|1 Why I Quit Going to Church||2475-2485|
|2 The Atheist, Madalyn Murray O'Hair||2486-2499|
|3 The Truth About Jesus Is He a Myth?||2500-2501|
|4 Did Jesus Ever Live||2502-2503|
|5 The Christian Tradition||2504-2505|
|6 Bible Dictionary||2506-2512|
from: Why I Quit Going to Church, With Answers to Critics and Correspondents, By Rupert Hughes [1872 - 1956], Author of "The Old Nest," "Within These Walls," "Excuse Me," Etc., Freethought Press Association, New York, c1924, c1925.
[I thank Robb Marks, Bookseller, for this book and author (c. 2002)].
[For biography of Rupert Hughes, see: Twentieth Century Authors, 1942. Very prolific author. Why I Quit Going to Church, is not mentioned].
["[Rupert] Hughes was the uncle of Industrialist Howard Hughes." (Who's Who in Hell, Warren Allen Smith, 538)].
By The Cosmopolitan Magazine Co., Inc.
By Rupert Hughes" ["2"].
'WHY I QUIT GOING TO
There was a time when I should have been punished for not going to church. In the good old Puritan and Pilgrim days, though only a third or a sixth of the citizens were church members, the parsons were in power and they fined people and put them in the stocks if they stayed away or if the pastor did not like their expressions.
They whipped more than one for criticizing a sermon. They tried to sell two Boston children into slavery because they could not pay their fine for staying away from the church. And they would have done it, too, if the ungodly shipmasters had not refused to carry the children off.
It is incessantly astonishing how often the laity have had to restrain the clergy from cruelty. The Puritan elders held that "the gathering of sticks on the Sabbath may be punished with death." Sometimes a mob would rescue Quaker women from the whips, but in Cambridge, Benanuel Bower, a Quaker who obstinately stayed away from the Puritan church, was fined annually for twenty years, hauled down a flight of steps by the heels, kept in prison for more than a year, and with his wife publicly whipped several times.
But in these wicked and degenerate times, not only can I stay away from church without getting arrested, but I can tell why without being any more than reviled.
I did not quit going to church because I was lazy or frivolous or poetically inclined to "worship God in the Great Outdoors near to Nature's Heart." I don't believe that nature has a heart.
I quit because I came to believe that what is preached in the churches is mainly untrue and unimportant, tiresome, hostile to genuine progress, and in general not worth while. As for the necessity of paying homage to the deity, I began to feel that I did not know enough about God to pay him set compliments on set days. As for the
God who is preached in the churches, I ceased to worship him because I could no longer believe in him or respect what is alleged of him.
I cannot respect a deity who would want or even endure the hideous monotony and mechanism of most of the worship paid him by hired men, hired prayer-makers and their supporters. When I think of the millions of repetitions of the same phrases of prayer and song smoking up to a helpless deity I feel sorry for him. No wonder he gets farther away each year. No wonder the ex-priest Alfred Loisy [1857 - 1940] says (in his "My Duel with the Vatican" [see Article #1, 28]) that "the eternal immutable, omniscient, omnipotent, etc.," who created the universe "by a caprice very imperfectly benevolent...begins to be conceived with increasing difficulty."
As for the picture of God in heaven, "sitting on the Cherubim" or riding on a cherub (2 Samuel xxii, 11), and listening to everlasting praises of himself, it is simply appalling. I can no longer adore in a god what I despise in a man.
I say this in no spirit of cheap defiance, like Ajax defying the lightning, for the statement puts me with such an enormous majority that it carries no distinction. The God of the Christians never has been believed in by as much as a tenth of the world's population [and what percent, of "a tenth of the world's population", resulted from conquests and enslavement?]. Two or three other religions have today far more followers and, even in this country, a great many millions less than half of the population is even "affiliated" with any of the churches. About 40 per cent. of the free population is affiliated with one church or another, and about 90 per cent. of the criminals in the penitentiaries [see Article #2, 37 (von Hentig)]. That is the only place where the church people have a pronounced majority.' ["3"-5].
'From numberless conversations with church-members and church-goers I am honestly assured that very, very few of them really believe in their heart of hearts one-quarter of what their church-creeds assert—not to emphasize the fact that nobody really knows what most of the high-sounding theological phrases mean. I know that countless ministers are driven by all sorts of pressure from within and without to continue preaching what they no longer believe. They do it for the imaginary good of their poor congregations, as nice people go on telling infants that there is a Santa Claus.
I DO NOT BELIEVE IN A SANTA CLAUS FOR GROWN-UPS [starting several years ago, orally, I have used the expression: "JESUS IS SANTA CLAUS!—FOR ADULTS!"], and I do not believe that the vast number of church-people are doing the world any good by promulgating false ideas and false ideals.
They say, and doubtless believe, that their motives are good, but I am of such poor moral fibre that I do not believe in telling lies for the glory of God. I am not up to the standard of the Apostle Paul who asks (Romans iii, 7): "For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie, why yet am I also judged as a sinner?" Well, I am just mean enough to judge him a sinner and to consider Christian lies as peculiarly ugly sins. Furthermore, I DISLIKE ST. PAUL EVEN MORE THAN ST. PETER DID, AND I CONSIDER HIM ONE OF THE GREATEST PURVEYORS OF FALSEHOOD AND MISCHIEF THAT EVER LIVED.
It seems to my perverted brain not quite honest, for instance, to pretend that Christianity has only one God. THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION IS POLYTHEISTIC if ever a religion were, for it includes God the Father, Christ the Son, the Holy Ghost, Mary the
Mother, an almost omnipotent God of Evil known as Satan, and an infinite number of invisible angels and devils with superhuman powers, not to mention the saints, who have all performed miracles and are to be prayed to for special favors.
THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION IS INTENSELY POLYTHEISTIC. Gods warred with gods in heaven as on Mount Olympus, and hosts of angels were thrown over the walls. The god Michael fought with the god Devil for Moses' body (Jude 9). Christ is quoted as saying that he himself saw Satan fall from heaven (Luke x, 18). Yet Satan disputed with God the sway over the earth and had the power to pick Christ up and carry him to the pinnacle of God's (or Christ's) own temple, then to the top of a mountain, and to tempt him until he was repulsed. Think of it: Satan offered to give the Son of God what already belonged to him! Then the devil left Christ and "behold, angels came and ministered unto him."
If this was not a duel of wits between two gods, what was it?
IF THERE IS ANYTHING MORE POLYTHEISTIC IN GREEK OR ANY OTHER MYTHOLOGY, WHERE IS IT [THE ROMANS HAD "1200" DEITIES]? If Apollo, Mars, Pluto, and Mercury were gods, so were Satan and Michael and Gabriel. It seems to me unutterably dishonest for Christians to denounce other religions for having many gods and to pretend that the Christians believe in only one....' [8-9].
"....Finally a tremendous thing came to me: the offer of a job as assistant editor of a great history of the world in twenty-five volumes. I was actually paid a salary to sit at a desk and read or go to a great library and delve among books. For four years I read history from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The history of every nation went through my head. It was paradise on earth. But a serpent seems to be part of the furniture of every paradise.
So now I had to read the religious history of every country. And I was unutterably dismayed to find that the worst crimes in every nation were committed in the name of religion by religious people. In every country the blackest pages were the religious pages, and of all the religions, savage or civilized, the Christian religion had the most horrible record." [36-37].
'....Voltaire [1694 - 1778], who ardently believed in a God though not in Christianity, quotes the remarkable summing up of arguments against Christianity by Freret [Nicolas Fréret 1688 - 1749]:
[Voltaire] "His [Nicolas Fréret] most terrible argument is, that if God had deigned to make himself a man and a Jew, and to die in Palestine by an infamous punishment, to expiate the crimes of mankind and to banish sin from the earth, there ought no longer to have been any sin or crime on the face of it; whereas, says he, the CHRISTIANS HAVE BEEN MORE ABOMINABLE MONSTERS THAN ALL THE SECTARIES [FOLLOWERS, ETC.] OF THE OTHER RELIGIONS PUT TOGETHER.
"He [Fréret] brings, for an evident proof of this, the massacres, the wheels, the gibbets, and the burnings at the stake, in the Cevennes, and near a hundred thousand human creatures that perished under our eyes in that province; the massacres in the valleys of Piedmont; the massacres of the Valteline, in the time of Charles Borromeo; the massacre of the Anabaptists, massacred and massacrers; the massacres of the Lutherans and Papists, from the Rhine to the extremities of the North; the massacres
in Ireland, England, and Scotland in the times of Charles I [King 1625 - 1649] who was himself massacred; the massacres ordered by Mary and by her father Henry VIII; the massacres on St. Bartholomew's, in France, and forty years more of other massacres between Francis II and the entry of Henry IV into Paris; the massacres by the Inquisition; massacres, perhaps, yet more execrable as being judicially committed; in short, the massacre of twelve millions of the inhabitants of the new world, executed crucifix in hand; and this without reckoning all the massacres previously committed in the name of Jesus Christ, without reckoning above twenty schisms and twenty wars of Popes against Popes and Bishops against Bishops; without reckoning the poisons, the assassinations, the rapines of the Popes John XI, John XII, John XVIII, John XXII, of a Gregory VIII, of a Boniface VIII, of an Alexander VI, and of so many other Popes who exceeded in wickedness a Nero or a Caligula.
"In short, he [Fréret] claims that this horrid and almost uninterrupted chain of religious wars for fourteen centuries never subsisted but among Christians, and that no people but themselves ever spilt a drop of human blood for theological dispute."
How can a Christian hold his head up and admit that myriads of women were burned alive for witchcraft? John Wesley [1703 - 1791] said that if you give up witchcraft you must give up the Bible. He is right. The choice is easy for me.
I do not believe in Buddhism, yet it is older and purer than Christianity and has made enormously more converts without bloodshed or persecution.
Wherein lies this so much trumpeted beauty of Christianity, when it is plain, indisputable fact that no other religion ever approached or attempted to approach the unbearable beastliness of Christianity? It stings me to think of it. I could break down and sob with pity for the poor dear people that were caught in those traps of theology and tormented slowly into their graves. Yet these things happened at the very zenith of the power of the Christian religion.
Montezuma [Montezuma II 1466 - 1520 (Emperor 1502-1520)] was a heathen and his religion included like the early Christian religion, human sacrifices and hideous cruelty. Yet when the Christians conquered him [Montezuma] their cruelties made him seem merciful by contrast. This American continent of ours, discovered and colonized by Christians, was largely depopulated by the lust for murder that seemed inherent in the faith. The pages of Las Casas [Bartolomé De Las Casas 1474 - 1566] can hardly be read without agony; yet according to Lea's [Henry Charles Lea 1825 - 1909] "Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies" the whole object of the Spanish conquest of America was the propagation of the Christian faith, and it was so stated in a bull of Pope Alexander VI.
After the New World was rid of its primitive peoples, after the beautiful civilization of the Incas was destroyed, after the Mayas and all their books were annihilated and their country restored to the jungle, THE CHRISTIANS HAD ONLY THEMSELVES TO PRACTICE ON.
Then I read what my own Congregationalists did in this country—those noble Pilgrims and Puritans of whom so much good is spoken and so little truth told. My historical research led me to an acquaintance with their fiendish brutality. Tears filled my eyes for the anguishes of harmless old Quaker women stripped and whipped and driven through the snow of village after village with their blood freezing on their half-flayed backs. I read of Baptists lashed "till their skin hung in bloody rags," of all manner of cruel tyranny inflicted on the minds and bodies of their own people and their visitors.
Believing that freedom of soul, mind and body is the most important privilege of humanity and the one hope of progress, I was stunned to find on reading the history
of the world that the religious mind has always been opposed to liberty and equality.
