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The Journal Of Atheist News And Thought



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(April) 11981; Vol. 23, No.4

Edwin Markham was born April 23, 1852 and died on
March 7, 1940.
He first came to the notice of the world in 1899
when he wrote the poem "The Man with The Hoe"
which was published
in the San Francisco Examiner.
Inspired by Jean-Francois
Millet's painting he made
the French peasant a symbol of the exploited
the world.
Educated in the law, a school administrator,
he quit
his position to write and lecture concerned
with social
and industrial problems for the rest of his life.
The excerpt from this poem, here reprinted, is representative of Markham's cry of anquish for mankind, deserted by the qodlsl he had himself created. We honor
this poet in the month of his birth.




I, ,





Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans

Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground,
The emptiness of ages in his face,
And on his back the burden of the world.
Who made him dead to rapture and despaire,
A thing that grieves not and that never hopes,
Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox?
Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw?
Whose was the hand that slanted back this brow?
Whose breath blew out the light within this brain?
How will it be with kingdoms and with kingsWith those who shaped him to the thing he isWhen this dumb Terror shall reply to God,
After the silence of the centuries?

Edward Gibbon was born April 27, 1737 and died

January 16, 1794. At Oxford, where, he later said, he
spent some of "the most idle and unprofitable
of his life, he became a Roman Catholic. At Lausanne,
to which his father sent him, he returned to the Church
of England, but later turned to Deism, or something
more radical. He was described by Samuel Johnson as
one of the "infidel wasps" before he was forty. Robert
son points out that there is no depth or feeling in his religious expressions.
He conceived the idea of writing his great work, The
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, while in Rome
in 1764. A few years later his father left him a fortune
which enabled him to effectuate the enterprise. The first
volume appeared in 1776 and the last in 1788.
The famous chapters XV and XVI, in which he examined the rise and progress of the Christian Church, caused him to be attacked. Often the chapters were omitted
from the book and in England and the United States,
they were not seen before 1804. The most
famous edited volume was put out by Dr. Thomas
Bowdler (from which the word bowdlerize.
- In fact,
this man also "purified" Shakespeare's
writings to render
them "safe for the young. ") The missing chapters were
first published in the United States by an Atheist press,
Peter Eckler in 1892.
MacCabe says of Gibbon, in his Rationalist Encyclopaedia, "His work rendered as great a service to history
as it did to Rationalism. We concur.
We honor this great author in the month of his birth.
He did not hesitate to "tell it like it was" even though
this caused a censoring of his work for over 100 years in



(April) 11981; Vol. 23, No.4


Backwards, Christian Soldiers
Speech at Drake University

p. 3

Joseph's Myth -

D.L. Kent.


Inquisitiveness - Ignatz Sahula-Dycke
"Cosrnis Apples and Oranges"
American Atheist Radio Series - The Third Commandment .....



Editorial Poetry

Jon G. Murray

14, 17



Ralph Shirley
Richard Smith
Beverly Walker

Dr. Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Managing Editor
Jon G. Murray
Felix Santana
Robin Eileen Murray-O'Hair
Angleline Bennett

Non-Resident Staff
Ignatz Sahula-Dycke
Gerald Tholen
Fred Woodworth


Benjamin Franklin, born on January 17,

1706, died on April 17, 1790. He was print
er, publisher, author, inventor, scientist and
He is beloved of his countrymen
for his wit, his humor, his intelligence
and '
his political commitment.
He was - in every
sense - one of the founding fathers of our
nation, assisting not alone in separating the
American colonies from England but in helping to frame the Declaration
of Indepen
dence and the Constitution.
Even before he
began his diplomatic
career, he had invented
the Franklin stove, bifocal spectacles,
the lightning rod.
Franklin ended his formal education
age 10. He never stopped inquiring or learning. Beginning as a printer in Philadelphia he
soon saw the city's need and promoted
of a fire department,
a lending
library, and an academy that finally became
the University of Pennsylvania.
While thus engaged he continued
to publish the Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper and
Poor Richard's Almanack for which 'he is
better known. The latter included a continuous stream of proverbs exhorting
America to prudence, industry, and honesty.
Franklin met Thomas Paine while in Eng
land, recognized
his genius and was instrumental in having Paine come to America.
This great man early rid himself of JudeoChristianity
and in his biography called himself "a thorough
Deist." Deism is one of the
steps along the evolutionary
course from
theism to Atheism. We honor tn.is thinker in
the month of his death.
The American Atheist magazine is
published monthly by American Athe
ists, located

at 2210



Austi~, Texas 78768. Copyright, 1981

by Society of Separationists,
Inc. Subscription





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ISSN: 0032-4310


(April) 11981

Page 1



When I go for the morning paper over coffee these days,
it is no longer the pleasant. informative prelude to the
day's work that it once was. In fact. it is more like waking
up to a horror movie. On every page there is glaring
irrationality. Irrational thinking and actions, in which
the doers would probably not be involved had they
stopped to think first, hop out at you. For example, you
can see an article on any given day in about any major
newspaper in the country with more Pentagon, Senate,
House, White House or State Department talk about
nuclear war. I just keep waiting for Gen. Haig to say
against whom we should declare subversive war next.
You can read about senators, presidents, congressmen,
secretaries of state, ta Iking about "I imited nuclear war"
fought on top of some poor agrarian nation that would
just as soon be left in its poverty. There is no such thing
as limited nuclear war. Once you start, you are talking
about eradicating life on earth. Yet our "leaders" talk
about such things as two old ladies may talk about a new
dress over tea. It concerns me no end that grown men in
three-piece suits can sit around over coffee and strudel
and chat about mega-deaths. Especially since one of
those mega-deaths would most likely be mine.
This is unthinking irrationality. I am convinced that if
they really knew what they were talking about and
looked at it from a realistic standpoint they would be
ashamed of themselves. Why does it go on then with an
overall passive acceptance from the media persons
reporting it as well as the majority of the readers?
The answer lies in the thought structure of society.
Americans have been reared on fantasy and emotionalism. Takefor instance the old John Wayne movies.
He gets shot in the arm by one of the bad guys and wraps
his bandana around it and continues with the chase.
Have you ever seen someone who has been shot in the
arm in real life? It is not very pretty. I can guarantee you
that if you were shot in the arm with an old Colt
"shootin' iron" you would not continue the chase.
Depending on the muscle structure damage you may
not be able to use the arm again, period - or if so, only
after months of physical therapy. Many things in movies
you'cannot do in real life, we all know this. The poinfis,
however, that they put these fantasy behaviors up for us
-to emulate. This is particularly true of children. How
many times have you heard a young boy say "When I
grow up I want to be just like John Wayne (or James
- Bond or one of a thousand others). and do all the neat
things he does.'']
If you look deeper into the John Wayne hero-type
movie, you realize something that can 'scare' you worse

Pilge 2

than the newspaper. What do all of those movies have in

common? A male (or female) hero coming into a town,
an island, a situation generically being one of 'sin' or
'corruption' or 'vice,' and then cleaning it up singlehandedly. This is the same story as that of Jesus Christ
in the Bible. The world is full of sin, vice, corruption and
good old blonde, blue-eyed, kind, tender, sweet Jesus
saves the day. The only difference is that Jesus didn't
ciss his horse in the end and ride off into the sunset.
Over and over again you have the savior figure battling
the forces of sin and vice and corruption. One of the
most popular movies in the history of movie making so
far has been Star Wars and its sequel, a real box office
smash hit. In that classic you had the goodness of 'the
force' fighting against the evil black-suited villain. Is
there anyone who has an 1.0.of any kind that cannot see
that 'the force' in that movie is god? They ma as well
have said "god be with you" as "the force be with you"
since the statements are identical. The reason for the
box office success of a film of that type is because it
portrayed on the screen that which the majority of the
audience had been taught in church, or Sunday school
or on their mother or father's knee. Yet I did not see one
reviewer in any major paper in the United States see
what was so obvious or say anything about the biblical
message delivered so overtly by this film.
The same thing applies to television as movies. What
does all this do? It prepares us to meet the final
holocaust, the final battle between good and evil.
By this time I know you are thinking, well, this writer
has flipped. He has been an Atheist under fire so long
that he will be seeing Jesus leaping out of the toilet
next. Before you pass judgment on my sanity, consider
this. Our now Secretary of State, former General Haig,
at the time he was in command of the NATO forces in
Europe, said in a press interview that he felt that a real
corporeal devil existed; that the devil in the flesh was a
real living being with horns, a tail, a pitchfork and all the
trimmings; that our first duty as a nation was to hunt
this devil down and destroy him; that we must fight the
devil at all costs even including nuclear war.
This man now has his finger on the button. He
actually passed Senate confirmation hearings. I'll give
you three guesses as to who the devil is in his mind and
what all the people of the devil land have in common.
Give up? The USSR is the devil and all the people in the
devil kingdom are antichrists or ATHEIST. I cannot see
any difference between this and what I see on the
screen in Star Wars. He will gather the army of the lord
to fight the forces of evil.

Germinal (April) 11981

Austin Texas

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we are mall as bell ...


