An Atheist’s Obituary

Just days after learning about the death of atheist benefactor Richard Leroy Walters, I came across the obituary of Gerald Gardner, who died last week at the age of 83.

He is noted for “[providing] the statistical underpinnings for the landmark Supreme Court case that resulted in the prohibition of sex discrimination in newspaper want ads.”

That’s awesome, but I had to smile again when I read the last paragraph:

Ms. [Jo Ann] Evansgardner, his wife, who holds a Ph.D. in experimental psychology created her name as a hyphenless hybrid of her husband’s and her own. They married in 1950; she is his only immediate survivor.

Ms. Evansgardner said her husband, most of all, was fired up by principle.

“He was an activist atheist,” she said. “A proselytizing atheist. I hope you can print that because it was important to him. He thought that not saying you were an atheist hurt the cause of reality.”

I love that: Not saying you’re an atheist hurts the cause of reality. So say it loudly and proudly and be remembered for being (as the saying goes) a voice of reason in a sea of irrationality.

(via @CFIOnCampus)

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  • http://logofveritas.blogspot.com Veritas

    I’d buy that on a t-shirt.

  • http://www.camelswithhammers.com Daniel Fincke

    That’s great! And I love his wife’s hyphenless merged name. I have often mused that a new hybrid name (but taken by both partners) would be a great alternative to what we have now.

    Although in my case, names that are compounds of fincke with anything else are some of the most laughable and/or hideous in the language.

  • Matto the Hun

    Ms. [Jo Ann] Evansgardner, his wife, who holds a Ph.D. in experimental psychology created her name as a hyphenless hybrid of her husband’s and her own.

    Hey! That was my wife’s and my idea, who are these people to steal it from us before we had it. Although, I do notice that he had not changed his name… at least according to that quote.

  • Luther

    He thought that not saying you were an atheist hurt the cause of reality.”

    He may have been a proselytizing atheist, yet there is no evidence in the snippet. Just saying you are an atheist is not proselytizing in my book – although many who are superstitious may think so.

  • Jake2341

    It’s not the religion that people hate, really. Some people just dislike the things that the followers stand for. Also, it would be wrong to say that the bible is “perfect”, considering it is explicitly said within it that homosexuals should be stoned to death (although, Jesus is not shown to have said so much as one thing about homosexuality). Also, it preaches that a city of non-believers should be burned to the ground. Or that, if somebody were to work on a Sunday, they should be stoned to death. No exceptions! Now, most Christians out there will say “Hey, this is old testament law! It doesn’t apply to us now!” . Now another question: why? The bible says that the bible is perfect, and if the bible is perfect then there should be no need for change. If something is perfect, it can not be improved further! The best that can be done to it is to make it the same, which is downright tedious, or to worsen it, which just makes no sense. To follow a religion that supports cruelty to so many people is no less than wrong. Many Christians say “Hate the sin, not the sinner” but the fact is, when you look at some churches, they take it to a whole new level. This isn’t saying that you can’t live a happy, morally correct life with the belief in God, but that if you are a Christian and living a happy, morally correct life, that you should question whether or not the bible says you are right. And if you can live a happy, moral life without “the word of the lord”, then how perfect is it?