Religious men as individuals have lived and fought and died for liberty, but the various churches have never failed to oppose it until it was established, then tried to seize on the new reins of power.
The United States of America was inspired and led by men of little or no religion, and the clergymen protested fiercely against the republic as godless. John Wesley [1703 - 1791] in 1777 wrote that letters from New York showed him that all the Methodists there were firm for the government and on that account persecuted by the rebels. He preached against our forefathers as rebels against God. When Washington drove the British out of Boston, every Episcopal clergyman there sailed away, except one who was persuaded to remain.
After the war was won, Patrick Henry [1736 - 1799] led a successful movement to prevent clergymen from being eligible as members of the Assembly of Virginia. Long debates over the mention of God in the Constitution ended in a negative decision. For fifty years vain efforts were made to force it in by amendment.
Of the first Presidents, Jefferson [1743 - 1826] was a notorious Infidel. Washington [1732 - 1799] was vestryman in a church because he had to be as a tax-payer; but he never was a communicant and would not stay in the church during communion. The story of his kneeling in prayer on the battlefield is an admitted fable; he never would kneel in church, never recognized Christ in any statement, made contracts on Sunday and went fox-hunting.
Lincoln [1809 - 1865] wrote an atheistic essay [see Addition 35, 1664] as a young man and was called "the atheist Congressman." His widow said "he lived and died without faith or hope."
Yet only recently a clergyman broadcasted a sermon in praise of prayer and credited the successes of Washington and Lincoln to the fact that they were "men of prayer." The clergymen may be slow to accept a new scientific truth, but they never let go of an ancient fable. Where can one find fearless honesty or scientific candor in a pulpit? Every historian expects to find the minimum of truth in an ecclesiastical historian. As Renan [Joseph-Ernest Renan 1823 - 1892] says in his preface to the 13th edition of his "Life of Jesus": "There is one thing that a theologian can never be—a historian."' [38-43].
'One of my greatest reasons for giving up going to church is my belief that the pulpit is the greatest power ever known for persecution, bigotry, ignorance, dishonesty, and reaction.
It is well said that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty," and I am confirmed every day in my intense conviction that the church as THE CHURCH IS THE ENEMY OF FREEDOM. While protesting loudly its faith in the Truth with a capital T, "the truth that shall make us free," it fights at every step every effort to learn the truth and publish it and be guided by it.
I find that crime is encouraged by these haters of truth and freedom. Believing in, or at least proclaiming, the all-righteousness of such a criminal god, the list of infamies committed by clergymen is appalling. Clergymen are represented in the
penitentiaries by far more than their quota and for every crime imaginable. I have a list of over six thousand crimes by clergymen, which I shall not attempt to quote.' .
'One of the best sellers of the day is Papini's "Life of Christ,"  in which he [Papini] pronounces the Sermon in the Mount (which is made up of old proverbs and which no one understands, believes literally, or acts upon) to be the very highest achievement of divinity in mankind. Yet Papini refers to the Protestants as "the hemorrhoids of Luther" ["Lutheroid" remark] and calls them various other names of equal grace and Christian charity. Papini was once a violent Atheist and if I believed in prophecy I would prophesy that he will soon be denouncing his own Christianity. He is of the violent weather-vane type.
The churches talk glibly today of Christianity as the foundation of the brotherhood and equality of man, though the Greeks had a democracy hundreds of years before Christ, and all absolute monarchs, from Constantine to the Kaiser, have claimed to take their dominion from God.
THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH SUPPORTED SLAVERY FOR CENTURIES [see Addition 24, 1130-1166; search: Christian]. At a time when England forbade slavery, one of the greatest slave-traders to foreign ports was the head of the English church.
The Methodist, Baptist, and other churches in the United States took official steps to forbid their clergymen from favoring abolition. American clergymen used to stand at the auction block and tell the negro merchandise that it was God's will that they should be slaves and that they should find comfort in obedience. The Bible indeed is full of slavery with never a word against it. God himself told his people just how to put the slave against a door and drive a hole through his ear with an awl to mark him for life.
The present equality and freedom of women was secured in defiance of the orders of the Bible and the frantic opposition of all the churches. To this day eminent clergymen denounce women for throwing off their scriptural servitude.
In all my life of history reading I find not one instance where the Christian creed of itself prevented a cruelty or an atrocity, but I find innumerable instances where it provoked the vilest evils and the most fiendish cruelties.
A year or two ago I read that the Presbyterian Church had voted from its funds $175,000 for the conversion of Jews to Christianity. This is absolutely amusing, and yet it is ghastly to realize that nearly two thousand years after Christ came to save the chosen people, after thousands of them were tortured to death, it should seem ridiculous to try to convert a Jew to Christianity.
The Christians have found it easier to convert them [Jews] to the graveyard, and pogroms still break out and will break out. Chesterton [1874 - 1936], who is an ardent believer in Christianity, said that the crimes of Christianity must sicken the very sun.' [56-58].
"IN THE COURSE OF MY FOUR YEARS' WORK AS A HISTORIAN I LEARNED THAT NO RELIGIOUS HISTORIAN IS RELIABLE ON A RELIGIOUS TOPIC. The Protestant accounts of the Catholics are even fiercer than the Catholic accounts of the
Protestants. If the outsider believes either of them, he must be afraid of both of
them. Even when a theologian tries to include the crimes of his church, he veils them in language that conceals their horror [6/2004: Pope praised work of 50 Historians (and other experts), who revised the horrors of the Inquisitions—downwards], saving his strong words for the evils of his opponents." .
'The church papers are always asking why people do not go to church. They have always been asking that. I will guarantee to find the query in any given year of the Christian history of which there is liberal record.
People do not go to church in large numbers, because, for all they may say and think they think, they know it is a waste of time.
In staying away from church I can't believe that I miss much. In the Monday morning papers I read the subjects of the sermons preached in many cities, and sometimes I read excerpts from the sermons. They seem to me to be mostly unimportant when true and as a rule appallingly false. The claims made by the various sects for their peculiar brands of cure-all; the amazing contradictions and inane recommendations; the ferocious injustices to one another, to fact, to the unbelievers, make the pulpit anything but a source of reliable information or of practical inspiration.
If "the supreme happiness of salvation" is an argument for belief, then happiness is as legitimate a pursuit as our Declaration proclaims. I do not find happiness in religion any more. I simple cannot believe any longer. I haven't the brain for it. To my perverted and muddy soul that sublime utterance of Tertullian's
[c. 160 - c. 225] "I believe it because it is impossible" (Credo quia impossible est) [error (see Article #12, 258-260)] would belong in "Alice in Wonderland" if it were not silly without being funny. THE VAST LITERATURE OF THE CHURCH FATHERS AND THEIR ARGUMENTS ON THE SUBJECTS THEY CHOSE SIMPLY DISGUST ME WITH THE HUMAN RACE.
I am so constituted that it strikes me as disgraceful for Christians to claim that their religion is so superior to others when the facts are plain that Christian countries are no better than other countries. In this country, for example, crime of all sorts exceeds that in all other countries to an overwhelming degree.
Nobody honestly believes that church-members are less likely to embezzle, flirt, or be brutal than non-church-members; or that Christians are more honest than Chinamen. On the testimony of the missionaries life is as safe in the African jungle as it is in the most Christian cities, and so is a woman's virtue. Before the Christians destroyed the Incas, a woman could walk the whole length of Peru without peril. Everybody knows that a man's creed has nothing whatever to do with his character or his conduct. To deny this is to deny everyday experience.
In my own case I know the loss of religion has not made the least difference in my character, either for good or evil, for sorrow or for happiness. People often say, "If I ceased to believe in God and a future life, I'd go mad." I say, "Oh no, you wouldn't. I didn't. I don't feel any change."
For if you believe in the Christian future life you must believe that hell is infinitely more crowded than heaven. I can't see how a decent human being could endure heaven knowing that most of his family and friends are in everlasting woe. GOOD OLD CHRISTIANS USED TO SAY THAT THE CHIEF BLISS OF THE SAVED WILL BE IN WATCHING THE TORTURES OF THE DAMNED [see: Addition 19, 1024-
1026; Addition 33, 1476]. That's good Christianity, but as humanity it is outrageous
I do not believe that all I believe is true. Deeply as I am convinced of certain things, I am utterly afraid of my own opinions. I would not enforce them on any other person. I would not silence his contradictions of me. I want to keep my mind open to new aspects of truth and new opinions. I want my opponents to have every freedom to express everything whatsoever.
Sincerely as I dread and abhor the teachings of most of the churches and churchmen, I would not lift my little finger to prevent one of them from absolute freedom of utterance.
I do not believe in censorship of others or of myself. I could wish as much freedom as I grant. It seems to me that this republic has no more important task than to remember that it was the first nation whose first government put the church out of political power. THE CHURCH IS ALWAYS TRYING TO GET BACK IN. In spite of the fearful history of religious power the ardent churchmen still will meddle with the government of men. This country has been spared the most horrible experiences of other nations. It can escape permanently only by an increasing fear of letting religion acquire a foothold in the government, for the moment the churchman comes in at the door with power, that moment freedom flies out of the window.
The church has shown what it can do to its subjects: the gag, the thumbscrew, the dungeon, the fiery stake, excommunication, hell here and hereafter for those who question the divine will. Let us never forget, or we are lost.
The true freeman, the true American, realizes that his right to liberty and equality compels him to grant liberty and equality. He dreads above all things the coercion of another soul, the suppression of free thought and free speech.
The strangest, saddest thing about religious opposition to the freedom of the soul is the ferocity, the ruthlessness of it. Men dispute earnestly about many things and are good sports after the fight. Democrats, Republicans call names, make wild charges and are good friends afterwards. Scientists, historians, business men, artists wrangle violently and yet observe the code of the duel.
But religious disputes and wars are to the death and to hell afterwards. The truth is never sought regardless of consequences. The dogma is not based on examination and proof, with a day in court for the opponent. But faith is fanatic, conscienceless, and fatal. Where the clergy are all-powerful, liberalism is doomed in advance.
They even oppose those they should help most. When certain men tried to free the slaves in this country—when earlier men tried to free this country, almost all the pulpits assailed them with anathema....' [60-63].
"Christians have done and do beautiful, beautiful things. But so it is with [governments and dictators and] savages and dogs and apes." .
Answers to Critics and Correspondents"
"'I never heard or read of an Infidel who protested against any religion because it hampered his evil instincts and made vice difficult; or because religious people were too good, too pure, too sweet, too honest to be endured.
EVERY ATTACK ON RELIGION I EVER ENCOUNTERED WAS INSPIRED BY A REVULSION AGAINST THE CORRUPTIONS, THE CRUELTIES, AND THE SHAMELESS LIES OF RELIGIOUS PEOPLE. WE WHO ATTACK ARE REVOLTED BY THE DISHONESTY OF THEIR DOCUMENTS, THE TRICKINESS OF THEIR POLITICS, THE HYPOCRISY OF MANY OF THEIR FOLLOWERS, THE BLOODTHIRSTINESS AND GREED OF THEIR PRIESTS AND THEIR HISTORY, THEIR OUTRAGEOUS PRETENSIONS, THEIR HOSTILITY TO MERCY, TO FRIENDLINESS, TO PEACE AND TO PROGRESS.
One thing religious people seem never to understand; one thing for all their imagination they seem incapable of imagining: and that is that the man who speaks against their religion may be actuated by just as great a fervor, just as warm a conviction of eternal truth, just as keen an eagerness for the welfare and nobility of humanity, as the best of them can feel.
Christians never hesitate to revile other religions, or to send among them missionaries generally ignorant and often insolent. They freely revile the innumerable other sects of their own church. They assail and ridicule the most sacred tenets of alien faiths. But when their own is attacked they are struck with horror.
