The “New Atheists”: Are They Saying Anything New?

From a presentation made by Marilyn Westfall at the Theatre of the Upper Arlington Library, Columbus, OH August 4, 2007. When I originally was asked to speak on this topic-”The New Atheists, Are They Saying Anything New?”-my memory went back to the time when I was a Catholic, which was at least nominally until about age 19. I recall how I wouldn’t dare to ask any priest or nun, “Are you saying anything new?” Such a question, if I were … Read on…

Ayn Rand and I – Part 1 (of Three)

This essay is a slightly revised version of a chapter from Tibor Machan’s memoir, The Man Without a Hobby (Hamilton Books, 2006). It had an earlier life as an essay in Liberty Magazine, although in a much-shortened version. BECOMING AN atheist was not an easy decision to live with, at least not at first. I struggled with it for months. I had a hard time ridding myself of the habit of crossing myself when passing a church. I also felt … Read on…

One Cheer for Faith

The change winds* are blowing, are blowing – do you feel them? They are bringing to us a new zeitgeist. Suddenly, atheism is almost mainstream.  Look: Militant atheist authors on best-seller lists and talk shows: Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins. Atheist comedians on major network media: Julia Sweeney, George Carlin. Popular atheist TV characters: Lisa Simpson, Dr. Perry Cox on Scrubs. Even atheist politicians: the late California Assemblyman B.T. Collins, Rep. Pete Stark. And now, amazingly, atheist comic book … Read on…

America’s Most Hated Woman: Remembering Madalyn Murray O’Hair

I would recommend, for those who have not yet read it, a biography of Madalyn Murray O’Hair: Ann Rowe Seaman’s America’s Most Hated Woman. O’Hair herself reveled in that appellation and used it to portray herself as the ultimate Outsider, a communist, freethinking female and victim of a capitalistic Christian empire. By doing so she made both money and history. O’Hair was apparently born to be a maverick. Her mother Lena had tried to induce a miscarriage, when she found … Read on…