A Good Activist Has Died

I didn’t know the man, but a good atheist activist from Anderson, South Carolina has died:

Michael Deanhardt in 2009 (Ken Ruinard – Independent Mail)

For years, Michael Deanhardt was called the most prayed-for man in Anderson.

A staunch activist who disavowed organized religion, he took on the school boards, the city council and the county leaders in Anderson asking them to stop the prayers that open all their meetings.

… for more than 40 years, Deanhardt never yielded his belief that many people hid behind religion to advance agendas of bigotry and repression.

As his health failed at the Rainey Hospice House, some people urged him to give his heart to God. He quipped that it was not his heart, but his liver, that needed the help.

Deanhardt died Wednesday. He was 76.

The obituary tells the story of a person who fought for desegregation (even leaving church because of institutional racism), helped escort women at a local abortion clinic, and wore his atheism on his sleeve despite the pressure from his wife and children to believe in God.

In his memory, please consider making a donation to Hospice of the Upstate or the Anderson Free Clinic.

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