The motive of the attack is the first thing they suspect. It must always be base, though their own motives are always lofty. This is particularly true of one who attacks not a mere phase of religion, but religion itself.
The purposes of Infidels and Atheists are of course always infamous, ruthless, and heartless.
For years I hesitated to write the article which is the first part of this book and which has caused my name to be held up to obloquy in countless pulpits, countless articles, countless letters.
But my heart was so enraged by the ancient atrocities still being committed incessantly today against honesty, history, science, common sense, common decency, and the duty of mankind to itself, that I could keep silent no longer.
I am by nature the most amiable of men, a sentimentalist whose sense of the ridiculous does not always save him from the accusation of mawkishness. I hate nobody and would harm nobody, least of all good people of beautiful hope.
It does not amuse or stimulate me to be insulted or to insult. But I could not forever contain my wrath against mountainous deception. I felt in my solemn inescapable duty to make what protest I could against the unbounded ambitions, the craft and the subtle poisons of professional religionists.
And so I proposed to the editor of The Cosmopolitan an article telling the truth about the evils of Christianity and its marked decline in power throughout the world. He answered that he felt it would be more interesting and less perilous if I wrote it in the form of a personal experience.
I did, and he published it, omitting for reasons of space and other considerations which the publisher of a general magazine must keep in mind, those portions of the article which I have here restored and revised.
Immediately on the appearance of the magazine the storm broke about my head—a storm of gratitude and approval from innumerable anti-Christians of every age and condition; a storm of abuse and protest ranging from the hard-shelled parsons (who demanded that the magazine be forever debarred from circulation and all my works consigned to hasty oblivion) to the liberal parsons and pulpit evolutionists (who said I was attacking long-exploded beliefs, a procession that had long since passed, a devil, a god, a hell, a heaven, a Bible that nobody believed in literally any more).
From the religious laity came letters ranging from anonymous promises of hell-fire to promises of prayer and hope for my eventual redemption. ...." ["69"-71].
[Letter to Rupert Hughes] "Los Angeles, Cal.
You certainly cleaned up on General Hypocrisy and his aides, Censure, Cant, and Humbug, in your article in October Cosmopolitan. It has been many moons since I read anything that gave me such a cheering up.
I have written some five hundred stories, and have been trimmed up by editors until there was no guts left. Constantly have I been admonished, "Don't say anything about religion."
I was beginning to think the average American editor was a pussy-footing coward, afraid of his own shadow, until The Cosmopolitan published your smashing article. The editor of that magazine must be a real editor.
Of course I was not surprised at the article coming from you, as I had read many of your [Rupert Hughes] stories, and noted between the lines rebellion against the Methodist control or any control by a set of fanatics and soft-headed morons. What astounded me was that there was any publisher who had the courage to print it. My friend—, of—, for whom I have written many stories, will not let me peep about religion, race, sex, or any subject that really means anything. He won't even let me put in an honest cuss-word—runs it in blanks. He says he is doing what his readers want. But why shouldn't a writer discuss anything under the sun? What is so damned sacred it can't stand the light of day?
The CHRISTIAN RELIGION HAS MADE THE WHITE MAN A BLOOD-THIRSTY, COWARDLY, LOW-MINDED HYPOCRITE, JUSTIFYING ALL HIS FOUL ACTS WITH A CROSS. NOTHING BUT A CLUB WILL KEEP THE CHRISTIAN FANATIC OUT OF GOVERNMENT, OUT OF THE SCHOOLS, OUT OF CONTROL OF PRESS, THEATER, AND POLICE. YOUR ARTICLE WAS A SMASHING BLOW AT THE CURSE OF THE WORLD." [151-152].
[Letter to Rupert Hughes] "St. Louis, Mo.
It is certainly cheering to come across such an article [c. 1924, in Cosmopolitan] as you have been permitted to give to the world. In these days when the hypocrite and liar is over-running the land, especially in these United States, it is heartening to see recorded, and on the pages of a non-concurring journal [Cosmopolitan], the honest conviction of a searcher for the truth.
TO ME THE CHRISTIANS' CREED IS A HIDEOUS JANGLE OF FABLES, FILTHY LEGENDS, AND LIES, a creed that should put to shame even such a god as the Christians pretend to worship. Church membership is now merely a commercial asset.
The Christians have never lifted themselves up even to that god in whom they pretend to believe, but have consistently dragged down even him to their (the Christians') level. Destroying, in their brazen effrontery, the idols of other peoples, they have erected in their stead thousands much more vicious, malignant, and hideous.
THE CHRISTIANS' GOD IS to me NON-EXISTENT. HE IS AN IDOL FABRICATED IN A BRAIN ENMESHED IN THE COBWEBS OF RELIGIOUS SUPERSTITION. If he were the ideal spirit which they pretend to believe him, if he were all-wise, all-good, then every prayer uttered by a Christian is a blasphemy. If he were omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, he should need no guidance or control in the management of the little sphere on which we crawl from those who crawl. Does not the life of the pretender to a religious belief in almost every instance belie this pretended belief? If he were honest would he not shrink in horror at the fate which, according to his pretended belief, awaits the hypocrite and liar?
THE CHRISTIAN CREED IS TOTTERING. IT IS TOTTERING BECAUSE IT IS BUILT ON A FOUNDATION OF FALSEHOOD AND DEGRADING FABLE—TOTTERING BECAUSE THE WALLS OF ITS SUPER-STRUCTURE ARE SOAKED IN THE BLOOD OF THE VICTIMS OF ITS FANATICISM—TOTTERING BECAUSE IT HAS FOSTERED SUPERSTITION AND SELFISHNESS, THE CARDINAL VICES OF THE HUMAN RACE.
More power to your [Rupert Hughes] pen."
[157-158] [End of book].
● ● ● ● ●
from: The Atheist, Madalyn Murray O'Hair [1919 - 1995] [see 2211], Bryan F. Le Beau, New York University Press, 2003. [must study!].
[dust jacket] 'In 1964, Life magazine called prominent atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair "the most hated woman in America." Another critic described her as "rude, impertinent, blasphemous, a destroyer not only of beliefs but of esteemed values."
In this first full-length biography of O'Hair, Bryan Le Beau offers a penetrating assessment of her beliefs and actions and a probing discussion of how she came to represent both what Americans hated in their enemies and feared in themselves. Born in 1919, O'Hair was a divorced mother of two children born out of wedlock. She launched a crusade against God, often using foul language as she became adept at shocking people and making effective use of the media in delivering her message. She first gained notoriety as one of the primary litigants in the 1963 case Murray v. Curlett which led the Supreme Court to ban school prayer. The decision stunned a nation engaged in fighting "godless Communism" and made O'Hair America's most famous—and most despised—atheist.
O'Hair led a colorful life, facing assault charges and extradition from Mexico, as well as the defection of her son William, who as an adult denounced his mother as a cult leader. She later served as Hustler publisher Larry Flynt's chief speech writer in his bid for president of the United States.
Drawing on original research and interviews, Le Beau traces O'Hair's development from a child of the Depression to the dictatorial, abrasive woman who founded the American Atheists, wrote a series of books denouncing religion, and challenged the words "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, "In God We Trust" on American currency, the tax exempt status of religious organizations, and a host of other behaviors she saw as violating the separation of church and state.
O'Hair remained a spokesperson for atheism until 1995, when she and her son and granddaughter vanished. They appeared to have taken with them at least $500,000 in American Atheist funds. It was later discovered that they were murdered by O'Hair's former officer manager and an accomplice [accomplices?].
Fast-paced, engagingly written, and sharply relevant to ongoing debates about school prayer and other religious issues, The Atheist tells the colorful life-story of a woman who challenged America's most deeply held beliefs.
Bryan F. Le Beau is Professor of History and American Studies and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri—Kansas City. He is the author and editor of several books, including Currier and Ives: America Imagined, The Story of the Salem Witch Trials, and Religion in America to 1865 (also available from NYU Press.).' [dust jacket].
'Clarence Darrow [1857 - 1938], one of the century's best-known lawyers and a professed agnostic, gained notoriety as "an infidel" when he took on William Jennings Bryan [1860 - 1925] in the celebrated Scopes Trial in Tennessee in 1925. John T. Scopes was arrested for violating the state's statute forbidding teaching of the theory of evolution in the public schools. Bryan, former secretary of state and three-time presidential candidate, who supported passage of the law, announced before the trial: "A successful attack would destroy the Bible and with it revealed religion. If evolution wins, Christianity goes." Darrow lost the case. He won on appeal—based on a technicality—but otherwise triumphed in the arena of public opinion by ridiculing the fundamentalist opposition to evolution.24
The equally well known reporter, H.L. Mencken [1880 - 1956], reported favorably on Darrow's defense and critically on the brand of religion he associated with Bryan and credited with depriving people of their civil liberties and crushing the human spirit. In 1930 Mencken wrote Treatise on the Gods [see 2567], a "full-fledged attempt at deflation" of the powers of organized religion. But Mencken was too much of an individualist to organize any movements. Although he [Mencken] provoked many of his readers, and reveled in provoking them, he did not shock the nation the way O'Hair would.25' [8-9].
'Madalyn studied history at Western Reserve University and one year of law at Ohio Northern University. During the winter of 1949-50, however, the family moved to Houston, Texas, so that Madalyn's father could work in the oil fields. Madalyn transferred to South Texas School (later College) of Law, where, in August 1952, she earned an LL.B., which was automatically converted in 1965 to a Juris Doctor.37
Madalyn often boasted of her intelligence and education, especially as compared to other women of her time. In a 1964 Life magazine interview she explained: "Compared to most cud-chewing, small-talking, stupid American women, I'm a brain. We might as well admit it, I'm a genius." In 1980 she wrote: "There is no woman in the United States, who has the education, the family, the background, or the IQ I have." Nevertheless, she never passed the bar exam, but Madalyn said that she never took it because it required a religious oath, calling on her to affirm a belief in a Supreme Being. It is probably the case that Madalyn did not take the bar exam in Texas because, first, she moved within months of earning her degree. Second, the South Texas School of Law was not ABA approved at the time, so her degree was not recognized by the State of Texas. Time permitting, she might have qualified to take the exam through other means, but that was not to be the case. Instead, she worked as a probation officer for Harris County, Texas.38' .
'At times, she admitted being contemptuous of the whole human race. "WHO CAN BE SO GAWD DAMN DUMB AS PEOPLE WHO SMOKE, WAR, BELIEVE IN GOD, WORSHIP PETTINESS AND ROUTINES, AND EXPLOIT OTHER HUMAN BEINGS." She felt the need to get around them. "I don't want to get along with them, because I don't like them." At other times she was optimistic. In June 1957 she wrote in her diary: "I find more and more people are organizing together on the basis sometimes of
personal glorification but the job is getting done"; to wit, she noted resistance to Joseph McCarthy [1908 - 1957] and J. Edgar Hoover [1895 - 1972], as well as defiance of conformity in general. She acknowledged "panting over the concept of community organization" and added, "Damn, but I love a good fight."65' [35-36].
'"We don't particularly like Atheists who convert from the really wild religions," Madalyn O'Hair offered, "because they become wild Atheists, and we are not like that. Once a person is bitten by the Atheism bug, that person stays an Atheist for the rest of his or her life. It is very rare that an Atheist ever lapses back into religion."' .
