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CABALA Cabala is a general name for Jewish mysticism and includes a type of occult theosophical formulation of the doctrines of Judaism. Every word, letter, number, and accent of the Scriptures is believed to contain mysteries. The principal written sources are Sefer Yezira (Book of Creation, translated in 1894 but possibly written in the 3rd century B.C.E.) and Zohar (partially translated in 1949), written by Moses de León in the 13th century but attributed to a 2nd-century scholar, Simon ben Yohai. When Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, Isaac Luria developed cabala and found many adherents, including the pseudo-Messiah Sabbatai Zevi. In the 18th century, a movement founded by a reputed miracle healer, Baal-Shem-Tov and known as Hasidim, continues to influence present-day Hasidic Jews. One of the signers of Humanist Manifesto II, Joseph L. Blau, has written The Christian Interpretation of the Cabala in the Renaissance (1944). (See “Cabala” by Joseph L. Blau in the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Vol. 2.) {CE}

Cabanis, George Paul Sylvester (Born 1859) An artist and a poet, Cabanis wrote a humanist Life of Christ and other works. An admirer of Haeckel, Cabanis was a monist. {RAT}

Cabanis, Pierre Jean George (1757—1808) Cabanis has been called “the father of the materialistic physiology.” A friend of Mirabeau, whom he attended in his last illness, Cabanis also was an intimate of Turgot, Condorcet, Holbach, Diderot, and other distinguished freethinkers. His works are mostly medical, the chief being Des Rapports du Physique et du Morale de l’Homme. In that work Cabanis is accused of being a superficial dabbler who said that the brain secretes thought just as the liver secretes bile. As pointed out by McCabe, however, Cabannis said that “the brain is a special organ, specially designed to produce thought, just as the stomach and intestines are destined to effect digestion.” When later he says that “the brain digests impressions and organically secretes thought,” it is clearly a figurative way of stating the same scientific fact. Cabanis was a deist, not an atheist. He believed in the existence of an intelligent First Cause. {BDF; JM; RAT; RE}

Cabell, James Branch (1879—1958) A Virginian author of short stories, novels, and poetry, Cabell was a freethinker with an urbane writing style as shown in his The Soul of Melicent (1913), revised as Domnei (1920). The work is the start of a series concerning the pseudo-erudite romances of Dom Manuel, set in a mythical medieval country called Poictesme. Jurgen (1919) concerns a poetical pawnbroker who makes a pact with the Devil to find his missing wife, and in his resultant pursuits he has erotic adventures, visits Hell where he marries a vampire, and is allowed (disguised as Pope John XX) to visit the Heaven of his grandmother, where he ascends God’s throne before reverting to his previous dull married life with the wife he finally finds. The book was banned, bringing him a great amount of needed publicity, and he then turned out a large body of work. {CE; EU, William F. Ryan}

Cabet, Etienne (1788—1856) A French Utopian socialist, Cabet was elected to the chamber of deputies in 1831. But, following his bitter attacks on the government, he exiled himself to Great Britain (1834—1839), where he developed a theory of communism influenced by Robert Owen. In his Voyage en Icarie (1840), Cabet depicted a society in which an elected government controlled all economic activity and supervised social affairs. A popular book, it led to the establishment of an Icarian community on the Red River in Texas. Other Icarian communities, dedicated to “Humanity” but none surviving after 1898, rose in Nauvoo, Illinois, and Corning, Iowa. Cabet died in St. Louis, Missouri. {CE}

Cable, Louis W. (20th Century)

Cable is a freethinker, author of “The Bloody Bible,” in Freethought Today (June-July 1997). On the Web he has the Skeptics Corner, which features his writing: <http://www.inu.net/skeptic>.

Cable, Paul (20th Century) Cable has written for New Humanist (September 1996) about “What’s Wrong with Political Correctness?”

Cadogan, Peter (20th Century) Cadogan in the 1970s was general secretary of the South Place Ethical in London. {FUK}

CADMUS: See entry for Egyptian Civilization.

Cadmus, Paul (1904—1999) Cadmus, the controversial painter of “The Fleet’s In!” and “The Seven Deadly Sins,” became a distinguished member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1974. In 1984, he was the subject for a video-recording, “Paul Cadmus, Enfant Terrible at 80.” At the time, a New York Times reviewer noted,

Recent interest in representational painting has fostered an appreciation of artists whose realist modes, long out of the stylistic and commercial mainstreams, are now receiving renewed attention. . . . For Mr. Cadmus, best known for his earlier, more accessible works, including the much reproduced New York street and restaurant scenes and Coney Island panoramas, also practices a dark, more personal, visionary magic realism in which black humor and distant allusions are endemic.

Cadmus and an early lover, Jared French, spent time on the island of Majorca, where he painted “Shore Leave” and “YMCA Locker Room.” His circle included Christopher Isherwood, W. H. Auden, George Balanchine, George Platt Lynes, George Tooker, Lincoln Kirstein (the husband of his sister Fidelma), and E. M. Forster. He was unsure about his ancestry: “I think my ancestors sailed from Jutland (Denmark) around 1710. My father’s side may have been Dutch and, like Erasmus, Latinized the name. My mother, conceived in Spain, was born in New York. Her father was Basque, her mother Cuban. Maybe I was just a cad to begin with,” he joked, “and the name was Latinized.” His parents, both artists, encouraged their son and their daughter, Fidelma, to study art, and Cadmus began with an interest in antiques. One day at the National Academy of Design in uptown Manhattan and knowing that older art students had nude models to work with, he peered through a peephole and saw a naked female. “I had never seen a stranger in the nude. It was a revelation,” he told journalist Richard Goldstein. Naked men would follow. It was the start of his becoming the artist who painted the male body with more sensuality, Goldstein observed (Village Voice, 18 May 1999), than any American artist of the century:

“The Fleet’s In!” [is] the 1934 painting that made him an art star. In this knowing study of carousing sailors, there are not only buns and baskets on proud display but loose ladies admiring the briny trade and even a fey gentleman offering a cigarette to an eager gob. The navy was not amused. An outraged admiral had the painting removed before it could be shown at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. A sequel, “Sailors and Floosies” (1938), featuring the angelic seaman in slumber, grasping his crotch, fared no better in San Francisco; “in the interest of national unity,” it was taken off the wall. In “Shore Leave” (1933), a gay man is clearly propositioning a willing sailor, but what one notices first is the ripe women in the foreground and a recumbent swab with his bulging crotch in full view. Sometimes the queers come out to play, as in “Fantasia on a Theme by Dr. S.” (1946), which is set on Fire Island. But usually the artist’s eye is drawn to what is often ignored in modern painting: a casually muscled male physique and an utterly open attitude. Looking at this pantheon of locker-room studs, seafood Sampsons, and young waifs lounging in the playground with baseball bats jammed between their legs, one sees a quality beyond the ideologically mandated worship of the working class. Call it longing. “I was fascinated by the sailors, and I used to sit on a bench and watch them all the time,” Cadmus recalls. In fact, Riverside Park around 96th Street was a prime cruising ground in the 1930s, largely because it was where the warships docked. “The uniforms were so tight and form-fitting that they were an inspiration. I was young enough to be propositioned by the sailors, who would offer to take me back to the boat, but I never went. They were too unattractive, or maybe I was too timid. I don’t know.”

“The male nude has been a specialty of my own oeuvre,” Cadmus agreed, “when I am not being concerned with the foibles of people in daily life: men, women, and children. . . . We are made, we are told, ‘in God’s image,’ and we assume that He was not clothed by Armani or Brooks Brothers or, if He is She, not attired by Balenciaga or Donna Karan.” In 1992, Lincoln Kirstein, the founding director of the New York City Ballet, wrote a definitive study, Paul Cadmus, which described his relationship with other artists and writers, including W. H. Auden. E. M. Forster, while posing for a portrait, was said to have passed the time reading aloud passages from Maurice. Kirstein described Cadmus’s work as being “executed with the technical virtuosity and anatomical precision of the Renaissance masters that celebrate the beauty of the human body.” Agreeing, Guy Davenport in an introduction for The Drawings of Paul Cadmus (1989) stated that “Not since Michelangelo has any artist done so many studies of the male nude.” He included dozens of such examples. Cadmus, who in 94 years completed over 120 paintings, delighted in such observations. “I do love Michelangelo’s male forms,” he has said, adding that “Michelangelo’s women often look like males with grapefruits attached.” “It seems that genitalia,” Cadmus lamented about the public taste, “equal pornography.” But not for him personally: “My penis is not the most important organ in my body. My eyes are.” In 1989, after a discussion about philosophy, he responded to the present author’s request for his views about humanism:

Your request should have a worthy answer but it would take me days to try to compose one (as I used to do when I first began writing to E. M. Forster). The subject is too complicated for this feeble old mind to go into deeply. The simple description of a humanist is one who is interested in humans (not as profound as the Oxford Universal Dictionary’s definition, “a student of human affairs, or of human nature”). I’m no student. I guess I somewhat fit in Naturalistic Humanism #7.

Later, in an interview at his Connecticut home, Cadmus discussed religion and his increased interest in the philosophy of naturalistic humanism. “I’ve always liked the story of the Albigensians,” Cadmus mused, “who were besieged by the Pope at Beziers. His soldiers asked him: ‘How do we know the heretics from the Christians?’ The Pope replied, ‘Burn them all. God will know his own.’ ” A devout Catholic until he was seventeen, he then “shed it all.” Cadmus is cited by Charles Kaiser in The Gay Metropolis 1940—1996 (1997) as having painted key individuals and scenes of that period. Kaiser noted that Cadmus met Jon Andersson, 27, when he himself was 59 and “I never wanted to be with anyone else.” That included the time he was invited to a long-ago party by Truman Capote. Capote’s long-time companion Jack Dunphy told him he could not bring a male guest, that “Truman said he didn’t want to ask ‘a bunch of fags’ to his party.” This infuriated Andersson and was one of the few times the two did not appear together in public or private. At a book signing when Kaiser referred to Cadmus as the only artist to draw so many male nudes, the then ninety-two-year-old quipped, “Well, there was Michelangelo.” Kaiser quotes Cadmus as having been interviewed by Alfred Charles Kinsey: “He took homosexuality just as calmly as he did his work with wasps. He interviewed me about my sex life–how many orgasms, how big it was, measure it before and after.” Kinsey even went to dinner at Cadmus’s house following the interview. Cadmus died five days before his 95th birthday, which he had joyously celebrated two weeks earlier with several hundred friends at the D. C. Moore Gallery in New York City. {“Men Without Women, Paul Cadmus as Curator,” National Academy of Design, 1999; “The Great Impresario: Lincoln Kirstein,” The New Yorker, 13 April 1998; WAS, 28 May 1989 and numerous conversations; Warren Allen Smith, “Paul Cadmus: Artist-Humanist,” Free Inquiry, Summer 1996}

Cadogan, Peter (20th Century) Cadigan, a secretary of the South Place Ethical Society in the 1970s, called his outlook “Apocalyptic Humanism.”

Caesalpinus: See entry for Cesalpino, Andrea.

Caesar, (Caius) Julius (100?—44 B.C.E.) According to Lamont, Caesar “avowed his unbelief in immortality and was contemptuous of the supernaturalist rituals and sacrifices that he carried out for the sake of political expedience.” Robertson remarks that “the greatest and most intellectual man of action in the ancient world had no part in the faith which was supposed to have determined the success of the most powerful of all the ancient nations.” Whereas the illiterate Marius carried about with him a Syrian prophetess, and Sulla carried a small figure of Apollo as an amulet, Caesar was a convinced freethinker who disbelieved in the popular doctrine of immortality. If he offered sacrifices to gods in whom he did not believe, he was simply following the habitual procedure of his age. Froude has written that Caesar’s writings “contain nothing to indicate that he himself had any religious belief at all. He saw no evidence that the gods practically interfered in human affairs. . . . He held to the facts of this life and to his own convictions; and as he found no reason for supposing that there was a life beyond the grave he did not pretend to expect it.” A memorable evaluation, penned by Alexander Pope: “Caesar, the world’s great master and his own.” His detractors, however, call him a demagogue who forced his way to dictatorial power and destroyed the republic. As for his personal morality, legend has it that Caesar had an affair with the king of Bithynia. Also, Suetonius wrote

Home we bring our old whoremonger; Romans lock your wives away. {BDF; CE; CL; JMR; JMRH; TYD}

Cagadas, Roberto (20th Century) Cagadas is a leader of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines, 065 Rovira Road, Bantayan, Dumaguete City 6200, Negros, Philippines.

Cage, John (1912—1992) A controversial composer famous for his unorthodox musical theories and experimental compositions, Cage with a “prepared piano” used metal, rubber, wood, and other objects on a piano’s strings, altering its sound. He held that all sound, including that which is nonmusical, is part of the “total soundspace.” Cage’s “ 4’ 33” ” (1952) consists of 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence along with random environmental sounds that happen to occur. Upon arriving in New York City, he boarded with Peggy Guggenheim, enticed Virgil Thompson’s coterie by his good looks and talent, divorced, slept with, among others, architect Philip Johnson, and fell in love with Merce Cunningham, with whom he shared the rest of his life. Books he wrote include Silence (1961) and A Year From Monday (1968). According to two works reprinted in 1997, his I-VI and, with Joan Retallack, Musicage: Cage Muses on Words Art and Music, he became more folksy in the 1960s, now substituting jeans and a denim shirt for his 50s tie and jacket. He was accorded cultural superstardom by the 1980s and was generally regarded as one of the most important arts figures in the second half of the century. Cage’s unorthodox punctuation is illustrated in a lecture on the word imitation:

the greeks went rIght up to the door of treMble too much for that actually In These nucleAr insighT poInt five times ten hOw much more exterNal

Upon turning eighty, Cage was described by some as a musical anarchist and by others a musical liberator. Traditionalists regard him as the former, for he fails to use musical notation in the way others have used it for centuries. For example, a 1991 work utilizes “time brackets” sections lasting 75 seconds, during which the musicians are directed to play for the first 45 seconds, and they must finish between the 30th and 75th second–the timing is entirely up to the musician, which has led many to say that no two performances of the work can be the same and that this is “liberating.” Not a Eurocentrist, Cage (along with Allen Ginsberg) was drawn to Asian concepts in philosophy. His politics as he grew older became radically anarchist/leftist and by the 1970s he embraced aspects of Maoism.

	When, two months before his death, he was asked by the present author for his views on humanism, the Iowa-educated musician, a practicing Buddhist, wrote, 

If there are only seven humanisms, as your letter indicates, I choose number seven, secular humanism. But if one were added that connected with zen and Tibetan Buddhism together with technology (Fuller, McLuhan, Nano Technology), I would choose that.

{CE; WAS, 3 June 1992}

CAHIERS RATIONALISTES A French rationalist monthly, Cahiers Rationalistes is at 14 rue de l’Ecole-Polytechnique, 75005 Paris, France.

Cahill, Edward (20th Century) Cahill, a freethinker, wrote Freemasonry and the Anti-Christian Movement (1939). {GS}

Cahuac, John (19th Century) Cahuac, an English bookseller, revised an edition of Palmer’s Principles of Nature (1819). For this he was prosecuted at the instance of a “Vice Society.” The matter, however, was compromised, but he again was prosecuted in 1820 for selling the Republican. {BDF}

CAIN The first non-humanist depicted in the Judeo-Christian Bible was Cain, who was Adam and Eve’s eldest son. In a fit of jealousy, Cain killed his brother Abel and became a fugitive. Some Mormons have believed that Cain’s ancestors were punished by being stricken black, an unpopular view among African-American believers as well as non-believers. In the twentieth century it was rejected by most in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (See entry for Christian Identity.)

Cain, Stanley A. (1902— ) Author of Vegetation of the Great Smoky Mountains (1930), Cain is a naturalist and freethinker who has taught botany at the University of Michigan.

Caine, William Ralph Hall (Born 1869) A writer and the brother of Sir Hall Caine, Caine was a journalist on the Liverpool Mercury. For several years he represented a department of the Manx Legislature in London, and he edited the Court Circular, the Family Churchman, and Household Words. Caine has been active in supporting the British Rationalist Press Association. {RAT}

Cairns, Fred I. (20th Century) Cairns, a humanist, was a liberal minister. {HNS}

Caldecott, Ernest (20th Century) A Unitarian minister, Caldecott signed Humanist Manifesto I. In 1944, for the Second Humanist Convention in Los Angeles, Caldecott wrote:

Humanism is the conviction that, as far as we know, human intelligence, ethically exercised, and applied to the phenomena of the universe, can produce the best possible conditions and make available to mankind the finest development. This is different from supernaturalism, which posits not only the existence of an all-powerful Being, but one who intervenes in the affairs of men, and who aids man in achieving what otherwise would be impossible. Humanism is predicated on the assumption that it is the essential nature of the universe, which produced man, to provide the conditions in which he can best thrive. Even this statement tends to be teleological, for, when we observe that the universe “provides” something the implication can easily be that a “Provider” exists. Actually, we are employing the word “provide” in the same sense in which the physical scientist speaks of “nature’s design,” as though nature were conscious and directive. Humanists aver that we do not know the “ultimate” nature of the universe, nor even if there be such. We know nothing of origins or ends. Our knowledge is confined to existences. . . . The human being is less than a speck in the scale of the teeming centuries which amount to aeons of time. But since it is man who measures, and it is not known that anything exists more worthy of consideration (and also more needing it), we assert again that “the proper study of mankind is man.” Supernaturalism impedes progress. This is not to suggest that all forms of orthodoxy, religious, political, economic, and social, are inimical to the race. On the contrary it happens that some persons, orthodox in this are liberal in that. A Roman Catholic, accepting on faith the things he believes for his soul’s salvation, may still think for himself in politics, although he is less likely to do so than he who thinks out his own philosophy of living. What must be noted is that the irrationalism of supernaturalism leads astray. Consistent supernaturalism would necessarily be harmful. Its superstitions are enormous. It is blind unreasoning belief. Its exponents are rarely men of learning and never of vision. The obvious is the real to them. The miraculous is normal. . . . It is highly important that humanists associate with others of their kind for effectiveness, at the same time not falling into the errors of visionaries who expect a few persons to change the world over-night. The best we can reasonably hope for is to act as leaven. There we can be very helpful. That enough rational thinkers exist is probably self-evident. Up to now the emancipated seem to sense no need for group relationship. Thence the weakness of Unitarianism and Universalism. Were those who agree with the philosophy of either movement linked up with them, they would constitute a power greater than obtains anywhere on the planet. The spearhead of this force might well be humanism. The time for such joining of forces is here. {FUS; HM1; HNS}

Calder, Ritchie [Lord] (1906—1982) In the National Secular Society’s centenary brochure, Calder wrote that when Bradlaugh agitated for birth control of the world’s population, there were then 1,200,000,000 humans on Earth. He estimated there would be more than 6,000,000,000 by 1995. Explaining in his own views, Calder wrote Future of a Troubled World (1983). Secularists have consistently warned against the danger of over-populating our planet. {TRI}

Calderino, Domizio (1445—1478) Calderino was a learned writer of the Renaissance who lived in Verona and in Rome. Bayle says Calderino, who edited and commented upon many of the Latin poets, was without religion. {BDF}

Calderon, Alfredo (Born 1852) Calderon was a Spanish journalist, freethinker, and lawyer who, in addition to having written books on law, edited La Justicia. {BDF}

Calderon, Lauresmo (Born 1847) Calderon y Arana, a propagator of Darwinian ideas in Spain, was a professor of chemistry in the University of Madrid. {BDF}

Calderon, Salvador (Born 1851) A Spanish geologist and naturalist, Calderon y Arana was a professor at the University of Seville. He made scientific travels in Central America and wrote on geological subjects. His brother was Lauresmo Calderon. {BDF; RAT}

Calderone, Mary Steichen (1904—1998) Calderone, the daughter of the photographer Edward Steichen, was named Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association in 1974. In 1953, she was medical director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. From 1954 to 1975, she was executive director of the Sex Information Educational Council of the United States, becoming its president in 1975. In 1980, she received the Margaret Sanger Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation. She enjoyed asking young audiences for a four-letter word ending in “k” that meant sexual intercourse. When they tittered, she answered “talk”: “We never talk to each other as nonsexual people.” Human sexuality, she explained, goes far beyond the sex act—it is multifaceted and must not be hidden in a shroud of secrecy nor lowered to the level of erotic expression. “Sometimes,” she wrote, “sex becomes a problem because of our inability to talk openly and objectively about it. . . . It is interesting to note that in the vocabulary of some cultures there is a rich supply of entirely acceptable words to describe the varieties of sexual love and parts of the body especially involved in it. . . . How much better if [we too] had an ample, pleasant array of language with which to talk to each other about sex!” Sex education, she insisted, should start in kindergarten, leading enemies such as the Christian Crusade, the John Birch Society, and Moral Majority to accuse her of being an “aging sexual libertine.” A nominal Quaker, she was plunged into depression upon the death from pneumonia of her eight-year-old daughter. Calderone wrote Talking With Your Child About Sex (1982) and Family Book About Sexuality (1987). Although she and Dr. Frank Calderone separated in 1979, the two never divorced. He died in 1987. {HNS2}

Caldicott, Helen Broinowski (1938— ) In 1982, Caldicott was named Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association. An Australian-born pediatrician, she wrote Nuclear Madness: What Can You Do? (1979) and has established anti-nuclear groups in several countries. She has written, “How stupid that we lack the imagination to settle conflicts, so we have to go and kill each other. And the people who get killed are not the men and women . . . who are having a problem with each other; the people who get killed are our kids–17 and 18 year olds, little boys. They are sent off as instruments by people who can’t solve their conflicts . . . [who] don’t take the time to work out how to get in the other person’s frame of reference and understand them and make capitulations and concessions.” Her 1996 work, A Desperate Passion, is an autobiography describing the friends and enemies she made in her anti-nuclear crusades. {HNS2}

Caldwell, Erskine (1903—1987) Caldwell was a proletarian novelist who wrote Tobacco Road (1932) and God’s Little Acre (1933), both of which librarians often hid on special shelves and required permission in order that they be checked out. With his photographer-wife Margaret Bourke-White, he collaborated on You Have Seen Their Faces (1942). Asked his view in 1951 concerning humanism, Caldwell replied to the present author,

I prefer leaving critical comment of that nature left to others far better qualified.

