,
religious or national questions. The hope of the world
has to rest on the women, but before it can women
must understand the religious ideas which gave them
a debased position for 10,000 years.
Remember that the women are the first educators
of our babies. The women taught men how to feel
warmth, and how to convey love. They secured comfort and beauty for the child while they tried to protect the child from external dangers. If mankind is
still in the making, then let the women take their
proper place to 'share the leadership in determining
the destiny of humankind.
Allowing
for exceptions
and special cases, observed facts seem to indicate that
the female of the species has an innate drive for love
and tenderness. As the problems in the world become
greater and greater threats to human survival, she may
well prove to be our last chance for reversal of the
ominous trends that now threaten us.
End of Mr. Burton's article.
And, of course, as an Atheist woman I put this
program on the air over the objections of my husband.
******************************************

The u.s. Government must not undertake to run the


churches. When an individual in a church, or out of it,
beoomes dangerous to the public interest he must be
checked.
Abraham Lincoln.

THE CONVENTION

San Francisco, CA. For details: John Mays,


Coordinator, P. O. Box 2117, Austin, TX 78768
Page 29

The American A theist

~I

(Evolution continued from p. 19)


from one form to the next to meet the ever-changing
challenges of an ever-changing nature. There is no
fall from a previous state of sublime perfection. On
the contrary, for humans there has been a real ascent,
unless one is pessimistic enough to believe human
living conditions in 2,000,000 B.C. were superior to
human living conditions today.
Without
Adam, without
the original sin, Jesus
Christ is reduced to a man with a mission on the
wrong planet. Death becomes not a divine punishment we require salvation from, but only a natural
occurrence as much a part of the normalcy of life as
birth. Sin becomes not an ugly fate due to one man's
disobedience that we need to be bloodily redeemed
of, but only the struggle of instincts learned during
millions of years of savagery, trying to adapt to this
10,000 year old infant we call civilization.
Christianity
has fought, still fights, and will fight
science to the desperate end over evolution, because
evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason
Jesus' earthly life was supposedly made necessary.
Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in
the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son
of god. Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus
was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this
is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing!
Christianity, if it is to survive, must have Adam and
the original sin and the fall from grace, or it cannot
have Jesus the redeemer who restores to those who
believe what Adam's disobedience took away.
What this all means is that Christianity cannot lose
the Genesis account of creation like it could lose the
doctrine of geocentricism and get along. The battle
must be waged, for Christianity is fighting for its very
life.
And it must just as surely lose, just as it has lost
every battle it has fought against science since
modern science got its start in the 16th Century. As
Nietzsche observed in The AntiChrist, "It is allover
with priests and gods when man becomes scientific."
The day will come when the evidence constantly
accumulating
around the evolutionary
theory becomes so massively persuasive that even the last and
most fundamental
Christian warriors will have to
lay down their arms and surrender unconditionally.
I
believe that day will be the end of Christianity.
And into the void - what? Another religion? I
wou Id say yes, for th is has been the pattern of h istory, were it not for what we are building today in
the American Atheists. Atheism is science's natural
ally. Atheism is the philosophy, both moral and ethical, most perfectly suited for a scientific civilization.
If we work for the American
Atheists today,
Atheism will be ready to fill the void of Christianity's
demise when science and evolution triumph.
Without a doubt, humans and civilization are in
sore need of the intellectual cleanness and mental
health of Atheism. ~

Page 30

(Sungods continued from p. 18)