The following was received by the North Carolina Chapter of American Atheists'
State Director on March 6, 1981:

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~cttator ~Joln t j n - t





RALEIGH, N.C. 27619

Dear Friend,
Please sign the enclosed School Prayer Petitions.
The petitions are addressed to your U.S. Senators and to your
Your signed petitions can help me influence the Senators and Congressman
from your state to help return voluntary prayer to public schools by supporting Senator Jesse Helms' Prayer Bill.
"The time to act is now".
God has been shut out of our classrooms since the Supreme Court
prohibited school prayer in 1962.
All it will take is a simple majority of both Houses and Congress to
overturn this un-Godly Supreme Court decision.
That's what I'm writing you today. We need your help.
You, see, in the last session of Congress Senator Helms introduced a bill
(S-450) limiting the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to deny or restrict
voluntary prayer in the public schools.
Bya majority of 51 to 40 the U.S. Senate voted in favor of S-450, the
Helms school prayer bill.
At last, the victory we hoped and prayed for was in sight.
But before the House of Representatives could vote on this vital issue
Congress adjourned.
Now we must start over again in both Houses of Congress. And to succeed
this time we must keep one fact in mind.
The simple fact is: "Two U.S. Senators and one Congressman depend on
your vote. They will pay attention when you write or phone them."
That's why I hope you'll sign and return all 3 of the enclosed petitions to us
It's been 18 years since our American public school students were allowed
to begin their school day with prayer.
And as you think back over the past 18 years I ask you:
"Which came first?
The wholesale breakdown of moral values in America -- or the collapse of
these values in our schools?"
As in all things only God knows the complete answer to these questions -but I can't help wondering if the Supreme Court's ban of prayer and Bible



It isn't just a story sold to the

highest bidder for television rights any
more. The "Amityville Horror" proponents now have a real live murder.
Two so-called "psychic researchers"
who worked on the Amityville Horror
case were hankering after more fame
and money when they went to a twostory house at the end of a long treelined private drive in Brookfield, Ct.
An ll-year old boy there was said to
be "possessed." The researchers irnmediately "found frightening rnanifestations" and through the summer
said prayers, along with four Roman
Catholic priests, over the boy. ApparrentIy spectators were permitted. One
of these was an impressionable 19year
old, with a 26-year old girlfriend.
The youth became so excited at
one session that he called to the Devil,
"Take me on. Control me. Leave this
boy alone."
Having entered the world of the unreal it was a short trip to murder. At a
party at another home, the young man
pulled a five-inch switch blade knife
and stabbed the host to death.
Found and charged with the
murder, the youth called in a slick attorney who immediately said, "The
devil made him do it." Enthused over
the case, the attorney continued, "The
courts have dealt with the existence
of God. Now they're going to have to
deal with the existence of the devil.
This case will be unique in the higher
jurisprudence system in the U.S.
The psychic researchers are drooling. "We've always felt that if they
ever bring us into a court of law, we
will prove that the preternatural exists
- that the devil exists.
"The 'old cliche that 'the devil made
me do it' is not going to go here. We're
going to have to prove it." they added.
The police chief who has the first
murder in the history of the town on
his hands has another more realistic
attitute. He says his investigation of
the murder is not based "on anything
supernatural. "
Out of it all will come still another
lucrative T.V. contract - and more
nonsense for the religious idiots to
clutch to their bosoms. But what will
happen if every criminal can say, "I
was possessed. Let me free."?

The news is chosen to demonstrate, month after month, the dead reactionary hand of religion. It dictates your habits, sexual
conduct, family size. It censures cinema, theater, television,.even education. It dictates life values and lifestyles. Religion is politics and, always, the most authoritarian and reactionary politics. We editorialize our news to emphasize this thesis. Unlike any
other magazine or newspaper in the United States, we say so.
Austin, Texas

Germinal (April) 11981

Page 3

jfocu~ on ~tbtt~t~
... anti we won't takt it anrmere!
(Speech delivered by Dr. Madalyn Murray O'Hair at"
,Drake University, March, 1981.
Everyone in the United States is well aware of the
Pentagon and its military and political outreach. Perhaps one-third of the nation this month saw our
Congress, incredibly, cheer and applaud when Reagan,
who was elected by about 25% of the registered voters,
announced in his "State of the Union" address that he
was increasing the military budget.
The powers of darkness, brutality and death have
gained another victory. The armed forces are visible
everywhere - even in your state. The cost of the
military is astronomical and a proud part of the budget of
the United States. These dealers in death and destruction are, however, no longer even feared or fouqht.
In a casual way we accept the figures as to expenditures
for nuclear submarines, phantom jets, MIRV and MX
missiles; the use of the neutron bomb in Europe is
discussed as if we were talking at tea.
Yet. this ominous organization is obvious. The physical effects of war and whether 50 million or 100 million
of us, or even 200 million Americans shall die makes a
delightful cocktail discussion with the maniacs. Megadeaths - it is so impersonal.
Once public opinion could be mobilized about it; there
was even a non-coherent, disunited, but nevertheless
concerted movement against it. The unpopular, undeclared war in South Vietnam was virtually brought to
a halt by domestic resistance to such a craven exercise.
But now we have General Haig. When Nixon gave
Haig a job in West Germany, as Commander-in-Chief of
our Armed Forces in Europe, head of NATO, he made a
statement that chilled the hearts of every Atheist in our
land. At that time he publicly averred that there was a
personal corporeal devil walking on earth and that our
main objective was to come into direct confrontation
with that representative of Evil.
Recently, when the "big fight" over his appointment
as Secretary of State fizzled out to be a boot-licking
operation of endorsement no matter what the record,
the possible terrors to us become clear.
He aches for a nuclear war. He prays for the final
holocaust - for then biblical prophecy will be fulfilled.

Page 4

Armageddon will be here - and he will have brought it.

Oh, how glorious will be his reception in heaven when
he can take with him most of the souls on earth. He is
out to find and kill the anti-christ.
What can have brought us from an interest in life to an
acceptance of death and a laudatory attitude about "it?
What has convinced us that it is better to be dead than
Why is there not a spontaneous and overwhelming
repudiation of Haig and of Reagan? As I watched the
smirk on Reagan's face with his announcement of the
escalation of the cold war, I cringed - and felt like
writing a letterto Brezhnevtelling him to rememberthat
Reagan does NOT represent the collective American
people. I was stunned to hear the applause. We cannot
have been reduced to collective insanity wl1:e!nwe are
only, as a nation, a mere 200 years old.
What is this about?
Several years back, I sat in the hotel suite of President
Johnson's brother to "talk politics" with him one afternoon. He was concerned with what made a great
.president and asked if I knew what separated the men
from the boys. His theory, and he claimed that it
reflected the theories of present and past presidents,
was that a president was great or not great in relationship to how he handled foreign affairs as opposed to
domestic affairs, if his emphasis was on one or the
Since that time, it has become clear to me, in my
continuing research, that the one has colored the other
so completely that there has been little or no hope for
advancement through government in the last thirty-five
Politics has put our nation in jeopardy while science
and technology have attempted to move it ahead.
Take all of you - you never had a chance. The United
States government made up your mind about a number
of things before you were born. Since I am an Atheist I
want to talk to you, tonight, about just one aspect of that:
big organized religion.

Germinal (April) 11981

Austin Texas

When the First World War ended, there came into tianity as the ultimate weapon against Communism.
The decision was deliberate that you, your parents and
being a socialist-Atheist state: Russia. In the twentythe nation would be Christian Capitalists fighting godsome years following the inception of that nation, which
had a different politico-economic system than our own, less Communism. So, in the interim, you and your
its church was attacked as an ally of the supressive state parents have been skillfully manipulated, indoctrinated,
apparatus of imperial Russia. And, the church wavered programmed and mentally stultified and you are pasand failed. The nation became Atheistic. One-third of sing this on, or are going to pass it on to your children.
Christianity was to be a weapon against Communism.
the world opted for a philosophical system antithetical
Now, they did not think that one was a religion and the
to our own.
When the Second World War ended, there came into other was a socio-political-economic system. They just
knew that what had worked for 1900 years would work
being another socialist-Atheist state: China. Another
one-third of the world opted for a philosophical system again - or they thought it would work again.
After all, even telling people why they were doing it
antithetical to our own.
had worked before. Take the Constitution of the State of
The United States and its political theory of capitalism
was in trouble. But it had never been able to sell pure New Hampshire written in colonial times, but still laissez-faire capitalism to all the citizens of the United today - letting it all hang out.
"... morality and piety, rightly grounded on
States. It had had considerable difficulties with unions
evangelical principles, will give the best and
demanding minimum wages, with demands for workgreatest security to government, and will lay, in
men's compensation, for unemployment insurance, for
the hearts of men. the stronqest obligations to
a social security system, for a health program which had
due subjection. "
some meaning, with those who demanded farm to
This time the people were not going to be told openly,
market roads and rural electrification. Why, there had
even been a successful drive for a 40-hour week. they were simply going to be manipulated in the single
biggest propaganda swindle in the world, ever. So, 35
Children were taken out of textile mills and bleeding
years later it is still going strong. Thirty-five years later,
hearts took children out of coal mines. Women were
you, all of you, are still victims of it. You are Christian
demanding more rights, equal educational opportunibecause that it is a theo-political maneuver of your
ties. All of these benefits have come il" the last 40years.
The United States was afraid. It knew that the success government to fight Communism. You never had an
option. You are victims of religion and government
and the acceptance of such a system as Socialism
combined. Let me explain.
would jeopardize the system which was established
The American people have always been captured by
here -for how could two-thirds of the world population
the idea of freedom. The supposition that "this is a free
be wrong?
country" or that "I can do whatever J please" has
How could it fight what it came to call the Communist
permeated American thought to such anextent that you
menace? Black propoganda was one way. The single
have been unable to see the true measures of freedom
fear was that the people of our nation might find
and authority under which we live. You can't do whatsomething attractive in Socialism/Communism or whatever the name of the new system was to be. How do you ever you please. You know that and I know it. Ameribeat total, absolute, free medical care for every person? cans, underneath it all, really know they are not free, but
they won't face it. They cling to the illusion of freedom
How do you beat total, absolute, free education through
a Ph.D. if you want to go that far? How do you beat the and the mightiest one is the American love affair with
idea of production for use instead of production for the automobile. Spinning along the highway you can
feel that the world is yours. You are free. It is when you
pull up and park that the illusion ends. Americans will
With 20 million persons dead in the Second World
War, Russia was still alive and still going. How do you never give up their symbol of the freedom they don't
beat a monster like that? With millions upon millions
really have - the automobile. They will grow grain and
dead in China, China kept going. How do you oppose an .make gasohol if the world starves; they will nuke "them
ideology that is so compelling?
Muslim bastards" to get the oil; they will hollow the
The United States saw the ruling class of Russia mountains to press out oil from the rocks - for once the
dispersed over the world, and those of China driven out automobile is curtailed, so is their last illusion of
of that country. Our nation, its leaders, were absolutely
paralyzed with fear.
Americans looking abroad show a mixture of pity and
Then a handful of persons made a decision as to what
contempt for the many underprivileged nations whose
to do. I think that included in that handful were John
people suffer under a variety of tyrannies. Few AmeriFoster and Avery Dulles, Joseph Kennedy, Cardinal
cans realize that the bondage here although less apSpellman, the Pope, Winston Churchill and Franklin
parent. is just as chronic but more covert, more subtly
Delano Roosevelt.
It was decided by these people that you - ye.s,you
One of the most powerful institutions involved in
- now - would be thoroughly indoctrinated in Chrismassive psychological and social conditioning is big,