'O'Hair summarized the U.S. debacle in Vietnam in political-religious terms. She explained that during presidential elections, the Roman Catholic vote had to be placated, "and that RELIGIOUS GROUPS IN AMERICA SUPPORTED THE WAR IN VIETNAM WITH TENACITY." When Roman Catholics are in power, and their power is unrestricted by constitutional or other checks, she noted, "they tend to conduct a policy more and more consonant with the spirit of the religion." That is, they combine the interests of their country with those of their church. When that happens, they use their political or military power against their opposition. Such was the case with Diem [Ngo Dinh Diem 1901 - 1963 (assassinated); "fanatical Catholic" "backed by America" (Internet)], and as long as America feared the "godless communism" of Diem's opposition, they supported him.37
"America appears to be under a psychological compulsion to continue our military pressure in Vietnam," she wrote, "by seeing godless communism as a monolithic enemy to our way of life." It had begun in the early 1950s, when John Foster Dulles [1888 - 1959] and Joseph McCarthy set into action "a moralizing Christian capitalism." It had been actively supported by Cardinal Spellman [Francis Joseph Spellman 1889 - 1967], culminating in "two tragic expressions: the Vietnam War, which was 'Cardinal Spellman's War,' and the slogan 'Kill a commie for Christ,' which characterized the peak of our military threat in Vietnam."3
On April 3, 1972—apparently as she was completing War in Vietnam: The Religious Connection—O'Hair read a New York Times article dated January 5, 1972, that underscored other denominations' complicity in the war. In "Report Says 10 Churches Abet 'Immoral Acts' of Arms Industry," Douglas Robinson reported that the Corporate Information Center of the National Council of Churches had accused ten Protestant denominations of complicity through their stockholding with the "irresponsible, immoral and socially injurious acts" of twenty-nine corporations holding military contracts.39
Among the churches with military stockholdings, according to the report on religious investment practices, were those that had been in the forefront of the criticism of the Vietnam War and of the growing militarism in the United States. The ten denominations and the Council itself had almost $203 million invested in companies that in 1971 provided more than $10 billion worth of war material, ranging from guns to missiles. The dollar figure, however, the report insisted, was less important than the investments themselves, which gave a "moral aura of legitimacy" to the war. Frank White, director of the Corporate Information Center, charged the
churches with being hypocritical, a point O'Hair also emphasized repeatedly.40'
'O'Hair explained that she was not against the good work that churches "could do if they tried," but that she was fighting to secure the basic human freedoms that should be guaranteed to any human being—freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion." She noted that she favored the compulsory study of religion in the schools—"the history, literature and the psychopathology of religion"—which, she predicted, would result in students rejecting religion "out-of-hand by age 12." Whether her views would gain mass acceptance during her lifetime was questionable, she allowed, but she was nevertheless dedicated to them and would fight to the end.72' [147-148].
'In 1970 Madalyn and Richard O'Hair formed Poor Richard's Universal Life Church.
Both Madalyn and Richard had obtained divinity degrees from "a California religious organization [probably the Universal Life Church (see 2572)]." Richard was the president, pastor, and prophet of the church; Madalyn was bishop and she wore a clerical collar to show it. The Associated Press quoted Madalyn as saying at the press conference at which she and Richard made the announcement that they had organized the church for tax purposes: "From here on," she noted, "we're going to take every exemption. We are not going to pay any taxes on telephones. We're not going to pay any tax on our airplane tickets. We're going to operate just as all churches do....Now the churches have told us a million times over and so has the federal government that atheism is a religion so we're going to accept this."75' .
'"We are mystic," O'Hair continued, "in that we love the mystery and the excitement and the beauty of life. We are ecstatic in that we perceive that life is for living. We are free in that we can function without beads, wafers, thimbles of wine, recitatives, responsive readings, hymns, and charity. We are individuals, and so we challenge authority, rigidity, doctrinariansim, creeds, rituals, structuring." Insisting that "no god ever wrote any book," she announced that members of the Universal Life Church would write their own books of ethical perceptions and criteria of human conduct.80' .
'O'Hair tired to stop the "religious exploitation of outer space." In August 1969 she brought suit—O'Hair v. Paine—in Federal District Court against the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to prevent it from making any public display of religion in space. More specifically she sought an injunction against NASA and its administrators to prohibit them "from further directing or permitting religious activities or ceremonies and especially reading of the sectarian Christian religion's Bible, and from prayer recitation in space and in relation to all future space-flight activity." The previous Christmas Eve, December 1968, while orbiting the moon on Apollo 8, Colonel Frank Boorman had said a prayer for peace that was broadcast around the world. Boorman, Major William Andrews, and Captain James Lovell read
the first ten verses from the first chapter of Genesis. Madalyn alleged that rather than being spontaneous, NASA had ordered the religious event. She also objected to the placing of a small disk of prayers by Pope Paul VI on the moon by Apollo's Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin Jr. in July 1969. O'Hair described such actions as attempts to "establish the Christian religion on[by?] the U.S. government before[on?] the world." She added: "The world watching this human spectacle was a captive audience for the proselytizing of the religious convictions of the sectarian minor world religion of Christianity."84' [150-151].
'Many Americans attributed the "decline of America" to the Murray and Schempp cases and the "loss" of God from the schools. And if anyone needed an example of how godlessness leads to disparaged behavior, they only had to look at Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who was not only "the Atheist" in America but, by traditional American standards, rude, blasphemous, and immoral. As a result, at the height of her popularity, Madalyn Murray O'Hair illicited hate and fear from as many as she thrilled. And, people wanted to know more about her and her movement. Thus, the same fifteen-year period was also a very prolific period for O'Hair in terms of literary production. In her newsletter, magazine, and books, she expressed her ideas on a wide range of matters relating to American society, all of which were tied in some way to the irrational nature of religion and its negative effects on believers. LITTLE OF WHAT O'HAIR WROTE WAS ORIGINAL. SHE QUOTED EXTENSIVELY FROM, AND RELIED HEAVILY ON, THE WORKS OF OTHERS. SHE WAS A SYNTHESIZER AND POPULARIZER, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY FOR OUR PURPOSES, IN THE PROCESS SHE MADE CLEAR THAT IN WHICH SHE BELIEVED.'  [End of Chapter 4 "The Atheist"].
'O'Hair explained that she did not believe that God existed, and that she did not believe in heaven or hell, life after death, miracles, angels, prophets, any holy book, saviors, or the efficacy of prayers.7 Having established what she did not believe, however, and in response to the charge that atheists are negative—that they have no positive program—she offered the following excerpt from Murray v. Curlett. O'Hair wrote it and had it placed in the record, explaining what atheists believe:
[O'Hair] An Atheist loves his fellow man instead of god. An Atheist believes that heaven is something for which we should work now, here on earth, for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist believes that he can get no help through prayer, but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and enjoy it. An Atheist believes that only in a knowledge of himself and knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help [both] to a life of fulfillment. He seeks to know himself and his fellow man rather than to know a god. An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist believes that a deed should be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty banished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life....He believes that we are our brothers' keepers, and are
keepers of our own lives; that we are responsible persons and the job is here and the time is now.8
Such a statement, O'Hair suggested, might prompt people to respond that she was merely stating what everybody really wants, and that, therefore, atheists are no different. "Well, you're right in a way," she allowed. "We try to find some basis of rational thinking in which we can base our actions and our beliefs and we have it."9' [171-172].
'Elsewhere O'Hair allowed that there were different kinds of atheists, and that she did not like most of them because they were not "motivated to move into the community and to attempt to correct the injustices which [were] everywhere apparent against them." She also complained that most remained "against theism, rather than free from it," and as a result, were still "entangled in its coils."11 Somewhat flippantly, in sarcastic humor, O'Hair singled out "hate-ridden Atheists, who usually convert from Roman Catholicism; fanatical Atheists, who usually convert from Jehovah's Witnesses; tired Atheists, who usually convert from Judaism; [and] mentally drugged Atheists, who convert from the Hare Krishnas." More seriously, she let it be know[n] that she despised those atheists, who had "a hatred reaction to religion." Those atheists—"psychologically injured by religion"—often had a traumatic conversion to atheism as the result of some injury inflicted on them by a particular church, and could not get beyond their hatred of what they left behind. They could "recite an extraordinary number of incidents where priests were discovered to be living carnally with their housekeepers," where ministers were guilty of misappropriating church funds, or where a young choir boy accused the male director of indecent advances. They belonged "to minute Atheist groups which meet in cellars and send out mimeographed sheets in opposition to religion."12
O'Hair denounced what she called the sectarian atheist, who flourished "only in bitter internecine warfare and factional strife." His entire energy was devoted to attacking other atheist groups, and was therefore "destructive to our cause." His cause—feminism, gay rights, abortion rights—took precedent over the cause of atheism. He believed he had the absolute truth and commonly identified himself as a freethinker, rationalist, or secularist.13
Madalyn sarcastically referred to other types of atheists she had encountered in her public life. There was the Opinion Atheist, who made his opinions known at every opportunity, whether he was well informed or not, and whether it was appropriate or not. "Freddy, the Free Loader" atheists used American Atheists' services, but refused to contribute to it. And she had met Messiah Atheists, those who followed without question the teachings of Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and others.14
O'Hair listed four other categories of atheists:  primitive,  discreet,  philosophic, and  practical. She claimed to have been among all three [four?], in that order, at one point or another. The primitive atheist existed in "vast numbers," usually on college campuses. "Someone comes of intellectual age, does a doubletake at Christianity, finds it to be incredible...and announces, 'I don't believe that crap,' and lets it go at that."  Primitive atheists usually joined the Ethical Culture Society or the Unitarian Church, O'Hair explained, "and live happily ever after with substitute dogmas, creeds, and routines to fill a gap they imagine was left in their lives. They
float around in a small esoteric group which plays the game of 'group discussion' in private, specifically the game of 'we exceptional few with our superior beliefs.'" By and large, however, due to social pressures and a culture that makes him "feel a little like a freak," he keeps his ideas to himself and adjusts, "forced into a life of hypocrisy."15
 Discreet atheists, Madalyn continued, begin in much the same manner, and for much the same reasons they cannot take the next step of proclaiming themselves atheists. They tend to come from the more liberal branches of religion, but then take the half-step of joining the Unitarian church or the Ethical Culture Society. As Madalyn put it, they then live "(semi-)happily ever after with substitute dogmas, creeds, and routines to fill the gap they imagine was left in their lives when they stepped away from their church." They maintain the form, if not the content, of a religious institution and "with this deceit can remain in the human community without censure."16
 The philosophical atheist, O'Hair continued, "does a triple-take at Christianity and gets hopelessly bogged down in reading the Bible in order to clarify that to which he is opposed." He knows all the arguments for the existence of God, and how to refute them. "He can use up hours of priceless living time analyzing all of the religious theories, histories, diverse theologies, and personalities." They usually join the American Humanists or Mensa "and live happily ever after deeply immersed in obscurantism—reading in depth the genteel, erudite, and completely worthless articles in the journals of those societies. They play the game of beating ideas to death with words. They usually, also, have Ph.D.'s."17
 O'Hair described the fourth group—practical atheists—as "a Maslovian [from Abraham Maslow (1908 - 1970)] type." The practical atheist, she noted, "just has a natural thrust to what is healthy and normal in life." He responds to his instincts, as well as his intellect." He has, as a way of life, an underlying basic positivism. He is grounded in life and its natural rules. He has a free-wheeling, open-ended philosophy." The practical atheist emphasizes "the worth of the individual, his human dignity, his intelligence, his ability to order his own life, his ability to enjoy the emotions with which he is endowed." He emphasizes reason, life experience, and common sense. If the practical atheist is negative, it is only in denying fantastic dogma, creeds, and rituals that defy reason and reality. "He has no negative emotion-laden reaction to religion," however, "because it isn't worth his time." Most of these atheists, she continued, are objectivists and follow Ayn Rand.18
O'Hair explained that there were atheists who had even gone beyond this positive, practical point. They "realize that every aspect of living depends on the total living of all mankind." They know that they are shaped by the culture and the times into which they are born. They believe that the "irrational ideas which have long underpinned our total philosophy of living have been religious ideas which are sick. They can see how these anti-life, anti-human ideas have distorted our value systems." They recognize the need for direct confrontation with religion, and the "necessity of triumph in the notion of separation of state and church." They see the need for "a better, more rational, basis for culture" and "care desperately that our children and our grandchildren shall not need to experience the stifling monocles [eyeglasses for one eye (word usage?)] of thought restriction which bound humankind to suffering for thousands of years." O'Hair insisted that she had become that type of atheist, and that she was trying to lead others to become the same.19' [173-175].