Some critics have pointed to Caldwell’s anti-Semitism. But in “Deep South,” he exposes a fundamentalist Christianity which promises a “better world” that never comes. He includes details of the rituals of snake handling, of speaking in tongues (glossolalia), and bloodletting. With his father, he felt fundamentalism was a dangerous narcotic for poor Southern workers who had little hope or other entertainment. But what readers have liked has been his description of those very people: Jeeter Lester, a sharecropper in Tobacco Road who has fifteen children, who pawns off his own daughter for a turnip; a daughter, Pearl, who was married when only twelve years old; a near-catatonic mother; a grandmother so worthless she is left to die when run over by a car; a dumb son named Dude who marries Sister Bessie Rice, a widowed preacher, when promised he could blow the horn in her new car; and Jeeter’s daughter with the hare-lip:

Ellie May’s upper lip had an opening a quarter of an inch wide that divided one side of her mouth into unequal parts; the slit came to an abrupt end almost under her left nostril. The upper gum was low, and because her gums were always fiery red, the opening in her lip made her look as if her mouth were bleeding profusely.

Caldwell’s fame soared in 1946 when God’s Little Acre was reissued, but after his marriage to Margaret Bourke-White ended—she left him often but once wrote him a cable, saying simply, “My pussy grows cold for you”—he was accused of writing inferior work and many magazines refused to publish his work. {WAS, 14 February 1951}

Caldwell, John Taylor (20th Century) Caldwell is author of Come Dungeons Dark, a biography of Guy Aldred, an atheist and anarchist. His autobiography is Severely Dealt With—Growing Up in Belfast and Glasgow.

CALENDAR The earliest calendars were naturally crude. The earth completes its orbit about the sun in 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes and 46 seconds, whereas the moon passes through its phases in about 29 1/2 days, amounting to more than 354 days 8 hours 48 minutes. The discrepancy between the years is inescapable, and a major problem in devising a calendar has been to harmonize the solar and lunar reckonings. (If God really exists, humanists jocularly explain, He is an exceedingly poor mathematician.) The Egyptians worked out a formula for the solar year (12 months of 30 days each, five extra days a year, and an extra day every four years). The Ancient Jews dated their calendar from Creation, Ancient Greeks dated theirs from the first Olympic Games, and Islam from the flight from Mecca. The old Chinese calendar was devised to have six 60-day cycles, each cycle having 10-day periods and three such periods going to make up a month. It will be 4698, Year of the Dragon, in China when it is 2000 in Chicago. The Maya divided the year into eighteen 20-day periods, with a 5-day period at the end—they brilliantly began each month using a day 0, not day 1. The Romans dated their calendar from the foundation of Rome by the legendary Romulus. Ad Urbe Condita–from the foundation of the city–was pegged at 753 B.C.E. When Rome emerged as a world power, superstition held that even numbers were unlucky, so the Roman calendar has months that were 29 or 31 days long, with the exception of February, which had 28. However, four months of 31 days, seven months of 29 days, and one month of 28 days added up to only 355 days. Therefore, they invented an extra month–Mercedonius–of 22 or 23 days, which was added every second year. Caesar, being advised by astronomers that the Roman calendar was far off, ordered a sweeping reform in 45: One year, made 445 days long by imperial decree, brought the calendar back in step with the seasons. Then the solar year (with the value of 365 days and 6 hours) was made the basis of the calendar. Every fourth year was made a 366-day year. Caesar also decreed that the year should begin with the first of January, not with the vernal equinox in late March. This calendar, the Julian, is still the calendar of the Eastern Orthodox churches. Unfortunately, the year is 11 1/2 minutes shorter than the figure written in Caesar’s calendar, and after a number of centuries, even those few minutes add up. Meanwhile, from 20 B.C.E. to 20 C.E. is not 40 years: it is 39 inasmuch as there was no Year Zero.

	Around 1600, when Rosalind in Shakespeare’s As You Like It described the world as “almost 6,000 years old,” she was somewhat echoing Archbishop Ussher, who in 1564 had authoritatively given the time of creation as having been 4,004 B. C. E. 

Roger Bacon once sent a memorandum in the 1200s to Pope Clement IV that although Caesar could decree that the vernal equinox should not be used as the first day of the new year, the vernal equinox is still a fact of Nature. By the 16th century, time had displaced the vernal equinox to March 11th from March 21st. In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII rectified this error by suppressing 10 days in the year 1582 and ordained that thereafter the years ending in hundreds should not be leap years unless they were divisible by 400. The year 1600 was a leap year under both systems, but 1700, 1800, and 1900 were leaps years only in the unreformed calendar. The present generally accepted calendar is called the Gregorian. The reform was not accepted in England and the British colonies in America until 1752. The Gregorian was called the New Style (N.S.) and the Julian the Old Style (O.S). George Washington’s birthday, therefore is 22 February 1732 (N.S.) and 11 February 1731 (O.S.). Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone reads:

Born April 2, 1743 O.S. Died July 4, 1826.

A “fixed” 13-month “civil” cosmic calendar has been proposed for the first day of the 21st century, 31 December 2000. As described by William H. Becker (Mensa Bulletin, March 1995), the calendar’s first regular weekday would be Monday, with all weeks starting on Monday and ending on Sunday. Becker’s 13-month calendar re-names all the months and is astronomically sound. It has quarters of 91 days (13 weeks), and Leap Years are any year evenly divisible by four, except that years ending in “00” are Leap Years only if they are divisible by 400. The 28-day months are named as follows: Helio, Mercury, Venus, Terra, Luna, Ares, Jove, Kronos, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Galaxy, and Cosmos. For example, America’s Fourth of July would be on Jove 15th. Christmas Day would be Cosmos 22nd. World Day would be the day just before Helio 1st, which is the day after Cosmos 28th. The first day of a year would be Monday, Helios the 1st. If one were born on a Thursday, all succeeding birthdays would always be on a Thursday. Such a calendar might appeal to many inasmuch as no month would be named after a Roman god, December which linguistically looks as if it is the tenth month would no longer be used, and astronomers would be expected to welcome the new terminology. Not addressed are the weekday names–Tiu, for example, is related to a Teutonic war god; Woden, or Odin, was the supreme Norse god; Thor was a Norse god of thunder; Friday is named after Frigga, a Norse goddess associated with sex; Saturn was a Roman god of agriculture. On Mars, where mankind may one day settle, a year will have a length of 668 days, 23 hours, 52 minutes, and 32 seconds in Earth time, or 668.61561 sols (days). William H. Becker (Mensa Bulletin, May 1995) has extrapolated that a seven-sol week divided into 668.61561 gives a year of 95 7-day weeks, with 3.6151 sols short of a full Mars year, a shortage which could become a Mars Leap Year for any year ending in 66 or any year ending in 32 in an even-numbered century. This would keep the calendar in sync with the seasons. The Earth and Mars calendars could only be compared by multiplying the Earth year by .5316514. Ergo the Earth year 2001 would see the start of Mars year 1065 at its northern hemisphere winter solstice, if such a point were established as Mars New Year’s Day. The Mars calendar might be 95 five-week months long and have 19 months. What to call the months and days on Mars? Humanists like Arthur C. Clarke would likely come up with Ganymede or other such names which have no connection with Judeo-Christianity. (For other calendar ideas, see entries for Gilbert Romme [Republican], Auguste Comte [Positivist], and Stanley Stokes [Rational]; also see entry for Time.) {CE; David Ewing Duncan, The Calendar}

Calenzio, Eliseo (c. 1440—1503) An Italian writer, Calenzio was preceptor to Prince Frederic, the son of Ferdinand, King of Naples. He wrote a number of satires, fables, and epigrams, some of which are directed against the Church. {BDF}

Calhoun, Charles (20th Century) Calhoun edited the monthly Progressive Forum in Los Angeles from 1923 to 1930. {FUS}

[[Calhoun, John Caldwell [Vice President]]] (1782—1850) Calhoun, the US Senator from South Carolina and Vice President under Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, was a Unitarian who gave money to build the church in Washington. He was listed on its first membership roll. However, William C. Meigs wrote in a 1917 biography of Calhoun, “He was brought up a Presbyterian . . . but he himself never joined any faith. He attended the Episcopal Church in later years, and is said to have aided in founding a church of that sect, but neither the Episcopal creed nor the formulated one of any religion can have appealed to him with much force, and he equally contributed to the erection of the first Unitarian Church in Washington, and is said to have been among ‘its warm friends and consistent adherents.’” A 1950 biography by Margaret L. Coit wrote that Calhoun would not join a church:

Even his friends had no idea where he stood. Some believed him a deist, others a Swedenborgian. Furthermore, he gave money to build the Unitarian Church in Washington and “on the first roll of this Washington parish” can be found his name. “Unitarianism is,” he announced with his characteristic dogmatism, “the only true faith and will ultimately prevail over the world.

{CE; EG; UU}

CALIFORNIA ATHEISTS, FREETHINKERS, HUMANISTS California has the following groups:

• Alliance of Humanist, Atheist, and Ethical Culture Organizations of Los Angeles County, 8491 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 240, West Hollywood, California 90069. • American Association for the Advancement of Atheism (AAAA), 1863 Falconcer Court, Vista, California 92083–the group was founded in 1908 and incorporated in 1925. Kei Kanbit is a contact. • American Atheists, Inc. Dave Kong is a contact in San Francisco. <dksf@atheists.org> • Atheist Coalition (Atheist Alliance), POB 4786, San Diego, California 92164. Howard Kreisner is the president. E-mail: <atheistcoalition@hotmail.com>. • Atheists and Other Freethinkers (ASHS), PO Box 15182, Sacramento, California 95851-0182 (916) 920-7834. E-mail: <hkocol@hotmail.com>. • Atheists of San Francisco Region (Atheist Alliance), PO Box 31523, San Francisco, CA 94131-1523; (415) 648-1201. Contacts are Ray Romano at <ray75511@aol.com> and <jackmassen@aol.com>. • Atheists United (Atheist Alliance), POB 5329, Sherman Oaks, California 91423. Alexander Prairie was the president until 1993. • Cedar Springs Library, 43378 Cedar Springs Road, Auberry, California 93602. Bill Young is a contact for the library, which is a non-profit foundation that maintains a library of freethought materials. • Center for Inquiry West, 5519 Grosevnor Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066. <www.cfiwest.org>. • College of the Siskiyous humanists are at <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>. • Ethical Culture Society of the Bay Area is at (415) 522-3758 and <sanfrancisco@aeu.org>. • Ethical Culture Society of Los Angeles, POB 370425, Reseda, California 91337; E-mail: <losangeles@aeu.org> • Ethical Culture Society of San Diego is at <sandiego@aeu.org>. • Fellowship of Humanists, 411 West 28th Street, Oakland, California 94609. LeRue Grim is president of this organization which was founded in 1935 and is one of the oldest continuously existing humanist organizations. • Freethinker’s Society, POB 25863, West Los Angeles, California 90025 (310) 479-6318 • Freethinkers of Ventura County (FTVC), PO Box 346, Somis, California 93066; (805) 386-4232. Contact is Charlotte Poe. E-mail: <frthvc@aol.com>. • Gay and Lesbian Atheists and Humanists of Los Angeles County (213) 667-0838 • Gay and Lesbian Freethought Forum, 1213 North Highland Ave., Hollywood, California (213) 666-3875 • Humanist Association of Los Angeles (AHA), 22316 Barbacoa Drive, Saugus, California 91350. Lisa-Jo Corbin-Singletary is the contact (213) 462-7649. On the Web: <http://www.hala.org/>. • Humanist Association of San Diego, POB 86446, San Diego, California 92138. Philip Paulson is the contact, (619) 280-8595. E-mail: <pkp@ix.netcom.com>. On the Web: <http://www.godless.org/hasd/hasd.html>. • Humanist Association of the Greater Sacramento Area (AHA), 142 Juniper Street, Vacaville, California 95688. Mildred McCallister is the president. On the Web: <http://www.cwo.com/~pkelley /index.html>. • Humanist Center–Humanist Fellowship of San Diego (AHA), POB 87662, San Diego, California 92138. William Lindley is the contact. E-mail: < warren@bookwarren.com>. • Humanist Club of Long Beach (AHA), 3316 Roxanne Avenue, Long Beach, California 90808. Peter Ballou is the contact. • Humanist Community (AHA), 3032 Warm Springs Drive, San Jose, California 95127. Bill Jacobsen is the executive director. • Humanist Community of San Francisco (AHA, ASHS), POB 31172, San Francisco, California 94131; (650) 342-0910; Jay Martin is the contact at <martinjg@flash.net>. • Humanist Community of the Peninsula (AHA), 350 Ludeman Lane, Millbrae, CA 04030. Greydon Wellman is the contact. (415) 345-2765. E-mail: <athalsfj@aol.com>. • Humanist Community Serving Stanford University, a monthly newsletter at PO Box 60069, Palo Alto, California 94306-0069. Bill Jacobsen, contact, PO Box 60069, Palo Alto, CA 94306; phone (415) 969-3630). On the Web: <www.humanists.org/>. • Humanist Fellowship of the First Unitarian Society of San Francisco (AHA), 170 Oak Park Drive, San Francisco, California 94131. • Humanist Society of Berkeley (AHA), 100 Arlene Lane, Walnut Creek, California 94595. Howard Gonsalves is the president. • Humanists of Inland Communites, PO Box 1001, San Jacinto, CA 92581; Joe Bernard, President, (909) 658-2491. • Humanists of Orange County, Peter O. Anderson, contact member, 20 Owen Court, Irvine, CA 92612-4042; Phone: (714) 854-4305. • Humanists of Riverside County (AHA), 42010 Mayberry Avenue, Hemet, California 92344. Joe Bernard is the regional director of the Southern California region of the AHA. • Humanists of the Desert Communities, contact member Phil Russo, PO Box 719, Palm Springs, cA 92263-0719. • Humanists of the Pomona Valley (AHA), POB 376, Claremont, California 91711. Joe Gorman is the contact. • Humanists of the San Joaquin Valley (AHA), contact Bill Young at (209) 855-2438, PO Box 515, Auberry, California 93602. • Institute of Humanistic Science, A-35, 5175 Luigi Terrace, San Diego, California 92122. James W. Prescott in 1975 established the group as a division of the AHA “to provide a mechanism to support research and educational projects to develop a scientific basis for Humanistic ethics and moral values.” Phone: (714) 645-6802. E-mail: <jwprescott@aol.com>. • Los Alamitos High School Atheists are at <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>. • Rational Inquirers of Orange County (ASHS), 1931 East Meats #115, Orange, California 92865. • San Diego State University Atheist Coalition: <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>. • Santa Barbara Humanist Society (ASHS), PO Box 118, Santa Barbara, CA 93102; (805) 687-8619 • Secular Humanists of Los Angeles (ASHS), POB 10517, Marino Del Ray, CA 90295. (310) 305-8135; E-mail: <cfiwest@worldnet.att.net>. • Secular Humanists of the East Bay (ASHS), POB 830, Berkeley, California 94701. (510) 486-0553. Contacts: Eric Worrell, Jesse Cordell, and Sarita Cordell. E-mail: <eew@eew.com>. • Secular Humanists of Los Angeles (SHOLA), PO Box 10517, Marina Del Rey, CA 90295 (310) 305-8135. E-mail: <cfiwest@worldnet.att.net>. • Set Free!, 9766 Chapman Ave. (#192), Garden Grove, CA 92840. Contact: Mark Smith at <JCnot4me@aol.com>. • Society for Humanistic Judaism of Los Angeles, 1261 Loma Vista, Beverly Hills, California 90210. • South Bay Secular Humanists, POB 4396, Mountain View, California 94040. Jim Stauffer is a contact. • University of California at Irvine’s Campus Freethought Alliance group is found on the Web: <www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>. • University of California at Santa Cruz on the Web: <www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>.

Calisher, Hortense (1911—	) 

Calisher, who has taught at various universities and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, is noted for stories she has written in which she interprets character. False Entry (1961), for example, is about a character known only by his pseudonym, Pierre Goodman, and his involvement in an Alabama trial, testifying against racists in the murder of a Negro. Asked about humanism, she responded to the present author as follows:

Category? Writing, one hopes to ignore categories. (See Herself: An Autobiographical Memoir. “Category is the true crocodile.”)

Humanist? A fine word. Works best when it collates with its immediate text.” {WAS, 11 June 1992}

Call, Lon Ray (1894—1916) Raised a Baptist, Call was influenced by Curtis Reese, one of the leaders of the Humanist movement, and became like Reese a Unitarian minister. As a minister-at-large, he founded thirteen Unitarian churches. {U&U}

Call, Wathen Mark Wilks (1817—1890) Call, an English positivist, entered the ministry in 1843 but resigned his curacy about 1856 on account of his change of opinions, which is recounted in his preface to Reverberations (1876). Call contributed largely to the Forthrightly and Westminster Review. {BDF; RAT}

Callaghan, William J. (20th Century) For his 1958 Columbia University Ph. D. dissertation, Callaghan wrote “Philosophy of Francis E. Abbott.” {FUS}

Callahan, Tim (20th Century) Callahan, in Bible Prophecy: Failure or Fulfillment? (1997), examined Old Testament claims of biblical prophecy. He included material concerning contemporary attempts to interpret prophecy in light of apocalyptic expectations.

Callas, Plutarco [President] (1877—1945) Callas was a strong secular President of Mexico. The Spanish clergy tried in the 1920s to get the United States to annex Mexico in order to stop his influence. {TRI}

Callaway, Charles (1838—1915) Callaway, a geologist, was educated for and entered the Nonconformist ministry, but he seceded on doctrinal grounds and became an outspoken agnostic. He supported the Cheltenham Ethical Society and was an honorary associate of the Rationalist Press Association. {RAT}

Callaway, Howard (20th Century) Callaway is the student representative on the Board of Governors of The Humanist Institute.

Callen, Michael (1954—1993) Callen, a writer and singer who embodied for a dozen years the possibility of long-term survival with AIDS, was an atheist. He was one of the authors of How to Have Sex in an Epidemic: One Approach (1983, with his companion Richard Dworkin along with Richard Berkowitz and Dr. Joseph A. Sonnabend). He became well-known for his solo album, “Purple Heart,” and a quintet called the Flirtations. Dr. Jeffrey Laurence in the New York Times Book Review wrote in 1990 that Callen had managed in his book to “capture the spirit and eccentricities of men and women who, shouldering an extraordinary burden, simply will not break.” Callen is credited with encouraging the use of the phrase “safe sex” and of obtaining acceptance of “person with AIDS” rather than “AIDS victim.” Callen was an honorary member of the Secular Humanist Society of New York’s AIDS-support group (AASH), which held a joyous memorial in his honor when the prescribed shark cartilage and other treatments he had been taking were unable to keep him alive. At a memorial held in the Ethical Culture Society, the Flirtations sang, refreshments were served, and many individuals recounted Callen’s happy as well as gay life.

Callen, Michael (11 Apr 1955 – 27 Dec 1993) Callen, a writer and singer who embodied for a dozen years the possibility of long-term survival with AIDS, was an atheist. He was one of the authors of How to Have Sex in an Epidemic: One Approach (1983, with his companion Richard Dworkin along with Richard Berkowitz and Dr. Joseph A. Sonnabend). He became well-known for his solo album, Purple Heart and a quintet called the Flirtations. Dr. Jeffrey Laurence in The New York Times Book Review wrote in 1990 that Callen had managed in his book to “capture the spirit and eccentricities of men and women who, shouldering an extraordinary burden, simply will not break.” He is credited with encouraging the use of the phrase “safe sex” and of obtaining acceptance of “person with AIDS” rather than “AIDS victim.” Callen was an honorary member of the Secular Humanist Society of New York’s AIDS-support group (AASH), which partook in a joyous memorial in his honor (when the prescribed shark cartilage and other treatments he had been taking were unable to keep him alive). At a memorial held in New York City’s Ethical Culture Society, the Flirtations sang, refreshments were served, and many individuals recounted Callen’s happy as well as gay life. {WAS}

Callet, Pierre Auguste (Born 1811) 

Callet was a French politician and the editor of the Gazette until 1840. At the 1851 coup, he took refuge in Belgium, returned to France, was then imprisoned for writing against the Empire. In 1871 he was again elected representative for the department of the Loire. His chief freethought work is L’Enfer (1861), an attack upon the Christian doctrine of Hell. {BDF}

Calloway, Charles (20th Century) A freethinker, Calloway wrote Does Determinism Destroy Responsibility? (1905). {GS}

Calverton, V. F. (1900—1940) Calverton, a freethinker, wrote The Making of Man (1931) and The Passing of the Gods (1934). {FUS; GS}

Calverley, Charles Stuart (1831—1884) A poet who translated Latin and Greek poetry, Calverley wrote verse in Latin, English, and Greek. In a biographical sketch, prefixed to his Complete Works (1901), his friend Sir W. J. Sendall stated, “To mere dogmatic teaching he was always and for ever impervious.” {RAT}

CALVINISM • Calvinism was the child of indigestion. —Robert G. Ingersoll

• The sexual act can be barbaric, brutally selfish, and self-aggrandizing, or loving and revelatory. It can be infantile and ludicrous, or spiritually exalted and profound. It can be narcissistic, heedless, and exploitative, or devotional. In the course of one person’s life, it can, at one time or another, be all these things. But the particular character of a consensual act is manifest only in the intimate connection of two minds. When it is exposed to an audience, it deconstructs as something inevitably prurient, automatically scandalous. This is especially true in America, where one of the abiding shames of the Calvinist mind is that only a Son of God can be conceived without animal intercourse. —E. L. Doctorow The New Yorker, 12 October 1998

Calvinism refers to the religious doctrines of John Calvin (1509-1564). During a sudden conversion in 1532, he was told by God that God is omnipotent; to do God’s will is man’s first duty; in Adam this was possible; in the Fall of Man this power was destroyed; humans are therefore rightfully damned; God in Christ redeems whomever He wills; that these elect whom he has so willed live by faith in union with Christ, etc. Freethinkers are quick to note that Calvin was even less humorous than most of his fellow theologians.

