The Raving Theist

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Mr. Smith Goes to Jail

February 5, 2009 | 43 Comments

Ah, those were the days:

charlessmith

It may not be 1928 anymore, but it IS my blog, so settle down in the comments or I might go all Arkansassy on you.

Before you feel too sorry for Mr. Smith of the AAAA, though, consider that he beat a similar rap in New York by arguing that only religious people should be arrested under a statute that prohibited street corner, soap-box preaching. Also consider that he was usually just asking for it, being prone to little pranks like this:

Eager to establish the rights of atheists in the U. S., Charles Lee Smith, President of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism, chose to send godless propaganda to the Rev. Dr. John Roach Straton, Manhattan Baptist. He included in this propaganda birth control literature and nude pictures. Dr. Straton asked Atheist Smith to stop mailing him such things. When Mr. Smith failed to do so, Dr. Straton haled him into court. Once before the judges, Atheist Smith sought to make it appear that he had been trying to interest Preacher Straton in atheism, because he “wanted to convert the leader of the opposition.” The nude pictures were intended to appeal to “his aesthetic side if he had any.”

Mr. Smith defined “The five fundamentals of Atheism,” as “Materialism, Sensationalism, Evolution, The Existence of Evil . . . and Hedonism” and used the AAAA to raise funds for Soviet ape/human breeding experiments. He died well before the advent of blogging, however, so if you want to explore what was behind his thinking you’ll have to dig up old issues of The Truth Seeker.

Comments

43 Responses to “Mr. Smith Goes to Jail”

  1. Beelzebub
    February 5th, 2009 @ 5:23 am

    I don’t see where it says Smith’s organization was attempting to raise the funds.

    It’s an interesting question to ruminate, if that’s the extent of it. Chimps and humans differ by 2 chromosomes, 48 and 46 respectively — donkeys and horses by the same number. The man-ape would almost certainly be sterile, but it would probably be fantastically strong and smarter even than a chimp. The ideal worker…muha…muhahahaaa… If only we could be sure it wouldn’t run for president.

    But seriously now, we already know the man-orangutan hybrid has been made. I think it’s called the Rush Limbaugh.

  2. Beelzebub
    February 5th, 2009 @ 5:37 am

    For the morbidly curious:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanzee

    My mistake: chromosome count is usually listed as haploid number, so humans have one less chromosome (23) than apes (24) due to a chromosome fusion.

  3. Beelzebub
    February 5th, 2009 @ 5:44 am

    One last thing… (one more advantage to living in Hawaii, I’ve got the whole damn blog to myself, ‘cuz yur all asleep…)


    Materialism, Sensationalism, Evolution, The Existence of Evil . . . and Hedonism

    materialsim…check
    sensationalism…?
    evolution…check
    existence of evil…duh
    hedonism…well if by that it is meant the denial of Calvinism, sure, why not? The more feel-good, the better.

    sleeeeep….sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep…

  4. frustrated(mk)
    February 5th, 2009 @ 8:04 am

    One last thing… (one more advantage to living in Hawaii, I’ve got the whole damn blog to myself, ‘cuz yur all asleep…)

    BLOG HOG!

  5. Skeptimal
    February 5th, 2009 @ 8:38 am

    “One last thing… (one more advantage to living in Hawaii, I’ve got the whole damn blog to myself, ‘cuz yur all asleep…)”

    Dear MK,

    It’s minus five degrees outside here.

    I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.

    Love,
    Skeptimal

  6. frustrated(mk)
    February 5th, 2009 @ 9:14 am

    Skep,

    Don’t hate me…that was from Beezlebub. It’s five degrees here too. Are you in the Midwest?

  7. Skeptimal
    February 5th, 2009 @ 10:31 am

    MK,

    No, I’m in the northeast. Most of the time I enjoy the cold (snow-shoeing, snowmobiling, etc), but occasionally I realize that everyone who lives in the South or Hawaii is evil and must be destroyed.

    Let me correct my previous comment:

    Beelzebub: I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.

    Love,
    Skep

  8. Helen
    February 5th, 2009 @ 10:52 am

    Dear Skep,
    I have to say, I love the way your comment says hate three times, but you sign with love. I am giggling. I love your use of irony!
    11 degrees here in Chicago right now. Still, I don’t hate BBub. I envy him a little, but I don’t hate him….

  9. frustrated(mk)
    February 5th, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

    Helen,

    Yes, I’m in Chicago too. And I must tell the truth and shame the devil…I hate BBub! Hate him, hate him, hate him.

    Skep,

    Yeah, the northeast has been pretty bad too, I hear. Where is the Global Warming they keep talking about? This is the coldest, longest, snowiest winter I can remember in a long, long time.

    Did I mention that I too hate BBub?

  10. Margaret Catherine
    February 5th, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

    I don’t hate or envy. Just pity. I love my four seasons…though this one’s had its turn and should move along now…

  11. Lily
    February 5th, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

    Well, I don’t hate Bbub. I live in Alabama (I don’t even own a coat), so I merely dislike him. It got down to 19 last night!! I might just as well have stayed in Vermont. What on earth??