Austin, Texas

Germinal (April) i 981

Page 5

organized religion. It 'is formidable in Its ability to make

disadvantagous and often distasteful contgrols seem
palatable and even desireable for the individual and to
weaken his will to act as an individual or to combat
injustice. Organized big religion, hallowed by tradition,
hoary with age and respectability, has the power to align
masses of people in a politically acceptable direction
under a complex system of doctrinal controls. The
church doctrines of: (1) obedience to authority; (2)
repentance; (3) fear of punishment (especially eternal,
and associated with fear of death); (4) self-abnegation
(a feeling of personal inadequacy - Jean Harris epitomized this in her relationship with Tarnower; women
suffer more than men); (5) intolerance; (6) elevation
of faith over reason; (7) induced anxiety over human
sexuality - the idea of sin (The doctrine of imputation
was most thoroughly explored by Col. Ethan Allen, the
hero of the Battle of Ticonderoga, who in his book
Reason, The Only Oracle of Man, routed the idea of
original sin in his "doctrine of imputation" arguments.);
(8) acceptance of outer direction rather than our own
reliance on inner assurance, a sense of worth and well
being; makes institutionalized religion, particularly judeochristianity, an ideal instrument of social constraint. In a
partnership with the State, the church can impose the
most irresistible, if covert, controls conceivable. Linked
together, these two - state and church (government
and religion) - constitute the most ominous threat to
individual liberties today in our land, and have for the
last thirty-five years.
The basic idea was to say that Russia and China
(before we found it expedient to play footsie with China)
threatened your god; threatened your religion; threatened your freedom of conscience.
Our founding fathers knew this was pure unadulterated bullshit. They were close to the religious wars in
this country, to the Inquisition, to the French Revoluti on,
to the witch trials in Massachusetts.
They hated the Christian faith for what it had done to
our own country. So did everyone. At the time of the
American Revolution, only 4% of the population went to
church. The first presidents were all anti-Christian
deists, as were Colon Ethan Allen, Thomas Paine,
George Mason, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison,
John Quincy Adams.
To a man, they advocated a natural religion divorced'
from judeo-christianity, based on reason rather than
revelation. emphasizing nature's harmony and intelligibility and rejecting the idea that the creator could
interfere with either the laws of nature or the matters of
mankind on earth. They believed in "nature and nature's god" and put that in our Declaration of Independence instead of any reference to either Jahweh or
They wrote books against Christianity: Col. Ethan
Allen's Reason, The Only Oracle of Man, Thomas
Paine's Age of Reason, Franklin's Autobiography, Jef-

terson's The Philosophy of Jesus Christ, popularly

known as "Jefferson's Bible" and issued now without
his personal commentaries. All of our great founding
documents shunned Jesus Christ and Jahweh: the
Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, and even the Constitution itself. Washington
stunned polite society by refusing the eucharist; our
first treaties, with Tripoli, with Algiers, with Tunis,
repeated a refrain: "The government of the United
States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian
rei igion." In Thomas Jefferson's own words they schemed to put "a wall of separation between church and
state" into the Constitution: the First Amendment.
These men were political sophisticates, savants, philosophers.
The churches were disestablished, almost decimated.
By 1850 churches could still only count 16% of the
population and by 1870 only 18%
But - the government after the Second World War
did not read, or understand our history, but relied on the
myths of religion. Born out of the misery of peasants, in
agrarian nations - Russia and China, a new spectre
had been born and our government feared for its life.
But rather than fight out the deadly struggle of economics and politics, Capitalism V. Communism, vour
government decided to enlistthe ally of religion to make
the struggle appear to be, to you, to your parents, a
struggle between Atheism V. Christianity.
The premise was absurd.
All Communists are not Atheists; we see that in
Catholic Communist Poland, in Catholic Communist
Italy, in Catholic Communist Portugal, in Lutheran
Communist Germany.
All Atheists are not Communists. In the United States
they are Republicans, Democrats, Independe-nts, Ayn
Randites, Nathaniel Brandonites, Libertarians, Unitarians, Anarchists.
But our government cared not at all about that. If we
were going to have a foreign policy that faced off and
threatened the godless Communists, then by-gawd the
government would turn our nation in a Christian one, a
show-piece of Christianity, for the world. We had the
seeds of hatred and intolerance that Christianity had
bred. In 1942 we had imprisoned 11 O,OOOJapaneseon
the West Coast, the little yellow heathens, the Nisei,
and in 1945 we had two cities killed with atomic bombs,
Hiroshima and Nagasaki - what the hell, they weren't
white Christians. We would never have used the bomb
on good blue-eyed blonds, the Lutherans and the Catholics of Germany, nor on the country of the Vatican.
We had 'always been anti-Semitic and the "new
theology" killed off that evil old god of the Old Testament
- the "God is Dead" movement left the fair-skinned,
blue-eyed, brown-haired good Aryan god of the New
Churchill kicked off the idea in his famous Iron
Curtain speech in Missouri. Russia was "a peril to
Christian civilization" and "Christian nations" had to

Germinal (April) 11981


Austin Texas

unite against it. A Christian civil religion emerged in the the Federal Communications Commission affirmed that
United States as an adjunct of our foreign policy - and it the right to freedom of speech did not extend fully to
emerged almost exclusively from executive and ad- Atheists. That same year, Atheists were denied passministrative fiats. The people did not bring it forth - the ports and if they came from other nations and applied for
citizenship, Atheists were denied citizenship. They
government did.
were denied in the federal courts the right to be
Malcolm Moos, a philosopher, from Johns-Hopkins
University was brought in to write the speeches of conscientious objectors. On September 6, 1966, a law
Dwight Eisenhower and he never referred to Russia as a was passed that anyone working for government had to
believe in god. In 1968, there was an effort to Chriscountry alone, he described either Atheistic Communists or Communistic Atheists as Russia. It mattered not tianize the space program with the Apollo VIII mission.
At that time the astronauts were given a military order
at all that Russia did not even once attack our domestic
religion - not one time. Eisenhower felt that Korea to have a "spontaneous manifestation of religious awe"
could only change if god was on our side, and he was at 7:31 PM plus 10 seconds, on "Christmas Eve". In that
spirit of religious euphoria they were to quote from
-the government of the United States put him there.
memory the 1st ten verses of the first chapter of
The terror of McCarthyism was deliberately fostered.
A witch-hunt of un-Christian, un-American ideas came Genesis, which were (in reality) printed on the flight
plan for Borman to read. The adventure was codeto full flower. Meanwhile, the first act of the United
States government after W.W. II was to give land, named Experiment P-1. And Nixon, of course, even held
full scale church services in the White House. To obtain
thousands upon thousands of acres of land, to religion
and hundreds upon hundreds of buildings; it began to ethical religious approval for the invasion of Cambodia,
Nixon appeared at a Billy Graham rally at the University
subsidize the mailings of religion through minimal
postage rates special to the churches; it turned over our of Tennessee.
In just 30 years organized big religion came to own
hospital system to the religious organizations which
over 20% of all privately owned land in the United
had fought against the hospital concept for a hundred
years; social Security agencies increasingly were given States. Its gross income had grown to be larger than that
to them to administer to aged, juveniles, drug abuse of General Motors, American Telephone and Telegraph,
offenders, A.A., and the Palmer program; they invaded Standard Oil, Ford, Texaco, and Sears Roebuck comprisons, and police forces; the F.C.C. required every bined.
Now in just the last several years we find that the
television and radio station in the nation to give at least
c.1.A. was financing and dictating the politics of every
5% of their broadcast time to religion - free; religions
"Christian Democratic Party" in Europe - in Italy, in
were given the right to engage in tax-free businesses,
France, in Germany - and the name of the party was
hold stocks and bonds tax free, given devisernerits free
of taxes. Cities, counties, states and the federal gov- the name of the game; NATO and SEATO worked as
Christian units against the Atheist anti-chr ist. Now it is
ernment began to pour money into religious institutions
unfolded that the C.I.A. used missionaries throughout
as grants and encouraged, through tax law restructuring, business corporations to do the same. Prayer the underdeveloped countries to spy on the political
systems there. We helped to create a Zionist terrorist
groups were started in government under Eisenhower.
Godliness became a test of national loyalty. Our movie state in Israel to guard Jerusalem.
It was all capped off with Cardinal Spellman's war,
industry became so heavily censored by the Roman
Catholic Church that it became a national scandal. A the unnecessary religious war which was fought to
maintain the Roman Catholic Church and three million
law passed on June 25, 1948, required all federal
judges to believe in god. On June 14, 1954, our Pledge Roman Catholics in the underbelly of the Asian continent. Now the churches defv the U.S. commitment to
of Allegiance was corrupted by the mandatory inclusion
of the words "one nation under God" in the oath. On integration with white flight schools; refusing to report
July 11, 1955, a law put "In God We Trust" on all unrelated businesses.
It is poetic justice that the churches to which our
currency and coins. On July 30, 1956, we abandoned
our national motto "E Pluribus Unum" - that old motto government turned as allies, to indoctrinate you, to rally
that had fared us well from before 1776. Now, in 1956, you round the fight for Christ and country, that those
180 years later, we had a new motto, "In God We Trust."
churches now lead in the fight to communize the world.
The Roman Catholic Church is fighting our government
The symbols of our nation were turned to Christian
statements of faith. When the Civil Rights Act was going over EI Salvador. It wants the freedom there that Marcos
through the U.S. Congress in 1964, incredibly an has given in the Philippines. The Pope meddles in
Amendment was attached to it by John Ashbrook (R- Poland in the hopes of bringing on a confrontation. The
Ohio) that if one was discovered to be an Atheist one Jesuits try to return to China. The Maryknolls are
could be fired without recourse and deprived of un- revolutionizing South America. Christianity is basically
employment benefits and compensations or rights. It communistic; the dictatorship of the proletariat - the
was defeated only through the efforts of Sen. Hubert
meek shall inherit the earth. The church is a survival
Humphrey, to whom Atheists had appealed. In 1966,
institution. It lived under imperial Horne.the barbarians,