'....Jefferson [Thomas Jefferson 1743 - 1826] was more direct in a letter to John Adams [1735 - 1826] just before his death: "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."71
Jefferson described the gospel history as "a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticism, and fabrications." He charged Jesus' biographers with formatting "falsehoods" and "charlatanisms," and condemned the torture of innocent people in the name of Christianity. Jefferson described Christian revivals as so much fanaticism, and showed himself anticlerical to the extent that he found "in every age the priest has been hostile to liberty...in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own." He added: "If anybody thinks that kings, nobles and priests are good conservators of public happiness, send him here (Paris). It is the best school in the universe to cure him of that folly."72' .
Articulating the Atheist Position
On Holy Writings and the Historicity of Jesus" 
'....O'Hair bemoaned the absence of nineteenth-century "higher criticism" in the United States. The result, she explained, was that Americans were unaware of anything that resulted from research that called into question "a great number of things about the Bible and about Jesus." SHE DECLARED AMERICA THE "TEXAS OF THE WORLD" in "believing in its ignorance that things are as they are represented to be, especially the Bible and the old folklore hero, Jesus Christ." "My suggestion to you," she concluded, "is pick up the Bible and read it. More Atheists come from this exercise than any other single thing."11
O'HAIR QUESTIONED THE HISTORICITY OF JESUS CHRIST. She pointed out striking parallels between what Christians say about Jesus and representations of the older Indian god, Krishna. Like Jesus, O'Hair reported, "Krishna was believed to be of supernatural and divine origin. He had a human being for a mother and a god for a father; he was woman-conceived...deity-begotten, and molded in human form." And people believed that Krishna would "descend from heaven and relieve them of their earthly state." She added numerous other parallels, calling into question w
hat Christians "know" about Jesus, and took on "the secular proofs" of his existence. In one notable case, O'Hair quoted extensively from an authority in the field with whom she agreed, Joseph Campbell [1904 - 1987], and his writings on "the mythical Jesus."12
History, Campbell argued, is completely silent on Jesus Christ. The only sources on Jesus are the Pauline Epistles [?] and the Four Gospels of the New Testament [see Article #3, 55, 277.; etc.]. Having eliminated them as having no historical or evidential value, all that remained were alleged references to Jesus by Jewish and pagan writers, upon whom "religious apologists" rely to make their case for the historical Jesus. They are from the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus [c. 37 - c. 100 C.E.], and from the three Roman writers Tacitus [c. 56 - c. 120 C.E.],
Pliny the Younger [62 - 113], and Suetonius [c. 69 - after 122]. None, he [Joseph Campell] argued, could withstand critical testing.13
O'Hair often pointed to contradictions concerning the life of Christ in the New Testament.14 But on August 30, 1971, she provided what might be considered her summary points on the subject. She did this by referring to American atheist DeRobigne Mortimer Bennett's AN OPEN LETTER TO JESUS CHRIST [a Classic!], written in 1877. Bennett [D.M. Bennett 1818 - 1882] started the newspaper, Truth Seeker, which by the 1880s was the world's largest and best freethought journal. It became the organ of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism, and given their similar ideas and objectives, O'Hair insisted that a "straight line" could be drawn from Bennett and his newspaper through the AAAA ["American Association for the Advancement of Atheism"] to O'Hair's radio program.15
BENNETT'S 1887  LETTER CONSISTED OF A SERIES OF QUESTIONS HE POSED TO CHRIST CONCERNING, FOR EXAMPLE, THE LACK [omission (see 2606-2607)] OF INFORMATION IN THE NEW TESTAMENT ABOUT CHRIST'S INFANCY, CHILDHOOD, AND YOUTH. Bennett asked: "How is it that the 'Evangelists,' who are said to have been divinely delegated to write your life and teachings, should have been so silent in reference to this interesting portion of your existence? Were those items purposely suppressed, or was it simply accidental?" Bennett asked Christ if he had been "begotten by the Creator of the Universe," how he liked "the carpentry [see Article #9, 222 (carpenter)] business"; did he think it was "amiable and filial" to treat his mother with disrespect by asking "Who is my mother?" Did he believe it morally correct to require some to hate their parents, brothers and sisters, wives and children? Would he explain the discrepancy between his prediction that the world would end within a generation, and its continuing some 2000 years later? Whether it was part of his father's plan, or through the devil's intrigue, that he was put to death—and did it do any good?16
Moving beyond Christ's life on earth to the history and teachings of his church, Bennett asked whether Christ would agree that it was time to replace "all mythologies, man-made gods, mortal cruelties...senseless creeds, and superstitions" with "truth, science, reason, fraternal love, and human brotherhood"; whether he approved of "that infernal institution called the 'Holy Inquisition' which for five hundred years cursed the most populous portions of Europe"; did he participate in the Crusades, which in an attempt to "wrest the Holy Land from...the Infidel...caused the blood of scores of millions of human beings to saturate the earth"; was he mindful of the "villainous popes," who had from time to time filled that chair and claimed to be his "vice regents and special favorites"; and whether members of the Christian churches were really any better off than "the average of non-professing people"?17' [212-214].
'O'Hair attacked the concept of religion itself. On her January 30, 1973, radio program, for example, she read a passage from the German author of The God Pestilence (1902), Johann Joseph Most [1846 - 1906]:
Among all mental diseases, which have been systematically inoculated into the human cranium, the religious pest is the most abominable. Like all things else, this disease has a history, only in this case nothing will be found of the development from nonsense to reason which is generally assumed to be the course of history.38'
O'HAIR ARGUED THAT RELIGION CONSISTED OF FOUR ELEMENTS THAT HELD THE MINDS OF MAN IN CAPTIVITY:  "recognizing a higher power, person, or entity;  supplication or propitiating that power;  having that power intervene in your behalf in your life,"  and believing that "continued existence after death is assured to you on a reward or punishment basis."39
She referred to the various theories concerning the origins of religion: that religion grew out of fear, that it was related to the study of astrology, that it evolved from dreams, that it followed ancestor worship, and so on. She cited Herbert Spencer as contending that every god was once a living being, enlarged in the memory of succeeding generations. That being's deeds were reported from one generation to the next by word of mouth, "and inevitably elaborated and embellished by the narrators of the wondrous tales," seeking to impress their audiences. Deeds were invested with magic and made to be "marvelous and supernatural" until they became "distorted...out of resemblance" to actuality.40
Gods brought rain, abundant crops, and healthy babies, but then there was death with which to contend. Someone had the idea, she offered, that something—the spirit—left the body, and rituals were introduced to keep it from acting adversely toward the living and to guarantee those spirits safe passage to a better world than that on earth. In brief, people came to lean on religion as a crutch or support, O'Hair explained, to derive "comfort and solace" from it. She repeated the observation that "if there were no gods, men would have to invent some to fill their needs [essence, from Voltaire [and Plato?, Cicero, Tillotson], Nov. 10, 1770 (see: Dictionary of Quotations, Bergen Evans, c1968, 277-278)]." She added: "People distressed by the miseries of meager and sorrowful lives on earth are buoyed up by hopes of Valhalla, or Mt. Olympus, or Mohammedan paradise, or Christian heaven, where all will be bliss for all eternity." "This is especially true of women [due to "the miseries of meager and sorrowful lives on earth"?]," she pointed out, "and they are the main reliance of the priesthood, the most numerous attendants in the temples."41
Christianity, O'Hair explained, came to power in the Western world "simply because one of its adherents came to power and then suppressed all other religions." Constantine called the Council of Nicaea [325 C.E.], reorganized the Church along imperial lines, and had drawn up an official creed for it. "CHRISTIANITY DID NOT COME INTO DOMINANCE BY THE WONDROUS ACT OF GOD, OR BY SWEET REASON, OR THE TRUTH OF THE IDEAS OF THE CHURCH," she continued. "It [CHRISTIANITY (CHRISTIANISM)] CAME INTO DOMINANCE BY THE BLOOD OF THE SWORD."42
Christianity has been "a reign of terror" ever since, O'Hair insisted. It had been the source of fierce and bloody wars and crusades, and it had undercut the ideas of personal freedom while serving as "a constant brake on scientific progress, art, music, culture and the intellectual progress of man." She criticized Christians for being averse to the acquisition of knowledge or the exercise of reason that was not useful to salvation, and she blamed it for having "obliterated education," "obstructed human inquiry," "paralyzed...intelligent examination of the natural world," and "railed against the concept of human betterment," substituting "the fear of death for the love of life."43
O'Hair made repeated use of the Inquisition to make her point about Christianity's "reign of terror." She identified Pope Gregory I as the "real father of the worst slaughter" of the Inquisition. In 1231, she explained, he enacted a church law whereby all heretics, "who were stubborn in their opinions," were to be put to death. The Inquisition made it its business, however, to persecute not only heretics—that is, Christians with unorthodox views—but also Muslims and Jews. "First they were compelled to become Christians, and then they were roasted alive because they were bad Christians"—often to confiscate their gold [property in general], she suggested, or to place all business and commerce in Christian hands.44
O'Hair quoted extensively from the nineteenth-century German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche [1844 - 1900], and his The Antichrist (1895) [see Article #23, 484], a condemnation of Christianity. "Neither as an ethical code nor as a religion," Nietzsche wrote, "has Christianity any point of contact with things as they actually are. It is concerned with fantastic causes...and it is concerned with fantastic effects"—like God and the soul, on the one hand, sin and salvation on the other. "It communes with fantastic creatures," like God and ghosts, "professes a fantastic science," with no conception of natural causes, and "a fantastic psychology" that allows for possession by the devil and the voice of God. "THE WHOLE CHRISTIAN FANTASY WORLD," as Nietzsche put it, WAS BASED ON AN AVERSION FROM WHAT IS NATURAL, from which he concluded: "Ah, but this explains everything....Who would have reason for escaping actuality?—the man who suffers from it! And if he suffers from actuality a man must be a misfit in the world as it actually is. A PREDOMINANCE OF PAIN OVER JOY IS THE EXPLANATION OF THIS RELIGION [CHRISTIANITY] AND ETHIC OF ESCAPE: just as in the same way a predominance of pain over joy is the formula of decadence."45
O'Hair reminded her audience that Nietzsche wrote that THE CHRISTIAN GOD was "as a deity of the sick, god as a spinner of cobwebs, god as a ghost," and, thereby, "ONE OF THE MOST CORRUPT IDEAS THAT HAS EVER BEEN GENERATED ON EARTH." He suggested that it could be the "low-water mark in the ebbing of the god-type—god degraded into the negation of life instead of being its glorification and eternal affirmation!" Nietzsche accused the Christian god of declaring war on life and the will to live. He concluded, O'Hair emphasized: "Every act of everyday, every instinct, every principle which leads to action, is today anti-Christian: what an abortion [monstrosity] of falsehood that modern man must be, to call himself a Christian without blushing for shame! [see 2572-2573]"46
As representatives of religion, O'Hair was particularly critical of the ministry. Again, she could be caustic:
An old adage says, "WHERE A PRIEST HAS TROD, NO GRASS WILL GROW!" That means, in other words, if a person is once in the clutches of the priests, his intellect becomes barren—his intellectual functions cease to operate in a normal way, and instead religious maggots and divine worms wiggle through his brain. He ["A PERSON"] RESEMBLES A SHEEP THAT HAS THE STAGGERS ["incoordination in animals." Various causes and syndromes (Dorland's Medical Dictionary)].