    Well, I have spent spent half my adult life in New England and half in the mid west, rather near Chicago, and all I can say, from my perch where Saturday it is supposed to reach 70, is …

    hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hah,hah, hah, hah, hah, hah!!!

    I suffered for years. It’s your turn now!

  12. Helen
    February 5th, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

    Lily,
    What do you mean my turn? I have been living in Chicago my whole life! I won’t see 70 until April, and that is if I am lucky. But I don’t hate you either. You nor BBub

  13. frustrated(mk)
    February 5th, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

    Lily,

    I hate you too. You and Beelzebub. Both of you. Helen is much too kind. *raspberries to you both*

  14. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    February 5th, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

    Poor Chuck Smith. He would have loved the internet. I love the mailing of porn thing. Too funny.

  15. Helen
    February 5th, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

    UVJ, how is the weather where you’re at? mk needs to know..;-)

  16. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    February 5th, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    So. Cal is sunny and in the high seventies. Possible rain later today. We’ve been having unseasonably warm weather, which makes us nervous because it means we’ll be on fire in August.

  17. frustrated(mk)
    February 5th, 2009 @ 4:04 pm

    Fire sounds good right about now. Oh, and VJ? I hate you too.

    Anybody else want a piece of this?????

  18. frustrated(mk)
    February 5th, 2009 @ 4:04 pm

    My son lives in So Cal…Long Beach…wherever that is.

  19. jolly atheist
    February 5th, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

    mk Want to hate someone from Istanbul? I guess global warming is here; it’s like spring – very unusual for this time of year.

  20. frustrated(mk)
    February 5th, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

    Jolly,

    No way! You’re in Istanbul??? Are you kidding? Way cool. Okay, I can only hate you a little. What are you doing there????

  21. jolly atheist
    February 5th, 2009 @ 4:17 pm

    mk I have always lived here. This is my home-country.

  22. UnspeakablyViolentJane
    February 5th, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

    US, East of the Mississippi has everyone else’s precipitation. We want our water back!

  23. Skeptimal
    February 5th, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

    “US, East of the Mississippi has everyone else’s precipitation. We want our water back!”

    If you want to send a backhoe and about fifty dump trucks, you’re welcome to the water that’s piled in my yard in four foot drifts.

  24. frustrated(mk)
    February 5th, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

    Jolly,

    NO WAY! I gotta get out more! Tell me more…

  25. frustrated(mk)
    February 5th, 2009 @ 4:47 pm

    It’s supposed to be 40 on Saturday. If you have a long straw you can have ours…

  26. frustrated(mk)
    February 5th, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

    Jolly,

    I just went to WIKI…snikeys, you’re the fourth largest city in the world! It looks beautiful.

    MY own world is SO small! Doesn’t the internet just kill ya? I mean, who would have thunk? Istanbul feels like another planet to me. Fascinating! Just fascinating.

    Okay, so it’s a mostly Muslim country. You’re an atheist. Were you raised Muslim? Christian? Nothing? Do you have brothers and sister?

    I know I’m being really nosy, but I LOVE other countries. We just bought a new van last week, and I grilled the poor guy that sold it to us. He was from Bosnia. I knew a little bit about it mostly from Medjugorje, but I know a lot more now…I can’t help it. I love to travel (have barely been out of the states tho) and do it vicariously by asking questions.

    You can tell me to shut up and I won’t be offended. I probably won’t shut up either, but there you have it.

    I used to teach pre school. All of the kids came from different countries. Poland, Iraq, Peru, Korea, Mexico, Israel, Greece, India…I was in heaven. But no one was ever from Istanbul…

  27. Lily
    February 5th, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

    Oh joy! Oh rapture! Another reason for mk to hate me– I have known for weeks that Jolly is in Istanbul. I also know why his English is so good that anyone would be fooled. but I’m not telling.

    It’s currently 48 degrees and the landscaper, who is also my veterinarian, (Don’t ask. Only in Alabama.)is coming over this evening to discuss all the work he is going to be doing in my yard in a couple of weeks.

    Just thought you would like to know.

  28. jolly atheist
    February 5th, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

    mk I am a Turkish ex-muslim, with some American education. My family are all muslims, but I think so-called muslims would be a better term. They believe in God, but may be considered non-religious otherwise. My only son is a Stanford graduate.

    We used to have pen-pals in high school; you made me remember those days!

    I will be glad to answer if you have any questions about this part of the world. Or better still, just leave your van and get on a plane. You will love the Bosphorus – between the Black Sea and the Marmara (I can’t remember the English name for the Marmara now – the small one between the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea)

  29. jolly atheist
    February 5th, 2009 @ 5:36 pm

    Lily: But I’m a ‘she’!

  30. Lily
    February 5th, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

    What??!! Why am I just finding this out now? Do you have any other surprises up your sleeve for us? Or did everyone else know???