Calvo, Rafael (Born 1852) Calvo was a Spanish actor and dramatic author. He was both a pronounced Republican and a freethinker. {BDF}

Cambacérès, Jean Jacques [Prince] (1753—1824) Cambacérès was a French statesman, a distinguished lawyer who during the Revolution was President of the Convention and one of the Council of Five Hundred. Under Napoleon, he was one of the chief authors of the famous Code Civil, then the finest such in the world. He was made Prince, Duke of Parma, and Arch-Chancellor of the Empire. A deist, Cambacérès was banished by Louis XVIII when the royalty and church were restored. {JM; RAT}

Cameron, Dean Eikelberry (1962— ) Cameron, an actor, co-authored the screenplay of “Lost Weekend” (1984) and has written numerous other works. He has appeared in various television shows, on one of which when asked if he believed in God responded, “No god. Next caller.” “I don’t believe in god, satan, angels, an afterlife, a creator, or any of those dangerous myths,” Cameron has written. “I trust in science, objective truth, wonder, and mankind.” {CA}

Cameron, Dean Eikelberry (1962 - ) Cameron, an actor, co-authored the screenplay of Lost Weekend (1984) and has written numerous other works. He has appeared in various television shows, on one of which when a caller asked if he believed in God responded, “No god. Next caller.” “I don’t believe in god, satan, angels, an afterlife, a creator, or any of those dangerous myths,” Cameron has written. “I trust in science, objective truth, wonder, and mankind.” {CA}

Camisani, Gregorio (Born 1810) Camisani, an Italian who translated the Upas of Captain R. H. Dyas and other works, was a freethinker who taught languages in Milan. {BDF}

Cammer, Michael (20th Century) 

Cammer, an artist and academic, has written that he does not believe in any sort of spirituality and, in fact, disdains religion. On the faculty of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he does not discuss religion at the job. Of humanism, he wrote to the present author:

I find irreconcilable contradiction in how scientists can believe in any religion. Esthetics and knowledge have no need for pseudo-explanations or crutches for worry over non-acceptance of non-comprehension. Anyhow, my credentials as a humanist are that I’m pretty much a lefty or libertarian even though I’d like to make a buck. But I have been remiss; I have done no conspicuous protesting since the Gulf Massacre when I painted a huge NO WAR sign in my painting studio window overlooking the intersection of 125th Street and Broadway in New York City.

{WAS, 23 November 1993}

CAMP QUEST A summer camp for secular humanist children, Camp Quest, was inaugurated in 1996. Its address: Camp Quest, 6404 Pheasant Run, Loveland, Ohio 45140.

Campanella, Tommaso (1568—1639) During the French Revolution, Maréchal cited Campanella as being only a “possible” atheist. The Italian Renaissance philosopher never left the church, but he had frequent troubles with the authorities. His City of the Sun (1602) is similar to Plato’s Republic in that it designs a utopia, when a new era of earthly felicity should begin. For non-believers his major importance is that he anticipated what came to be known as the scientific attitude of empiricism. As for his private views on religion, Campanella defended himself when first arrested and tried during the Inquisition. In Calabria in 1599, he was arrested on charges of heresy against the Spanish Government of Naples. Upon appeal to Rome, he was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment in the prison of the Holy Office. He was put to the torture seven times, his torments on one occasion extending over forty hours, but he refused to confess. He was dragged from one prison to another for twenty-seven years, during which he wrote some sonnets, a history of the Spanish monarchy, and several philosophical works. Released from prison by the intervention of Pope Urban VIII, Campanella fled to France, where he met Gassendi, and to Holland, where he met Descartes. Julian Hibbert has remarked that Campanella’s Atheism Subdued (1631, Atheismus Triumphatus) might better be entitled Atheismus Triumphaus (Atheism Triumphant), for the strongest arguments are on the heterodox side. {BDF; CE; EU, Aram Vartarian}

Campbell, Ada (c. 1855—1915?) Campbell was an early Australian secularist and activist. Described as “a lady whose bold, outspoken, and fearless lectures have been the means of spreading Freedom of Thought,” she lectured widely on freethought subjects. Although threatened in Wellington with prosecution for “charging on Sunday,” the Judge of Queensland ruled in her favor: “Lectures do not come under the head of amusements and therefore cannot legally be interfered with by any Government.” An 1886 Otago Daily Times wrote that Campbell was “undoubtedly a very clever woman, with a powerful pleasant voice, considerable oratorical ability, and a neat form of mimicry” which “occasionally descended to the verge of vulgarity.” {SWW}

Campbell, Alexander (1796—1870) Campbell was a socialist from Glasgow. Upon the death of Combe in 1827, he became a socialist missionary in England, taking an active part in the co-operative movement. He also agitated for an unstamped press, for which he was tried and imprisoned at Edinburgh, 1833—1834. About 1849 Campbell returned to Glasgow and wrote on the Sentinel. In 1868 he summed up the opinion of many Owenites: “I am heart-sick of theology, and consider it a great waste of time to discuss the old Book. . . . When I compare the past Freethought platform with the present, it seems to me that there was more real progress made in the past when Robert Owen was propounding the old social ideas.” In 1867, Campbell was honorary president of the Eclectic Society. {BDF; FUK; RSR; VI}

Campbell, Archibald (19th Century) In 1856, Campbell founded the Auckland Secular Society in New Zealand. {FUK}

Campbell, Bruce (20th Century) Campbell, the executive director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, wrote (with Maude Barlow) Straight Through the Heart: How the Liberals Abandoned the Just Society. He has written for Humanist in Canada (Summer 1996).

Campbell, Colin (20th Century) In 1988, Campbell was elected as an honorary associate of the Rationalist Press Association. A reader in sociology and Head of Department at the University of York, he has gained an international reputation for his work on “the cultic milieu” and the occult as well as irreligion. His Towards a Sociology of Irreligion (1971) discussed the secularist, positivist, ethical, and rationalist movements in the United States and Britain, as well as the first account of the emergence of the humanist movement in the 1960s. He also wrote The Myth of Social Action. Campbell has been on the board of the Rationalist Press Association, is a contributor to New Humanist and Question, and is a regular speaker on behalf of humanism. In Birmingham, England, at the Centenary Conference of the Rationalist Press Association in 1999, he spoke on “The Easternization of the West: The Threat to Rationalism in the New Millennium.” {FUK}

Campbell, Frances (20th Century) Campbell in Scotland is active with the Stirling Humanists.

Campbell, Ellen (20th Century) Campbell is executive director of the Canadaian Unitarian Council (Suite 706, 188 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto, Ontaro M4P 2X7, Canada). E-mail: <cuc@web.net>.

Campbell, Glen (20th Century) Campbell was executive director of the Canadian Unitarian Council in Toronto.

Campbell, John Archibald (1906—1976) Campbell was an Australian freethinker, activist, and quantity surveyor. Upon migrating from England, he became active in the Humanist Society of South Australia, being elected as its president in 1966. From 1967 to 1968, he was president of the Council of Australian Humanist Societies, and in 1969 with Laurie Bullock he re-established the Rationalist Association of South Australia, becoming its president and editor of the monthly Rationalist. When the organization changed its name to the Atheist Foundation of Australia, he was elected president and retained that office until his death. Campbell was noted as a prolific writer of hard-hitting articles and leaflets. {SWW}

Campbell, Joseph (1904—1987) Campbell, a mythologist, folklorist, and educator, wrote The Hero With A Thousand Faces, which inspired a “Star Wars’ series of motion pictures. He is also known for having written Myths to Live By. Although purportedly anti-Semitic, no definitive study proves this. Asked his view about humanism, Campbell responded to the present author:

I have never thought of myself as being a humanist, nor can I find in any of the seven categories you have defined a spot into which I fit or should like to fit–except, of course, the first [humanism, devotion to human interests; the study of the humanities], which is so broad as to include practically everybody in the world. My sympathies are rather with the Platonists and Stoics than with the line of thinkers suggested by your rota of “Ancient Humanism,” and although I admire some of the writers named in the category of “Classical Humanism,” I am not of their species; indeed, I think of Classical Humanism as a fossil in the field of contemporary thought–like, say, Judaism or Catholicism. From the movements described as theistic humanism, atheistic humanism, and communistic humanism, I should like to dissociate myself absolutely. The contradictio in adjecto involved in the term “theistic humanism” seems to me too silly for discussion; the negativism of atheistic humanism controverts both the idea of human decency that I share with the classical humanists and that sense of the supernatural wonder of being which is for me the richest gift and delight of human experience; while the association of a systematic liquidation of whole classes of humanity with the term “humanism,” which is implied in the fraudulent rubric “communistic humanism,”I find monstrous. Finally, the position of “naturalistic humanism” I long ago abandoned, consciously and without regret, after having been trained to it in the hallowed morgue of Columbia University. The term “humanism,” in short, remains associated in my mind with a tradition that has contributed to my education but denies my experience–a stilted tradition it seems to me, not open to the winds of mystery and rapture that are synonymous with the breath of life. For nature is to me supernatural in its mystery, and absolutely so. Moreover, I include in my view of nature both man and his civilizations: these I find justified and wonderful, not because they are potential of something, but in their actuality, right here and now. Hence I lack both the “nausea” of the Existentialists and that lean toward improvement which is characteristic of the naturalistic humanists. I do not believe, as Dr. Overstreet does [in a letter to the present author, one quoted herein], that “the goal of human development lies in the greatest possible fulfillment of human powers,” or that man lives “to bring to fruition the powers with which nature endowed him.” Some people live for such things and receive awards (as they should) for their services to the race; others live to enjoy with friends the rich wine of life in one or another of its manifestations, and I believe that I am of this sort–preferring the vintage of Lao-tze to that of Lin Yu-tang, James Joyce to that of Bertrand Russell, and Henry Thoreau to that of John Dewey and his thoughtful brood. The Occidental writers whom I regard as having most strongly influenced my development are Goethe, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Spengler, Leo Frobenius, Heinrich Zimmer, Carl G. Jung, Thomas Mann, and James Joyce. The Oriental list includes Ananda K. Coomaraswamy and D. T. Suzuki. But I should also mention–with emphasis–the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, whose Paris studio in the winter of 1927–1928 was the scene of my timely rescue from the rising rocket of naturalistic humanism and establishment in the beatific vision of les grandes lignes de la nature. I hope that these brief paragraphs may be of use . . . [and I am led] to believe that I may be a humanist after all, though of a sort not yet numbered in your list.

Campbell, in Myths to Live By (1972), wrote, “What gods are there, what gods have there ever been, that were not from man’s imagination.” He also wrote, “. . . god is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It’s as simple as that.” Theists as well as non-theists find much to like in Campbell’s outlook. {TYD; WAS, 15 June 1956}

Campbell, Margaret Mollie (1930— ) Campbell, born to a fundamentalist Ana-Baptist mother who limited her education on religious grounds and forbade her becoming a nurse, later rejected all religion. Upon arriving in Australia in 1962, she joined the New South Humanist Society and became its secretary in 1986. {SWW}

Campbell, Patrick (1917— ) Campbell’s “Joseph Lewis–Champion of Forethought” was published in Lewis’s freethought journal, Age of Reason (May, 1963). The New Zealand Rationalist Association in 1964 published his The Mythical Jesus. {FUK; GS; TRI}

Campbell, Philip (20th Century) Campbell is a specialist in astrophysics and atmospheric physics. Before becoming editor of Nature in 1995, he was founding editor of Physics World for the Institute of Physics. In Birmingham, England, at the Centenary Conference in 1999 of the Rationalist Press Association, Campbell spoke on “Irrationality in the Public Communication of Science.”

Campbell, Steuart (20th Century) Campbell, a rationalist, is author of The Loch Ness Monster (1991) and The UFO Mystery Solved (1994). He makes the case for an “Astronomical Mirage Hypothesis,” that a celestial body (for example, a planet) that is just below the horizon is not, in fact, invisible, but is visible by means of atmospheric refraction which causes the light from it to be “bent.” As a result, the celestial body presents itself as being above the horizon briefly and moving rapidly. E-mail: <explicit@cix.co.uk>. On the Web: <http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/stockton>.

Campbell, Theophilia Carlile (19th Century) Campbell, a freethinker, wrote The Battle of the Press as Told in the Story of Richard Carlile (1899). {FUK; GS}

Campbell, Thomas (1777—1844) A Scottish poet and reformer, Campbell was educated for the ministry but became a skeptic and turned to poetry. He played a part in the project to break the religious tyranny of Oxford and Cambridge Universities by founding the University of London as a purely secular institution. He rejected the idea of immortality, but McCabe states that Campbell “wavered between a pale theism and agnosticism.” Dean Milman and Macaulay were among his pallbearers. Although in his poems Campbell resented “superstition’s rod,” he was buried in Westminster Abbey. {JM; RAT; RE}

Campbell, W. A. (20th Century) A freethinker, Campbell wrote Did the Jews Kill Jesus, and the Myth of the Resurrection (1927) and The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus (1933). {GS}

Campell, Steuart (20th Century) In The Rise and Fall of Jesus (1996), Campell, who had a fundamentalist Christian youth, attempts to assess and interpret fact, especially historical fact, on the assumption of the non-divinity of Jesus. {Eric Stockton, New Humanist, December 1996}

Campion, William (19th Century) A shoemaker by trade, Campion worked as a shopman in Carlile’s and was tried for selling Paine’s Age of Reason. After a spirited defense, he was found guilty and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. In prison he edited, in conjunction with J. Clarke, R. Hassell, and T. R. Perre, the Newgate Monthly Magazine. {BDF}


In 1996, students from fifteen campuses launched an alliance for atheists, humanists, and skeptics. Represented were students from the following universities, and more were soon added:

Alabama U at Birmingham (Adam Butler) Amherst College (David Beckman, Nathan Hartshorn: Doubters’ Club) Auckland United Atheists, New Zealand (Alex Clark) Birmingham-Southern College (Bradley Davis) British Columbia U (Michael Kraft of Humanists’ Society) Brock University, St Catherines, Ontario, Canada (Sara E. Moodie) California U at Irvine (Doug Semier) Chicago U (Scott Oser) Christopher Newport U, Virginia (Christopher Green, Gautam Srikanth) Colorado U at Boulder (Miriam Black of Campus Heretics) Columbia U (Joel Finkelstein) Florida International U (David Bendana) Guelph U (Diana Carter) Harvard (Derek Araujo) Houston U (Joe Lynch) Illinois U at Chicago (Michael S. Valle) Kalamazoo College (Jason Pittman) McGill U, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Stephen Ban) Marshall U (Deidre Conn; Chad Docterman) Maryland at College Park (Alireza Aliabadi, Keith Augustine, Brianna Waters) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sarah Carlson) Minnesota U (Nicholas J. Rezmerski) Missouri U at Kansas City (Anthony Walsh) New Mexico State U (John F. Kennedy) Ohio State University Oregon U (Selena Brewington) Pennsylvania State (Daniel Smith) Puget Sound U at Tacoma, Washington (Nancy Richardson) Queens U, Ontario, Canada (Jascha Jabes) State University of NY at Albany (Carrie Fowler) State University of NY at Buffalo (Etienne Rios) Stony Brook U (Vincent Bruzzese) Tel Aviv U, Israel (Amnon Eden) Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Tim Law) Tennessee U at Martin (Jason Tippitt) Texas U at Austin (Michael Lowry) University College, Los Angeles (Vagan Karayan) University of Buffalo Webster (John Muhrer) Western Washington U (John Simons) Wisconsin U (Peter Braun, Eric Shook) Yale University

They issued “A Declaration of Necessity,” calling attention to an increasing opposition to freethought and working toward the establishing on campuses skeptical, secular, and freethinking organizations. In 1998 they issued a “Bill of Rights for Unbelievers.” Officers as of the summer of 1998 were as follows:

• Derek Carl Araujo, President (Harvard)—following his graduation in 1999, Amanda Chesworth became President: • Daniel Farkas, Vice President (Yale) • Deidre Conn, Secretary (Marshall) • August Brunsman, Treasurer (Ohio State) • David Schummer, Press Coordinator (SUNY Buffalo) • Adam Butler (Alabama at Birmingham), Pearl Chan (Harvard); Chris Mooney (Yale); Bill Bishop (Florida); Paula Duckhorn (College of Lake Country)—Executive Council

	The complete list of groups and officers is found on the Web: <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/>.

(See entry for Bill of Rights for Unbelievers.) {International Humanist News, December 1996}

Camus, Albert (1913—1960) Camus, the novelist whose works illustrate contemporary humanism, was born and reared in Algeria. Partly of Alsatian, partly of Spanish, descent, he was raised as a member of the French white underclass. His father had been killed in France in October 1914, during which battle he became stone blind and suffered terrible wounds. His mother, left with two sons, worked as a domestic in an Algerian slum quarter, leading Camus to remark later, “I did not learn about liberty from Karl Marx. I learned it from being bone-poor.” Tubercular from boyhood, he ran an amateur theatre company, “The Team,” a troupe in which no one was a star. The members not only acted but also built sets, sold tickets, and did whatever other jobs were required. Camus looked upon theatre, wrote Olivier Todd in Camus: Une Vie (1996), as a social duty not as a vehicle for glamor. He also enjoyed journalism and, when he married (briefly) for the first time he had four typesetters as his witnesses. As an editorialist for Combat, he favored Algeria’s liberation, which did not occur, however, until two years after his death. Camus had envisioned a federation in which Algeria and France would be equal partners, a dream which never transpired. Todd also detailed the surprising multiplicity of Camus’s sexual relationships, describing his skill as a seducer and also the connection between his mood of guilt shown in La Chute and his second wife Francine’s suicidal attempt of throwing herself out of a window. In 1948, talking to some Dominican priests, Camus said, “I shall not, as far as I am concerned, try to pass myself off as a Christian in your presence. I share with you the same revulsion from evil. But I do not share your hope, and I continue to struggle against this universe in which children suffer and die.” In 1957, upon winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, he became the first African author–not Wole Soyinka of Nigeria, who won in 1986, or Naguib Mahfoux of Egypt, who won in 1988–to be honored. The Swedish Academy cited his “important literary production that with clear-sighted earnestness illuminated the problems of the human conscience in our times.” His three major works were The Stranger (1942), The Plague (1947), and The Myth of Sisyphus (1942). The first, with its famous opening lines (“Mother died today, or maybe it was yesterday.”), showed humans as being outsiders trying to obtain self-awareness in a world they do not understand. It is the story of a thoughtless killer, one whose major wish upon the day of his execution was that he would be greeted by “an enormous crowd who would call out to him in hatred.” How tragic, Camus is saying in the novel, that man is a stranger to his environment, a stranger to the humanism of which he is a natural part. The Plague is an allegorical account of the efforts by determined people in Oran, Algeria, to fight an epidemic, individuals who assert their humanity by rebelling against their circumstances. (In 1863, a plague had wiped out half the population of his birthplace, Mondavi.) Its character, the atheistic Dr. Rieux, struggles valiantly against the disease, in contrast with the laissez-faire attitude of Father Paneloux, who preaches that the plague has been sent as a punishment by God. The latter work develops his theory of the absurd. Camus wrote with a distinctly humanistic viewpoint: “In a universe suddenly divested of illusions and lights, man feels an alien, a stranger. His exile is without remedy since he is deprived of the memory of a lost home or the hope of a promised land. This divorce between a man and his life, the actor and his setting, is properly the feeling of absurdity.” Although, like Sartre, Camus wrote of “the absurd,” he did so in a distinctly different and more constructively humanistic fashion. Sartre tended to think negatively concerning man’s absurd and meaningless existence on earth, whereas Camus expressed no nausea at such absurdity, choosing instead to accentuate the positive concerning our existence. An admitted lover of the sun, a pagan, a person who adored life, Camus treated “absurdism” as intellectual. It might be absurd that war is normal or that the deadly bacillus is a fact of life, but humanity needs to love that which is inevitable in this imperfect life of ours. Such a tragic humanism, to Camus, was not to be confused with pessimism. Martin Seymour-Smith describes how Camus blamed Christianity for the introduction of the notion of original sin, and although Camus recognized life’s injustices he knew that man must be positively dedicated to life, must develop a moral responsibility, and must be anti-nihilist. Meursault, the anti-Christ of L’Étranger, hates Christ for his sacrifice–for that sacrifice involved pain. As Seymour-Smith points out in Who’s Who in Twentieth-Century Literature (1976), Camus’s “anti-Christianity is one of the most absolute of modern times. (He was courted by some Christians and has–naturally–been described as ultimately Christian).” In Le Mythe de Sisyphe, he portrays a man, Smith-Seymour states, not unlike that of the true Nietzsche, “who is doomed to perform an absurd task but who may nevertheless learn to be happy in it. This is a paradox: accept meaninglessness but then fight it with every weapon you have.” Adds Seymour-Smith, “Had he lived he could well have gone on to become the world’s foremost novelist.” “Violently attacked in the 1960s and 1970s, when theoretical debate ran rife,” wrote Germaine Brée, “Camus has emerged in the 1980s as one of the precursors of a revolt against the constraints and evils of totalitarian systems. He has become a classic but a classic whose work has not lost its bite.” Camus was asked in 1960 to contribute to the present work his views concerning humanism, and his secretary responded that he would do so just as soon as he returned from a trip. But it was on that trip that his life ironically and absurdly ended, in a crazy burst of speed by a car he was not driving. Near that wreck was found a mud-stained briefcase containing 144 pages of almost indecipherable handwriting that made up the first draft of the early chapters of a novel based closely on his life. His wife, Francine, knowing her husband was on poor terms with Sartre and other Left Bank luminaries, decided against publication at that time. In 1952, Sartre had broken publicly with Camus over his essay, “The Rebel,” in which Camus had denounced Soviet concentration camps. “One thing that Hegel and I have in common,” Sartre wrote, “is that Camus has read neither of us.” But in 1994, a time Alan Riding has observed, when “leftist intellectuals no longer rule the roost in Paris,” Camus’ daughter Catherine published the work under the title Le premier homme (The First Man). It glorifies Algeria, his birthplace, the nation which he was unable to commit to independence for that would have meant, in his mind, the permanent loss of his childhood home. The work takes up the questions of morality, “how we should act” and how we should live if we do “not believe in God or in reason.” Its main character, Jacques (who is a thinly disguised Camus), “was 16, then he was 20, and no one had spoken to him, and he had to learn by himself, to grow alone, in fortitude, in strength, find his own morality and truth, at last to be born as a man.” The work’s release resulted in a reassessment of Camus’s literary stature. Upon its publication, many in France, where The Stranger is required reading in many schools, held that Camus had finally triumphed over Sartre, for it was Sartre who tarnished his old friend’s reputation and it was the “anti-humanists” who had contributed to the fashionable view that Camus had declined in status as a writer. The intellectual complaint was that Camus rejected violence and terror in all its forms, particularly in the Algeria he knew and loved. His denunciation of totalitarianism in the Soviet Union and his failure to commit himself to Algerian independence under Arab rule, observed The New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani, had “earned him the enmity of the left, while his literary endeavors–engagé, earnest and devoted to the consideration of moral issues–struck the fashionable new avatars of structuralism as old-fashioned, sentimental, and contemptibly humanistic.” Paul Edwards, in God and the Philosophers, noted that

Camus never uses an argument like Sartre’s appeal to free will. His certainty that there is no God seems to stem from his belief that the universe and more specifically human life is “absurd.” By this he means that the universe is indifferent to the human demand for rationality and justice. Camus’s view that human life is absurd and what we should infer from it is worked out in The Myth of Sisyphus. Sisyphus has been condemned by the gods to roll a rock to the top of a mountain. As soon as he reaches the top, the rock starts rolling down, and Sisyphus has to start all over again. This cycle is repeated forever. “If this myth is tragic,” Camus wrote, “that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him?”