Austin, Texas

Page 7

Germinal (April) 11981

kings, monarchies, fascism, the guild system, capitalism, socialism, parliamentarianism, democracy.
England is socialist - our allyl France is socialist;
West Germany is socialist; the Scandinavian countries
are all socialist; Italy itself has over 60 towns with
communist mayors and the largest Communist party in
the world outside of Russia is in Italy. Atheism treasures
the individual; it suits Jeffersonian Democracy; Christianity and Communism appeal to the uneducated,
emotional, unwashed masses.
The idea of fighting a socio-economic-political idea
with religion was scandalously stupid. It did not work.
Meanwhile, the breaches of the First Amendment rights
which have occurred are shocking. The Moral Majority
now is ready to claim the reward for the cooperation of
the church for the last 35 years. Instead of the dog, the
government, wagging the tail, religion - the tail is
wagging the dog.
When John Lennon was shot, the new Atlanta based
Cable Network News was hunting for the presidentelect to ask him what he thought of the shooting. They
found Reagan at the apartment of Cardinal Terrance
Cooke in New York - he had run to him like a lackey dog
- because he had courted the Roman Catholic Church
additionally to get into office.
Some years ago, the medievalist. Karol Wojtyla, had
issued a Vatican directive that he expected every nation
in the world to support Roman Catholic Church schools
from tax funds of each nation. They do it in Italy, in
Germany, in France, in Spain, in Portugal, in Canada, in
Mexico, in Australia, and like the obedient servants they
were, Senators Moynihan and Packwood introduced a
bill to effectuate that into the Congress of the United
States. It failed twice now, and this month it has been
introduced again. It onJycosts 2V2 billion the first year, 5
billion the second year, as it begins.
Every corn-picking person in this room, every person,
not every family, pays $350 a year in taxes to help
support the tax-free ride of the churches so that you can
(asthe New Hampshire Constitution notes) have "laid in
your hearts the strongest obligations to due subjection."
We thunder at Cuba and Russia and promise the
holocaust to the world. Religion having failed us, we will
use force. Hell, let's trade with them. Sell them corn the U.S.A. needs to lift the grain embargo. Everybody
over there needs the experience of dealing with Ma Bell,
the frustration of an IBM computer.
If the government wants you to fight Communism,
lets do it with ideas and with a better system, not with
religion and war. The U.S. government will not confront
the Communists ideologically - instead there are
missiles within 50 miles of the Communist block border.
Would we permit Russian missiles 50 miles over the
border in Canada or Mexico?
If you can be made to believe that you have a life after
death, you can be made to believe that you ought to die
for your country in some damn senseless war. If you can
be made to believe in a virgin birth, you can be made to

Page 8

accept that the federal reserve system makes sense. If

you can be made to believe you are going to go to a
heaven when you die, you will be willing to spend your
life in a slum or die in a nuclear holocaust. If you can be
made to believe that prayer helps, you will sit on your
ass and do nothing. Christians are religious illiterates. I
can not educate you in an hour, that would need to be
done in courses on the psychopathology of religion.
And, on the other hand, here are the Atheists, lone
sentinels in a mad world; still espousing individualism,
free thought, gain through education (formal and that of
self help); advocating that you grapple with life - you
will find you enjoy it. Life is not a specatator sport.
Organized big religion must be divorced from government, not wedded to it to make an immoral majority.
One should not use the other for political reasons, for
power struggles, for psychological control of the mass of
mankind. If our system is good, you don't need to be
tricked into supporting it or conditioned into supporting
it. Ours was intended to be a secular government. The
founding fathers were right - the danger is religion.
Religion is, or ought to be, a matter of private concern,
not one of public policy.
Our government had no right to program you into
Christianity so that you would be one of the unwitting
soldiers in the big drama. You have a right to be free
from religion. I am here today to tell some of you that you
can exercise that option.
The oldest trick in the world is to involve the individual
with a system which causes him (her) considerable
anxieties over the calls of the body - human sexual
urges; patterns of anxiety reactions, the most eroding of
human emotions, will put you in control. Do you see
what is happening today? The Family Act.xhe move
against homosexuals, the attempt to stifle or stop sex
education, the maneuvers to put women back in the
home, the drive against birth control, the desire to move
religion back into the public schools or to finance
religious schools with tax money. The concept of tightening up the divorce laws, the battle against the E.R.A.,
the censorship of school books, the assault on science,
especially by scientific creationism, the demand for the
right to beat children and women, a bi-lingual program
to lock Mexican-Americans and Puerto Ricans into their
Catholic heritage - who is heading all of the fights? Who
is financing all of them? Do you see any Atheists out
there doing it?
Now, in closing I want to say something about the
Moral Majority. Do you notice how cleverly the T.V.,
radio, and newspapers and every magazine' in the
country are giving Falwell hundreds of millions of
dollars worth of publicity? Do they want to spread his
name and fame, or stop him? You can bet your sweet
bippie they are all behind him - because they are doing
with him, through him, exactly what the Pope sees is
necessary. The Pope is taking the world by the scruff of
the neck and dragging it as fast as he can back into the
Middle Ages. There is a clamp down - censorship,

Germinal (April) 11981


Austin Texas

tighter controls. Falwell is the Protestant counterpart.

He is the Calvin who would burn Servetus again while
the Pope burns Bruno.
Falwell is doing overtly what the Roman Catholics in
the United States, the Baptists, the Lutherans, the
Methodists, and the Mormons do covertly - attempti ng
to influence legislation, dictate ethics and morals,
structure a rigid authoritarian culture - and he brags
that he takes in $1 million a week. Hell, the Mormons
take in $4 million a day. He is a piker. The Roman
Catholics take in $8 million a day and demand that
Reagan trot obediently to the home of Cardinal Cooke
even before he takes power. The Packwood-Moynihan
bill is back in the Senate; the Right to Life Amendment
will pass - the question is only when. Women: wait till
you see a spot on your sanitary napkin and have to go
through a murder trial because you happened to have a
spontaneous abortion. And, pay for a funeral for it yet!
The task of Atheists is formidable; how does one
deprogram a nation? How does one return amour propre
to every citizen? How do we make you understand that
the proper course for you is to educate yourself to the
last degree that is possible, to stand proud, to be
independent, self-actuating, to utilize your full potential, reach to the possible, try to ameliorate the human
condition, and treasure life and peace.
Fight for peace.
Demand peace.
It is only in a peaceful world that you have a chance for
an enriched, good life. Question everything. Let nothing
be sacred, sacrosanct or beyond your exploration.
Let me read to you what Atheists' goals are, in
Atheists define their lifestyle as follows .An
Atheist loves himself and his fellow man
instead of a god. An Atheist accepts that
heaven is something for which we should
work now - here on earth - for all men
together to enjoy. An Atheist accepts 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 to enjoy it. An Atheist accepts
that only in a knowledge of himself and a
knowledge of his fellowman can he find the
understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.
Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his
fellowman rather than to know a god. An
Atheist accepts that a hospital should be built
instead of a church. An Atheist accepts that a
deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An
Atheist strives for involvement in life and not
escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He
wants man to understand and love man. He
wants an ethical way of life. He accepts that
we cannot rely on a god nor channel action
into prayer nor hope for an end of troubles in a
hereafter. He accepts that we are - in a sense
- our brothers' keepers in that we are, first,

keepers of our own lives; that we are responsible persons, that the job is here and the time
is now.
Life is for living; not for dying.
The joy is in involvement. not in watching.
The excitement is in outreach, not in recoil.
For total freedom, the ultimate freedom - freedom of
the mind - try Atheism.
And in that sense, I want to read to you what we mean
byAggressive Atheism. This is an article written for the
English Atheist magazine, The Investigator by an English Atheist, Charles Bradlaugh, about 125 years ago.
"Aggressive Atheism"
"We are investigators, and our policy is to ascertain
facts and present them to our readers in clear and
distinct language. If we find a mind bound round with
Creeds and Bibles, we will select a sharp knife to cut the
bonds; if we find men prostrating themselves, without
inquiry, before idols, our policy is iconoclastic - we will
destroy those idols. If we find a rock in our path, we will
break it; but we will not quarrel with our brother who
deems his proper work to be that of polishing the
fragments. We believe all the religions of the world are
founded on error, in the ignorance of natural causes and
material conditions, and we deem it our duty to endeavor to expose their falsity. Our policy is therefore
aggressive. We are, at present, of opinion that there is
much to do in the mere clod-crushing sphere, in
uprooting upas trees [moraceous tree with poisonous
milky sap] , hewing down creed-erected barriers between man and man and generally in negating the
influence of the priest. Our policy is of humble character; we are content to be axebearers and pioneers,
cutting down this obstacle and clearing away that. We
respect the sower who delights in the positive work of
scattering seed on the ground, but we fear that the
weeds destroy much of the fruit of his labors....
"There is no middle ground between':";,Theismand
Atheism. The genuineness and authenticity of the Scriptures are questions relevant to Secularism. It is as
necessary for the Secularist to destroy Bible influences
as for the farmer to endeavor to eradicate the chickweed
from his clover field. We appeal to those who think our
work fairly done to aid us in our labors; to those who will
not work with us we simply say, do not hinder us.
"Our only wish and purpose is to make men happy,
and this is because in So doing we increase our own
happiness. The secret of true happiness and wisdom
lies in the consciousness that you are working to the
fullest of your ability to make your fellows happy and
wise. Man can never be happy until he is free; free in
body and in mind; free in thought and in utterance; free
fr orn crowns and creeds, from priest, from king; free
from the cramping customs created by the influences
surrounding him, and which have taught him to bow to a
lord and frown upon a beggar. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity! That true liberty, which infringes not the freedom
of my brother; that equality which recognizes no nobleman but the men of noble thoughts and noble deeds;
that fraternity which links the weak arm-in-arm with
the strong, and, teaching humankind that union is
strength, compels them to fraternize, and links them
together in that true brotherhood for which we strive."

Germinal (April) 11981

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Page 9

.A Fact Sheet on The Mormon Church



The 20-year-old Joseph Smith was arrested and

convicted of being a "disorderly person and an imposter" on 20 March 1826 in Chenango County, New
York, for pretending to discover lost treasures for a fee.
The following statement was made by his father-in-law
at Harmony, Pa., on 20 March 1834: "I first became
acquainted with Joseph Smith, Jr. in November, 1825.
His occupation was that of seeing, or pretending to see
by means of a stone placed in his hat. and his hat closed
over his face. In this way he pretended to discover
minerals and hidden treasure. His appearance at this
time, was that of a careless young man - not very well
educated, and very saucy and insolent to his father.
Smith, and his father, with several other "moneydiggers" boarded at my house while they were employed in digging for a mine in November 1825 .... After
these occurrences, young Smith made several visits at
my house, and at length asked my consent to his
marrying my daughter Emma. This I refused, and gave
my reasons for so doing; some of which were, that he
was a stranger, and followed a business that I could not
approve. He then left the place, returned, and while I
was absent from home, carried off my daughter, into the
state of New York where they were married without my
approbation or consent. In a short time they returned,
bringing with them a-Peter Ingersoll, to reside upon a
place near my residence. Smith stated to me, that he
had given up what he called "glass-looking" and that he
expected to work hard for a living, and was willing to do
so. Soon after this I was informed they had brought a
wonderful box of Plates down with them ....
manner in which he pretended to read and interpret was
the same as when he looked for the money-diggers,
with the stone in his hat, and his hat over his face, while
the Book of Plates were at the same time hid in the
woodsl ... I conscientiously believe from the facts I have
detailed that the whole Book of Mormon (so called) is a
silly fabrication got up for the speculation, and with a
design to dupe the credulous and unwary. (signed) Isaac


