Letterbox (April 2018)

Billy Graham was a bigot and charlatan

We decided to become Lifetime Members today, the same day funeral services are being held for Billy Graham. You cannot forget him spewing anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ remarks. He spent a lifetime getting extremely wealthy by exploiting the credulousness of Americans.

Tom and Gayle Reber

Kentucky


Company doesn’t reveal Christian agenda

I recently bought a plastic-sealed 2018 calendar and put it on my wall. Then I noticed a cardboard stiffener inside with a message by the co-founder of Dayspring cards. I went to its website and found it’s got a Christian agenda. So, with no disclaimer visible on the package, it was there to ambush people. It should have said the purchase was helping to further Christian endeavor/practices. It made me so angry that I contacted the company.

Linda Riess

New York


Religion wrong-headed on reproduction issues

We have to address the outcome of religious attitudes on human reproduction. This goal of unfettered reproduction is heading us toward massive human overpopulation. All of this, at the very least, is encouraged, especially by the Catholic Church, which prohibits contraception and even advises the least-educated that contraception is dangerous. What can the goal possibly be? Do they think ahead? What would life be like in an overpopulated world? I would find it horrific. This is what religion and ignorance would bring down upon us.

F. Frederickson

Oklahoma


Religious magazine shouldn’t be at library

I recently checked the free magazine rack at my local library and found a copy of Philadelphia Trumpet. Scanning through this periodical, I saw articles like, “How the wrangling over the Holy City hastens bible prophecy,” “The deadly climate change deception” and other scatological screeds. Of course, everything was backed up by some sort of “fact of prophesy.”

The big problem is that the magazine had a library address on the back, and when I checked the periodical section, sure enough, there were other issues with a handwritten label.

The magazine is published by the Philadelphia Church of God. I was shocked that our library would subscribe to something like this, so I brought up the issue with our librarian. Luckily, she is an intelligent, gracious woman. She told me she had contacted the magazine and was informed that it was a free religious publication sent out to numerous libraries.

The staff (volunteers) don’t know which ones are legit or not and simply put them on a shelf. Luckily, the librarian feels the same as us about religion (she told me one of her favorite authors is Philip Pullman).

She removed those magazines and will have a talk with the staff. The issue on the rack was out of place and I was, jokingly, told that Satan put the copy there and sent me to find it! During these critical times, we all must be vigilant.

Sweat the seemingly small stuff.

Jack M. Pedigo

Washington


FFRF should try to win the war, not battles

My fundamental question is: Should we keep winning and losing individual battles, or should we focus on winning the war waged by cults against our democratic republic, seeking to reduce our freedoms, trying to force us to abide with their ancient faiths, dangerous beliefs and destructive political, economic, social and life-threatening tenets?

The public-at-large does not understand that we (and such other caring entities) are not our country’s enemy and that our primary purpose is to assure government officials stop violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

In order to do so effectively, our mission and goal should be that we the people force Congress to establish clear law and rule against the domestic interference and abusive dictatorial nature of cults (at times far worse than foreign enemies) in order to protect all citizens from the vast harm cults are dedicated to cause us.

Every government official shall abide with these laws or be charged with constitutional violations, from local mayors to the commander in chief.

And that Congress shall no longer permit the states or local government officials the right to violate our Constitution at will without legal recourse and penalties.

Harold Chanin

Florida


Anne Mardick will long be remembered

I have enclosed a donation to honor the memory of our dear friend Anne Mardick, who died on Feb. 15.

Anne served as president of our local chapters of FFRF and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State until her fragile health sadly precluded her participation.

Anne was a dedicated and passionate humanist who, despite years of living with severe pain, made her home available to many visiting humanist dignitaries.

Anne’s generosity was remarkable in so many ways, including her participation in the renovation of our Humanist Community Center in Mesa, Ariz. The greater Phoenix humanist community will long remember the numerous contributions of Anne Mardick.

Hal and Doreen Saferstein

Arizona


Graham was charismatic snake oil salesman

Billy Graham’s outsized influence with numerous presidents was a national scandal. Graham was nothing more than a charismatic snake oil salesman who preached to the people of the world that they were all “miserable sinners” destined for eternal hellfire unless they accepted his backwoods, bible-thumping fire-and-brimstone evangelical theology.

That was his so-called “good news.” Graham’s anti-Semitism was well documented, and he also was homophobic, advocating the discredited “conversion therapy” for gays.

The fact that this theocratic bigot lay in state in the Capitol rotunda, surrounded by a fawning bevy of leading political figures, including President Trump, was nothing short of disgraceful and represented a serious violation of the separation of church and state that the nation was founded on.

Dennis Middlebrooks

New York


‘I love receiving Freethought Today’

I love receiving Freethought Today. It’s very informative, creative and hopeful. 

I’m a new member and I think it would be fun to have FFRF return-address labels like the ones my friends use for endangered animals.

Cathleen Imp

Oregon


A sacrificial weekend

Gordon Lamb sent us this short discussion between God and Jesus regarding the crucifixion:

“Listen, son, here’s the con. We tell the suckers that I’m willing to sacrifice my son for forgiveness of their ‘sins,’ and they’ll absolutely eat it up. Think of the pure theater of it — dragged through the streets, flogged, a crown of thorns. . .”

“What?! Flogged!? A crown of thorns!? Since when does Jerusalem have a Folsom Street Fair?” Jesus stared at His Dad unbelievingly.

“Just listen, wouldja?” JeHoffa glared at his mouthy kid, thinking that maybe knocking up that Jewish girl might not have been the best idea. He went on to detail the high points: three years of cruising the back roads with his 12 fishing buddies, bringing wine to the weddings, treating his mother like crap while she thinks that he’s a god, only cleaning his house twice in three years, and the whole time cops hatin’ while he rollin’. A sort of Our Savior of the Rednecks gig. And appropriate for someone born in a barn.

Jesus looked on with a rather jaded, cynical eye while he listened.

“Just picture it — hanging from that cross, eyes turned heavenward, the soldiers throwing craps for your Crocs, thong and bathrobe. And when you complain that you’re thirsty, offering you some vinegar.”

“Sounds like most of the wines in the Hinnom Valley,” Jesus interrupted. “I mean, Me-sus Christ! I wouldn’t use that to treat toenail fungus!”

“My point,” Almighty God sniffed, “is you’ll be spending the rest of eternity up here in the Cloud Nine Sports Bar and Bordello. Not one of those yokels will hook up to the fact that when I said that ‘I’ve so loved the world that I gave my only begotten son,’ I only meant for 48 hours or so — less time than your mother spent in labor, after all.”

“And she still bitches about that,” Jesus grinned. “Especially after I teased Joseph about paternity suits.”

“Well, Joseph will have a little fun at your expense,” snorted The Almighty. “Joseph the Carpenter is the cross supplier to the Roman garrison.”

Gordon Lamb

Kentucky