André Glucksmann and Bernard-Henry Lévy, the so-called “New Philosophers,” scorned Camus for his “moralizing” obsession with responsibility. But now Glucksmann and Lévy have lost all favor, alleges Tony Judt of New York University: “They have been discredited by their casual resort to future History to justify present crimes, and by the ease with which they asserted that others must suffer for the sins of their own fathers. The lucidity and moral courage of Camus’s stand shine through today in a way that was not possible in the polarized world of 1958 [when Camus had written]. ‘As for me, I find it disgusting to beat the other man’s breast, in the manner of our judge-penitents.’” Judt continues: “What Camus understood perhaps better and earlier than any of his (metropolitan) contemporaries was not Arab nationalism–though as early as 1945 he had predicted that the Arabs could not much longer be expected to tolerate the conditions under which they were governed–but the particular culture of Algeria’s inhabitants, and the price that would be paid should anyone attempt to shatter it. The lost world of French Algeria is at the center of his last, unfinished novel, and it is a subject to which French readers are open now in a way that would have been unthinkable in 1960, when the manuscript was found in Camus’s briefcase at the scene of his death.” (See letter, below, from James T. Farrell.) {CE; EU, Germaine Brée; Jeannette Lowen, “The Search for Connection Between Two Worlds,” Free Inquiry, Winter 1996-1997; TYD}

CANADIAN ATHEIST The Canadian Atheist is at PO Box 41613, 923 12th St., New Westminster, British Columbia V3M 6L1.

CANADIAN FREETHINKERS Canadian freethought dates to the Toronto Freethought Society in 1873 and in Montreal to L’Institut Canadien in the 1840s. (See Gordon Stein’s Freethought in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, which contains a bibliography. Also see entry for William Dawson Le Sueur, A Canadian man of letters who has been called “the Sage of Ottawa.”) CANADIAN HUMANIST NEWS A quarterly, Canadian Humanist News is at PO Box 3736, Postal Station C, Ottawa ON, K1Y 4J8, Canada. E-mail: <hac@magi.com”.

CANADIAN HUMANISTS British Columbia boasts the highest percentage of Canadians claiming no religion: 30% compared to the national average of 12%. In Greater Vancouver, 31% choose “none” when asked their religious affiliation. Mia Stainsby, writing in the Vancouver Sun, explains this as follows: “It’s a gorgeous province with more tempting things to do than go to church or a temple on Sunday. We’re said to be a more pleasure-loving province. The ‘nones’ group is top-heavy with young people, who also are attracted to B.C.” On the Web: <www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html> and <magi.com/~hac>. Brock University humanists are on the Web: <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>. The Canadian Humanist Association is on the Web: <http://infoweb.magi.com/~hac/hac.html>. Canadian Humanist News has the E-mail of <hac@magi.com>. Canadian Humanist Publications, Box 3769, Postal Station C, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1Y 4J8, is an associate member of the International Humanist and Ethical Union. Canadians for Intellectual Freedom is an ad hoc group of humanists, atheists, and freethinkers, according to Canadian Humanist News, February 1998. The Humanist Association of Canada (HAC), PO Box 3736, Station C, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1Y 4J8, is a full member of the International Humanist and Ethical Union. The Humanist Association of Ottawa Newsletter is a monthly obtained from PO Box 8733, Postal Station T, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 3J1. Humanist Association of Toronto, Box 44512, 2376 Eglinton Ave. East, Toronto M1K 5K3. Phone: (416) 966-1316. E-mail: <mail@humanist.toronto.on.ca>. On the Web: <www.humanist.toronto.on.ca>.

	Humanist in Canada, a quarterly, is at PO Box 3769, Postal Station C, Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 4J8. E-mail: <jepiercy@cyberus.ca>.

The Humanists’ Society at the University of British Columbia, of which Michael Kraft is President, is on the Web at:


McGill University’s Atheist, Agnostic, and Secular Humanist Society in Montreal, Quebec, is on the Web: <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>. University of Regina humanists are on the Web at: <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>.

John McTaggart of Alberta has compared Canadian and Netherlands humanist movements. His thorough research concluded that the lack of success in Canada’s humanist movement is attributable to (a) the absence of strong secular or irreligious themes in the development of Canadian society; (b) a greater degree of formal separation between church and state—a “naturalistic,” rather than a “pluralistic” approach, which is characteristic of the Dutch model, and has ensured that humanists in the Netherlands have received state support for many of their projects; and (c) the abolitionist approach of the Canadian movement. Svend Robinson, a member of the Canadian Parliament, has gone public as being both gay and a non-theist. (See entries for William Algie, J. Lloyd Brereton, British Columbia Humanists, John McTaggart, Henry Morgentaler, and Peter R. Smith.) {Freethought Today, November 1995}


The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) includes forty-four congregations from coast to coast, ranging in size from 500 members to small fellowships. An estimated five thousand adults and almost eight hundred children are members. Unlike Unitarian movements in Transylvania, England, and the United States, the Canadian movement did not arise from indigenous roots. Its earliest members were immigrants who brought their religion with them. The first congregation was established in Montreal in 1842. New Ones were affiliated with British and American associations. The CUC was established in 1961. According to the CUC, until fifty years ago most Canadian congregations were Christocentric in belief and practice, but now the majority is humanist. Like Unitarians everywhere Unitarians currently have moved toward a deeper spirituality drawing on the insights of ecology, feminism, and world religion. In 1998 Ellen Campbell was Executive Director of the CUC, 188 Eglington Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2X7 Canada. On the Web: <http://www.web.net/~cuc> and <http://www.uua.org/icuu/icuu-north-america.html>. E-mail: <cuc@web.net>.

Canby, Henry Seidel (1878—1961) Canby, a founder of Saturday Review of Literature and its editor until 1936, wrote Thoreau: A Biography (1939) and many books of literary and social criticism. Asked his views concerning humanism, Canby responded to the present author that it would take a week of work and ten or fifteen thousand words. But, he added,

I wrote in the 20’s several essays for the Saturday Review on humanism from the literary angle, and even spoke at the famous meeting at Carnegie Hall. My interests, however, were much more literary than philosophical, and in my busy life since I have not kept up in any scholarly fashion, though I have done quite a little reading. {WAS, 5 April 1949}

CANDOMBLÉ The strongest of Brazil’s syncretist religions, Candomblé mixes the nature-based beliefs some four million slaves brought from Africa with the Catholicism of the Portuguese colonists. Its pantheon of orixas—gods and goddesses of wind, oceans, still water, metals, and fire—correspond to Catholic saints and appear in masks and swaying skirts of raffia. At one time the rituals of animal sacrifice, possession, music, and dance were thought to be a form of devil worship. One individual, a priestess by the name of Cleusa Millet (1931-1998), is credited along with her mother of transforming Candomblé into a religion accepted in the highest levels of Brazilian society. {Diana Jean Schemo, The New York Times, 25 October 1998}.

Canestrini, Giovanni (Born 1835) An Italian naturalist, Canestrini taught natural history at Geneva and is known for his popularization of the works of Darwin, which he translated into Italian. At Padua, where he taught zoology, anatomy, and comparative physiology, he published a Memoir of Charles Darwin (1882). {BDF; RAT}

Canfield, Russell (19th Century) Canfield edited Temple of Reason in Philadelphia from 1835 to 1837.

Canney, Maurice Arthur (1872—1941) Canney was a professor at Manchester University and a member of the editorial staff of the Encyclopaedia Biblica (1897—1903). From 1912 on, he edited the Journal of the Manchester Egyptian and Oriental Society. His chief works were An Encyclopaedia of Religions (1921) and Givers of Life (1923) {RE}

CANNIBALISM • Cannibal, n. A gastronome of the old school who preserves the simple tastes and adheres to the natural diet of the pre-pork period. —Ambrose Bierce The Devil’s Dictionary

• “Must have been someone he ate.” —Comedian Bob Hope

in “The Road to Zanzibar,” 

upon hearing an African native burp

Cannibalism, which is associated with a superstitious belief that the eater will absorb the magical powers of whatever he eats, has involved eating penises, breasts, hearts, brains, and other human parts, but it also has included “eating the god” (as it was called in Mexico) or food and drink in which the god was believed to be incarnated. Aztecs, according to Frazer, made dough images of Huitzlipochtli that were blessed by the priests long before Catholics arrived in Mexico. Westermarck’s Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas (1926) described cannibalism on four continents. Preservèd Smith’s work on theophagy emphasized the religious aspects of communion, the sacrament of figuratively eating the body and drinking the blood of God. Early Christians ate the dough image of a child at Easter, which may have given rise to the pagan charge of killing and eating children. The partaking of corn and wine at the Eleusinian mysteries may have influenced the Christian idea of a Eucharist. Rendel Harris in Eucharistic Origins (1927) suggests that the Christian rite was taken almost bodily from the cult of Isis and Osiris. Cannibalism from Sacrifice to Survival (1995) by Hans Askenasy, discussing “man’s last taboo,” states that most “appear to need a few taboos and for the time being cannibalism seems to serve that purpose admirably.” The Christian view about “transubstantiation,” or the Eucharist or communion, is that the worshiper is eating the body of Christ, symbolized by bread, and drinking His blood, symbolized by wine. Catholic doctrine holds that these substances turn miraculously into the substance of Christ. Freethinkers often hold that most Christians do not fully understand transubstantiation, often avoiding services at which communion is served. In The Man-Eating Myth: Anthropology and Anthropophagy (1979), William Arens differed from many of his fellow scientists. He claimed there has never been a human culture that has routinely eaten its dead or that killed and devoured its enemies. Exceptions were noted, but these involved incidents such as people starving after an accident or during famine. Different viewpoints are easily found. The Caribs ate not for appetite but to render an enemy’s spirit harmless, Caribbean journalist Larry Millman has written. First, they stuffed the body with herbs and spices, then trussed it on a pole, roasting it over a medium fire while women basted the body, lard being caught in calabash gourds. Reportedly, the French tasted the best, the Dutch were flavorless, the Spaniards tough and stringy. No related taste test was supplied for missionaries. (See entries for Communion, Preservèd Smith, and Theophagy. Suddenly Last Summer (1958) by Tennessee Williams brought up the subject.) {RE}

Cannizzaro, Stanislao (1826—1910) An Italian chemist, Cannizzaro joined the Garibaldians and was elected to the Sicilian parliament. He was awarded the Gran Cordone. Besides chemical works, Cannizzaro wrote L’Emancipazione della ragione (1865) and other rationalist volumes.

Cannizzaro, Tommaso (1837—1916) An Italian poet, Cannizzaro translated Omar Khayyam and the sonnets of Camoens. His Tramonti contains many rationalist poems, as in the ode on the death of Victor Hugo: “Inexorable enemies of truth,/Ye priests and kings and brothers of the dark.” {RAT}

Cannon, Ida Maud (1877-1960) Cannon, a Unitarian, was a social worker who became known as the founder of medical social work.

CANON For theists, a canon is an ecclesiastical law or code of laws which a church council has established. Included in a canon are, for example, the books of the Bible which are officially accepted as Holy scripture. In addition, the canon is that part of the Mass which ends just before the Lord’s Prayer. Also, a canon is a clergyman who belongs to the chapter or the staff of a cathedral or collegiate church. For non-theists in the humanities, the canon is that body of Western thought and art that is considered to be at the core of our education. But who is to determine which works are to be included? Harold Bloom in The Western Canon, The Books and School of the Ages (1994) concentrated upon twenty-six major authors and included dozens of others he considered central to the canon. Shakespeare is ordinarily considered pre-eminent, and Bloom included Molière, Ibsen, and Beckett. But by not including Racine, Lope de Vega, Strindberg, Chekhov, Shaw, Brecht, or Pirandello, he was criticized heavily. Similarly, he included Tolstoy and Proust, but no Dostoyevsky, Gogol, Turgenev, Flaubert, Balzac, or Stendhal. In the humanities, no agreement is to be found as to what works are definitely part of the canon.

Cantab, A. (19th Century) A freethinker, Cantab wrote Jesus Versus Christianity (1873). {GS}

Cantoni, Carlo (1840—1906) An Italian philosopher, Cantoni edited the Rivista Italiana di Filosofia and wrote philosophical works of a Kantian complexion. A Senator, Cantoni was Rector of Pavia University. {RAT}

Cantor, Nathaniel (20th Century) Cantor has been an active member of the American Humanist Association. {HNS}

Capaldi, Nicholas (1939— ) A professor of philosophy at Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), Capaldi is author of The Art of Deception (1987). {Free Inquiry, Fall, 1982}

Cape, Emily Palmer (Born 1865) Cape was an American writer, the first woman student at Columbia College. She studied sociology under Prof. Lester Ward and, like him, was an agnostic. With Ward, she compiled Glimpses of the Cosmos (12 volumes, 1913). Both Ward and she were agnostics and ardent humanitarians. {RAT}

Capek, Maja V. (1888-1966) A Czechoslovakian Unitarian minister, Capek helped create the Flower Communion and introduced it to Unitarians in America and Europe.

Capek, Norbert Fabian (1870—1942) The founder of Unitarianism in Czechoslovakian, Capek first became interested in liberal religion at the 1910 Berlin Congress of the International Association of Religious Freedom, which he had attended at President Jan Masaryk’s urging. The Liberal Fellowship, which led to the establishment of the Religious Society of Czechoslovakian Unitarians, was founded in 1923. In his The Absolute At Large (1944), he included a typically humanistic observation: “ ‘You know,’ Father Jost declared, ‘the loftier the things in which a man believes, the more fiercely he despises those who do not believe in them. And yet the greatest of all beliefs would be belief in one’s fellow men.’ ” A fellow Unitarian, Richard Henry, has written that it is difficult to be sure about details of Capek’s death:

Norbert and his daughter, Zora, were arrested on March 28, 1941. They were imprisoned first in Pankrac prison in Prague, then sent to different prisons: Norbert to Ceske Budjovice, Zora to Dresden. Capek arrived in Dachau concentration camp on July 5, 1942, and was sent on a transport from Dachau to Hartheim Castle, near Linz, Austria, on October 12th that same year, where he was gassed. Nazi authorities gave the family the date of his death as November 3, 1942. (Bureaucratic convenience rather than truth determined dates given out for such matters by Nazi authorities.) That information was relayed by Karel Haspl, his son-in-law and successor, to Frederick M. Eliot, then President of the AUA, who repeated the (mis-) information in an editorial in the Christian Register in November 1942. Official records in the archive at Dachau confirm the date of the transport and list Norbert as one of the prisoners so transported. {pdhenry@compuserve.com>; U; WAS, 21 April 1998}

CAPITAL DISTRICT HUMANIST SOCIETY The Capital District Humanist Society is an organization of humanists in Upstate New York, Western Massachusetts, and Southern Vermont. E-mail: <cdhs@global2000.net>.


Capitalism is an economic system which involves a free market. Philosophers and non-believers are free to be capitalists, socialists, communists, libertarians, or supporters of other economic systems. Of concern to freethinkers is that the combined wealth of the world’s richest 225 people at the end of the century was $1 trillion, whereas the combined annual income of the world’s poorest 2.5 billion people was also $1 trillion. However, Roman Catholics, according to their catechism, are advised that “any system that subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of groups to the collective organization of production is contrary to human dignity. Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than a means of profit enslaves man, leads to idolizing money, and contributes to the spread of atheism. ‘You cannot serve God and mammon.’ The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modern times with ‘communism’ or ‘socialism.’ She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of ‘capitalism,’ individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market. Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.” According to one wag:

• Capitalism = exploitation of man by man. • Socialism = the reverse.

Caplan, Arthur (20th Century) Caplan, who is Director of the Center fot Bioethics and Trustee Professor of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, is a leading bioethicist. He wrote When Medicine Went Mad (1992) as well as several hundred articles and reviews in professionaljournals. In “The Future of Engineering Humans” (Free Inquiry, Fall 1999), he explains that the major influences on his thinking have been Ernest Nagel, John Dewey, and Sydney Hook, adding, “I think of myself as a pragmatist, although I am not quite sure my pragmatism is the same as Dewey’s. I am also influenced by biological thinking about evolution and genetics so that I am somewhat Aristotelian in outlook. And my real hero was Socrates, who I think knew what he did not know and pushed others hard to be sure what they thought they knew was really true.”

Capone, Al(phonse) (or Alfonso Capone) (1899—1947) Capone, the American gangster who contributed generously to the Catholic Church, was indicted in 1931 by a Federal grand jury for evasion of income tax payments. His business card indicated he was a used furniture dealer. In 1939, physically and mentally shattered by syphilis, about which he was so puritanical he had not asked for physicians to help, he was released. His Mt. Carmel Cemetery grave in Chicago, Illinois, has the epitaph, “My Jesus Mercy.” (See entry for WASP. Digby Baltzell the sociologist considered Capone “one of the organizing geniuses of his generation.)

Capote, Truman (1924-1984) • Truman Capote has made lying an art. A minor art. —Gore Vidal • Good career move. —Gore Vidal upon hearing about Capote’s death

Born Truman Streckfus Persons, Capote achieved fame with his first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948). He also wrote The Grass Harp (1951), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958), and In Cold Blood (1966), the latter of which was described as a “nonfiction novel” inasmuch as it told of actual events but in novelistic form. He became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Cappon, Alexander (1900— ) Cappon wrote The Scope of Shelley’s Philosophical Thinking (1935). He also worked on the staff of The New Humanist and later joined its editor, Harold Buschman, on the faculty of the University of Kansas City. There, Cappon edited the University of Kansas City Review and was a professor of English. {EW}

Captain Sensible: See entry for Sensible, Captain.

CAPYBARAS Capybaras are large guinea-pig-like animals that live in Venezuela. According to zoologists, they are mammals. The Roman Catholic Church, however, classifies them, for culinary purposes, as fish. {The Economist, 7 November 1998}

Caracappa, Michael G. (20th Century) Caracappa is a rationalist who writes for The American Rationalist. Reviewing L. Sprague de Camp’s The Ape-Man Within (1995), Caracappa wrote,

It is false to say white Americans enslaved blacks. It needs to be correctly restated: Certain white Americans before 1865 enslaved certain blacks who lived before 1865.

[[Carazo, Rodrigo [President][[ (1926— ) Carazo addressed the Tenth International Humanist and Ethical Union World Congress held in Buffalo (1988). He is President of the University of Peace, A Catholic, and an ex-President of Costa Rica.

Cardano, Girolamo (1501—1576) Cardano, better known as Jerome Cardan, was an Italian mathematician and physician. He was excluded from the Milan College of Physicians because of his illegitimate birth, at which time he and his young wife were compelled to take refuge in the workhouse. Understandably, his first work was an exposure of the fallacies of that faculty. In 1563 he was arrested for heresy, was released, and was deprived of his professorship. Despite some superstition, Cardano is said to have done much to forward science, especially by his work on algebra. Scaliger accused him of atheism. Pünjer says, “Cardanus deserves to be named along with Telesius as one of the principal founders of natural philosophy.” On September 20th, 1576, he is said to have starved himself in order to verify his own prediction of his death at that time. {BDF}

Cardaronella, Loretta (20th Century) Cardaronella is active with the Secular Humanist Society of Las Vegas. (See entry for Nevada Humanists.) {FD}

Cardiff, Ira D. (20th Century) Cardiff is a humanist who wrote If Christ Came to New York (1940?) and What Great Men Think of Religion (1945). {FUS; GS; HNS}

Carducci, Giosuè (1835—1907) Winner of the 1906 Nobel Prize in Literature, Carducci ranks with the greatest of the modern Italian poets, including fellow unbeliever Leopardi. He was strongly anti-Catholic. Among his works are Inno a Satana [Hymn to Satan] (1865) and Rime e ritme (1898). In an 1857 poem he wrote, “Il secoletto vil che cristianeggia [This vile christianizing century].” In 1860 he became professor of Greek in Bologna University but was suspended for a time because of an address to Mazzini. In 1865 he wrote a fiery “Hymn to Satan” and, according to McCabe, never abandoned his atheism in the days of his fame. In Naturalismo Italiano, Carelle quotes Carducci as saying, “I know neither truce of God nor peace with the Vatican or any priests. They are the real and unaltering enemies of Italy.” In 1876, Carducci was elected as republican deputy to the Italian Parliament for Lugo di Romagna. {BDF; CE; JM; JMR; RAT}

Carey, Alexander Edward (1922—1987) Carey was an Australian humanist, farmer, and psychologist. A lecturer in social and applied psychology at the University of New South Wales, Carey wrote and lectured extensively. He was active in opposing Australian involvement in the Vietnam War and, for some years, was vice-chairman of the Humanist Society of New South Wales.