"I, Peter Ingersoll, first became acquainted with the

family of Joseph Smith, Sen., in the year of our Lord,
1822. I lived in the neighborhood of said family, until
about 1830. In August, 1827, I was hired by Joseph
Smith, Jr. to go to Pennsylvania, to move his wife's
household furniture up to Manchester. When we ar-

Page 10

rived at Mr. Hale's in Harmony, Pa. from which place he

had taken his wife, a scene presented itself, truly
affecting. His father-in-law addressed Joseph, in a flood
of tears: 'You have stolen my daughter and married her.
I had much rather have followed her to her grave. You
spend your time in digging for money - pretend to see
in a stone and thus try to deceive people.' Joseph wept
and acknowledged he could not see in a stone now, nor
never could; and that his former pretensions in that
respect, were all false. He then promised to give up his
old habits of digging for money and looking into stones.
Mr. Hales told Joseph, if he would move to Pennsylvania
and work for a living, he would assist him in getting into
business. Joseph acceded to this proposition. Joseph
told me on his return, that he intended to keep the
promise which he had made to his father-in-law; but,
said he, it will be hard for me ... for they will all oppose.
In this dilemma, he made me his confidant. One day he
came, and greeted me with a joyful countenance: 'As I
was passing, yesterday, across the woods, after a heavy
shower of rain, I found, in a hollow, some beautiful
white sand, that had been washed up by the water. I
took off my frock, and tied up several quarts of it, and
then went home. On my entering the house, I found the
family at the table eating dinner. They were all anxious
to know the contents of my frock. At that moment, I
happened to think of what I had heard about a history
found in Canada, called the Golden Bible, so I very
gravely told them it was the Golden Bible. To my
surprise, they were credulous enough to believe what I
said. Accordingly, I told them that I had received a
commandment to let no one see it, for, says I. no man
can see it with the naked eye and live. However, I offered
to take out the book and show it to them, but they
refused to see it, and left-the room .. .' (signed) Peter
833) Two years of the "hard work" promised to Hale produced the Book of Mormon, whose
publication in 1830 was funded by a superstitious
neighbor named Harris. According to the book, Mormon
is the name of American Indians who flourised in 400
A.D. Later on, however, Joseph Smith tried to dress
up the story, claiming the name derived from the
English word 'more' and the Egyptian word 'mon', and
thus created the only Anglo-Egyptian-Indian character
ever to star in an American novel. Such blunders have
caused no end of embarrassment to the church he
organized in 1830, which has frantically tried to explain
them away. (The above material is taken from Fawn
McKay Brodie, No Man Knows My History (Knopf,
1945), pp. 405-7, 410-11, 416-18. In reviewing this

Germinal (April) 11981

Austin Texas

book for the New York Herald Tribune, the Pulitzer Prize
winner Bernard Augustine DeVoto called it "the first
honest and intelligent biography of Joseph Smith." Two
attempts have been made to answer some of the
evidence in Brodie: The Mythmakers and No Ma'am
That's Not History, both of which are extremely labored
and show how the Mormon Church can "strain at gnats
and swallow the camel." David Oman McKay, Mrs.
Brodie's uncle and later president of the Mormon
Church, wrote that "even if she were honest in her
disbelief," she should have concealed the result of her
research, and n~t have published the book. Such
promotion of hypocrisy in the Mormon Church is typical,
but to find written evidence of it such as this is quite
unusual. [Letter of 16 May 1946 to Hugh Winder Nibley,
author of.these publications; from Harold Bingham Lee
Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 84601].)
Joseph Smith went off the deep end in 1842 and
1843, announcing in August 1843, "I am above the
kingdoms of the world, for I have no laws:' and claiming
to have seen and heard god almighty "at sundry times,
and in divers places," also Jesus Christ. Michael the
archangel, Raphael, Gabriel, Moses, Elijah, John the
baptist, Peter, James, John Elias, Moroni out of the
Book of Mormon, and other "divers angels from Adam
down to the present." (History of the Church, volume 1,
chapters 1-5; Documentary History of the Church,
volume 5, page 259;"The Doctrine and Covenants",
section 128 [6 September 1842], et passim)


Separation of Church and State

"In 1842 ... Smith announced that the Mormon vote
would go for the Democrats. The result showed the
Mormon vote to have been solidly Democratic ....
During the 1843 congressional campaign Smith offered
his vote, and by implication the Mormon bloc, to the
Whig candidate in return for a desperately needed favor.
Then by a subterfuge he diverted the Mormon vote to
the Democrats. It was a provocative act which made the
Whigs rabid and doubtless contributed to the outbreak
of violence and depredations against the Mormons soon
afterward." (Robert Bruce Flander, "The Kingdom of
God in Illinois," in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon
Thought V: 27-36. See his Nauvoo: Kingdom on the
Mississippi [1965].)
Freedom of the Press


Toward the end of his life Joseph Smith became

fascinated with military display, civil authority, and the
masonic mysteries. He became a Master Mason on 15
March 1842, and, as "General Smith', paraded Nauvoo
Illinois Mormons constantly in 1842-3. As mayor of
Nauvoo, he ordered the press of the Expositor, a
newspaper which had published rumors of his affairs
with single women, smashed and the type destroyed.
Just so much did the founder of the Mormon Church

Austin, Texas

regard the First Amendment rights to freedom of speech

and the press, guaranteed by the United States Constitution, to say nothing of the separation of Church and
State mandated by the Constitution, which he knowingly violated innumerable times. A declared candidate
for President of the United States in 1844, he was
arrested for treason, and while confined was confronted
by his guards in Carthage, Illinois. A shoot-out resulted,
in which Joseph Smith shot several of his captors
before they managed to shoot and kill him.


Murder I

Of the unsavory Brigham Young, nothing needs to be

said. Reliable historians have concluded that he attempted to cover up the murder of a group of Missourian
emigrants camping in Utah on their way through to
Oregon, by John Lee and other Mormons disguised as
Indians. John Lee was officially "forgiven" these murders ten years ago by the late Harold Bingham Lee,
president of the Mormon Church.
Murder II - Variations on a Theme
The violent and autocratic disposition of Joseph Smith
has left a pattern that persists in the Mormon cult to this
day. In everyone of the Mormon temples, including' the
one commemorated on a current postage stamp, a
repulsive ritual called the "endowment" is enacted by
all Mormons in good standing. This consists of a holy
massage performed on the initiate by staff members
stroking every part of his or her naked body and
declaring him or her an embryo priest or priestess. A
costume is given to the initiate for small fee, and he then
sits through a lecture about Adam and Eve taken from
the Bible, during which he is required to stand and pass
his hand across his neck from ear to ear, -across his
throat. cutting his heart - out, and disemboweling
himself. With this gruesome exercise is intermixed a
series of secret signs, handclasps, and passwords,
identical to the Masonic ritual, the culmination of which
is an oath which every person in the group is required to
take, pledging his entire property to the church. The
exact phrase used is: "You do consecrate your time,
talents, and everything with which the lord has blessed
you and with which he may bless you to the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Having promised his
all, the initiate then is dismissed through a curtain, well
on his way to heaven. (Transcript obtained from the
Federal Communications Commission in 1978 by the
Church of Scientology, 5930 Franklin Avenue, Hollywood, California 90028) Demeaning as such a ritual
obviously is, the threats are not entirely symbolic. It has
become public knowledge that Brigham Young University, an arm of the Mormon Church, uses drugs,
hypnotism, and electro-shock treatment on students
who are persuaded they are homosexual. Here is one
account of a homosexual Mormon:
"He was sent to Salt Lake City to magazine stores to
find pictures of naked men that excited him. These were
made into slides and flashed on a screen while he sat in

Germinal (April) 11981

Page 11





All three of these children are highly sociable, write

a chair with electrodes strapped to his arms. As the
excellent, neatly-written, well-spelled letters in legible
pictures were shown, he was given a shock; the purpose
being to couple the pain of the shock with the stimuhandwriting. It was not much wonder to me why John
felt as he did. A couple of weeks before he was killed; I
lating picture in order to condition him to not only dislike
was visiting with him and he promised me that he would
the shock but also the picture. This was the first time he
had ever looked at pictures of naked men. He was given
reconsider the possibility of an evaluation of his children if I or someone who had the children's welfare at
a dial to determine the strength of the shock, and soon
heart would be in charge of the testing. And he
he was keeping it on full strength, as he was determi ned
promised me that he would never fire on anyone unless
to be "cured" as quickly as possible. He came out of
someone fired on him first."
those sessions nauseated, shaking, and with mild burns
on his arms." This continued for two years, but to no
His wife, Vicki Singer, has filed a wrongful death
action, but that won't bring back this remarkable man,
avail. ("Gays and The Mormon Church," a series in The
the responsiblity for whose death can be laid entirely
Blade [2430 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest. Suite
and directly at the door of Joseph Smith, whose teach222, Washington, D.C. 20037], volume 11, numbers 1
ings he was absorbed by, but whose legacy of violence
and 2, 10-24 January 1980, which describes the full
was hidden from him until it was too late. (Winter 1979
extent of the entrapment, spy, arrest. and treatment
Report of the National Association for the Legal Support
program which has led to an increased suicide rate
of Alternative Schools, Post Office Box 2823, Santa Fe,
among Mormon students)
New Mexico 87501)
Though this is merely psychological murder, the
Are these merely isolated and atypical incidents? Not
Mormon Church sheds no tears for physical murder
by a long shot. The unlovely, hypocritical, authoritarian,
either. In 1979 the murder of John Singer occurred in
deceitful and untruthful influence ofthe Mormon Church
Utah, when a ten-member Mormon posse shot and
pervades the state of Utah and society wherever
killed this fundamentalist Mormon because he refused
Mormons are found. Its membership are maintained in
to put his children in a public school. This incident was
a state of continuous adolescence, while the hierarchy
provoked when the Mormon psychologist Victor Bailey
plays keys of fear, politics, economic pressure, and
Cline evaluated Singer's children as "brain-damaged, of
ghetto mentality, and asocial" and secured a court order
placing his children in court custody, grossly distorting
JOSEPH SMITH: The Profit of Fraud
this case in which a man did his best to take control of
his life and educate his children himself. This physical
Joseph Smith was one of dozens of con-men working
the American frontier in the 19th century who found
destruction of a family shows just how far the Mormon
religion a sure route to personal aggrandizement. He
Church favors "the family unit" in fact, although its
and the church he organized are essentiallvtrivial:
self-promoting image as a "family church" is very
was quickly put away, and the Mormon Church today is
heavily pushed. A statement that has certainly norbeen
dying from within, having lost its largest drawing card
publicized by the Mormon Church is this one made by
as American society grew out of and put aside the allRaymond Sowl Moore, author of Better Late Than Early
and School Can Wait, recipient of the President's
pervasive religious doctrines of the 19th SAd earlier
centuries, which had prepared society for the sort of
Citation in 1957, and president of the Hewitt Research
exploitation practiced by Joseph Smith and others of his
Center, 450 Westwood, Berrien Springs, Michigan
kind. The Peace-Unity-Love-Prophecy(PULP) propagan49103:
"[Cline's evaluation] was enough to make any .da churned out by its monster media cannot long
manage to maintain the moribund monolithic Mormon
thoughtful parent angry, especially when he had such
beautiful, bright and highly sociable children as, for .Church, which does not have and never has had a valid
reason to replace it. What we do offer is an explanation
example Heidi, Suzanne and Tim, their three oldest.
Heidi is an excellent little cook and bread maker and .of the position of Atheism, which is simply a-theism, or
the absence of theism, in -the way you control and live
seamstress and a fine little gardner. Suzanne, then 12
your own life. The curse of Joseph's Myth is something
and a year younger than Heidi, does oil paintings that
from which you should be free.
would be a creditto any advanced college student and to
many professional artists. She was given professional
art lessons in the city, while Heidi was given professional singing lessons. Tim who was then 11 was
dissatisfied with his first log cabin, so he made a second
one, about 6 x 10, and did all of the log work and
construction himself except for a little bit of assistance
from his father in cutting the rafters. Anyone who does
this kind of work knows how difficult that is. But Tim
went on in this last year, since his father's death, to use,
old pipe and various wheels and pieces of junk to make'
one of the neatest, slickestlittle go-carts I've ever seen,
including clutch, brakes, accelerator, chain drive, steering mechanism, etc. Not bad, I'd say, for a 12-year-old.