The frequent references to lambs in the Old Testament gave way to fish in the New Testament. Jesus
and his twelve fisherman disciples were personifications of the sun and twelve signs of the zodiac.
One often sees pictures of Jesus, a halo about his
head, kneeling. Above the scene usually appears the
caption, "I am the Light of the World." The halo
came to us straight from the sun-worsh ippers.
Webster defines a halo as a "circle of light surrounding a luminous body."
Christ was allegedly resurrected near "the spring
equinox. This was the festival of the pagan goddess
of spring, Eastre, which goes far back into antiquity. Its dating at the first Sunday after the first full
moon after the spring equinox betrays the astronomical origin of Easter.
The pagan origin of lights in worship is universally
acknowledged. So when you light your Christmas tree
you are helping to guide the sungod back to life!
The cross is a solar symbol representing the sun.
How did it originate? Thomas Inman in his book
Ancient Faiths offers the following explanation: "If
anyone will observe carefully a lamp, or other bright
light with partially closed eyes, tha answer will be obvious. The rays which proceed from the luminous
point form a cross of some kind. This is due to the
reflection from the eyelashes and the edge of the eyelids. "
The wafer used in the Roman Catholic mass was
borrowed from the Egyptians. The form represents
the orb of the sun.
The foregoing facts and interpretations
infer that
Christianity
has, at least partly, been evolved out of
earl ier sun rei igions. These rei igions have left their
mark, and like ancient fossils indicate a time long ago
past. In religion, as in nature and society, the present
is determined by what has been.
The old solar deities, aristocratic and king-like,
wandered across the sky joining battle with the
princes of darkness. Jesus, on the other hand, represents a more human god. In this respect he represents
a higher level of abstraction.
******************************************

(Cognitive Dissonance continued from p. 17)


that the way to be happy is to make others so. In
this belief we are content to live and die. If by any
possibility the existence of a power superior to and
independent of nature shall be demonstrated, there
will then be time enough to kneel. Until then, let us
stand erect."
*******************************************

There was the strangest combination of church influence against me. It was concluded
that no
Christian ought to vote for me, because I belonged to
no church.
Abraham Lincoln.

The American Atheist

BOOK REVIEW
by FRANK DUFFY

CRIME

AND IMMORALITY

Former Franciscan priest Emmett McLoughlin is to


the Catholic Church what one-time agent Philip
Agee is to the CIA - a factual embarrassment. Like
Agee, McLoughlin's writings have been denounced by
his former employer and he has become a burr under
the ecclesiastical saddle as he presents documented
evidence showing that the Roman Catholic Church in
its most important work - fostering morality among
its adherents - is a resounding failure.
"By their fruits you will know them." With this
Biblical dictum in mind, McLoughlin analyzes government statistics and utilizes studies made by official
Catholic agencies to show that the fruits of Catholic
indoctrination are found in widespread immorality
and crime among the clergy as well as the laity. He
surveyed 319 penal institutions in 48 states housing
153,857 prisoners. Even when using the National
Catholic Almanac's inflated statistics on the proportion of Catholics in the total U.S. population, the
high percentages of Catholic criminals populating
America's state penal institutions are shown by the
author to be far beyond those of other rei igions or
for unchurched convicts.
An even more odious distinction McLoughlin
credits to American Catholicism is the indelible nature of the Mafia, totally Roman Catholic in fact and
in origin, "shaking the very foundations of America's
ability to rule itself." Whereas at annual meetings
U.S. cardinals, archbishops and bishops piously denounce the trend toward sinful motion pictures,
liberal ized access to safe abortions and material istic
public schools, on the matter of the lawlessnessand
criminality
of the Mafia the church fathers are
benignly silent.
McLoughlin
attributes
Catholicism's
universal
neglect of insistence upon observance of civil law as a
spiritual obligation with fostering the lawless attitude of the members of the Mafia:
"The Mafiosi believe, with the same conviction
that led their ancestors to fight the Arab invaders
1,100 years ago, that they have a god-given right to
sell dope, trade in bootleg liquor or run a gambling
joint and they profoundly resent any effort to prevent them from going about their business."
Catholicism's perpetual preoccupation with and
overemphasis on sins of sex has resulted in a deemphasis of the gravity of routine everyday violations
of common morality upon which the integrity of
nations is built. Hence lying is a "venial" sin which
need not be mentioned in the medieval practice of
confession, yet every sin concerning sex, whether in
deed, in word or even in passing thought is a serious
and therefore a mortal sin. Manslaughter is not a
mortal sin, yet for a Catholic to attend Protestant
religious services is.
McLoughlin's 12 years in a Catholic seminary and
15 years as a Franciscan priest exposed him to a