Carey, Alice (Born 1820) 

A Universalist, Carey was a storyteller and a poet. She was the first president of Sorosis, the early women’s intellectual and feminist organization.

Carey, Richard (1952—1996) Carey was an active member of the Humanist Association of Massachusetts.

Cargill, Oscar (1898—1971) A professor of English at New York University and author of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1950), Cargill wrote the present author in 1954 about his views on humanism:

I certainly would not apply the term “naturalistic humanism” to my own thinking. Whereas I think I would be satisfied with the phrase “scientific humanism,” if I understand what Julian Huxley means by that term. I am afraid that I am a “do-gooder” and an experimentalist in the sense that John Dewey and William James were experimentalists. I object to the phrase “naturalistic humanism” because naturalism means to me determinism. So far as I can see, one’s thinking is determined only by the heritage of one’s time and one may make choices among the ideologies represented by that intellectual heritage. I objected very much years ago when a critic termed by thinking positivistic criticism.

{WAS, 17 August 1954}

Carley, Adam L. (20th Century) Carley, who holds a number of patents and has been instrumental in the starting of several business, is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In Free Inquiry (Fall 1994) he wrote, “What is ‘Consciousness’?”, concluding that when scientists eventually determine the answer the genetic blueprint of consciousness will be so all-encompassing it “might fit on your PC’s hard disk.” But consciousness-explaining, he holds, will not be accepted as comfortably as evolution was. “A breakthrough not in science but in education would be required for that.” The article won the 1994 Selma Forkosch Award for the journal’s best article that year.

Carlile, Eliza Sharples (c. 1805—1861) The second (common-law) wife of Richard Carlile, Eliza Carlile was the first female freethought lecturer in England. When Charles Bradlaugh needed a place to stay, after being accused of atheism by his pastor, Eliza boarded him. She edited Isis, a London publication, in 1832. Carlile wrote The Glossary of the Bible, Chiefly Designed for Children (c. 1830). {BDF; EU, Joel H. Wiener; FUK; GS; VI}

Carlile, Jane (19th Century) The first wife of Richard Carlile, Jane Carlile carried on his business during his imprisonment. In 1821, she was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. Of her three children, Richard, Alfred, and Thomas Paine, the last edited the Regenerator, a Chartist paper published in Manchester in 1839. {BDF; FUK}

Carlile, Mary-Anne (19th Century) A freethinker, Carlile wrote The Defence of Mary-Anne Carlile to the Vice Society’s Indictment (1821). {GS}

Carlile, Richard (1790—1843) An English journalist, reformer, and freethinker born at Ashburton in Devonshire, Carlile spent an entire lifetime advocating freethought and republicanism. He also resisted the blasphemy laws. in order to secure freedom of the press spent over nine years and four months in jail, nearly one-third of his adult life. He had to pay fines amounting to many thousand pounds. Among his crimes were publishing the suppressed works of Thomas Paine, William Hone, and his own Political Litany (1817). He supported birth control, universal suffrage, and freedom to publish including material on phrenology and mesmerism. Although Robertson holds that “Carlile had always been a deist, and, now near his end [he lapsed] into a kind of theistic mysticism,” Berman holds that Carlile was never a deist, that he was first an agnostic, later an atheist. McCabe agrees, stating that from 1821 onward Carlile was an aggressive atheist. In a letter Carlile flatly asserts, “I am an atheist” and “there is no God,” signing the letter, “Your atheistical friend, Richard Carlile.” “The fable of a god or gods visiting the earth did not originate with Christianity,” he declared, further riling the religionists. Carlile is considered to be the first atheistic leader who exerted a wide influence by means of the periodical, mass meetings, and the courtroom. Berman states that Charles Southwell took over the championship of atheism from Carlile, “who had moved away from atheism in the 1830s to a confused form of mystical theism.” He was an editor of such publications as The Republican (1819—1826), The Moralist (1823), Lion (1828—1829), Prompter (1830—1831), and Scourge (1834—1835). Once, when his house was seized because he refused to pay church-rates, he put life-size figures of a devil and a bishop arm-in-arm in his shop window in the center of London. Eventually, he wore out his persecutors, who quit troubling him. The British Dictionary of National Biography wrote that he “did more than any other man for the freedom of the press.” Thirteen days before his death Carlile penned these words: “The enemy with whom I have to grapple is one with whom no peace can be made. Idolatry will not parley; superstition will not treat on covenant. They must be uprooted for public and individual safety.” He was attended in his last illness by Dr. Thomas Lawrence, the author of the once famous “Lectures on Man.” Wishing to be useful in death as in life, Carlile devoted his body to dissection. The family complied with his wish, and the post-mortem examination was recorded in the Lancet. The burial took place at Rensal Green Cemetery, where a clergyman insisted on reading the Church Service over his remains. According to Foote, Carlile’s eldest son Richard, who represented his sentiments as well as his name, “very properly protested against the proceedings as an outrage upon the principles of his father and the wishes of the family. Of course the remonstrance was disregarded, and Richard, his brothers, and their friends left the ground. . . . After their departure, the clergyman called the great hater of priests his “dear departed brother” and declared that the rank Materialist had died “in the sure and certain hope of a glorious resurrection.” {BDF; EU, Joel H. Wiener; FO; FUK; HAB; JM; JMR; RAT; RE; RSR; VI; TRI; TYD}

Carlin, George Denis (1937— ) A comedian who has appeared on numerous major television shows, Carlin has also been in many movies. In 1972 he received a Grammy award for best FM/AM comedy recording. The author of Sometimes A Little Brain Damage Can Help, he is often critical of the devoutly religious in his humor. “Religion is just mind control,” he has stated. In a 1995 appearance on Tom Snyder’s CBS talk program, Carlin defended his non-belief in a “man in the sky” who tells you “where you shouldn’t put your hands.” To The New York Times, he confirmed that although he attended Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, “They gave me the tools to reject my faith. They taught me to question and think for myself and to believe in my instincts to such an extent that I just said, ‘This is a wonderful fairy tale they have going here, but it’s not for me.’ ” In one of his acts, Carlin said

One of the things humans did wrong was to believe in this guy God, to believe that there’s really a man in the sky who cares about any of this, and who directs our feelings or thoughts or has a report card or a scorecard on our behavior. This is really a crippling belief. And what religions do is to use it to control people and scare them.

In Brain Droppings he further develops his freethinking:

I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered “God” are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.

During a 1999 HBO special, “You Are All Diseased,” Carlin in a live recording said,

In the Bullshit Department, a businessman can’t hold a candle to a clergyman. ’Cause I gotta tell you the truth, folks. When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told.

In a 1999 interview with James A. Haught, Carlin told of his positive views about feeling connected with the universe, said of the Vatican that it “is up to its ass in political troublemaking and deal-making,” called Opus Dei “another semisecret organization,” and compared the Bible to “The Three Little Pigs,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and “Humpty-Dumpty”: “There is no Humpty-Dumpty and there is no God. None. Not one. No God. Never was.” Carlin became the first recipient of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “The Emperor Has No Clothes Award.” (See entry for Emperor Has No Clothes Award.) {CA}

Carlin, George Denis (12 May 1937 - ) A comedian who has appeared on numerous major television shows, Carlin has also been in many movies. In 1972 he received a Grammy award for best FM/AM comedy recording. Many still remember his statement, “Yeah, there are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven of them that you can’t say on television.” He explained in a style he has made famous, that our rights are rights, not to be taken away:

Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, wow. Tits doesn't even belong on the list, you know. It's such a friendly sounding word. It sounds like a nickname. “Hey, Tits, come here. Tits, meet Toots, Toots, Tits, Tits, Toots.” It sounds like a snack doesn't it? Yes, I know, it is, right. But I don't mean the sexist snack, I mean, New Nabisco Tits. The new Cheese Tits, and Corn Tits and Pizza Tits, Sesame Tits Onion Tits, Tater Tits, Yeah. Betcha can't eat just one. That's true I usually switch off. But I mean that word does not belong on the list.

The author of Sometimes A Little Brain Damage Can Help, he is often critical in his humor of the devoutly religious. “Religion is just mind control,” he has stated. In a 1995 appearance on Tom Snyder’s CBS talk program, Carlin defended his non-belief in a “man in the sky” who tells you “where you shouldn’t put your hands.” To The New York Times, he confirmed that although he attended Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, “They gave me the tools to reject my faith. They taught me to question and think for myself and to believe in my instincts to such an extent that I just said, ‘This is a wonderful fairy tale they have going here, but it’s not for me.’ ” In one of his acts, Carlin included the following:

One of the things humans did wrong was to believe in this guy God, to believe that there’s really a man in the sky who cares about any of this, and who directs our feelings or thoughts or has a report card or a scorecard on our behavior. This is really a crippling belief. And what religions do is to use it to control people and scare them.

In Brain Droppings he further develops his freethinking:

I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered “God” are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.

During a 1999 HBO special, “You Are All Diseased,” Carlin said,

In the Bullshit Department, a businessman can’t hold a candle to a clergyman. ’Cause I gotta tell you the truth, folks. When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told.

Carlin, in a 1999 interview with James A. Haught, told of his positive views about feeling connected with the universe, said of the Vatican that it “is up to its ass in political troublemaking and deal-making,” called Opus Dei “another semisecret organization,” and compared the Bible to “The Three Little Pigs,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and “Humpty-Dumpty”: “There is no Humpty-Dumpty and there is no God. None. Not one. No God. Never was.” In a 2001 interview with Stephen Sherrill, he was asked about the statement in his book that people are too willing to die quietly, then was asked how he would like to go. “I’d like to explode spontaneously in someone’s living room. That, to me, is the way to go out.” Anybody’s in particular, Sherrill asked. “Just a friend,” Carlin replied, “so they can be there to describe it to the press.” Because so many bogus quotations have been attributed to him, Carlin has had to deny thousands that are found using computer search engines. His own Web site lists the denials but also recommends that he not be quoted unless the quotations be documentable at <http:www.georgecarlin.com/georgecarlinhome/dontblame.html>. Carlin became the first recipient of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “The Emperor Has No Clothes Award.” {CA; Stephen Sherrill, The New York Times Magazine, 3 June 2001}

Carlson, Anton J. (1875—1956) Carlson was a scientist who signed Humanist Manifesto I. In 1953, he was named Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association. A professor of physiology at the University of Chicago, Carlson was known on the campus as “Ajax,” the nickname given him because of his resemblance to the Greek hero who fought his battles without calling on the gods for aid. He denied the existence of a life after death, leaving the Lutheran ministry, and at the age of twenty-nine received fame by establishing that the heartbeat begins with the nerve and then reaches and sets off the heart muscle. He commenced his University of Chicago classes at 7 a.m., and once flunked half of the senior class for failure to pass a surprise examination. One of the world’s leading authorities on the physiology of hunger and on the properties of various foods, he proved the nutritive properties of oleomargarine at a time when oleo was illegally sold unless its coloring was separate from the oleo. This was required in order to distinguish it from creamery products. He also insisted that alcoholics be treated as sick persons rather than delinquents and treated them accordingly. He fought for vivisection, saying, “If man isn’t worth more than a dog, then our efforts to improve man are in error.” Carlson was the 94th president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he was an adviser to Herbert Hoover’s U.S. Food Administration program after World War I. Medical history credits him with refuting the theory of Dr. Ivan Pavlov concerning the ebb and flow of gastric juices. Most of Carlson’s research in this connection was done on himself, and he was able to prove to the satisfaction of many noted scientists that gastric juices do not flow according to the stimuli supposed by Pavlov to be responsible. His major books were The Machinery of the Body and The Control of Hunger and Disease. In Science and the Supernatural (1945), Carlson wrote, “Science nurtures inquiry, the supernatural stifles it. . . . The supernatural has no support in science, is incompatible with science, [and] is frequently an active foe of science. It is unnecessary for the good life.” {FUS; HM1; HNS; HNS2}

Carlson, Eric W. (20th Century) When he reviewed books for The Humanist in the 1950s, Carlson was an English teacher at the University of Connecticut. He is author of Emerson’s Literary Criticism (1995).

Carlson, John (20th Century) Carlson is a production editor of the atheistic Truth Seeker.

Carlson, Sarah (20th Century) Carlson, while a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was one of the founding members of Campus Freethought Alliance and of MIT’s Atheists, Agnostics, and Humanists. {International Humanist News, December 1996}

Carlson, Shawn (20th Century) Carlson, who heads the Society for Amateur Scientists, is on the Council for Secular Humanism’s Faith-Healing Investigation Project.

Carlton, Henry (1785—1863) Carlton was an American jurist, a judge of the Supreme Court in Louisiana. His Liberty and Necessity (1857) showed him to be a deist as well as determinist. Ueberweg called him the “Anthony Collins of America.” {RAT}

Carlyle, John Aitken (1801—1879) The brother of Thomas Carlyle, John Carlyle was a writer who translated Dante’s Inferno. {RAT}

Carlyle, Thomas (1795—1881) Carlyle, who intended originally to enter the ministry, left the University of Edinburgh because he developed strong religious doubts. In his reading of German literature, he became influenced by Goethe as well as the transcendental philosophers. Sartor Resartus (1833—1834) details a spiritual autobiography in which he saw the material world as mere clothing for the spiritual one. The God of his beliefs was an immanent and friendly ruler of an orderly universe. In his portraits of the great leaders of the French Revolution, he extended his view of the divinity of man. What he liked about Voltaire, he once wrote, is that he “gave the death-stab to superstition.” At the age of fifteen, he had horrified his mother with the question, “Did God Almighty come down and make wheelbarrows in a shop?” A friend of Emerson, Carlyle conveyed to susceptible readers a non-Christian view of existence, according to Robertson. He also knew Henry James Sr., who summed up Carlyle as “the same old sausage, fizzing and sputtering in his own grease.” “It is not possible that educated, honest men can even profess much longer to belief in historical Christianity,” he declared. His heresy clearly appears in Life of John Sterling. Although in Sartor Resartus he appears to follow the lines of Goethe’s pantheism, Carlyle confided to the poet Allingham, who wrote in his diary that Carlyle told him, “I have for many years strictly avoided going to church or having anything to do with Mumbo Jumbo [a reference to the Christian God]. . . . We know nothing. All is, and must be, utterly incomprehensible.” Once asked if he was a pantheist, Carlyle retorted, “No, never was; nor a pot-theist, either.” In a biography, J. A. Froude wrote, “We have seen him confessing to Irving that he did not believe as his friend did in the Christian religion,” that “the special miraculous occurrences of sacred history were not credible to him.” Froude shocked many by doing what Carlyle had asked him to do, write a truthful biography. As a result he included details of Carlyle’s impotence and the unhappiness of the Carlyles’ marriage, items that led to accusations that he had been a traitor to his friend. According to biographers David A. Wilson and David W. MacArthur, in the last week of his 85th year, after several weeks of pain during which he could barely speak, Carlyle awoke from a sound sleep and to his niece said, “So this is Death–well. . . . ” {BDF; CE; FUK; JM; JMR; JMRH; RAT; RE; RSR; TRI}

Carlysle, Brian (20th Century) Carlysle is on the staff of the atheistic Truth Seeker.

Carmack, John (20th Century) Carmack is the lead programmer for and software owner of such computer games as “Wolfenstein 3rd,” “Doom,” and “Quake.” He has written that he has no belief in luck, fate, karma, or god(s), that the only casino game that interests him is Blackjack. {CA}

Carnap, Rudolf (1891—1970) Carnap was a German-American philosopher, a logical positivist, and author of The Logical System of Language (1937). Asked about humanism, he replied to the present author,

I should say that among the positions outlined I would choose naturalistic or scientific humanism as nearest to my position. (I would not like the label “religious humanism.” Indeed, “atheistic humanism” would fit better, but this should, of course, not be interpreted in the sense of existentialism.) I find myself in agreement with the basic attitudes as explained in Corliss Lamont’s book, disregarding minor differences in questions of epistemology and the like.

(See Norman M. Martin’s entry for Carnap 

in the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Vol. 2.) {CE; HNS; WAS, 13 August 1954}

Carneades (c. 213 —129 B.C.E.) A teacher in Plato’s Academy, Carneades worked out a theoretical formulation with Arcesilaus that showed nothing can be known by our senses or our reason. He therefore was one of the first of the academic skeptics. H. J. Blackham, in New Humanist (January 1990), explains that Carneades “redeemed epistemology by shifting the question from the objectivity of sense perception to using the subjectivity of perception, brought under control in different levels of permanent suspension of judgment, but in well-founded judgments of probability.” Bertrand Russell in his History of Philosophy (1945) relates how Carneades taught young Romans anxious to ape Greek manners and acquire Greek culture by expounding the views of Aristotle and Plato on justice. The next lecture, however, refuted all that he had said in his first, “not with a view to establishing opposite conclusions, but merely to show that every conclusion is unwarranted.” Charles Hartshorne described Carneades’s skepticism by saying he thought logic must take account of free will and the probable indeterminateness of the future. Thus “x will occur” may be neither true nor false, since there may at present exist no cause to make it so. Really, “x will occur” and “x will not occur” are both false if the truth is that x may-or-may-not occur. Hartshorne, noting that none of the writings of Carneades survive, cites Levi ben Gerson as insisting that where there is no determinate reality, all determinate assertions are false. {BDF; CE; ER; EU, Richard H. Popkin; JMRH}

Carnegie, Andrew (1835—1919) 

Carnegie, a famed philanthropist, was an agnostic, according to Moncure Conway. From youth he was a skeptic, as illustrated by his mother’s telling him one sabbath, “You would have enjoyed the sermon today, Andrew. There wasn’t a word of religion in it.” Carnegie once said he was “a disciple of Confucius and Benjamin Franklin.” He is credited with having given away $332,000,000. during his lifetime, a sum which included 2,811 free public libraries in the United States, England, and Scotland as well as 7,689 church organs in several countries, once saying this was “in the hope that the organ music will distract the congregation’s attention from the rest of the service.” When asked for funds that missionaries to China could use, Carnegie refused, saying that “we do a grievous wrong to the Chinese by trying to force our religion upon them against their wishes.” As for any afterlife, he said, “I will give a million dollars for any convincing proof of a future life.” As for prayer, he declared, “I have not bothered Providence with my petitions for about forty years.” As for God, “I don’t believe in God. My God is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life.” Although he never joined a church, he attended the Universalist church in New York City of which his wife was a member. Her minister, in fact, had married the two. {CE; EG; JM; RAT; RE; TYD}

Carneri, Bartholomâus von (1821—1909) Carneri was a German writer who sat in the Austrian Parliament with the Liberals. He wrote Morality and Darwinism (1871) and Der Mensch als Selbstweck (Humanity as its Own Proper Object) (1877). He was one of the founders of the Monistic Association. {BDF; RAT}

Carnes, Paul (20th Century) Carnes was a President of the American Unitarian Universalist Association from 1977 to 1979. {U}

Carney, Kevin G. (20th Century) Carney is an atheist who wrote “Spirituality Without God.” {RFD, Summer-Fall 1996}

Carolla, Adam (20th Century) Carolla, co-host of a nightly syndicated radio and MTV talk show, “Love Line,” regularly tells listeners that he is an atheist. “Nah, there’s no bigger atheist than me,” he has said. “Well, I take that back. I’m a cancer screening away from going agnostic and a biopsy away from full-fledged Christian.” {CA}

Carnot, Lazare Hippolyte (1801—1888) Carnot, a French statesman, edited a Saint-Simonian journal and was in the Parliament. At the Revolution of 1848 he became Minister of Public Instruction, and in 1876 he was a member of the Senate. Carnot was a Republican and was resolutely anti-clerical. {RAT}

[[Carnot, Lazare Nicolus Marguerite [Count]] (1753—1823) A French military engineer and statesman, Carnot served the Republic and then Napoleon, who raised him to the highest honors. Originally Catholic, Count Carnot became an atheist. Of his grandsons Lazare Hippolyte (1801—1888) was a distinguished and anti-clerical statesman. Marie Carnot was equally anti-clerical in politics and became President of the Republic. Lazare’s son, Sadi Nicholas Leonard Carnot (1796—1832) turned to science and was a leading figure in French physics. {JM; RAT; RE}

[[Carnot, Marie François Sadi [President]] (1837—1894) Carnot, the fourth President of the French Republic and eldest son of Lazare H. Carnot, originally sat on the Left in the Chambre. In 1887 he was, by 616 out of 827 votes, elected President of the Republic. At the height of his popularity, the freethinking Carnot was assassinated by an Italian anarchist. {RAT}

Carnot, Sadi Nicolas Léonard (1796—1832) Carnot was a French physicist, the son of L. N. M. Carnot. A freethinker, he wrote Réflexions sur la puissance motrice du feu (1824), containing what is known as “Carnot’s Principle” and which laid the foundations of the science of thermodynamics. {RAT}

Caro, Elme (1826—1887) A French philosopher, Caro rejected the belief in a personal God or personal immortality in his Idée de Dieu (1864). He was elected to the French Academy in 1875. Caro once wrote, “Science has conducted God to its frontiers, thanking him for his provisional services.” {RAT}

[[Caroline of Ansbach [Queen Consort]] (1683—1737) Caroline, the queen consort of George II of England, was a German noble who married George when he was the Prince of Hanover. The mother of three sons and five daughters, she studied philosophy and after reading Leibnitz discarded Christianity. After George’s accession in 1727, Caroline gave active support to Sir Robert Walpole, and her influence over the king lasted until her death. Her house near London was frequented by many English Deists of the time. When she had to administer the Kingdom in her husband’s absence, she refused to take the oath. She also refused the ministrations of the Church of England although she was pressed to do so by the Archbishop of Canterbury on her deathbed. Lord Hervey in his Memoirs described her as “a Deist believing in a future life.” McCabe declares it “is ludicrous of British writers to pretend that she was not a freethinker.” Lord Hervey spoke of “the irreligion of the Queen in desiring to have no clerical prayers by her death-bed,” causing much court tattle; whereupon Walpole revealed his sympathy with the Queen’s views by advising the Princess Emily in the presence of a dozen people, to “let the farce be played: the Archbishop will act it very well. . . . It will do the Queen no hurt, no more than any good; and it will satisfy all the wise and good fools, who will call us atheists if we don’t pretend to be as great fools as they are.” {JM; JMRH; RAT; RE; WWS}

Caron, Sandra M. (20th Century) Caron was the third moderator of the Unitarian Universalist Association, presiding from 1977 to 1985.