Page 12

Germinal (Apri1l11981


Austin Texas


Ignatz Sahula- Dycke

Thinkers, teachers, originators,
founders - in these and other
types of the creative mind, one
trait is common to all: inquisitiveness. Christ was a thinker and
exceedingly inquisitive. Had he
not been, he wouldn't have perceived and resented the injustices
of his time, nor would he have
attacked them as he did. We know
he left home in his teens and
returned when thirty. Those fifteen years, a half of his life, are a
blank - where he went, what he
did there is unknown. But, where,
in those days, could one go but
eastward? He came home matured, experienced, full of ideas and
plans for liberating the people of
his native land from the Roman
yoke. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and
John, tell us he talked much about
"our Father in heaven"; but this is
why until almost the end he wasn't suspected of gathering supporters for his political ideas. His great
contribution to intellectual
political freedom (for which he
deserves far greater acclaim than
for being, as is said, "the son of
god") was his, then radica], idea
that anyone, even the humblest
slave or criminal, could himself
appeal directly to god and, having
made the effort, get a hearing. *
Saul of Tarsus brought this radical message to the northern shores
of the Mediterranean shortly after
Christ's death, three hundred years
before what we call Christianity
was first organized. The message,
as I will show, initiated the fall of
Roman colonialism. How? Up until
then any appeal to Rome's gods
could be made only through the
head of one's own family - its
head jealously guarding his privilege, fully aware that this was
what kept all Roman households,
underlings and slaves, under control. Christ's idea thus threatened
to destroy the foundations support-

ing Rome's solidarity and power.

Christ a native of one of Rome's
vassal provinces, surely knew what
his idea represented. He didn't live
to see its consequences. For the
next three hundred years Christ's
idea kept in constant turmoil not
only the common people, but as
well the Roman citizens and patricians along the entire perimeter of
the Mediterranean. The authorities then forestalled a general revolt by calling Christ's idea religious hysteria, and by burying it
within a hurriedly organized theism in many ways resembling the
Roman which, not long after, they
proclaimed the empire's official
As ever, greed now appeared on
the scene in the persons of astute
Nicene patriarchs. They, of course,
perceived that the individual'S direct appeal to god was depriving
them ~ofthe .status previously enjoyed by the heads of the Roman
households. A changeover now
took place, the individual was commanded to go to church where, if
he observed official church dogmas, the priest now intereceded
for him with the same old god who,
Christ said, could be appealed to
all on one's own. In this way,
between A.D. 313 and 380, in
Nicaea,Jerusalem, Constantinople,
Athens, Alexandria, and of course,
Rome, was Christianity politically
organized, and on that basis being
administered today. I dare say were
Christ to see what Christianity
turned out to be that he'd despise
it. But the authorities and their
priests erred in thinking that Christ's idea was safely buried in the
newly-dug religious grave. It stayed alive. A mere century later, all
of this, done to save Roman supremacy, failed. Rome fell, and its
might existed only in memory.
Now, buried in the gloom of Christianity, all that remains of Christ's

Germinal (April) 11981

Austin, Texas


hope for human freedom is a faint

spark awaiting someone as bold as
he was to blow it aflame.
What was to be done? The Christian religion, a travesty on the
honesty, unselfishenss, and benevolence the word Christ reminds
one of, is a fact impossible to
ignore. Grown fat, lazy, and sprawling from addiction to the very
things it tells us are evil, make it a
moral monstrosity. Todav's realist
sees it as a colossus of selfcontradictory, morally flavored, didactic anecdotes submerged in tinselly pomp and cabalistic ritual..
pretentiously theistic and spiced
with extras appealing to superstition - morally almost useless. It is
grandiose mummery, which today's mentally unshackled human
thinks anyone should be able to
live decently and happily without.
Alone the arroqanteretensions of
those in it who say they are Vicars
of Christ on Earth are enough to
repel any reasoning individual, making him thankful for the inquisitive
faculties enabling him to distinguish between the true and the
Some of the concepts the Christians believe in, and are by the
cleric continually assaulted to keep
on respecting, are comparable to
the concept of "ether wind." In
1887 Michelson and Morley conducted experiments which proved
that "ether wind" was pure delusion. Until then most of the respected men of science mistakenly believed it fact. The big difference between men of religion and
men of science, of course, is that
the latter tentatively entertain cogent theories and postulates until
disproved, but the religious keep
right on calling true what some-

times a thousand
years ago. was
proved false.
Patient inquisitian
into. all aspects of life is the best. and possibly the only, reason the realist
can give far existence
- and in
this our only hope of ever finding
samething truly dependable to. believe in. We are a gullible lot. The
lack of an answer to one or another demand of our curiosity is a
poor excuse for calling it haly. To.
do. so is not only invalid but. ethically, evil. Shoaing people into believing sundry unprovable religiaus
is the same as saying
that ignorance
is divine. But to.
anyane who. says gad exists it
seems proper. I suppose. that anything equally unpravable
also. be called his.
Such reasaning, thaugh, having
an outcome.
is not anly fatuous
but destructive
to. the intellect. In
the Western
it is a well
bad habit emplayed
far the eliciting
of wishful
canelusions. To. belive in a deity canceived as a substitute
far cagent
answers to. inquiry is certainly not
wise, nor is it sane to. expect any so.
canceived gad to. ever materialize.
Last of all, to. believe as so. many
believe, is an insult to. any canjecturable gad who. wauld ar could
care to. be interested
in the problems of the maid called humanity
infesting the surface of the Earth,
it is a mere speck amang countless
superior bodies in the Universemany of which might
far all we
knaw, be infested by a maid of an
immensely mare advanced type.
In matters
like the above the

painter of canvases and the preaching cleric have at least ane thing in
Bath aim to. obtain
response fram the sensibilities
their audience.
The artist does it
with pictures and the cleric with
The cleric claims
promises are truth fram the lips of
(an unperceivable)
that to. be "redeemed"
yau must
believe his wards represent gad's
opinion on the subject and so. to.
accept it. This, if yau are a believer
yau do. - and because ariginally
the cleric made a believer of vou, it
is he and not gad who decides far
you. You had no. choice
in the
matter. The painter, his picture an
abstract of the reality we all perceive exists, usually looks forward
to. his next canvas, haping to. do.
better. You don't have to. like his
picture, but whether yau do. or not.
yau yaurself
make the decision.
not the artist. You had free choice.
So. althaugh the aims of the cleric
and the artist are similar, the respouse obtained by each of them is
of opposite value. This should remind us that similar
aims don't
always produce similar results to. think twice befare taking far
granted that dagmas represent the
haly truth.
The individual who. believes that
of thouqht.
and action is to. be highly prized
should view anything "holy" with
if not suspicion.
The "holy" always
cernes in a
handsomely wrapped package tied
with an occult ribbon and baw. He
should undo. it and findaut what's
inside. The package is made up so



This solstice the earth began to dance
Raund its sun again, for .another year,
And will far solang it seems forever.
Renewal is now Nature's endeavaur.
You ask me to be like our earth,
And pledge my love for vou again,
T a say that yau wi II be
My dearest dear for eternity.
But I choke on such wards.

Page. 14

cleverly far inducing him to. buy it

laaking and to. make
him either cantribute
materially or
ar bath far the benefit
thase who. that way perpetuate
phantasm canceived and intended
far immabilizing
everyane who. has
ar could have an abiding desire to.
see the warld made into. a place
where mankind wauld exist free of
all haunting
live anly
once. an experience much taa precious to. trade to. an astute mountsbank far his package of barefaced
lies - a package which, once we've
baught it will enable him to. do.
with our bodies and minds as he
might please.
But far the vendors of "holiness," everyane could experience
a life so. pleasant and in every way
that after
reaching a ripe age he'd little regret facing his last day. This almast elysian kind of life is available to. anyane
to. be
fooled. Abraham Lincoln's remark
about faaling the people still holds
gaad taday. Same can be fooled.
but not all of them all of the time.
mast people are so.
busy with the pressing matters of
daily life they rarely inquire into.
and challenge
the validity of religiaus promises. Fartunately, thaugh,
due to. madern cornrnunications.
little by little but perceptibly,
of man's native inquisitiveness are an the upgrade, Christianistic
to. the cantrary natwithstanding.

*The position
of American
Atheists is that there is no solid evidence to show that Christ was a
__a_y_. _

Be like the earth? Here things changeAt least four times a year.
I may not-quite
so much-lave
When Spring's breath wisks in the new.
8e like the earth? It will change too And not court the sun forever.
I may turn from you in a year
And find another dearest dear.
No. tears, my lave, no. tears.
I lave yau naw, am here naw.
So. let's drink our wine to. its dredges.
But, please, my lave; no. pledges.