These misguided, unhappy wretches have been defrauded of the real object of life, but what is worse, they form the great crowd in the train of the opponents to science and the march of reason, to revolution and to liberty. Whenever new claims [chains (The Atheist World, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, 1991, 144 (see the Introduction. Oh! If Madalyn Murray O'Hair could have had my printed sources, the Internet, etc. I greatly appreciate her phenomenal efforts))] are to be forged for mankind, they are willing to work at the anvil as if possessed by demons.47
At other times, she was more reasoned [?]. She allowed that many priests and ministers "do a lot of good, as dedicated human beings, in the sphere of social service," helping the orphaned, comforting the bereaved, and trying to inculcate moral standards. "This, too, is called religion," she allowed, but then there was "the field of dogma, ecclesiastical tenets and faith in the supernatural," with which she found fault.48' [220-223].
'There is no question that Madalyn lashed out at anyone who criticized her, but it is also the case that she advocated freedom of sexuality among consenting adults and encouraged gay atheists to organize their own chapters. She suggested separate chapters, because she believed gay atheists would put gay concerns ahead of atheist considerations—something she did not tolerate among other American Atheist chapters.
Critics also quoted Madalyn's apparently racist outbursts against blacks, including at least occasional use of the word "nigger." When asked if she "liked black people," she responded both officially and personally. Officially, she explained, American Atheists took the position that people should be evaluated as individuals on their own merits, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, or "any other arbitrary division of humankind." In the matter of busing, she stated her preference for bringing black communities and schools up to par with their white counterparts.37 Personally, she admitted finding herself "angry with blacks as a group." She explained:
[O'Hair] The preponderance of them [blacks] are captured in the Baptist church worshipping a white god, the representatives of which held them, as a race, in slavery in the United States for over 200 years. It is just damn dumb of blacks to lick the hand of the god that brutalized his ancestors and placed him in a
class position of social/educational/economic inferiority in the culture of the nation today. I can't understand why, they ["blacks"], as a group, cling to psychological subservience after having been rescued from a physical subservience [see Article #25, 1179],
a point she claimed to have made personally to Martin Luther King Jr. [1929 - 1968] She laid claim to black friends, however, and insisted that at that level, she judged them individually, not as a group.38
In the end the matter of Madalyn O'Hair's attitude toward Jews, gays, and blacks was of less consequence than her increasingly strained relations with other atheists, especially those within American Atheists.' .
'O'Hair insisted that atheists were not rationalists, realists, secularists, humanists, or agnostics, but atheists. She proclaimed: "Atheists are here now to stay. We are ready to take over the culture and to move it ahead for the benefit of all humankind. Religion has ever been anti-human, anti-woman, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason, and anti-science. The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth. It is time now for reason, education, and science to take over." O'Hair called on all atheists "to come out of the closet." She concluded:
[O'Hair] Over the years there has been much discussion about Black liberation, women's liberation, gay liberation. That is hardly anything, a liberation from restrictions based on race or sex, or sexual orientation. The real liberation is the liberation of your mind. The inherent right of human beings to think about any damn thing they care to think about, to weigh ideas, to accept them or reject them, to compare them to others. The ultimate liberation, the liberation toward which all others just strive, is the liberation of the mind.47
Elsewhere and privately, O'Hair showed less zeal for, or confidence in, the cause. Publicly she complained that American Atheists continued to be undermined, slandered, censored, and the subject of reprisals, or at least misunderstood. When asked to speak on the future of atheism in America at the Annual National Convention of American Atheists in April 1992, she painted a grim picture. She struck out against the Reagan/Bush administration, which she described as "in attack mode"' against all progress made toward the separation of church and state. But she also bemoaned the loss of reality and heroes in American culture and society, both of which were detrimental and likely to prove fatal to the atheist cause. Reality was under attack, she insisted, by the movie industry, television, advertising, and of course, religion, "the ultimate fantasy." Americans had become "hopelessly benighted and gullible," no longer able to see the true state of their condition or to fight for atheism—the ultimate reality. "The heroic age," in which fantasy had been challenged and in which she played a leading role, had passed. "The window of opportunity has been closed."48' [291-292].
'Assessing Madalyn O'Hair's Crusade
Not everyone remembered Madalyn in the same way. A few had had personally positive relations with her. Scott Kerns, who for awhile led the Texas chapter of American Atheists, had fond memories of his wedding in March 1989, at which Madalyn officiated. Madalyn invited the couple to be married in her home. "She took the ceremony very seriously," he recalled, offering that it was a lovely moment and that Madalyn was "the funniest person on earth."83 Some explained Madalyn's offensive public behavior as a reaction to what she saw as an enemy of incredible proportions. And many of her enemies were formidable. But she also assumed her public posture in order to bind her followers more closely to her.84
Others looked beyond O'Hair's public persona to what she accomplished. In 1989 Stephen Thorne, director of the San Diego chapter of Americans Atheists, then badly divided over O'Hair, described her critics as motivated by jealousy. "She's hard nosed, she is determined and she's a scrappy fighter who knows more about the atheist movement than anyone else. What she's accomplished is more than any of her critics have....Maybe she isn't the best leader for atheists any longer, but let's see if someone more qualified steps forward. A lot of people take cheap shots at her, but she's still probably the best known atheist in the country because she's been in the hot seat longer."85' .
'....O'Hair's critics point to their [former employees (including son, William Murray)] lower figures as proof that she inflated the numbers [of people associated with her enterprises] in order to support her claims of organizational success, which is probably the case. Their numbers are likely close to the mark. But, then, as even O'Hair critic Bozarth admits: "Free thinkers are notoriously hard to organize [do greater quantities and qualities of fears and doubts increase herding?]....All the Freethought organizations I've been associated with admit this failure honestly and are trying to overcome it."95 Upon American Atheists' twenty-fifth anniversary, Jon Garth Murray described organizing atheists as being like organizing anarchists. "It is not easy to make fiercely independent persons relinquish just enough of their personal sovereignty to form a productive association with others. The level of bickering that has gone on within American Atheists over the past twenty-five years would make a substitute elementary school teacher cry. It has been almost as if the organization were composed entirely of adolescents."96 The only issue around which they readily rallied—loosely—was the constitutional[?] separation of church and state.' [302-303].
● ● ● ● ●
'THE TRUTH ABOUT JESUS
IS HE A MYTH?
by M.M. MANGASARIAN
Independent Religious Society
By education most have been misled,
So they believe because they were so bred;
The priest continues what the nurse began,
And thus the child imposes on the man. DRYDEN
The following work offers in book form the series of studies on the question of the historicity of Jesus, presented from time to time before the Independent Religious Society in Orchestra Hall. No effort has been made to change the manner of the spoken word into the more regular form of the written word.
M.M. MANGASAIRIAN [MANGASARIAN].' [c. 1904].
One of our Sunday programs, the other day, found its way into a church. It went farther; it made its appearance in the pulpit.
"In my hand I hold the notice of a publication bearing the title Is Jesus a Myth?" said Dr. Boyle. "This, too, just as though Paul never bore testimony."
This gave the clergyman a splendid opportunity to present in clear and convincing form the evidence for the reality of Jesus. But one thing prevented him: -- the lack of evidence.
Therefore, after announcing the subject, he dismissed it, by remarking that Paul's testimony was enough.
The Rev. Morton Culver Hartzell, in a letter, offers the same argument. "Let Mr. Mangasarian first disprove Paul," he writes. The argument in a nutshell is this: Jesus is historical because he is guaranteed by Paul.
BUT WHO GUARANTEES PAUL?
Aside from the fact that the Jesus of Paul is essentially a different Jesus from the gospel Jesus there still remains the question, Who is Paul? Let us see how much the church scholars themselves know about Paul:
"The place and manner and occasion of his death are not less uncertain than the facts of his later life ... The chronology of the rest of his life is as uncertain ... We have no means of knowing when he was born, or how long he lived, or at what dates the several events of his life took place."
Referring to the epistles of Paul, the same authority says: "The chief of these preliminary questions is the genuineness of the epistles bearing Paul's name, which if they be his" -- yes, IF --
The Christian scholar whose article on Paul is printed in the Britannica, and from which we are now quoting, gives further expression to this uncertainty by adding that certain of Paul's epistles "have given rise to disputes which cannot easily be settled in the absence of collateral evidence ... The pastoral epistles ... have given rise to still graver questions, and are probably even less defensible."
Let the reader remember that the above is not from a rationalist, but from the Rev. Edwin Hatch [1835 - 1889], D.D., Vice-Principal, St. Mary Hall, Oxford, England.
Were we disposed to quote rationalist authorities, the argument against Paul would be far more decisive ... But we are satisfied to rest the case on orthodox admissions alone.
The strongest argument then of clergymen who have attempted an answer to our position is something like this:
JESUS IS HISTORICAL BECAUSE A MAN BY THE NAME OF PAUL SAYS SO, THOUGH WE DO NOT KNOW MUCH ABOUT PAUL [see Article #4, 105-151; etc.].
It is just such evidence as the above that led Prof. Goldwin Smith to exclaim: "Jesus has flown. I believe the legend of Jesus was made by many minds working under a great religious impulse -- one man adding a parable, another an exhortation, another a miracle story;"
-- and George Eliot to write: "The materials for a real life of Christ do not exist."
In the effort to untie the Jesus-knot by Paul, the church has increased the number of knots to two. In other words, THE CHURCH HAS PROCEEDED ON THE THEORY THAT TWO UNCERTAINTIES MAKE A CERTAINTY.
We promised to square also with the facts of history our statement that the chief concern of the church, Jewish, Christian, or Mohammedan, is not righteousness, but orthodoxy.'
● ● ● ● ●
from: Did Jesus Ever Live, L. Gordon Rylands, B.A., B.Sc., Watts, "First published 1935". [received, and first seen, 11/12/2003].
"There may be said to be three views as to the Jesus of the Gospels.  The one which finds general acceptance and on which the Christian religion is based is that he was of Divine origin, the son of God in human form.  Another is that he was a human being like the rest of us, but one of the highest ethical and moral character, who possessed unusual gifts of inspiration and leadership.  The third theory, an outcome of the patient research of scholars into historical records, is that no such person as JESUS ever walked this earth—that he is, in fact, A FICTIONAL CHARACTER [see main page, christianism.com (same wording I used (before seeing this book))] who is the crystallization of old beliefs in a coming Messiah. It is this third theory, not yet generally held, which Mr. Gordon Rylands, a profound scholar on the subject, puts forward with great clarity and force in the present volume."
The Search for an Historical Jesus
When G.B. Shaw [1856 - 1950] was lately asked for an answer to the question Did Jesus live? apparently the best answer he could give was the expression of his opinion that the teaching imputed to Jesus could not have been invented. H.G. Wells [1866 - 1946] [see 2318-2320] also, in his Short History of the World, in a chapter in which the evidence of the Gospels is treated rather uncritically, says of the picture given by them: "Here was a man. This could not have been invented."
Statements of this kind from men who, however able, have made no scientific study of the question are, in any case, of no particular value. It is, indeed, rather surprising that they should be made by men who have the faculty of independent thinking. One can only conclude that those who have that faculty do not choose always to exercise it...." ["1"].
[footnote (not referenced above)] 'Of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Dr. Cheyne [Thomas Kelly Cheyne 1841 - 1915] wrote, "THE TWELVE APOSTLES ARE TO ME AS UNHISTORICAL AS THE SEVENTY DISCIPLES" (Hibbert Journal, July 1911).'
. [See: 2471-2473].