Carpenter, Edward (1844—1929) Carpenter, ordained as a minister in 1869, became a Fabian socialist, renouncing religion when he was thirty and quitting the Church. A friend of Walt Whitman, Carpenter wrote a long unrhymed poem about social reform entitled Towards Democracy (1863—1902). He also wrote Homogenic Love and Its Place in a Free Society (1894), Love’s Coming of Age (1897), and Intermediate Types Among Primitive Folk (1914). These books proposed equality between the sexes, were gay-positive, and showed that in primitive societies homosexual behavior was often considered normal and sometimes even exalted. His religious nonbelief is evident in Myth, Magic, and Morals, A Study of Christian Origins (1910). Carpenter’s rationalism is shown in My Days and Dreams (1916). However, the English Freethinker states he was no secularist, that “his writings mingled elements of rural Utopianism with mysticism. But neither was he a conventional superstitionist. . . . Carpenter could be said to have been a courageous pioneer of both modern feminism and of Gay liberation, and his writings still may be read with profit and pleasure.” Carpenter’s love of George Merrill inspired E. M. Forster’s representation of the love of Maurice Hall and Scudder, the gamekeeper, in Maurice. {GL; RAT; RE; RSR; TRI}

Carpenter, Maria Weston (1806-1885) Carpenter, a Unitarian, was a teacher, an abolitionist, and a juvenile justice reformer.

Carpenter, William Benjamin (1813—1885) A naturalist, Carpenter held the medal of the Royal Society and the Lyell medal of the Geological Society. He was a corresponding member of the Institute of France. He was theistic (in a liberal sense) but was not a Unitarian. {RAT}

Carr, Herbert (Born 1857) Carr was a philosophical writer and the President of the Aristotelian Society. A leading champion of Bergson, he was in agreement with his heterodox views concerning theism. {RAT}

Carr, Steve (20th Century) Carr is a regional director in Missouri of the Council for Secular Humanism.

Carra, Jean Louis (1743—1793) Carra, a French man of letters and Republican, wrote History of Moldavia and an Essay on Aerial Navigation. He espoused the revolution and was a member of the Jacobin club. His freethought sentiments are evident from his System of Reason (1773), his Spirit of Morality and Philosophy (1777), and New Principles of Physic (1782—1783). In the National Assembly, he voted for the death of Louis XVI but was guillotined with the Girondins. {BDF; RAT}

Carrel, Jean Baptiste Nicolas Armand (1800—1836) Carrel was called by Saint Beueve “the Junius of the French press.” Secretary to Thierry, he edited the works of P. I. Courier and established The Nation in conjunction with Thiers and Mignet. Carrel was known as the leading journalist of his time, and John Stuart Mill praised his work. Several of his journalistic articles led to duels and, in an encounter with Émile de Girardin, Carrel was fatally wounded. On his deathbed, he said, “Point de prêtes, point d’église. (No priests nor church).” {BDF; RAT}

Carrera, Asia (20th Century) An actress in adult films, Carrera told Luke Ford, in a profile entitled “Bud & Hyapatia & Asia: Porn in the Family,” that

I’ve always been an atheist. Science explains everything. There is no meaning in life except to be the best at something. If only I could be the best at something, perhaps my parents would love me. . . . Religion is silly. When you’re dead, you turn into a source for future flowers and plans. . . . I don’t know what’s on the other side of death and it scares me. Darkness and nothingness scare me. I’d rather face the miseries of my day-to-day life than turn into darkness. {CA}

Carrier, Richard C. (20th Century) Carrier, when a student at Columbia University in 1998, signed the Campus Freethought Alliance’s Bill of Rights for Unbelievers.

Carrière, Moritz (1817—1895) Carrière was a German philosopher who followed Hegel in his earlier writings, then professed a pantheism (which he called theism) similar to the ideas of Fichte. Finite minds are, he held, acts of a pantheistic divine will. {RAT}

Carrington, Athol Egbert (1895—1980) Carrington, a New Zealander, was a rationalist, editor, and activist who stated that when he read Joseph McCabe’s The Existence of God “the cobwebs of religion were swept from my mind.” He visited Auckland in 1923 and heard Joseph McCabe, after which he became the first editor of the Auckland Rationalist Association’s Truth Seeker. Carrington wrote under the pseudonym of A.E.C. and is considered to be in the forefront of New Zealand’s rationalist leaders. {FUK; SWW}

Carrington, Dora (1893—1932) Lytton Strachey spent the last sixteen years of his life in a ménage à trois with Carrington, a painter, and her husband, George Partridge. A 1995 movie, “Carrington,” was directed by Christopher Hampton and detailed her escapades with others, mainly non-theists, of the Bloomsbury group. Carrington was barely educated, but her misspelled letters reveal a sensitivity and wit which held a profound appeal to the homosexual Strachey. He, in turn, supplied her with a refreshing interest in intellectual rather than in animalistic sexual matters. Neither was attracted to organized religion. Carrington, a graduate of the Slade School of Art, was a person lacking in confidence, yet many men fell in love with her because of her aura of milkmaid innocence. After overcoming her long period of virginity, she had many affairs but kept Strachey as her major love. After his death, she committed suicide when but thirty-eight.

Carroll, Damian (20th Century) Carroll has never actively “converted” anyone to humanism, he wrote in Humanist Monthly (December 1998). “But I know lots of people whose religious views were affected because they saw I was able to be a happy, moral person without God’s guidance,” he added, according to the Scotia, New York, publication.

Carroll, Devin (20th Century) Carroll is active with the Humanists of the San Joaquin Valley (AHA). He has helped develop non-theistic publications and activities for young people. (See entry for California Atheists, Humanists.) {FD; HNS2}

Carroll, William Joseph (1882—1975) Carroll was an Australian rationalist, writer, and freethinker who used the nom de plume of “Ame Perdue.” He wrote several satiric novels and poems, including The New Rubaiyat and Man’s Inhumanity to Man. {SWW}

Carruth, Hayden (1921— ) Carruth is a poet who was editor of Poetry (1949—1950). He was recipient of the Vachel Lindsay prize (1954), the annual Brandeis University poetry award (1959), the Harriet Monroe prize of the University of Chicago (1960), the Carl Sandburg prize (1963), and numerous others, including a grant of $10,000 in 1967 from the National Foundation on Arts and Humanities. Among Carruth’s many works are The Crow and the Heart (1959); After the Stranger (1965); The Bloomingdale Papers (1975); and Paragraphs (1975). Asked in 1994 about humanism, Carruth responded to the present author,

You may enroll me among the “non-theists,” if you wish. My writing contains many explanations of my position though I have never written expressly on this topic. Perhaps the best explanation is in my essay, “The Nature of Art,” Ohio Review (#49). The essay will be included in my forthcoming Selected Essays and Reviews.

{WAS, 7 December 1994}

Carson, Joseph (Died 1995) Carson was charter member of the Humanists of Iowa and served as its treasurer at one time.

Carson, Rachel (1907—1964) 

A marine biologist, Carson wrote Silent Spring (1962) to show the dangers involved in the use of insecticides. A humanist, she also wrote Under the Sea Wind (1941), The Sea Around Us (1951), and The Edge of the Sea (1954). Her Silent Spring probably did more than any other single book or event to set off the new environmental movement which commenced in the United States in the 1960s. She called the chemicals used for insect and week control “elixirs of death,” adding, “For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.” In graphic terms, she explained that “As few as 11 large earthworms can transfer a lethal dose of DDT to a robin. And 11 worms form a small part of day’s rations to a bird that eats 10 to 12 earthworms in as many minutes.” Her work was greeted with ridicule and denunciation by the chemical industry and parts of the food industry, and Newsweek accused her of raising “paranoid fears” akin to those of “such cultists as anti-fluoridation leaguers, organic-garden faddists, and other beyond-the-fringe groups.” Complained a federal pest control member, “I thought she was a spinster. What’s she so worried about genetics for?” Actually, Carson, who was fifty-five when the book was published, had been diagnosed as having the cancer that would later kill her. Although called a spinster, a term she abhorred, she was not an unloving spinster. In Martha Freeman’s Always, Rachel: The Letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman, 1952—1964, one of Carson’s letters to Freeman included the following:

You must have sensed that I couldn’t express myself adequately last night. What I wanted to do was hold you in my arms to be able to tell you just what your happiness means to me. Can you possibly know? Your voice came over so clearly that you seemed to be quite near–so near, dear, it made me ache to be with you.

Growing up on a farm in western Pennsylvania, she became an amateur naturalist and was fascinated by Darwinism, according to Paul Brooks’s The House of Life (1972). Brooks tells the story that when her mother, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister, told her that God had created the world, she retorted, “Yes . . . and General Motors created the Oldsmobile, but how is the question.” Carson often anthropomorphized nature, attributing human feelings to fish and animals. “I have spoken of a fish ‘fearing’ his enemies,” she explained, “not because I suppose a fish experiences fear in the same way that we do, but because I think he behaves as though he were frightened.” Carson’s sense of rectitude was remarkable, notes Daniel J. Kevles, who heads the Program in Science, Ethics, and Public Policy at the California Institute of Technology: “Because she was earning so much money from The Sea Around Us, she returned a fellowship to the Guggenheim Foundation. Her sensitivity to nature was informed by a Thoreau-like transcendentalism: letters from readers, she said, “suggest that they have found refreshment and release from tension in the contemplation of millions and billions of years–in the long vistas of geologic time in which men had no part–in the realization that, despite our own utter dependence on the earth, this same earth and sea have no need of us.” Toward the end of her life, Carson battled failing eyesight, angina, and the pain of cancer. Having been encouraged by Freeman to play the piano, Carson wrote in her last letter to Freeman,

Not long ago I sat late in my study and played Beethoven and achieved a feeling of real peace and even happiness. Never forget, dear one, how deeply I have loved you all these years.

(Donald Fleming in Perspectives in American History (1972, No. VI) 

discusses transcendentalism in Carson’s writings.)

Carson, Rhode B. (20th Century) 

A freethinker, Carson wrote Physician of No Value: The Repressed Story of Ecclesiastic Flummery (1979). {GS}

Carter, Abram B. (20th Century) Carter heads The Savant of Virginia, a publication for members who were in the now formally dissolved Society of Evangelical Agnostics and for a wide range of independent thinkers. (See entry for Virginia Freethinkers, Humanists.) {FD}

Carter, Diana (20th Century) While a student at the University of Guelph, Carter was one of the founding members of Campus Freethought Alliance. {International Humanist News, December 1996}

Carter, Lee (20th Century) A professor of communications in Los Angeles, Carter wrote Lucifer’s Handbook (1977). {FUS}

Carter, Nicholas (20th Century) Carter is author of The Christ Myth (1993).

CARTESIAN • Cartesian, adj. Relating to Descartes, a famous philosopher, author of the celebrated dictum, Cogito ergo sum—whereby he was pleased to suppose he demonstrated the reality of human existence. The dictum might be improved, however, thus: Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum—I think that I think, therefore I think that I am; as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made. —Ambrose Bierce The Devil’s Dictionary

Cartier-Bresson, Henri (1908— ) A French photojournalist, Cartier-Bresson became renowned for his countless memorable images of 20th century individuals and events. In 1944, after escaping from a German prison camp, he organized underground photography units. Cartier-Bresson was a founder of the Magnum photo agency, and he wrote The Decisive Moment (1952), People of Moscow (1955), China in Transition (1956), The World of Henri Cartier-Bresson (1968), The Face of Asia (1972), and About Russia (1974). In an interview with Michel Nuridsany (The New York Review of Books, 2 March 1995), Cartier-Bresson spoke of having gone to a Cole Fénelon, a Catholic school that prepared one for the Lycée Condorcet. One day, he related,

. . . the proctor there caught me reading a volume of Rimbaud or Mallarmé, right at the start of the school year, in the lower sixth. He said to me: “Let’s have no disorder in your studies!” He used the informal tu–which usually meant you were about to get a good thrashing. But he went on: “You’re going to read in my office.” Well, that wasn’t an offer he had to repeat: I did read there, for a year. It’s why I never managed to graduate. But I read everything you could possibly read: Proust, the Russian novelists, An Outline of Psychoanalysis, Nietzsche, or course. And a book on Schopenhauer that led me to Romain Rolland and to Hinduism. That had a huge effect on me. I had never been a Christian believer. My mother once said: “Poor dear, if only you had a good Dominican confessor, you wouldn’t be in such a fix!” But at the same time, she gave me Jean Barois [a novel by Roger Martin du Gard] to read, and the pre-Socratics. She was a left-wing Catholic. Myself, I’m a libertarian.


Cartier-Bresson, Henri (22 Aug 1908 - ) A French photojournalist, Cartier-Bresson became renowned for his countless memorable images of 20th century individuals and events. In 1944, after escaping from a German prison camp, he organized underground photography units. Cartier-Bresson was a founder of the Magnum photo agency, and he wrote The Decisive Moment (1952), People of Moscow (1955), China in Transition (1956), The World of Henri Cartier-Bresson (1968), The Face of Asia (1972), and About Russia (1974). In an interview with Michel Nuridsany (The New York Review of Books, 2 March 1995), Cartier-Bresson spoke of having gone to Ecole Fénelon, a Catholic school that prepared one for the Lycée Condorcet. One day, he related,

. . . the proctor there caught me reading a volume of Rimbaud or Mallarmé, right at the start of the school year, in the lower sixth. He said to me: “Let’s have no disorder in your studies!” He used the informal tu–which usually meant you were about to get a good thrashing. But he went on: “You’re going to read in my office.” Well, that wasn’t an offer he had to repeat: I did read there, for a year. It’s why I never managed to graduate. But I read everything you could possibly read: Proust, the Russian novelists, An Outline of Psychoanalysis, Nietzsche, or course. And a book on Schopenhauer that led me to Romain Rolland and to Hinduism. That had a huge effect on me. I had never been a Christian believer. My mother once said: “Poor dear, if only you had a good Dominican confessor, you wouldn’t be in such a fix!” But at the same time, she gave me Jean Barois [a novel by Roger Martin du Gard] to read, and the pre-Socratics. She was a left-wing Catholic. Myself, I’m a libertarian.


Carus, Julius Viktor (1823—1903) Carus was a German zoologist and freethinker. He was keeper of the anatomical museum at Oxford, and he translated Darwin’s works and the philosophy of G. H. Lewes. {BDF; RAT} Carus, Karl Gustav (1789—1869) A German physiologist and pantheist, Carus taught comparative anatomy and wrote Psyche, a history of the development of what he called the human soul. Carus was a friend of Goethe, and he subscribed to the monistic or pantheistic philosophy. {BDF; RAT}

Carus, Paul (1852—1919) A German-American who settled in Chicago, Carus was a philosopher. With funds supplied by his father-in-law, Carus attempted to propagate monism (on more philosophic lines than Haeckel’s system) in America. He founded The Monist and The Open Court. In 1943, an edition was published of his God: An Enquiry into the Nature of Man’s Highest Ideal, and a Solution. {GS; RE}

Caruso, Maire (20th Century) Caruso is on the board of directors of Society Against Religion.

Carvalho e Melo, Sebastião José de: See entry for Pombal.

Carver, Charles (20th Century) Carver wrote Brann and the Iconoclast (1957), a short biography of the freethinker. {Freethought History #15, 1995}

Carver, Raymond (1938—1988) An American short story writer, Carver was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1988. Nick Sweet (New Humanist, June 1996) has discussed how Carver’s stories develop the humanist theme of moving to maturity and independence. Carver was both a novelist and a poet. His works include Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (1977), What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (1982), Cathedral (1984), and Elephant (1988).

Cary, Alice (1820—1871) Cary, an Ohio poet, was prominent in Horace Greeley’s circle. An abolitionist, she wrote hymns and poems, inspiring Whittier’s “The Singer.” Her sister, also a Unitarian, was Phoebe Cary. {U}

Cary, Joyce (1888—1957) Cary, a British novelist who studied art in Edinburgh and Paris, took part in the Balkan War (1912—1913) and served with the Nigerian regiment in the Cameroons campaign, 1915—1916. His early novels about Africa described the relations between Africans and their British administrators. The Horse’s Mouth (1944) was chiefly concerned with the life of Gulley Jimson, the artist. Art and Reality (1958) was a study in aesthetics. The Captive and the Free (1959) was an unfinished novel which had a religious theme. Asked about humanism, Cary responded to the present author:

I don’t know what kind of a humanist I am. My position is roughly and very shortly: (1) The world is finally one unity: “nature” includes “human nature”; (2) In the unity we find altruistic as well as aesthetic values, good will, and also evil will; (3) Values obtain only in a personal free will. Therefore, you have to fit a person, and values, into your unity; (4) This means that the unity is ultimately personal and free but it contains a complex mass of evil; (5) Daily experience makes us know the battle between good and evil in which the good is often beaten; the dilemma is always charged with tragedy, in justice, every kind of cruelty; (6) Some of the evil is pure evil–wicked evil; some derives from chance–the unity is shot through with luck. It is always bedevilled by deterministic causation. The two often work together; i.e., a child is born to tubercular parents (luck) and inherits a physique (determinism) which is open to tuberculosis, and so he dies young; (7) Any answer proposed to this complex situation must account for (a) the freedom of the moral and immoral will; (8) the determination of the “material” world [an illegible word here is possibly “governed”] at the least by statistical laws which, I should say, are good evidence of a fixed consistency in spite of Planck’s views as I understand them. The only answer I can propose which is, of course, purely conceptual is that since the world is “so” and not “otherwise,” it must have a permanent character. That is, a real and actual free will requires a consistent form in actuality. Such a dual existence is known to [illegible words] in our bodies. It is therefore not beyond imagination. It is, no doubt, something a good deal larger than our imagination and probably of a quite different order. Yet we know what we know.

{WAS, 28 February 1951}

Cary, Neal (20th Century) Cary is the national outreach director of American Atheists as Volunteers. E-mail: <ncaryatheists.org>.

Cary, Phoebe (1824—1871) Phoebe and Alice Cary were poets whose work was moralistic and idealistic. Both were Unitarians.

Casale, Jerry (20th Century) A recording artist, Casale was a founding member of Devo and a co-writer of “Whip It.” Asked by Billboard about the role of “devolution” in Devo’s style, Casale answered, “Like the Bible, devolution is basically an extended joke. One man’s doughnut is another man’s death.” {CA}

Casanova, Giovanni Jacques de Seingalt (1725—1798) An Italian writer, Casanova entered the Church and received the minor orders. Abandoning the Church, he began a life of adventure, as shown in his Memoirs (12 volumes, 1828—1838). At various times he was secretary to a cardinal, an officer in the Venetian army, a violinist, a librarian, and a secret police-agent. Casanova translated the Iliad into Italian. {RAT}

Casas, Yoloxóchilt (20th Century) Casas, a Mexican, spoke on health, sexuality, and medical information at the 1996 Humanist World [[Congress held in Mexico City.

Cash, W. J. (20th Century) Cash’s The Mind of the South (1941) is an overview which draws together history, sociology, and literature. {Freethought History #14, 1995}

[[Casimir-Périer, Jean Paul Pierre [President]] (1847—1907) Casimir-Périer served two terms (1890 and 1893) as President of the French Chambre, and in the heat of the conflict with the Church was elected President of the Republic (1894). He gave valuable evidence for the accused at the trial of Dreyfus, and throughout his political life cooperated in the secularization of France and the destruction of the power of the Church. {RAT; RE}

Casler, Lawrence (20th Century) Casler is a professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology, at the State University of New York in Geneseo. An atheist, he has written Is Marriage Necessary? and has written for American Atheist.

Caspari, Otto (Born 1841) A German philosopher, Caspari in his works attempted to reconcile philosophy with modern evolutionary science and, a monist himself, gave much valuable support to Haeckel. {RAT}

Cassara, Ernest (1925— ) Cassara is author of Hosea Ballou: The Challenge to Orthodoxy, a study of the nineteenth-century Universalist, and of Universalism in America (1971).

Cassels, W(alter) R(ichard) (1826—1907) Cassels spent much of his early life in India, serving in the Legislative Council of Bombay from 1863 to 1865. Only after his Supernatural Religion: An Inquiry into the Reality of Divine Revelation went into a sixth printing did it occur to others that the popular work which was published anonymously was his. A nephew of Dr. Pusey, Cassels wrote under his own name Eidolon and Other Poems (1850) and A Reply to Dr. Lightfoot’s Essays (1889). In a scholarly criticism of the Bible he confessed a belief in an impersonal God, but he later rejected this and professed agnosticism. {BDF; FUK; RAT; RE}

Casserly, J. V. Langmead (20th Century) Casserly, a freethinker, wrote The Retreat from Christianity in the Modern World (1952). {GS}

Cassirer, Ernst (1874—1975) Cassirer, a German neo-Kantian, is cited by some naturalistic humanists as having influenced them. However, he basically was an idealist, not a naturalist or a materialist. (See James Gutmann’s letter, below.). {CE}

Casson, Herbert (20th Century) Casson, a freethinker, wrote The Crime of Credulity (1901). {GS}

CASTE In India, a caste is any of four classes, comprising numerous subclasses, which constitute Hindu society. One’s social class is separated from that of others by distinctions of hereditary rank, profession, or wealth. Castes in a colony of social insects such as ants include workers or soldiers who carry out a specific function. (See entry for Poopathi Manckham, who objects to the caste system. Also see the critique in the entry for V. R. Narla.)