The American A theist

IN THE CATHOLIC

CHURCH

particularly facile and effective pattern of lying


indulged in by the Catholic hierarchy to conceal or
distort thought through semantics. Under this divine
distortion, "freedom of thought" means freedom to
accept the truth. The Catholic church alone has the
truth. Therefore, freedom of thought means the freedom to accept the Catholic faith. Putting this absurdity into action, Cardinal Spellman screamed that the
failure to provide federal tax funds to Catholic
schools would result in "thought control" by forcing
poor Catholic children into the mental strait-jacket
of public schools. The author relates, however, how
Spellman was responsible for having the film "The
Miracle" banned in New York. That, of course, was
not "thought control" but a protection of the faith.
The Catholic hierarchy conditions its "flock" to
accept such gross distortions in its parochial school
systems which seek to "strangle the human mind and
stifle mental initiative." In a previous book, American
Culture and Catholic Schools, McLoughlin demonstrates how the hierarchy "anesthetizes" the minds
of Catholic youngsters with blighted versions of
history, philosophy and morals which few even question and most pass on to their offspring. And lest
the Catholic mind should somehow rise above such
medieval conditioning, the church erects a wall of
censorship around it topped with the barbed threat
of damnation to everlasting hellfire.
It is this fear of hell, rather than a love of a god or
one's fellow man, which motivates the Catholic to
confess his "sins" to supposedly celibate (the author
tells otherwise) priests who regard stealing, lying and
regard for civil law as less important or interesting
than masturbation, fornication or adultery. As an
ex-priest who has heard many such confessions and
knows many such confessors, McLoughlin states that
the bulk of Catholic priests are psychologically
unequipped to cope with many of the personal problems they meet in the confessional. Most of these
problems pertain to sex, because the clergy in the
confessional usually do not focus attention on anything besides sex, except perhaps attendance at
Sunday mass.
He states convincingly that the man-made and
superstitious practice of confession, "ven ialization"
of transgressions and granting of indulgences all make
repetition of crime easier in that they foster an attitude of sin-now, pay-later.
From his research as superintendent of Memorial
Hospital in Phoenix, McLoughlin has interviewed
many doctors and psychiatrists (both Catholic and
non-Catholic) who attested to the frequency of mental 'illness in their patients brought on by the strain of
religious indoctrination.
He believes that Catholics
who do go to prison "are those who take their moral
code too lightly, while many who go to insane
asylums are those who take it too seriously." The

Page 31

latter are the very devout who try to avoid "bad


thoughts" and are the indoctrinated Catholics whose
minds have been atrophied by the parochial schools,
who have let the church and its priests think for
them and have simply snapped under the strain of
facing the realities and problems of life.
Emmett. McLoughlin
has veen villified by most
Catholic critics as being an embittered,
biased,
renegade priest whose opinions are unreliable. He admits to being bitter only when he thinks of the 41
years it took for him to awaken to Catholicism's
institutional ized repression. He is no more antiCathol ic than the verifiable statistics of penitentiaries
and insane asylums with which he substantiates his
conclusions. He draws heavily on the works of the
emminent historian Henry Charles Lea for his "personal reeducation" since leaving Catholicism to marry
and embrace Protestantism.
Crime and Immorality in the Catholic Church is
valuable to Atheists because of its scholarly reasoning and documentation
of the utter failure of
Catholicism's two millennia in the production
and
sale of its most important product - morality and the
better life for the majority of its people. This book
wou Id make an excellent gift for those m ill ions of
marginal Catholics whose awakening lacks only the
cold, cruel, stark facts of what Roman Catholicism
does to the human mind.
BACK

Pope Paul VI waves to crowd in Bolsena, Ita y, uti izing open


roof of his Mercedes 600. Like all 600's, it was made to order.

ISSUES NEEDED

Like most other publications, every so often we


run out of back issues with which to satisfy the many
requests we receive each year. If you have any pre1976 numbers of TheAmerican Atheist, we would be
most pleased to hear from you at your very earliest
convenience.
Please send me -------copies
(plus

Among special features of papa vehicle is the single seat in


back. A custom-built Mercedes ranges from $50~OO to $104,536.

of CRIME AND IMMORALITY

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