"We have now to consider another very important stream of pre-Christian thought which profoundly influenced the development of Christian theological doctrine, namely, the Gnostic stream. It is admitted by comparatively conservative theologians—e.g. Bousset [Jacques Bénigne Bousset 1627 - 1704], Pfleiderer, and Harnack [Adolf Harnack 1851 - 1930]—that THERE WERE GNOSTICS BEFORE THE FIRST CENTURY OF OUR ERA." .
'The sacred rites of the ancient cults were usually termed "mysteries." The frequent use of the term "mystery" by early Christians in reference to their own rites indicates that Christianity began as a mystery religion.' .
'In course of time, as the Gospels went through successive editions, insertions were made which reflect the controversies upon which the minds of Christians were exercised at the time; and speeches were put into the mouth of Jesus in order to give authority to some particular doctrine or view. The parable of the Good Samaritan, for example, was inserted for the purpose of combating the Judaic exclusiveness exhibited in many passages of earlier Gospels. Meanwhile the Old Testament was ransacked for passages which could be understood as applying to Jesus, and corresponding incidents were introduced into the Gospels, to such an extent that, as Drews [Arthur Drews 1865 - 1935] has observed, THE OLD TESTAMENT BECAME A "BIOGRAPHY OF JESUS" [see Article #1, 11, 88. (Shires); 2507-2508, 2509-2512]. And Christian controversialists proved the truth of Christian belief about him, not by contemporary evidence, which surely they would have done if they could, but out of the Prophets and the Psalms.
If the conclusion is accepted that the primitive Gospel was essentially symbolism, with some infusion of myth, the further conclusion must follow, that the writer was not intending to relate the actions of a real man. And thus the only evidence, such as it is, that Jesus ever lived ceases to be any evidence at all.1 [see footnote, below].
[footnote] 1There are some people who think that a mass of weighty evidence can be nullified by the supposition that the mind of an early Christian writer cannot have operated in some particular manner. But the modern mind is no norm for the early Christian. See on this subject W.B. Smith [William Benjamin Smith 1850 - 1934], Ecce Deus, pp. 182–184; 300.' [116-117] [End of text (Index 119-120)].
_____ _____ _____
from: The Christian Tradition, An Examination of Objections to the Opinion that Jesus was Not an Historical Person, L. Gordon Rylands, B.A., B.Sc., One Shilling Net, Watts. "First published 1937". Paperback. [received, and first seen, 11/17/2003].
'The Christian Tradition
At bottom the rejection of the theory of the unhistoricity of Jesus is commonly a result of the reaction which is instinctively experienced when the mind is brought into contact with any thesis that challenges an age-long opinion almost universally held. But every one knows that some very important theories which were at first thus impulsively rejected have at length established themselves in spite of the almost universal obloquy or derision with which they were at first received. The unhistoricity of Jesus will be harder to establish because people have made of Jesus an ideal which they love and cannot bear to lose. But fact is fact, and the most powerful sentiment must eventually in thinking minds yield to logic. The rejection of the theory, which for convenience may be termed the Myth Theory, though the term is not free from objection, is perceptibly less summary than it once was, however much theologians may excuse themselves from considering it on the ground that it is "fantastic." So did geologists and biologists contemptuously reject the Darwinian theory, and so did physicians reject Lister's improved methods in surgery and Harvey's demonstration of the circulation of the blood. Experts in any field of knowledge whose minds have become indurated in opinions which have long seemed unchallengeable do not easily adapt themselves to new ones. Of course, the contemptuous rejection of the theory of the unhistoricity of Jesus by theologians is no evidence of its truth, but the examples given should warn those who prefer truth to falsehood, however sentimentally attractive the latter may be, not too hastily to apply the epithet "fantastic" to a theory which, quite naturally it must be admitted, does not readily obtain acceptance by the mind.
When one examines the arguments by which a refutation of the theory has been attempted, one cannot but get the impression that almost invariably the theory has first been rejected off-hand, and a search made subsequently for arguments whereby to justify the rejection. Hardly ever are the arguments in favour of the theory squarely met. No single one is perhaps conclusive in itself, and some do no more than contribute something to the general probability; it is therefore easy to pick out a few of them, show that each one is not of itself conclusive, and then claim to have refuted the theory; but the theory is not thus refuted. Others content themselves with a rhapsodical effusion which is nothing but an expression of their own emotions.
Another method of "refutation" is to call attention to probable errors which in the earliest attempts to trace out a very obscure and complex historical process of development are necessarily always made. So far as I am aware, in every case in which errors really have been demonstrated the arguments affected are quite subsidiary and in no degree vital to the conclusion. Those who dispute the historicity of Jesus have a right to demand that their arguments as a whole, and especially the strongest of them, should be answered. Otherwise they are entitled to ascribe to opponents the state of mind expressible in the unspoken words: we cannot answer your arguments, but we dislike your conclusion.' ["1"-3].
"XI. Supposed Historical Parallels
The most futile objection of all is the objection of those who say that if we deny the historicity of JESUS, we may as well deny that of Solon [c. 630 - c. 560 B.C.E.], Homer [8th century B.C.E.], or Apollonius of Tyana [a Fictional character! see Addition 26, 1182-1248].
The argument is totally irrelevant, because none of these men was widely worshipped as the SON OF GOD a few years after his death. That is the astounding fact which is so complaisantly accepted only because
LONG FAMILIARITY [INDOCTRINATING, BRAINWASHING, THREATS, PUNISHMENTS, STUPIDITY, POLITICS, COWARDICE, POWER SEEKING, ONE-UPMANSHIP, EGO ASSUAGEMENT, ETC.] HAS BLUNTED THE MIND'S PERCEPTION OF THE INCREDIBILITY OF IT." .
Comment [Lino Sanchez]: Always amusing! Claims (have been) are made, that a man with a common name, Jesus, was crucified and ascended. Reportedly a God ("Son of God"). To make the proper personal "noises" is to insure a blessed immortality (Heaven!); to reject "being saved" (or "miss the boat"), one is stuck with eternal torment (Hell [see 2559]).
Notwithstanding numerous related myths known from antiquity—this one—Jesus—of the Christians, is "the real deal". Not until recent times, could one semi-safely state the obvious [see 2648 (Fairy tale)], that the Jesus story (was) is just another myth [(forget arguments about myth) This myth is Fiction!].
● ● ● ● ●
from: Bible Dictionary [of course, a Dictionary of Fictions], including concise definitions, pronunciations, textual references and little-known biblical facts, James P. Boyd, Ottenheimer Publishers ["This edition distributed by Crown Publishers, Inc., New York"], MCMLVIII.
"A-pos'tle (one sent forth). Official name of the twelve disciples. As to power and names see Matt. x. 1–42; John xvi. 13; Mark xvi. 20. In a broad sense, any one commissioned to preach the gospel, 2 Cor. viii. 23; Phil. ii. 25. Term applied to Christ, Heb. iii. 1." . [See: 2471-2473 (Zindler)].
"Dīs-cī'ple (learner). Follower of Christ, Matt. x. 24; of John, Matt. ix. 14. Applied specially to the twelve, Matt. x. 1; xi. 1; xx. 17." .
"Jē'sŭs Chrīst. Jesus the Saviour; Christ, or Messiah, the anointed. Jesus the Christ. Name given to the long promised prophet and king, Matt. xi. 3; Acts. xix. 4. Only begotten of God. Born of Mary at Bethlehem, B.C. 5; reared at Nazareth, baptized at the age of 30, Luke iii. 23. Ministerial career, extending over Galilee, Judea, and Perea, began A.D. 27 and ended with the crucifixion, April 7, A.D. 30. Matthew, Mark, and Luke record his Galilean ministry; John his Judean ministry.
THE [OLD TESTAMENT (see 2503) AND] FOUR GOSPELS EMBRACE CHRIST'S BIOGRAPHY." .
"Paul" (small). In Hebrew, Saul. Born at Tarsus in Cilicia, of Benjaminte parents, about the beginning of 1st century; a Pharisee in faith; a tent-maker by trade, Phil. iii. 5; Acts xviii. 3; xxi. 39; xxiii. 6. Studied law with Gamaliel at Jerusalem; persecuted early Christians; converted near Damascus, Acts v. 34; vii. 58; ix. 1–22. Commissioned an apostle to the Gentiles, Acts xxvi. 13–20. Carried the gospel to Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome. Author of fourteen epistles, amplifying the Christian faith. Supposably [Presumably] a martyr at Rome, A.D. 68." [72-73].
"LITTLE-KNOWN BIBLICAL FACTS" ["115"]
"Old Testament Miracles." ["115"]
"New Testament Miracles." ["116"]
"Old Testament Parables." 
"The Parables of Jesus." 
"OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES RELATING TO CHRIST
[that is: some sources for the New Testament (see Article #1, 11, 88.)].
Adoration by Magi. Ps. lxxii, 10, 15; Isa, lx, 3, 6.
Advent. Gen. iii, 15; Deut. xxvii, 15; Ps. lxxxix, 20; Isa, ii. 2; ix, 6; xxviii, 16; xxxii, 1; xxxv, 4; xlii, 6; xlix, 1v, 4; Ezek. xxxiv, 24; Dan. ii, 44; Mic. iv, 1; Zech. iii, 28.
Advent, time of. Gen. xlix, 10; Num. xxiv, 17; Dan. ix, 24; Hag. ii, 7; Mal. iii, 1.
Ascension and exaltation. Ps. xvi, 11; xxiv, 7; lxviii, 18; cx, 1; cxviii, 19.
Betrayal by own friend. Ps. xli, 9; lv, 13.
Betrayal for thirty pieces. Zech. xi, 12.
Betrayer's death. Ps. lv, 15, 23; cix, 17.
Bone not to be broken. Ps. xxxiv, 20.
Burial with the rich. Isa. liii, 9.
Casting lots for vesture. Ps. xxii, 18.
Conversion of Gentiles. Isa. xi, 10; xlii, 1.
Crucifixion. Ps. xxii, 14, 17.
Death in prime of life. Ps. lxxxix, 45; cii, 24.
Death with malefactors. Isa. lii, 9, 12.
Death attested by convulsions of nature. Amos v, 20; viii, 9; Zech. xiv, 4, 6.
Descent into Egypt. Hos. xi, 1.
Desertion by disciples. Zech. xiii, 7.
Divinity. Ps. ii, 11; xlv, 7; lxxii, 8; cx, 1; Isa. ix, 6; xxv, 9; xl, 10; Jer. xxiii, 6; Mic. v, 2; Mal. iii, 1.
Dominion universal and everlasting. Ps. lxxii, 8; Isa. ix, 7; Dan. vii, 14.
False accusation. Ps. xxvii, 12; xxxv, 11; cix, 2.
Forerunner of Christ. Isa. xl, 3; Mal. iii, 1; iv. 5.
Galilee, ministry in. Isa. ix, 1, 2.
Gall and vinegar, offer of. Ps. lxix, 21.
Generation, human. Gen. xii, 3; xviii, 18; xxi, 12; xxii, 18; xxvi, 4; xxviii, 14; xlix, 10; Ps. xviii, 50[;] lxxxix, 4, 29, 36; cxxxii, 11; Isa. xi, 1; Jer. xxiii, 5; xxxiii, 15.
Insult, buffeting, spitting, scourging. Ps. xxxv, 15, 21; Isa. 1, 6.
Massacre of Innocents. Jer. xxxi, 15.
Miraculous power. Isa. xxxv, 5.
Mission. Gen. xii, 3; xlix, 10; Num. xxiv, 19; Deut. xviii, 18; Ps. xxi, 1; Isa. lix, 20; Jer. xxxiii, 16.
Mocking. Ps. xxii, 16; cix, 25.
Nativity from virgin. Gen. iii, 15; Isa. vii, 14; Jer. xxxi, 22.
