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)

  • 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.

  • John W Dudley

     A World Without Religion—An Improvement?
    THE new atheists envision a world
    with no religion—no suicide bombers, no religious wars, and no
    televangelists fleecing their flocks. Does that vision appeal to you?

    Before answering, ask yourself this, ‘Is there any evidence that universal atheism
    would lead to a better world?’ Consider: As many as 1.5 million
    Cambodians died in the Khmer Rouge effort to establish a godless Marxist
    state. And in the officially atheistic USSR, Joseph Stalin’s rule
    resulted in tens of millions of deaths. Granted, those evils cannot be
    directly attributed to atheism. But they do show that the rule of atheism does not ensure peace and harmony.

    Few would deny that religion has
    caused much suffering. But is God at fault? No! He is no more at fault
    than a car manufacturer would be for an accident caused by a driver
    using a cell phone. Mankind’s suffering has many causes, one of which is
    more fundamental than beliefs. The Bible identifies it as inherent imperfection. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) This sinful inclination tends to foster selfishness, undue pride, a desire for moral independence, and violence. (Genesis 8:21) It also causes people to rationalize and to gravitate toward beliefs that excuse wrongdoing. (Romans 1:24-27)
    Jesus Christ rightly said: “Out of the heart come wicked reasonings,
    murders, adulteries, fornications, thieveries, false testimonies,
    blasphemies.”—Matthew 15:19.Soon a resurrection will begin as promised by Jesus Christ at John 5:28,29.


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