-Gerrninal (April) 1198



Eileen Murray-O'Hair

Austin Texas

Senators know you expect them to vote prayer in our

[Helms' letter continued]
reading from our schools have anything to do with public schools.
SECOND: Send 515,525,550
or more to lobby for our
-- Crimes of violence by school age youngsters.
-- Teenage unwed pregnancy and abortion.
fight for school prayer and for new legislation to protect
traditional American family values.
-- Youthful drug addiction.
-- Vandalism of our schools and churches.
If you can possibly send 575 or 5100 please do so. Every
dollar you contribute will be used to pay for TV
-- Child pornography and child abuse.
I'm sure you know several heartbroken parents whose
programs, petitions, postcards and direct mail to publicize our campaign to protect your family and mine.
worry and care for their children has caused them great
But let's be realistic. Unless you help us start today we
suffering and disappointment.
Other mothers and fathers feel that raising children is
may never catch up.
The atheist lobby is 18 years ahead of us on the school
no longer a joy.
prayer issue.
Many parents worry about the daily vi?lence and
immorality that threaten their sons and daughters in
The answer is simple. Because even though these antiBut as y,ou know, God works in strange and wonderful
family groups are only a small percentage of the
population they learned years before we did that to win all
And this year as the discouragement of many parents
they needed to do was make a bigger noise in the halls of
Congress than God-fearing people like you and I [sic].
reached a low point God is answering our prayers.
What's more, these radical groups are spending millions
A new and exciting pro-family movement is sweeping
of dollars on legal fees, publicity and lobbying expenses to
make their un-Godly, anti-family views the law of the
Religious leaders like JERRY F AL WELL, PAT
So we must make sure we have a campaign of equal
dozens of other ministers are leading millions of
Americans back to the faith of our fathers.
force for our side.
And right here on Capitol Hill I can see with my own
That's why it's so important to your own family that
eyes a growing revival of spiritual values in American
you answer this letter, today.
Please sign the enclosed school prayer petitions and
political life.
[Baptist] Senator JESSE HELMS [R-NCJ, [Roman
return them to me, now.
Catholic] Senator PA UL LAXAL T [R-NV], [Baptist] SenAnd when you mail your petitions back to me please
[R-NHJ, [Mormon]
enclose your check for 515, 525, 550, or as much as you
Senator JAKE GARN [R-UTJ, [Methodist] Congressman
can to support The Congressional Club's pro-family,
PHIL CRANE [R-ILJ, [Roman Catholic] Congressman
publicity and lobbying campaign.
HENRY HYDE [R-IA], and many more of our dynamic,
conservative legislators are working right now for qew
laws to protect the American family.
But there's bad news, too.
Both in money and organization our Pro-Family
Movement is starting behind the radical, special interest
United States Senator [R-NC]
groups whose lobbying threatens our families. Groups
some Pro-Family stickers for your
Please display them proudly as a
-- pro-abortion organizations;
-- "gay-rights" advocates;
-- atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair and her followers;
-- feminist groups.
But with your help and God's blessing we can catch up
and defeat them.
That's why The Congressional Club wants to continue
leading the fight to lobby for pro-family legislation.
Our immediate goal is to get sufficient votes in both
Houses of Congress to restore voluntary prayer in our
public schools.
But we're not stopping there!!
We also want to launch a nationwide publicity,
education and lobbying campaign against PORNOCOUNTRY
GRAPHY, ABORTION and every other threat to the
spiritual well-being of our American families.
That's why I hope you'll do two things today:
..[Bumper stickers enclosed]
FIRST: Sign and return the 3 school prayer petitions
I've enclosed.
111use your petitions to let your Congressman and


Germinal (April) 11981

Austin, Texas









For those physics buffs harboring a continued interest in new

ideas concerning cosmology, I have
a few more bits of rather fundamentally obvious information.
As you may recall, in the December issue of the American Atheist
magazine I outlined my observations concerning gravity ("The Irresistible Force"). In that article I
iterated that all 'things' are structured from the only two basic manifestations of existence: energy or
matter. I also explained that according to 'accepted' physics (EMC2), energy and matter are transmutable, i.e.. ableto interchange.
I then offered that the constant gravity - was the only logical
motivating force available to compell the cyclical interchanging of
energy to matter to energy, etc.
The reason that I keep reiterating physical explanations in my
writing is very simple and direct.
No Atheist can adequately and
permanently reach a position of
complete acceptance of scientific
materialism without certain understandable realizations. For a person to say, without reservation,
that s/he is an Atheist, requires
that the person reach his/her intellectual position through tangible
evidences. Speculative ideas and
assumptions can only produce
skepticism and religiosity.
Foreons science has been plagued by incomplete knowledge and
understanding of the limitless phenomena that surround us. Religionists have continually seized
upon the opportunity provided by
limited human knowledge in order
to propagate their mythologies. Today, in an era of expanding scientific knowledge, religious fanatics
are frantically engaged in efforts

Page 16

to undermine and even eliminate

legitimate science. Their weapon,
as always, is the overall ignorance
of the public.
Unfortunately, the still relatively
slow moving scientific community
is hesitant to speak out in its own
defense. This fact, coupled with
the only rare appearance of true
genius, makes science a poor gladiator in the conflict between the
'natural.' and the 'supernatural.'
Atheism must do its part if we are
to maintain any degree of rationality. In some areas we must not
only educate ourselves but we
must prod and encourage science
to do the same. Survival will not be
easy so long as governmentally
favored religion has its way. Therefore, I feel that it is our duty to
incorporate logical explanations of
cosmic 0scurrences in our writings,
in our outlooks, and in our educational communications with society.
Every facet of the ideas I speak
of in my editorials is based on
known physical facts. In this article I would like to elaborate on the
word 'mass.' In physics we hear
the term 'mass' used frequently.
Yet it has become apparent to me
that many persons still are not
aware that 'mass' comes in two
varieties. Mass #1 (static mass)
might be described as the 'bulk'
property of substance - inert
material - visually "measured in
grains, grams, pounds, etc. Mass
#2 (energy mass) may be described as the particle (smaller than
atoms) energies which produce
light, heat, radio activity, magnetism, etc. The mass energy particles are infinitely small and cannot be measured visually in terms
of 'troy: 'avoirdupois: or metric
systems of measurements. Indeed,

Germinal (April) 11981


an entire new system of weight

measurements will ultimately be
neededto interpret the size, weight,
and displacement of such 'masses.'
The significant difference between mass #1 and mass #2 is
that the former is static or stationary and the latter is in motion
at a high velocity.
No doubt you've probably heard
reference to the 'Sun's mass' in
some recent documentaries concerning our universe. Keep in mind
that the 'sun's mass' is relative to
the above mentioned Mass #2 or
energy mass. Whereas the planetary masses are relative to Mass
#1 or static mass. In effect, we're
talking about 'apples and oranqes'
- they are different forms
masses. When someone states
that the Sun's mass is 330,000
times that of the Earth's, it is easy
to be misled. Density of the two
'masses' (volume) is a commanding factor. if ALL the energies
contained in the Earth's
(substance) were released at the
sam.etime it would probably make
the Sun's mass appear puny by
It is my opinion that the planets
of a star (solar) system are actually
the star's static generators. As the
planets of a system spiral through
space, their electromagnetic energy fields overlap at a concentric
point of high electric excitement
thus producing the 'star' spark of
the system. This explanation is in
complete agreement with the physical processes that provide electric energy to our homes, in our

Austin Texas

automobiles, or any other area

where static generators produce a
high source of electric energy.
I cannot agree that a 'mass of
energy' (such as our Sun) can
attain it's own perpetual existence
without replenishment of its fueling system. Such an idea suggests
that the Sun's energy can replace
itself! Can your automobile generator's electricity operate its own
generator? Certainly not! Any such
assumption entertains the idea
that somehow energy can be produced by, or from, nothingness.
Religionists might be of the opinion
that this is possible - but not this
Atheist. 'Scientists' should show
concern in this area.
We live in a system that oper-

ates within the laws of Nature. The

basic substances of the system do
not increase or decrease, 'originate' or 'disappear.' The building
block particles that comprise everything in existence are the perpetual source of both energy and
matter: i.e., the First Law of Physics. Their transformations
motivated by gravity, the constant
pressure in space - the system
continues FOREVER.
It is conceivable that futuristic
religions will realize the significance of gravity and claim it as
'god!' In the past they have claimed every other motivating force in
the Universe! Sun god worshippers were prevalent in history. In a
sense even scientists seem to believe that the Sun is paramount in

our system - providing light heat,

and substance to our entire system. Why should we think that the
planets, moon, asteroids, and etc.,
are simply 'castoffs' from an inferno of thermonuclear activity? I
feel that the planets have been
unjustly relegated to an inferior
secondary role in the cosmic system. Time will tell - the answer
will most likely come when it is
finally ascertained that the Sun
has only an insignificant amount
. of gravitational effect on other
bodies in space because its mass
is calculated in terms of oranges,
not apples.
* The author's scientific
does not necessarily reflect the
opinion of American Atheists.

there is no gravity - the world sucks



We are told to gIve thanks for whatever we eat

Or because we have hands as well as two feet
Or because we are livIng when others are dead
Or that car Is black but my car Is red
We must cry to a deity that I know doesn't hear
It doesn't drInk whIsky It doesn't drInk beer
I'm sure when I'm dead there Is nQ:-tnoretime
There Is no more reason to build up a rhyme
There is no tomorrow there is not today
Trillions of years Is the same as a day
Life is a nothIng It Just doesn't count
When we come In or when we go out
We are less than a second between endless time
Why worry In case we're committing a crIme
ThIs earth we inhabit will come to an end
There'll be no more country we have to defend
How old Is this god to whom I must whIne
Is something I asked when younger than nIne
If It's a he then It must have a she
Whatever made them is quite powerful you see
Then who made their maker Is a game we can play
But I would rather not bother to figure thIs out
That's why I'm one of the complete undevout.


Ted Wright
Dunham, Quebec
Germinal (April) 11981

Austin, Texas

... .,..