Nativity, place of. Num. xxiv, 17, 19; Mic. v, 2.
Patience under suffering. Isa. liii, 7, 9.
Persecution. Ps. xxii, 6; xxxv, 7, 12; cix, 2; Isa. xlix, 7, liii, 3.
Piercing. Ps. xxii, 16; Zech. xii, 10; xiii, 6.
Prayer for enemies. Ps. cix, 4.
Preacher. Ps. ii, 7; Isa. ii, 3; lxi, 1; Mic. iv, 2.
Priest like Melchizedek. Ps. cx, 4.
Prophet like Moses. Deut. xviii, 15.
Purchase of potter's field. Zech. xi, 13.
Purification of temple. Ps. lxix, 9.
Rejection by Jews and Gentiles. Ps. ii, 1; xxii, 12; xli, 5.
Resurrection. Ps. xvi, 10; xxx, 3; xli, 10; cxviii, 17; Hos. vi, 2.
Silence under accusation. Ps. xxxviii, 13; Isa. liii, 7.
Spiritual graces. Ps. xlv, 7; Isa. xi, 2; xlii, 1; lxi, 1.
Triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Ps. viii, 2; Zech. ix, 9.
Vicarious suffering. Isa. liii, 4–6, 12; Dan. ix, 26." [118-119].
"The Size of Heaven.
Biblical Assurance That There Will Be Room
Take a verse from the Revelation as the basis of computation. The text is in xxi, 15, and reads as follows: "And he measured the city with the reed, 12,000 furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal." This represents a space of 469,783,088,000,000,000,000 cubic feet. It sets aside one-half of this space for the Throne and the Court of Heaven, and one-half of the balance for streets, which would leave a remainder of 124,198,272,000,000,000,000 cubic feet. Then divide this by 4,096, the number of cubical feet in a room sixteen feet square, and this process gives 30,321,843,750,000,000 rooms of the size indicated. Then upon the hypothesis that the world now contains, always has contained, and will always contain 990,000,000 inhabitants, and that a generation lasts for thirty-three and one-third years, which gives a total number of inhabitants every century of 2,297,000,000, assume that the world will stand 1,000 centuries or 100,000 years, which would give a total of 2,970,000,000,000 inhabitants for this period of time. We then reach the conclusion that if 100 worlds of the same size and duration, and containing the same number of inhabitants, there would be more than 100 rooms of the size indicated for each person." . [Relax! There are plenty of "rooms" in Heaven].
"Where The Apostles Were Buried [see Article #8, 202].
According to Catholic legend, seven of the Apostles are buried at Rome. These seven are distinguished by a star (*).
Andrew lies buried at Amalfi (Naples).
Bartholomew*, at Rome in the Church of Bartholomew Island, on the Tiber.
James the Greater was buried at St. Jago de Compostella, in Spain.
James the Less*, at Rome, in the Church of the Holy Apostles.
John, at Ephesus.
Jude*, at Rome.
Matthew, at Salerno (Naples).
Matthias*, at Rome under the altar of the Basilica.
Paul, somewhere in Italy.
Peter*, at Rome, in the Church of St. Peter.
Philip*, at Rome.
Simon or Simeon*, at Rome.
Thomas, at Ortona (Naples). (? Madras.)
Mark the Evangelist is said to have been buried at Venice.
Luke the Evangelist is said to have been buried at Padua.
N.B.—Italy claims thirteen of these apostles or evangelists—Rome seven, Naples three; Paul somewhere in Italy, Mark at Venice, Luke at Padua [see Article #6, 167 (Padova)]." .
"PASSAGES FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT QUOTED IN THE FOUR GOSPELS
[that is: some sources for the New Testament (see Article #1, 11, 88.)].
[this author (James P. Boyd) states (63): "Matthew....His gospel is first of N.T."
My preferred sources state: Mark was the first gospel].
Behold, a virgin shall be with child. 1. 23.—Is. 7. 14.
Thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda. 2. 6.—Micah. 5. 2.
Out of Egypt have I called my son. 2. 15.—Hos. 11. 1.
In Rama was there a voice heard. 2. 18.—Jer. 31. 15.
The voice of one crying in the wilderness. 3. 3.—Is. 40. 3.
Man shall not live by bread alone. 4. 4.—Deut. 8. 3.
He shall give his angels charge. 4. 6.—Ps. 91. 11. 12.
Thou shall not tempt the Lord. 4. 7.—Deut. 6. 16.
Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God.. 4. 10.—Deut. 6. 13.
The land of Zabulon, and the land of
Nephthalim. 4. 15, 16.—Is. 9. 1, 2; 42. 7.
Thou shalt not kill. 5. 21.—Ex. 20. 13.
Thou shalt not commit adultery. 5. 27.—Ex. 20. 14.
Whosoever shall put away his wife. 5. 31.—Deut. 24. 1.
Thou shalt not forswear thyself. 5. 33.—Lev. 19. 12.
An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. 5. 38.—Exod. 21. 24.
Thou shalt love thy neighbour. 5. 43.—Lev. 19. 18.
Be ye therefore perfect. 5. 48.—Gen. 17. 1.
Depart...ye that work iniquity. 7. 23.—Ps. 6. 8.
Himself took our infirmities. 8. 17.—Is. 53. 4.
I will have mercy, and not sacrifice. 9. 13; 12.7. Hos. 6. 6.
Behold, I send my messenger. 11. 10.—Mal. 3. 1.
Behold my servant, whom I have chosen. 12. 18–21.—Is. 42. 1–4.
By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not
understand. 13. 14, 15.—Is. 6. 9. 10.
I will open my mouth in parables. 13. 35.—Ps. 78. 2.
Honour thy father and mother. 15. 4.—Ex. 20. 12.
He that curseth father or mother. 15. 4.—Ex. 21. 17.
This people draweth nigh unto me. 15. 8. 9.—Is. 29. 13.
He...made them male and female. 19. 4.—Gen. 1. 27.
For this cause shall a man leave father
and mother. 19. 5.—Gen. 2. 24.
Thou shalt do no murder. 19. 18.—Ex. 20. 13.
Honour thy father and thy mother. 19. 19.—Ex. 20. 12.
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 19. 19.—Lev. 19. 18.
Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy
King cometh. 21. 5.—Is. 62. 11; Zec. 9. 9.
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of
the Lord. 21. 9.—Ps. 118. 26.
My house shall be called the house of
prayer. 21. 13.—Is. 56. 7.
Ye have made it a den of thieves. 21. 13.—Jer. 7. 11.
Out of the mouth of babes. 21. 16.—Ps. 8. 2.
The stone which the builders rejected. 21. 42.—Ps. 118. 22. 23.
If a man die, having no children. 22. 24.—Deut. 25. 5.
I am the God of Abraham. 22. 32.—Ex. 3. 6.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. 22. 37.—Deut. 6. 5.
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 22. 39.—Lev. 19. 18.
The Lord said...Sit thou on my right hand. 22. 44.—Ps. 110. 1.
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of
the Lord. 23. 39.—Ps. 118. 26.
I will smite the shepherd. 26. 31.—Zech. 13. 7.
And they took the thirty pieces of silver. 27. 9. 10.4—Zech. 11. 12, 13.
They parted my garments. 27. 35.—Ps. 22, 18.
My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken
me? 27. 46.—Ps. 22. 1.
Behold, I send my messenger. 1. 2.—Mal. 3. 1.
Prepare ye the way of the Lord. 1. 3.—Is. 40. 3.
Seeing they may see, and not perceive. 4. 12.—Is. 6. 9, 10.
This people honoureth me with their lips. 7. 6, 7.—Is. 29. 13.
Honour thy father and mother. 7. 10.—Ex. 20. 12.
Whoso curseth father or mother. 7. 10.—Ex. 21. 17.
Where their worm dieth not. 9. 44.—Is. 66. 24.
God made them male and female. 10. 6.—Gen. 1, 27.
They twain shall be one flesh. 10. 7, 8.—Gen. 2. 24.
Do not commit adultery, Do not kill. 10. 19.—Ex. 20. 13, 14.
Hosanna; blessed is he that cometh. 11. 9,—Ps. 118. 26.
My house shall be called the house
of prayer. 11. 17.—Is. 56. 7.
Ye have made it a den of thieves. 11. 17.—Jer. 7. 11.
The stone which the builders rejected. 12. 10, 11.—Ps. 118. 22, 33.
If a man's brother die, and leave no
children. 12. 19.—Deut. 25. 5.
I am the God of Abraham. 12. 26.—Ex. 3. 6.
The Lord our God is one Lord. 12. 29.—Deut. 6. 4.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. 12. 30.—Deut. 6. 5.
Thou shalt love thy neighbour. 12. 31.—Lev. 19. 18.
The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on
my right hand. 12. 36.—Ps. 110. 1.
I will smite the shepherd. 14. 27.—Zech. 13. 7.
He was numbered with the transgressors. 15. 28.—Is. 53. 12.
My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken
me. 15. 34.—Ps. 22. 1.
To turn the hearts of the fathers. 1. 17.—Mal. 4. 6.
Every male that openeth the womb. 2. 23.—Ex. 13. 2, 12.
A pair of turtledoves, &c. 2. 24.—Lev. 12. 8.
The voice of one crying in the wilderness. 3. 4–6.—Is. 40. 3–5.
Man shall not live by bread alone. 4. 4.—Deut. 8. 3.
Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God. 4. 8.—Deut. 6. 13.
He shall give his angels charge over thee. 4. 10, 11.—Ps. 91, [11, 12.
Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 4. 12.—6. 16.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. 4. 18, 19.—Is. 61. 1, [2; 58. 6.
Behold, I send my messenger. 7. 27.—Mal. 3. 1.
That seeing they might not see. 8. 10.—Is. 6. 9.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. 10. 27.—Deut. 6. 5. [Lev. 19, 18.
And thy neighbour as thyself. 10. 27.—Lev. 19. 18.
Blessed is he that cometh in the name
of the Lord. 13. 35.—Ps. 118. 26.
Do not commit adultery, Do not kill. 18. 20.—Ex. 20. 12–[16.
My house is the house of prayer. 19. 46.—Is. 56. 7.
Ye have made it a den of thieves. 19, 46.—Jer. 7. 11.
The stone which the builders rejected. 20. 17.—Ps. 118. 22, [23.
If a man's brother die having a wife. 20. 28.—Deut. 25. 5.
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou
on my right hand. 20. 42, 43.—Ps. 110. [1.
He was reckoned among the transgressors. 22. 37.—Is. 53. 12.
Say to the mountains, Fall on us. 23. 30.—Hos. 10. 8.
Into thy hands I commend my spirit. 23. 46.—Ps. 31. 5.
The voice of one crying in the
wilderness. 1. 23.—Is. 40. 3.
The zeal of thine house hath eaten
me up. 2. 17.—Ps. 69. 9.
He gave them bread from heaven. 6. 31.—Ps. 78. 24.
They shall be all taught of God. 6. 45.—Is. 54. 13.
I said, Ye are gods. 10. 34.—Ps. 82. 6.
Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel. 12. 13.—Ps. 118. 26.
Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold thy
King. 12. 15.—Zech. 9. 9.
Lord, who hath believed our report? 12. 38.—Is. 53. 1.
He hath blinded their eyes. 12. 40.—Is. 6. 9, 10.
He that eateth bread with me. 13. 18.—Ps. 41. 9.
They hated me without a cause. 15. 25.—Ps. 35. 19, [69. 4.
They parted my raiment among them. 19. 24.—Ps. 22. 18.
A bone of him shall not be broken. 19. 36.—Ex. 12. 46; [Ps. 34. 20.
They shall look on him whom they pierced. 19. 37.—Zech. 12. 10"
[119-121] [End of book].