    Nobody ever tells me anything!!!! :(

  31. jolly atheist
    February 5th, 2009 @ 5:47 pm

    Lily: No, no! This was my great confession of the day! Now it’s after midnight here. So see! you later, everybody. Good night!

  32. Beelzebub
    February 5th, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

    Well I hate everyone else, and I’m sitting on my couch in shorts and tee shirt looking at the ocean. But it’s cloudy, if that makes you feel better.

    I still think the Humanzee would be cool–finally someone to boss around.

  33. Helen
    February 5th, 2009 @ 8:14 pm

    Bbub, I already said, I envy you. I don’t hate you. You wouldn’t want to boss anyone around, man nor beast. That would be inegalitarian, wouldn’t it?

  34. frustrated(mk)
    February 5th, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

    Beelzebub,

    If you became an evangelical you could boss us women around!

    Kidding, I’m only kidding!

  35. Margaret Catherine
    February 6th, 2009 @ 12:07 am

    Christians don’t have an aesthetic side to appeal to. by way of example…just what is wonderful about being able to see the Pacific Ocean from your house? Why would anyone want to do *that*?

  36. Beelzebub
    February 6th, 2009 @ 5:16 am


    Bbub, I already said, I envy you. I don’t hate you. You wouldn’t want to boss anyone around, man nor beast. That would be inegalitarian, wouldn’t it?

    No, actually. At the risk of extending my offensiveness further, egalitarianism presupposes that the parties involved are “people,” and I’m talking about my relationship to my humanzee slave. Of course the point is moot to a certain extent because if I were successful in creating an entourage of humanzee servants I would almost certainly be arrested and imprisoned for charges far more serious than violating a person’s rights.

  37. Beelzebub
    February 6th, 2009 @ 5:22 am


    Beelzebub,

    If you became an evangelical you could boss us women around!

    Kidding, I’m only kidding!

    Better still, I could convert the humanzee to evangelical Christian. The irony. I’d call him “Ken Ham,” my little Hammy.

    This was all supposed to happen in west Africa right?

    The horror, the horror…the irony.

  38. frustrated(mk)
    February 6th, 2009 @ 6:13 am

    Actually BB

    This humanzee thing brings up a good thought…God could have created us as humanzees also, and not given us free will. He could have had a bunch of a**Kissin’ monkey men who followed His every order unquestioningly.

    But He wanted us to obey and serve Him because we wanted to. So while your humanzees might “get the job” done, you would have no relationship with them. Imagine the ennui.
    If these were the highest form of life that you had contact with, you’d be bored to tears. As the mother of 5 sons (and 1 daughter) I feel like I have a house full of humanzees! BUT, they love me because they want to and not because they have no choice. They may act like monkeys, but our relationships are honest. They often disobey me, but their love, when it is shown is love, and not blind obedience. Sans the smell, I think it’s a better deal.

  39. Beelzebub
    February 6th, 2009 @ 6:59 am

    You still can’t hold a candle to Mel Gibson’s wife. Come to think of it, that may be a good thing. Now I know you’re a genuine Catholic. Is it “cheaper by the half dozen”?

    shhhhh BONNG. 2 ton weight drops on BB, Monty Pythonishly.

  40. frustrated(mk)
    February 6th, 2009 @ 7:04 am

    BB,

    Cheaper? No. More fun! Heck yeah! Plus I’m raising my two Grandchildren. Which means their age range boggles the mind…

    1,2,8,12,20,23,27,28…

    Oh yeah, we ain’t bored much.

    If I was married to Mel Gibson, there probably would have been more…I mean…Yowzer!

    Did I mention the 7 gerbils, dog and rabbit? And that I’m 50?

    mmm-hmmm…VERY Catholic. What? Did you think I was just playing one on TV? ;)

  41. Lily
    February 6th, 2009 @ 7:36 am

    mk! 5 sons and a daughter?? Oh, I am turning a most putrid shade of green… except I would want another girl or two in the mix. Man, when do you ever sleep? I can’t top that. All I have are 6 cats but at least I have some girls in the mix.

    And don’t look at me like that!! They kept turning up on my doorstep. IT IS NOT MY FAULT!! I found homes for some but by the time I had exhausted the good will of my neighbors and colleagues, I had gotten too fond of the remaining cats to even think of taking them to the shelter…

  42. frustrated(mk)
    February 6th, 2009 @ 7:42 am

    Lily,

    Hey, I’ve got seven gerbils (they kept turning up in the cage…something about boys and girls together) so I’m no one to talk.

    It was after the sixth kid that my husband and I figured out what was causing my stomach to swell…you know how the Catholic Church hates the “S” word. We were so uninformed! ;)

  43. Swk6
    February 6th, 2009 @ 6:33 pm

    “All I have are 6 cats”

    I know this would be an easy joke. However, I am actually impressed. I had you pegged for at least 14 cats minimum. I have “faith” that you can do it though.

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