Page 17




Hello, there, this is Madalyn Murray O'Hair, American
certainly that much more vital to protect the name of
Atheist, back to talk with you again. Joseph Lewis,
one's god. It was believed that if the name ofa god were
recent American Atheist author, had much to say about
known and used contrary to his wishes, the consethe third commandment. Exodus. Chapter 20. verse 7. quences would be nothing short of a world catastrophe.
"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy god in
It was also thought that the creator of the universe
vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh
brought the world into existence by uttering his own
his name in vain. "
name. An ancient Egyptian papyrus states: "There was
This commandment follows in perfect continuity the a time when no one and nothing existed except himself.
previous one as regards the magical origin of religion
A desire' came over him to create the world. and he
and the taboos that are the inevitable outgrowth of a carried it iAto effect by making his mouth utter his own
belief in animism. The taboo against mentioning names name as a word of power; and straightway the world
has the same genesis as the prohibition against making
and all therein came into being." Christianity accepted
graven images. Just as making an image was prohibited
this magical power of words with its John 1:1: "In the
because of the fear that a person would be sympa- beginning was the Word, and the Word was with god.
thetically injured through his image, so we find that
and the Word was god."
mentioning names was prohibited for the identical
There is an entire ancient literature on what the
reason. .
Persians call the "science of names." The name of
It was firmly believed that a person's name was a Brahma is sacred in India and rarely mentioned except
substantial part of himself and that serious injury could on the most solemn occasions. The ancient Vedic god
be inflicted on him, just as effectively through the
Rudra (the Howler) was never referred to by his real
medium of his name, as on his physical body, through
name, but was always called "Siva" (the Gracious one)
the use of an image. Primitive man considered his.name in an effort to flatter him and thereby escape his wrath.
a vital part of his soul and his regard and care for it were The great name of Allah is a secret known only to the
a matter of serious concern.
prophets. The formidable names born in classical antiTothe primitive mind, that which had no name did not quity by Zeus. Athene and Dionysus have Rever been
found out. These names were guarded as great secrets
One can see the consequences of this initial belief in for centuries and were passed on only from high priest
the subsequent superstitions which developed. If some- to high priest. They were never recorded and were thus
one is dying, change his name and death will not know it lost to posterity. It is still authoritatively stated that we
is he and pass him by. The names of the dead are not do not know the real name of Rome.
mentioned so as not to disturb their slumber. The
The sacred and secret names of gods were entrusted
orthodox Jew today must use the magic words "ava only to the high priests because it was necessary that
sholem" when mentioning the dead. But. so does the .. .the names be evoked in the proper manner to produce
good Catholic or Protestant for the words mean, "May
the magical results supposedly inherent in them. The
his soul rest in peace" and you have heard older people god's name was as fragile as life. It had to be presented
say this when they mention the dead. Even today we with awe in a mysterious and magical formula with
have pet names which only the immediate family know.
every detail of cadence, tonality, rhythm and accent or
Authors use pen names. Criminals use alias names'. there would be no results. Thus all unsuccessful atThis is always to disassociate from the person any bad tempts were explained by the fact that the uninitiated
luck which will come of his name being widely known.
did not possess the proper combination of the formula.
Lightning may not be named for fear it will strike.
The "successful" results were always clouded in the
Earthquakes may not be mentioned for fear that one mystery of ritual.
may occur.
Not only were the names of gods taboo. butthe names
If primitive peoples were convinced that a man's
of kings and other sacred persons were not to be used
name was an integral part of himself and that revealing
lightly and without due reverence. The name of the
it would put his life in jeopardy, one can well understand
Japanese Mikado, even in our own times, was so sacred
how seriously they regarded mentioning the sacred and that it was seldom mentioned and indeed is not known
secret name of their deity. If a mere mortal could be to a great portion of the public today.
injuredthrough the use of his name by an enemy, it was
Amulets were worn by the superstitious Jews, mostly

Page 18

Germinal (April) 11981


Austin Texas

consisting of the name of the supposed god inscribed

upon an article and worn to ward off evil. Today, Roman
Catholics and others wear "medals" around their necks
for the same purpose.
When the religious material of the Jews was first
gathered together the mention of the name of god was
forbidden. What is the name of god of the Jews, of
Israel? If we are not to use the name of god in vain, under
the threat of terrible punishment, we should at least
know what that name is. But, the name of god does not
appear anywhere in the Bible. According to the Jewish
version, his name is Eternal. According to the Catholic
version, his name is Adonai and according to the
Protestant version, his name is Jehovah. The leading
biblical authorities are forced to admit that because of
the taboo placed upon mentioning the name of the Bible
god, they do not know the letters that compose, or the
proper pronunciation of his name. Because of the fear
attached to mentioning it, its actual pronunciation much less the mode of spelling it - is unknown.
A Tetragrammaton, or a four letter word, JHVH was
used to designate the name. These four letters were
taken from the so-called Masoretic notes found on the
margins of the Hebrew Bibles of the Middle Ages. These
notes, it is claimed, were made by the cabalistic Jews
who still maintained their animistic belief and sought
the magic formulas for a Messiah who would restore
their Temple and their native land to them.
The Hebrew word Elohim is merely the plural noun
meaning "gods", generally speaking. The word Adonai
is Hebrewfor lord and was used by the early Hebrews to
avoid mentioning the name of their god. The early
Christian theologian, Origen, said: "There is a certain
word of four letters which is not pronounced by the
Jews ... but is read as Adonai, not as it is really-written
in the four letters, while among the Greeks it is pronounced the Lord."

Orthodox Jews, thinking thatAdonaiwas the name of

their god and to avoid using this word, in order to be sure
not to violate the provisions of the commandment
substituted "Ado Shem", which in Hebrew simply
means "name."
Next to happen was that the Protestant Christians
translated the four-letter word mentioned by Origin by
inserting the vowels of the word Adonai between each
two letters, thus originating the' word JeHoVah. The
authorities say (New Standard Bible Dictionary): "The
form Jehovah is impossible, according to the strict
principles of the Hebrew vocalization. It is due to the
arbitrary transference of the vowels of adhonay, Lord, to
the sacred name JHVH after the Jews became overscrupulous as to the pronounciation of the Name." The

Austin, Texas

commandment distinctly says, "Thou shalt not take the

name of the Lord thy God in vain .... "The words "lord"
and "god" are titles, not names. The almighty, the
creator, elohim, are also titles or euphemisms.
The whole idea of not mentioning the name of god is a
childish one. It is Silly that we are bound to a deity whose
very name is unknown to the most advanced religious
scholar. That a commandment should be that we not
use his name, when it is not even known, is indeed the
very height of the ridiculous.
The commandment introduced a new sin into the
world. To protect the name of god, religion invented the
crime of blasphemy. Thomas Aquinas called blasphemy
"An offense directly against god" which "outweighs
murder, which is an offense against our neighbor. The
blasphemer intends to wound the honor of God."
To the Jews, whose forefathers wrote this commandment, the greatest blasphemy is to call Jesus "god", and
to the Christians, the greatest blasphemy is to say that
he is not. The people of one religion hold the god of
another religion in the utmost contempt. Each condemns the other for worshiping a false god and each
denounces the other as an infidel and blasphemer.
In England in 1754, a bequest to propagate Judaism
by reading the Bible daily was declared invalid by the
Lord Chancellor on the ground that it was blasphemy to
the Christian religion.
The Catholics class blasphemy as "a mortal sih, the
gravest that may be committed against religion. The
seriousness of an affront is proportioned to the dignity
of the person towards whom it is directed. Since the
insult in blasphemy is offered to the ineffable majesty of
god, the degree of its heinousness must be evident."
Blasphemy has always been more vigorously condemned than any other infraction. The practice was to
rip out the tongue, even when the person was condemned to death for blasphemy, so that before he died
he could utter no more blasphemous remarks. It was the
opinion of the King of France, Louis IX (1226-1270) that
"a man ought to drive into the heretic's entrails as far as
he can." This was the only French king ever canonized
by the Church. It was he who recovered for his country
the inestimable relic, the crown of thorns. The enormous price paid was used as an argument for its
authenticity. However, the Abbey of St. Denys was in
possession of another one, considered equally authentic.
But skipping ahead 700 years, in 1920 in the State of
Maine, a man was criminally prosecuted for laughing at
a pigeon in a painting that was supposed to represent
the holy ghost. His crime consisted in the remark: "How
canthe holy ghost be god when she isafraid a cat will
kill her?"
I quote directly from Mr. Lewis now: "If modern man,
with all the intellectual development that has taken
place since this commandment was formulated, with all
the educational facilities at his disposal to become
acquainted with the facts of the Bible and the truths of
the universe, can still be so mentally paralyzed by such a
fear, then what must have been the effect of this
commandment upon the grossly ignorant and the super-

Germinal (April) 11981


Page 19

required to do so in courts. This contributed to the

prejudice already established against them.
However, one can, Mr. Lewis explains, actually take
the name of god in vain, none the less.
(1) One of the most heart-rending sights that can be
witnessed is that of a mother in fervent prayer to save a
dying child. When the prayer is unanswered, when the
child dies, the taking of the name of god to stop the death
is in vain.
(2) When crops fail and famine stalks and, in vain, the
starving people appeal to god for a morsel of food to stay
the agonizing torture of death by starvation, the taking
of the name of god is in vain.
(3) What is more pitiful than the drowning man as he
sinks below the water, his prayer to god for help in vain?
The whole human race has taken the name of god in
vain for centuries. When men appeal to heaven to assist
any human problem they use the name of god in vain.
The prayers are in vain because there is no such thing as
a god who answers those prayers.
And those are the observations of Joseph Lewis on
the third commandment. Exodus, Chapter, 20, verse 7:
"Thou shalt not take the Lord thy god in vain; for the lord
will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."
Next week, we move on to the fourth commandment
and Mr. Lewis' comments on that one.

stitiously credulous people of primitive times when

almost everyone was afraid of his own shadow.
"It is impossible for me to believe in the Bible god. My
mind rebels against it. I cannot help but look upon this
God as an inhuman wretch, incapable of pity, void and
empty from any dram of mercy, an ignorant force that
has stupefied the brain of man and paralyzed the
. intellect with fear. I denounce this god with all the
energy that I possess, and if this be blasphemy, then
make the most of it."
The commandment has been used in the courts to
deal with the question, of perjury, or lying. The name of
god is invoked, with an oath, so that the person will "tell
the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth".
But, in fact. the invoking of the name of god in taking an
oath is in itself a violation of this commandment and not
an act in observance of it.
If the practice of saying this, with hand on the BibJe,or
being sworn into office with hand on the Bible had any
meaning or efficacy there would not be need for
prosecuting attorneys. That it is a sham is readily seen
in that - just as soon as a person takes this oath, he is
immediately subjected to searching and relentless crossexamination by the opposing attorney to prove that the
testimony to which he swore was a lie.
The Jews often refused, as a specific observance of
this commandment. to invoke the name of god when

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