Castelar y Ripoli, Emilio (1832—1899) Castelar was a Spanish statesman and journalist who became known for his writing of a novel, Ernesto (1855). He was a professor of history and philosophy at the University of Madrid, was foreign minister, and then president (1873—1874) of Spain’s first republic. He ruled as a dictator and was partially successful in restoring order to the war-torn country. “We have not the same republican traditions possessed by Italy and France,” he wrote. “Our people, always at war, have always needed a chief, and this chief required not only the sword of the soldier to fight, but the scepter of the monarch to rule. Notwithstanding this ancient monarchical character, there are regions which have been saved from the monarchy, and which have preserved their democracy and their republic. There still exist in the north provinces possessed of an autonomy and an independence which give them points of resemblance to the Swiss cantons. The citizens give neither tribute nor blood to the kings. Their firesides are as sacred form the invasion of authority as those of the English or of the Americans. . . . Our Cortes of Castile succeeded frequently in expelling the ecclesiastical and aristocratic estates from their sessions. Our Cortes of Aragon attained such power that they named the government of their kings, and obtained fixed days for their sessions. Navarre was a species of republic more or less aristocratic, presided over by a king more or less respected. And the Castilian municipalities were in the Middle Ages true democratic republics.” Although a representative of Republican Spain, a noble orator, a literary exponent, he was more an idealist than a materialist, according to Putnam, who added that Castelar “studies history, we might say, of Hegel, which makes history a kind of divine romance.” Although a non-orthodox Christian, Castelar was something of a theist. He favored a federative republic like that of America, not a centralized republic like that of France. But he was overthrown by a military coup d’état. After the restoration (1875) of Alfonso XII, Castelar became a member of the political opposition in the Cortes. {BDF; CE; PUT}

Castelli, David (Born 1836) An Italian writer, Castelli held the chair of Hebrew in the Institute of Superior Studies at Florence and translated Ecclesiastes with notes. His rationalist works included Talmudic Legends (1869), The Messiah According to the Hebrews (1874), and The History of the Israelites (1887). His numerous works on Hebrew literature are rationalistic. {BDF; RAT}

Castellio, Sebastian [also: Castalion, Châtillon (1515—1563) A Swiss school rector whom John Calvin frowned upon because of his unauthorized Latin and French translations of the Bible, Castellio was horrified when Calvin had Michael Servetus murdered because of theological differences. So he wrote Concerning Heretics, in which (using a pseudonym, Martinus Bellius) he condemned Calvin as the murderer of Servetus. Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) has described in The Right to Heresy: Castellio Against Calvin (1951) how Calvin plotted the heretic Castellio’s death, which was thwarted by Castellio’s illness and death from “an overtaxed heart.” {CE; JMRH; TSV}

Castiglione, Ruggero de Palma (20th Century) Castiglione, an Italian, addressed the Fourth International Humanist and Ethical Union World Congress held in Paris (1966) and also at the Second European Conference held in Hannover (1968).

Castilhon, Jean Louis (1720—1793) 

Castilhon, a French man of letters, edited the Journal of Jurisprudence. His freethought shows in his Essay on Ancient and Modern Errors and Superstitions (1767) and in his History of Philosophical Opinions (1769). {BDF}

Castillo Rojas, Marco (20th Century) A lawyer and notary, Castillo is president of Asociación Ético Humanista Costarricense (ASEHUCO), the Costa Rican Association of Ethical and Secular Humanists. He was instrumental in the founding of Asociación Iberoamericana Ético Humanista (ASIBEHU), the Ibero-American Ethical Humanist Association of Spanish-speaking humanists in the Americas. Castillo, one of the leading human rights lawyers in Costa Rica, was a participant in the 1996 Humanist World Congress held in Mexico City. E-mail: <asibehu@sol.racsa.co.cr>.

Castle, Marie Alena (20th Century) Castle is the activist President of Atheist Alliance, Inc., the Democratic Alliance of Autonomous Atheist Societies (Box 6261, Minneapolis, MN 55406). She is co-chair of the Minnesota Atheists, and is one of the counsels for Secular Nation. In 1994 at the Toronto Conference of the Coalition for Secular Humanism, Atheism, and Freethought (CSHAFT), she spoke on “Dealing With the Religious Right.” Castle has stated that humanists should not be on the defensive, that they have already won. She cites the Enlightenment, the founding of constitutional democracies around the world, the Bill of Rights, the New Deal, and the humanistic arts and sciences. “Our problem,” she holds, “is not to establish humanism but to defend and preserve it.” Declare victory, she advises, and move forward. It is the triumph of humanism which “has brought on the rise of an aggressive religious fascism,” she insists, appealing to humanists, atheists, and secular organization to work together for the preservation of our victory. In 1996 in Vijayawada, India, she gave the valedictory address at the fourth World Atheist Conference, during which she particularly stressed the importance of political action. Her e-mail: <mac@mtn.org>. {The Free Mind, February 1996}

Castro, Fernando (1814—c. 1874) A Spanish philosopher and historian, Castro had been a priest. But on his death-bed he confessed himself a freethinker and had a secular burial. {BDF}

Castro, Fidel (1926— ) Castro is the Cuban revolutionary and premier of Cuba who toppled Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar in 1959, installing his own Marxist-Leninist dictatorship. An atheist who has called his philosophic outlook “humanism,” he has been a symbol of revolution and social change in Latin America and elsewhere. “Liberty with bread, without terror–that is, Humanism,” he stated when first displacing the Batista government. His government, however, did not carry out that slogan. He campaigned for the socialistic nationalizing of industry, the confiscating of foreign-owned property, the collectivizing of agriculture, and improving of the average person’s quality of life. However, this “humanism,” according to most other professed humanists, led more than one million Cubans to flee the island because of his authoritarian and undemocratic rule. Those who fled, called la escoria (scum) or gusanos (worms), decry the chivatos (informers) who did not flee. Meanwhile, with the incredibly fast fall of other Marxist-Leninist governments in the 1990s, Castro remained a solitary symbol of his brand of humanism. His 1996 meeting with the Pope at the Vatican led him to say, “As a child, I never would have imagined that one day I would have lunch with cardinals and meet with a Pope.” Little wonder, for he long ago went on record:

When I was a young boy, my father taught me that to be a good Catholic, I had to confess at church if I ever had impure thoughts about a girl. That very evening I had to rush to confess my sin. And the next night, and the next. After a week, I decided religion wasn’t for me. As pointed out by Sidney Hook and other humanists, communistic humanism was destined to fail because it is not founded upon freedom, the significance of the individual, and political democracy. In mid-1994, Castro in a pragmatic decision invited some of the gusanos to return to their former country. In 1998 he invited Pope John Paul to visit Cuba. Asked by reporters if this implied he was no longer an atheist, Castro said,

I can say one thing. I respect those who believe and those who do not believe. If you say you do not believe, you offend those who believe. If you say you believe, you offend those who do not believe. In a way you become a preacher. I am not a preacher. I do believe in mankind and in the goodness and nobility of man. I believe the world should live in a way that is just and rational. {CE; E; The Economist, 16 August 1997}

CASUISTRY Casuistry involves specious or excessively subtle reasoning that is intended to mislead or to rationalize. For example, by interpreting the religious doctrine that “thou shalt not kill,” a casuist might accuse physicians of unethically killing germs.

Catalano, John (20th Century) Catalano is a freethinker who has written about Richard Dawkins for the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia.

CATASTROPHISM : See entry for Uniformitarianism.

CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE In his Critique of Pure Reason (1781), Kant defined the ultimate moral obligation that applies a priori to everyone in all circumstances:

• Act according to that maxim which you could wish to be a universal law of nature upon which every one should act at all times;

• Always treat humanity in yourself and others as an end and never as merely a means;

• Act always as if you were a member of a merely possible kingdom of ends.

Following such commands, he believed, is a categorical imperative, a moral obligation that is unconditionally and universally binding. McCabe, however, said that Kant “was a man of very isolated and eccentric life who had been reared in a strict puritanical environment, and he never attempted to study the moral consciousness of others, so that his ethical philosophy is rather an analysis of one highly sophisticated individual conscience. His critics said that as he had destroyed the foundations of the ordinary arguments for God and immortality in his Critique of Pure Reason, he felt compelled to appeal to ‘practical reason.’ Neither psychology nor the modern science of ethics countenances his idea.” {CE; ER}

CATHARISM The Cathari (also known as Albigenses) were a medieval, puritanical, and heretical movement called, by theologian Herman Hausheer of Lamoni, Iowa, “a repristination of Manichaeism and Gnostic christology, maintaining to be the only true church of a holy hierarchy and efficacious sacraments.” Translated, this means that the group claimed to have had proof that Jesus did not die on the cross, that he married Mary Magdalen, that they settled in the Languedoc, and that their heirs founded the Merovingian dynasty that united Christian Europe under Charlemagne. (See Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie’s Montaillou, which by studying Inquisition notes describes the life of a medieval village.) {ER}

Cather, Willa (1867—1947) 

Cather, a short story writer and novelist, is one of the great writers of the 20th century. She celebrated the strength of the frontier settlers in O Pioneers (1913) and My Antonia (1918). Her Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927) is considered one of her best works. She is known as a master of the craft of fiction, as evidenced not only by her fiction but also by her On Writing (1949). While on the editorial staff of McClure’s Magazine in 1907 and 1908, Cather wrote a scathing work, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science (republished 1992), which brought her much negative criticism. Like Samuel Clemens, who had called Eddy “queen of frauds and hypocrites,” Cather presents a negative view of Eddy’s life and writings. However, a Canadian newspaperwoman named Georgine Milmine originally was credited as having been the author. In fact, to her death Cather denied having written the book, either unwilling to be known as a comic writer or, as critics claim, was tacitly acknowledging that Milmine was biased and had supplied her with material for its sensational and commercial value. Critic Michael Warner (Voice, 17 Aug 93) wrote concerning the Eddy biography: “The heroine comes off with as much pathos, hilarity, and will as any character in Cather’s fiction. Each chapter shows Mrs. Eddy venturing into new realms of implausibility, a bombazine Cortez of the ridiculous. The suspense lies in wondering how much farther she can go, and she never fails to satisfy. This is the woman, after all, who had an adult-size cradle made to order so she could be rocked to sleep. She had her second husband (the exquisitely queer Mr. Eddy came third) cover a nearby bridge with sawdust to deaden the sound of neighbors’ footsteps. At night, she sent him out to kill discordant frogs. By the time Eddy was forty, she had raised nervous illness to an art form—and that was before she became its theorist. Like her principal rival in hysterical science, Sigmund Freud, Mary Baker Eddy did not begin the major part of her career until the age of fifty. Perhaps Cather felt reluctant to take credit for such a splendid character, who was still alive when the biography was published.” Puritan critics accused Cather of being a lesbian, citing how from the ages of fourteen to eighteen she so strongly identified as a male that she dressed in men’s clothing, got a crew cut, and called herself William Cather Jr. In 1895 in the Nebraska Journal, she condemned Oscar Wilde for his alleged homosexual acts. However, in 1895 she wrote a rhapsodic newspaper commentary on Sappho, whose lyre “responded only to a song of love.” Her critics, particularly religionists sensitive about her attacks on Mary Baker G. Eddy, disclosed that Cather in 1905 had left her lover, Isabelle McClung in Pittsburgh, later burning all their correspondence, and had moved to Greenwich Village in New York City, where she lived the rest of her life, for almost forty years, with Edith Lewis, another Nebraskan. One of her biographers, Sharon O’Brien, said that Lewis phoned her not to use the word “lesbian” in writing of Cather. “When I told her this wasn’t possible, she hung up,” wrote O’Brien, who then added that “Cather herself invited me to tea at her Bank Street [New York City] apartment. ‘I want you to know,’ she said, pouring me a cup, ‘that I am not gay.’ ‘What about the letters to Louise Pound?’ I asked. As soon as I spoke, the dream abruptly ended. I could not tell if I had silenced or convinced her.” O’Brien explained that while at Duke University, she had come across romantic love letters to Pound, her friend at the University of Nebraska, “in which Cather agreed that relationships like theirs were ‘unnatural.’ ” O’Brien’s work, Lives of Notable Gay Men and Lesbians: Willa Cather (1994), took fifteen years to research and argues that if Cather were alive today she would not at all mind being outed, that flouting convention when she thought she was right was part of her character. Cather’s other critics were surprised that her work was so popular, that readers were buying plots about mule-riding priests in nineteenth-century New Mexico and about non-shocking romance. Clifton Fadiman as well as Lionel Trilling considered her as a person writing of the past and acting as if she was not of the present. Trilling observed that she lived in a world of Freudians but wrote in “defense of gentility.” The Catholic World commended her for high standards, aware that she was a nominal Episcopalian, for not stooping to “crude realism, Freudism, inchoate prose, shallow philosophy.” Her final years were spent tending a case of chronic tendinitis in her right hand. Awaking one day from an afternoon nap, she complained of a headache, then died of a cerebral hemorrhage. The Nation in an obituary described her as a minor novelist, one “remote from the talents and problems of the past two anxious decades.” Only in the 1990s did “William” Cather’s reputation increase, partly because of a new evaluation of her lesbianism and her feminism. (See entries for Christian Science and Louise Pound.) {Joan Acocella, “Cather and the Academy,” The New Yorker, 27 November 1995; CE; GL}

Catherine II Catherine The Great (1729—1796) Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, was a German princess chosen by Czarina Elizabeth partly on the recommendation of Frederick II of Prussia, to be the wife of the future Czar Peter III. Accepting the Orthodox faith, she changed her original name, Sophie, to Catherine. Becoming “completely Russian” made her popular with important political elements who opposed her eccentric husband, whom many considered a drunken boor. When her husband ascended to the throne in 1762, a group of conspirators headed by her lover, Grigori Orlov, proclaimed Catherine the autocrat. Shortly afterward, Peter was murdered. Catherine then began great projects of reform, drawing upon the writings of Beccaria and Montesquieu to serve as guides. An enthusiastic patron of the arts, she wrote memoirs, comedies, and stories. She corresponded with the French encyclopedists, including Voltaire, Diderot, and d’Alembert. Although she had many lovers, only Orlov, Potemkin, and P. L. Zubov were said to have been influential in government affairs. She was succeeded by her son, Paul I. McCabe notes that Catherine found it difficult being in a world where the Church was supreme and life was coarse and unrestricted. She particularly had little regard for the sex-part of the Christian code. (On Broadway in the 1940s, Mae West played the starring role in “Catherine the Great,” which detailed her many sexual escapades. In one scene, she asks her homosexual hairdresser what he wants for Christmas. He responds what he really wants is one of her discarded lovers.) Because of her friendship with the French encyclopedists, who were largely responsible for her glorious contemporary reputation, she learned a humanitarianism which the Church ignored, and she began a great program of social reform in Russia (in education, sanitation, administration of justice). The French Revolution and execution of the King caused a reaction in her mind and character and all reform was suspended. But, according to McCabe, she remained a Deist. Robertson also called her a deist, “a satirist of bigots in her comedies,” one who accomplished what Peter had planned, the secularization of Church property. Robertson lamented the fact that “her half-crazy son Paul II, whom she had given cause to hate her, undid her work wherever he could.” {CE; JM; JMR; JMRH; RAT; RE; WWS}

Cathey, Bruce E. (20th Century) A New York City bibliographer, Cathey is writing Traditional Religious Issues: A Bibliographic Guide to Rationalist/Humanist/ Secularist Perspectives. Gordon Stein wrote the foreword before his death, and the work is scheduled for printing in 2000.

catholic Freethinkers, agnostics, atheists, and members of the liberal religious groups are frequently known for their catholic, or universal, interests. Often aspiring to be Renaissance-like scholars, they encourage individuals to be catholic in their interests and to be experts in several areas. (See Bertrand Russell’s entry for a critique, not of catholic, but of Catholic.)

CATHOLIC CATECHISM In 1994, a Catechism of the Catholic Church was issued and became a runaway best-seller for its sixteen different publishers. Catechism, a word rooted in the Greek for “oral instruction,” has meant a manual of religious doctrine since the late Middle Ages. Johannes Paulus II (John Paul, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God for Everlasting Memory) wrote an introductory note, and in a separately bound introduction Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the Vatican official in charge of doctrine, wrote a note striking out against “those interests which portray the Catechism as inimical to progress.” He singled out by name Hans Küng, the Swiss theologian known for his liberal Catholicism and complaint that the work is an assertion of power by the Church’s “Roman party.” Some Americans were critical of the Vatican’s decision to continue using gender-insensitive words, for example using “Man” for “Humanity.” Other Americans, although finding the 853-page work has its good points, are aware that many do not agree with the Church declarations in regard to contraception, divorce, and abortion. They note that the catechism persists with the medieval teaching that the only legitimate end of sex is procreation. In fact, contraception is said to be “intrinsically evil,” and it is condemned more harshly than homicide, which is declared sometimes permissible. The catechism also condemns in vitro fertilization, even if the husband and wife supply their own sperm and egg, inasmuch as such “established the domination of technology.” Further, it is “not possible” for women to be ordained. Catholics generally accept the idea that some items of doctrine have to be accepted . . . on faith. For example: the divinity (and humanity) of Christ; his death and resurrection; the virginity of Mary; the power of prayer. However, many Catholics do not agree with Pope John Paul that the “ordinary magisterium”—all church teaching—requires absolute acceptance. In fact, that teaching has changed over the years. For example, at one time the Roman Catholic church banned artistic images of Christ, prohibited the payment of interest, allowed priests to marry; and expected inquisitors to torture. Pope Paul VI abolished the Index Prohibitorum. John Paul II retracted the church’s 17th-century denunciation of Galileo. A 1907 encyclical condemning “modernism,“ The Economist has observed (29 April 1995), “is now regarded as an embarrassment at best.” (See entry for the Rev. Richard P. McBrien, an outspoken liberal Roman Catholic theologian.)

CATHOLIC CRITIQUE OF HUMANIST MANIFESTO I : See entry for Humanist Manifestos.

CATHOLIC POPES : See entry for Pope. For a description of one pope’s wild parties, see the entry for Alexander VI.

CATHOLIC RELATIVISM The Roman Catholic Church rarely talks about heresy, but in 1997 the Vatican’s doctrinal authorities found a seventy-two-year-old Sri Lankan priest, the Rev. Tissa Balasuriya, guilty of having “deviated from the integrity of the truth of the Catholic faith.” As a result, he was excommunicated, formally cast out of the communion of the church. Another case of excommunication in recent times was against Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988, after he flouted the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Similarly, the Pope severely criticized and cracked down on the Swiss theologian Hans Küng, a professor at Tübingen University in Germany; the Rev. Charles E. Curran, who taught at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.; and the school of liberation theologians from Latin America whose anti-establishment, populist views often overlapped with leftist social ideals in the 1970s and 1980s. However, Father Küng observed of the Sri Lankan’s excommunication, “This is much tougher, perhaps because he is a third-world theologian. It is very serious for this man, and it is very unjust, but it is the consequence of the system. This is the system as it works, and as it will work as long as Catholicism doesn’t get rid of a doctrine that says the Pope is always right.” Observed a fellow member of Father Balasuriya’s order, “I love my order; the fraternal bonds are very strong; but you have to respect the mission of the church. The Pope and the bishops have a responsibility for teaching by the Scriptures, for interpreting by tradition.” The Sri Lankan had been accused of challenging such beliefs as original sin and the Immaculate Conception. {Celestine Bohlen, The New York Times, 7 January 1997}

CATHOLIC WOMEN In The Recovering Catholic: Personal Journeys of Women Who Left the Church (1995), Joanne H. Meehl writes about women of many walks of life who have rejected the Roman Catholic faith. The denigration of females by the male clergy, abortion, contraception, and the role of women in the Church are discussed. Meehl speaks of the “Great Goddess” matriarchal culture, leading R. E. Wolke and others to wonder why she would wish to replace the illogic of one religion for another. {The American Rationalist, September-October 1995}

CATHOLICISM “Catholicism,” wrote lapsed Catholic Anthony Burgess in his memoirs, “is, in a paradox, a bigger thing than the faith. It is a kind of supranationality that makes one despise small patriotisms.” Freethinkers, although highly critical of Catholicism, generally refrain from trying to change the beliefs of its Catholic adherents. (See entry for Cross-Dressing.)

CATHOLICISM—INTRIGUE IN THE VATICAN : See entry for Vatican, Gone With the Wind in the.

CATHOLICS, FORMER Sherry Bishop is author of Immaculate Misconceptions: A Self-Help Book for Former Catholics (Veranda Press, PO Box 626, Carlsborg, WA 98324). The book is based on her own experience as well as that of other former Catholics. The first part details how they were hurt by their childhood experiences in Catholic churches and schools. The second part offers suggestions for healing.

Catlin, George (20th Century) Catlin was on the board of directors in England of Archibald Church’s The Realist: A Journal of Scientific Humanism (1929—1930).

CATOPITHECUS In 1992, an ancient and extinct animal known as Catopithecus was first reported to Dr. Elwyn Simons of Duke University. “This is the earliest animal known from the higher primates, the group that humans, apes, and monkey are in,” Simons has declared. According to an analysis of skull, jaw, and teeth fossils found in what now is an Egyptian desert, this oldest ancestor of apes, monkey, and humans was a squirrel-size animal that lived 36,000,000 years ago. Simons said he had no doubt about his find because of the distinctive features of the Catopithecus fossils: shovel-shaped front upper teeth; a skull with a flattened face; forward-looking eye sockets, and a fused forehead bone. In lower primates, like lemurs, this forehead bone is separated. If his interpretation is accepted, higher primates, like gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans all evolved from this tiny animal. Meanwhile, Dr. Bert Covert of the University of Colorado at Boulder notes that specimens found in China and Algeria were older but were “extremely fragmentary” and that their species classification was uncertain. “Simons’s material is between plausible and compelling” as the oldest higher primate fossil, Covert reported in a 1995 issue of Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “The other material I would place between unlikely and plausible. We cannot resolve the issue right now.”

Catt, Carrie Clinton Lane Chapman (1859-1947) Catt, a suffragist and pacifist who favored many Unitarian causes, was founder of the League of Women Voters.

