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Wed Aug 1, 2012, 02:00 PM

In Memoriam: Gore Vidal, atheist, humanist, intellectual

http://www.examiner.com/article/in-memoriam-gore-vidal-atheist-humanist-intellectual

AUGUST 1, 2012BY: MICHAEL STONE



Great American intellect and freethinker Gore Vidal is dead. Vidal, 86, celebrated writer, cultural critic, atheist and honorary president of the American Humanist Association, died of pneumonia at his Hollywood Hills home on Tuesday, July 31.

Vidal was a giant of American intellectual life in the second half of the 20th century. The acclaimed author wrote 25 novels, including scandalous best-sellers like Myra Breckinridge and scholarly, historical works like Burr and Lincoln. Vidal also wrote more than 200 essays, seven plays and numerous TV and movie scripts, including an uncredited rewrite on the 1959 classic Ben-Hur.

Vidal was also a political pundit who once came close to fisticuffs with conservative William F. Buckley Jr. during a live TV debate at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Always a strong and vocal critic of the Religious Right, Vidal succeeded Kurt Vonnegut as the American Humanist Association’s honorary president in 2009.

The following is a sample of quotes attributed to Vidal, quotes relevant to humanists, atheists and other freethinkers:

Once people get hung up on theology, they’ve lost sanity forever. More people have been killed in the name of Jesus Christ than any other name in the history of the world.

The idea of a good society is something you do not need a religion and eternal punishment to buttress; you need a religion if you are terrified of death.

I regard monotheism as the greatest disaster ever to befall the human race.

Christianity is such a silly religion.

In the First Amendment to the Constitution, the Founders made it clear that this was not to be a sky-god nation with a national religion like that of England, from whom we had just separated. It is curious how little understood this amendment is--yes, everyone has a right to worship any god he chooses but he does not have the right to impose his beliefs on others who do not happen to share in his superstitions and taboos.

This separation was absolute in our original Republic. But the sky-godders do not give up easily. In the 1950s they actually got the phrase In God We Trust onto the currency, in direct violation of the First Amendment.

I'm a born-again atheist.

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Reply In Memoriam: Gore Vidal, atheist, humanist, intellectual (Original post)
cbayer Aug 2012 OP
Dorian Gray Aug 2012 #1
rug Aug 2012 #2
skepticscott Aug 2012 #3

Response to cbayer (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 04:20 PM

1. Great writer

His death is a big loss.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 05:52 PM

2. Selected Essays

"It is the spirit of the age to believe that any fact, no matter how suspect, is superior to any imaginative exercise, no matter how true."

Page 57.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Wed Aug 1, 2012, 11:49 PM

3. So why are you posting an article

that quotes Vidal saying many of the same sorts of things that you constantly upbraid people here for? Obviously you can't be honoring or expressing admiration for someone like that, so one can only assume you're holding him up for some kind of ironic ridicule.

Care to explain?

Do you agree with all of these statements?

Once people get hung up on theology, they’ve lost sanity forever.

More people have been killed in the name of Jesus Christ than any other name in the history of the world.

I regard monotheism as the greatest disaster ever to befall the human race.

Christianity is such a silly religion.


What is your honest opinion of someone who calls Christians "sky-godders"?

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