Cattaneo, Carlo (1801—1869) Cattaneo was an Italian philosophical writer. He founded Il Politecnico and after flinging himself into the revolutionary movement was compelled to flee to Switzerland. The Swiss appointed him professor at Lugano, where he became known as the “Auguste Comte of Italy.” After the defeat of the Austrians he was several times elected to Parliament, but, being a Republican as well as a rationalist, Cattaneo refused to enter the Camera. {RAT}

Cattell, Charles Cockbill (1830—1910) 

Cattell was English leader of the Birmingham freethought and republicanism of the 1850s. He was an important figure in the national organization of freethought groups. In the 1870s he wrote What Is A Freethinker? and he wrote The Dark Side of Christianity (190—?). Originally a member of the Church of England, he left it and studied science and logic, then called himself a secularist. Secularism he regarded as atheistic but is not atheism. The pseudonym he used was Christopher Charles. {FUK; GS; PUT; RAT; RSR; VI}

Cattell, Christopher Charles (1830—1910) Cattell wrote in English secular journals and was author of Against Christianity and The Religion of This Life. He worked in the co-operative and labor movements and the Sunday League. {BDF}

Catterall, Eric (Died 1977) An Australian poet, Catterall wrote The Verse and Worse of a Militant Rationalist. Ron Marke in the work’s introduction, wrote, “Eric contracted polio as a child. He had a violent father who said it’s useless sending a cripple to school, so he was denied any education. The doctors declared he would never walk, but Eric knew better. He battled on his feet, crippled as he was, and at eleven years of age left home for the bush and nature. He acquired a horse, taught it to lay down so that he could get on it as he had no strength in his legs or feet. . . . He was a self-taught and learned man; most of his knowledge came from books and experience, and he was fairly conversant in a lot of subjects.” The following, quoted by Freethought History (#23, 1997), is from Catterall’s “Priests Will Rule Forever”:

We banned The Pill, I’ll tell you why, We profit when the babies die. From Christening, from funeral lie . . . We cash in when the parents cry. . . .

We say “OUR FLOCK” of sheep or geese! Let’s make it “SHEEP,” for these we fleece. Our two legged sheep . . . may they increase! For then our graft will never cease.

It helps us that governments aid our schools. Let us implant the Pope’s own rules. If government aid for our church cools They’ll lose the votes of all the fools.

So “TAX THE CHURCH” is branded “red” And schools from rational thought have fled. “Give us the child,” as we have said, “And we will rule until it’s dead.”

Catullus [Caius Valerius Catullus] (84?—54? B.C.E.) Catullus’s “love poems are among the most moving in all literature,” wrote Lamont. “[He] was a sort of ancient Omar Khayyam in his general attitude of irrepressible pleasure-seeking in this vale of delight.” “Suns may rise and set; we, when our short day has closed, must sleep on during one perpetual night,” Catullus wrote. Some of his poems were addressed to the faithless Lesbia, and other pieces include elegies, epigrams, and works that are obscenely derisive. “On the Death of Lesbia‘s Sparrow” is one of his better known works. {CE; CL; GL; TYD}

Cauffiel, Phyllis C. (20th Century) Cauffiel is associated with the Humanists of Northwest Ohio (AHA). (See entry for Ohio Atheists, Humanists.) {FD}

Cauldwell, D. O. (20th Century) Cauldwell, a freethinker, wrote A Modern Analysis of Biblical Sex Scandals (1947). {GS}

Caumont, Georges (c. 1845—1875) 

Caumont, a French writer who suffered from consumption, wrote Judgment of a Dying Man Upon Life as well as a humorous and familiar work, Conversations of a Sick Person with the Divinity. He died at Madeira. {BDF}

CAUSALITY Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Causation in philosophy deals with the relationship between two events or states of affairs such that the first brings about the second. Flip a switch, and the light comes on. But all events may not have an antecedent cause, and naturalists in philosophy are interested in the quantum theory, which implies that some events occur at random. Rationalists tend to search for a priori principles governing what kind of thing may or cannot cause some other kind of thing. Hume argued that knowledge of causes must come from experience. John Stuart Mill was unable, however, to supply a satisfactory positive account of just what causal connection is. Bertrand Russell subsequently claimed that an advanced scientific understanding of the world needs no such notion. According to Flew, modern analyses regard the need for such a notion “as explicable through the subjunctive conditional ‘If e1 had not occurred, e2 would not have occurred,’ but little is clear about what makes such a remark true.” {Antony Flew, A Dictionary of Philosophy).

Caute, David (20th Century) Caute, a former literary editor of The New Statesman and Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, is author of Fatima’s Scarf (1998). Although his is a controversial work critical of Muslim theology, much like Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie and Shame! by Taslima Nasrin, Caute is not an Islamic apostate. {The Freethinker, May 1998}

Cavafy, C. P. (1863—1933) Cavafy was regarded by literary historian C. A. Trypanis as “the most original of all the modern Greek poets.” A recluse whose work was never commercial during his lifetime, he lived in the Greek community of Alexandria and worked as a petty bureaucrat. Adept at investing in the stock exchange, he eventually retired from the Ministry of Irrigation. His major themes were philosophy, history, and hedonism, and his work was critical of patriotism, heterosexuality, and Christianity. To E. M. Forster, Cavafy was poet at a “slight angle to the universe.” To Lawrence Durrell, he was the likely character of the presiding poet in The Alexandria Quartet. W. H. Auden and Marguerite Yourcenar wrote about him, some of his work was translated by Stephen Spender and James Merrill, he inspired etchings by David Hockney (1966) and photographs of males nudes by Duane Michals (1978). Peter Christensen of Marquette University described Cavafy as one who deliberately rejected Classical Greece in favor of a decadent Hellenism. Cavafy was also inspired by the last days of the Ptolemies, Cleopatra, and her lover Marc Antony. In Anekdota Peza (Unpublished Prose), he indicates a love for Alexander Mavroudis (Alex Madis), a minor poet and Parisian playwright. In “Bandaged Shoulder,” in which he takes the bloody rag of a wounded soldier to his lips, he writes homoerotically as he implies that the blood confirms his love for the injured man. His other work with sexual overtones, often describing one-night stands in seedy places and published two decades after his death, seldom describes a mutual love or a long-term relationship. A freethinker, Cavafy died of throat cancer. {GL}

Cavaignac, Éleonore Louis Godefroy (1801—1845) A French journalist who struggled against the reactionary monarchy, Cavaignac was one of the founders of the Société des Amis du Peuple and the Société des Droits de l’Homme. He was imprisoned and exiled, but in 1841 Cavaignac returned to France. J. S. Mill called him “the intensest of atheists.” {RAT}

Cavalcante, Guido (1230—1300) 

A noble Italian poet and philosopher, Cavalcante was a friend of Dante and a leader of the Ghibbelin party. Bayle wrote that “it is said his speculation has as their aims to prove there is no God. Dante places his father in the hell of Epicureans, who denied the immortality of the soul.” {BDF}

Cavallotti, Felice Carlo Emanuel (1842—1873) Cavallotti was an Italian poet and journalist, a pronounced atheist. He was elected a member of the Italian parliament in 1873. {BDF; RAT}

Cave, Henry (17th Century) Cave, an atheist, wrote The Darkness of Atheisme Expelled by the Light of Nature (1683). {GS}

Cave, Nick (20th Century) A recording artist, Cave told a Boston Globe reporter (September 1998) that he “is an atheist but loves the Bible.” Cave is a singer for such punk bands as Birthday Party and the Bad Seeds. {CA}

Cavendish, Henry (1731—1810) Cavendish, one of the great British pioneers of the science of chemistry, was a recluse and most of his writings were published posthumously. His chief researches were on heat, in which he determined the specific heats for a number of substances, although his findings were not recognized until later. He wrote on the composition of air; on the nature and properties of a gas that he isolated and described as “inflammable air,” now known as hydrogen; and on the composition of water, which he demonstrated to consist of oxygen and “inflammable air.” He determined that the density of the earth led him to state it as 5.48 times that of water. His biographer, G. Wilson, quotes his attitude on religion from a contemporary scientist: “As to Cavendish’s religion, he was nothing at all.” He never went to church. Cambridge University is the site of the Cavendish Physical Laboratory, named in his honor. {CE; JM; RAT; RE}

Cavett, Dick (1936- ) A Nebraska-born entertainer, television comedy writer, club performer, and television show host, Cavett is widely known by TV viewers. He wrote (with Christopher Porterfield) Cavett (1974) and Eye on Cavett (1983). On one of his programs, he mentioned that he finds it impossible to maintain any religious faith:

This is my religious problem: it would be wonderful to believe in the most fundamental way. It would make life easier, it would explain everything, it would give meaning where none is apparent, it would make tragedies bearable. If I went to a revival meeting, I have no doubt I could be one of the first to go down on my knees. It seems as if the only religion worth having is the simplest possible religion. But something about the fact that all it takes to make it so is deciding it is so puts me off. Knowing it could instantly make me much happier makes it somehow unworthy of having.

Of his grandfather, a fundamentalist Baptist minister, Cavett is quoted in Cavett, “I hope there is a God for Grandpa Richards’s sake, but don’t much care if there is one for mine.” {CA}

Cavett, Dick (19 Nov 1936 - ) A Nebraska-born entertainer, television comedy writer, club performer, and television show host, Cavett is widely known by TV viewers. He wrote (with Christopher Porterfield) Cavett (1974) and Eye on Cavett (1983). On one of his programs, he mentioned that he finds it impossible to maintain any religious faith:

This is my religious problem: it would be wonderful to believe in the most fundamental way. It would make life easier, it would explain everything, it would give meaning where none is apparent, it would make tragedies bearable. If I went to a revival meeting, I have no doubt I could be one of the first to go down on my knees. It seems as if the only religion worth having is the simplest possible religion. But something about the fact that all it takes to make it so is deciding it is so puts me off. Knowing it could instantly make me much happier makes it somehow unworthy of having.

Of his grandfather, a fundamentalist Baptist minister, Cavett is quoted in Cavett, “I hope there is a God for Grandpa Richards’s sake, but don’t much care if there is one for mine.” {CA}

Cavia, Mariano de (1855—1920) Cavio was a Spanish journalist and critic. He edited the Liberal of Madrid. {BDF}

Cavour, Camillo di (1810—1861) With Mazzini and Garibaldi, Cavour wrote The Other Creators of the Kingdom of Italy. Cavour was a freethinker. {TRI}

Cayce, Edgar (1877—1945)

Cayce, an American folk healer, was a believer in reincarnation and an inspiration for contemporary New Age spiritualists. His views were found ludicrous by Paul Edwards in Reincarnation (1996).

Cayla, Jean Mamert (1812—1877) A French man of letters, Cayla edited the Emancipator of Toulouse, a city about which he wrote a history. Among his numerous anti-clerical brochures were The Clerical Conspiracy (1861); The Devil, His Grandeur and Decay (1864); Hell Demolished (1865); and The History of the Mass (1874). {BDF; RAT}

Cazeau, Charles J. (20th Century) Cazeau, a geologist and pre-evolution spokesperson, writes for Free Inquiry. He is author of Physical Geology (1976) and Science Trivia (1986). {Free Inquiry, Summer 1982}

Cazelles, Émile Honoré (Born 1831) Cazelles, the French translator of Bentham’s Influence of Natural Religion (1875) also translated Mill’s Subjection of Women and his Autobiography and Essays on Religion. {BDF; RAT}

Cecco Stabili d’Ascoli (1269?–1327) Cecco is an example of one of the most daring heretics of the later Middle Ages. His given name was Francesco degli Stabili. A professor of philosophy and astrology at Bologna, he knew Dante and was one of his detractors. In fact, he has been described as “representing natural science, against the Christian science of Dante.” Combining a strong anti-Christian feeling with the universal belief in astrology, Cecco had declared that Jesus lived come un poltrone (like a sluggard) with his disciples, and died on the cross, under the compulsion of his star. [Albertus Magnus and Pierre d’Ailli, Cardinal and Bishop of Cambrai, also cast the horoscope of Jesus.] Because of such heresy, including his having accused Dante of heresy, Cecco in 1327 was burned at the stake in Florence. {BDF; CE; JM; JMR; JMRH; RE}

Cée, Jean-Paul (Born 1839) Cée, the founder and president of the Comité d’ Études Morales (Committee on Moral Laws), was an officer in the French navy. He was in Rome during the pontificate of Pius IX, observed the splendor of Roman Catholic rites, and while in Dahomey witnessed human sacrifices. In Paris at the 1889 Universal Freethought Congress, he discussed his travels and recommended that freethinkers found a Committee on Moral Laws, which idea was accepted. Cée’s position on socialism was nearer to the English concept of nationalism, not to the socialism of Marx, Liebknecht, or Bebel. {PUT}

CELEBRITY • A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn’t know. —H. L. Mencken

CELEBRITY ATHEIST LIST Jim Lippard is webmaster for the “Celebrity Atheist List,” one which keeps track of public statements by individuals that they are non-believers. On the Web: <www.primenet.com/~lippard/atheist.celebs/>.

CELIBACY The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) states that “All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate ‘for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.’ Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to ‘the affairs of the Lord,’ they give themselves entirely to God and to men. Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church’s minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God.” (See entry for Peter.)

	Abstinence from sexual intercourse is, to freethinkers, the strangest of all aberrations. It is not practiced in any other part of the animal kingdom. (See entries for Chastity and Andrew Greeley.)

Celko, Jaroslav (20th Century) Celko founded the Prometheus Society in Slovakia. Estimating in 1995 that 72% of adults declare themselves to have a religious belief, while only 18% say they are non-religious, Celko comments that “the efforts of religious organizations to ground all social activities in religion are finding substantial support not only with politicians, but also with certain and state officials.” Atheism, which is connected with communism, is seen as the source of amorality, crime, and pornography. As a result, Celko believes that the development of humanism in Slovakia is uphill work. He signed Humanist Manifesto 2000. {International Humanist News, June 1995}

Cellarius, Martin (16th Century) In 1527, Cellarius published On the Works of God. The earliest anti-Trinitarian book, it preceded by four years Michael Servetus’s On the Errors of the Trinity. {BDF}

Celsus, Aurelius (c. 125—175) Celsus was a pagan philosopher whose True Discourse was lost but which showed him to have been an aggressive antagonist of Christianity. Origen’s Contra Celsus (Against Celsus), which refers to the lost book, is a rebuttal of the philosopher’s outlook and attacks Celsus’s objections to the Christian gospels. Why did Jesus not know that Judas Iscariot would betray him, Celsus argued. Had not the author of Mark said that Jesus had foreknowledge but that the prophecy had to be fulfilled? Had not the author of John had Jesus arrange the betrayal by giving the piece of bread to Judas? As quoted by Origen, Celsus gave a picture of a prophet-ridden Palestine, where many self-proclaimed prophets were claiming to be the god or the son of god or a divine spirit. Jesus, according to Celsus, was but one of these wandering healers and professed miracle workers. “Before accepting any belief one ought first to follow reason as a guide,” Celsus wrote, “for credulity without enquiry is a sure way to deceive oneself.” Fortunately, Origen, one of the most learned of the Fathers, considered Celsus the most formidable opponent of the Church, for had he not written about Celsus we would not know about him today inasmuch as the Church decreed that all his works had to be destroyed. In 1987, R. Joseph Hoffmann translated and published Celsus’s On the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians. {BDF; EH; RE}

CEMETERY A cemetery is a graveyard, a place set aside to bury the dead. The original Greek koimeterion, referred to a “dormitory” or “sleeping place,” however. Early Christian writers referred to the Roman catacombs and later to consecrated churchyards as cemeteries. Shakespeare, among others, complained that when some cemeteries could hold no more bodies, new bodies were buried in the same plots. Therefore,

Good friend, For Jesu’s sake forbear To dig the dust enclosed here. Blest be the man that spares these stones; Cursed be he that moves my bones.

Many contemporary secularists, finding that cemeteries have become commercialized along with an entire funeral industry, often avoid cemeteries altogether. They ask that their cremains be scattered rather than buried. By so doing, they avoid ending up in a “garden of honor,” a “garden of memories,” a “memorial park mausoleum,” or a “burial cloister.” No Stiffyville, no last home, no skeleton park, no bone orchard, no God’s acre for them. (See entries for Jessica Mitford and for Death, A Freethinker’s.)


• Run, don’t walk, to the first library you can find and read what they’re trying to keep out of your eyes. Read what they’re trying to keep out of your brains. Because that’s exactly what you need to know. —Stephen King, novelist whose Salem’s Lot, Carrie, and Cujo have been censored in schoolsand libraries despite his being a theist. (See entry for Books, Censorship Of.)

• “What Every Girl Should Know”—Nothing, by order of the U.S. Post Office. — In place of Margaret Sanger’s newspaper column in The Call, the newspaper printed this notice.

CENSUS OF NON-THEISTS AND NON-BELIEVERS A study in the 1990s showed that an estimated 66% of the world’s population is non-Christian and 34% is Christian. (See entry for Hell.)

CENTAURS The centaurs in Greek mythology were creatures half man and half horse. They had been fathered by Ixion (although some stories credit his son, Centaurus). These centaurs were uncouth and savage, except for Chiron, who became friends and a teacher of men. Their half-brothers, the Lapiths, engaged them in a battle which Ovid described, were depicted on the Parthenon, and sculpted by Michelangelo. (See entry for Tartarus.) {CE}

CENTER FOR INQUIRY—Amherst, New York In 1995, a 20,000 square foot educational and administrative center for the Council for Secular Humanism, Free Inquiry, and Skeptical Inquirer, was dedicated in Amherst, New York. Entertainer Steve Allen, Nobel Laureate Herbert Hauptman, and Paul Kurtz were among the several hundred dignitaries who attended. Adjacent to Buffalo’s Amherst campus, the building houses all of the Council for Secular Humanism’s editorial, administrative, and warehouse operations. Its library complex, which has a 50,000-volume capacity, houses the largest freethought collection in the world.

CENTER FOR INQUIRY—Kansas City The Center for Inquiry Midwest is at 6301 Rockhill Road (Suite #412), Kansas City, Missouri 64131. Prof. Verle Muhrer is Executive Director; Richard Tolbert is special projects director; Steve Carr is in charge of operations; Henry Wahwussuck is prison outreach coordinator.

CENTER FOR INQUIRY—Los Angeles During 1996 donors gave or pledged almost $1.5 million to two capital fund drives benefiting construction of the Center for Inquiry—West, which will be built in the Los Angeles, California, area. Like the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York, it will house offices of the Council for Secular Humanism and the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP).

CENTER FOR INQUIRY—Moscow The Center for Inquiry at Moscow State University was inaugurated in 1997 and was cosponsored by the newly formed Russian Humanist Society and the International Academy of Humanism. An estimated fifty scientists and philosophers spoke. Professor Valerii Kuvakin is president of the Society. In attendance from the United States were Jan Eisler of the St. Petersburg, Florida, Humanist Society, Timothy J. Madigan of Free Inquiry, and Dr. Paul Kurtz. {Free Inquiry, Winter 1997-1998}

CENTER FOR INQUIRY—Oxford: See Centre for Critical Enquiry.

CENTER FOR INQUIRY INSTITUTE The Center for Inquiry Institute, Box 664, Amherst, New York 14226, offers courses in humanism and skepticism. It also sponsors an annual summer session and periodic workshops. The first Dean of the Council for Secular Humanism group was Vern Bullough. The current dean is Reid Johnson. Executive Director is Theodore Manekin. Special projects Director is Thomas Flynn. Chief Financial Officer is Barry Karr. Publications Coordinator is Lewis Vaughn. The board of directors includes Vern Bullough, Thomas Casten, Kendrick Frazier, David Hehehan, Lawrence Jones, Joseph Levee, and Robert Worsfold.

CENTER FOR RATIONAL THOUGHT The Center for Rational Thought is found on the Web: <http://www.teleport.com/~preacher>.

CENTER FOR THE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF CLAIMS OF THE PARANORMAL (CSICOP) Barry Karr is Executive Director of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), POBox 703, Amherst, New York 14226. E-mail: <Skeptinq@aol.com>. Web: <www.csicop.org>. CSICOP’s executive council includes the following: James Alcock, Barry Beyerstein, Thomas Casten, Kendrick Frazier, Martin Gardner, Ray Hyman, Philip Klass, Joe Nickell, Lee Nisbet, Amardeo Sarma, and Eugenie C. Scott. Associate members are Lawrence D. Jones and Mario Mendez-Acosta.

CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE The Earth used to be the theologian’s center of the universe. Later, the Sun. Later our Galaxy. Hubble and other astronomers and cosmologists have shown that no center exists for the galaxies.

CENTRAL AMERICAN HUMANISTS In 1989, the Costa Ricans founded their Asociación Ético Humanista Costarricense (ASEHUCO), an association of ethical humanists. In 1994, with the financial assistance of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) then in Utrecht, an association for all Spanish-speaking ethical humanists in the Americas was founded: Asociación Iberoamericana Ético Humanista (ASIBEHU). Instrumental in the group’s being founded were Rob Tielman in the Netherlands, Dr. Paul Kurtz of the Council for Secular Humanism, and Warren Allen Smith. Its first president was Alexander Cox Alvarado of Costa Rica. On the Web: <http://idt.net/~wasm/asibehu>.

CENTRAL LONDON HUMANISTS For information, telephone Cherie Holt on 0171 916 3015 or Hilary Leighter on 01895 632096.

CENTRE D’ACTION LAIQUE Centre d’Action Laique (IHEU), is a Belgian French-speaking humanist group at CP 236, Campus de la Plaine U.L.B., Boulevard du Triomphe, 1050 Brussels, Belgium Cp236, Campus de la Plaine. In 1997 its five-story headquarters building was inaugurated. (See entry for Belgian Humanists.)

CENTRE FOR CRITICAL STUDIES IN RELIGION, ETHICS, AND SOCIETY In 1995 at a Methodist school, Westminster College, Oxford, England, the Centre for Critical Studies in Religion, Ethics, and Society was inaugurated. Present among others were Jim Herrick, Paul Kurtz, and Nicolas Walter. Dr. Kurtz, during the dialogue between humanism and religion, commented, “Humanism, I submit, because of its emphasis on the dignity, value, and happiness of each individual, its reliance on critical thinking and scientific technology to solve human problems, and its desire to build a genuine democratic world community, is the most appropriate philosophy for the age. . . . However, it is clear that if humanism is to gain ground in the future, it will need to forge dramatic new ideals that can heighten the imagination and inspire commitment and devotion to them. But the question remains: Can it do so without betraying its skeptical methodology?” The Centre was sponsored by the Council for Secular Humanism’s International Academy of Humanism. R. J. Hoffmann, its director at Westminster College, Oxford University, has written that the centre is

. . . for the study of the humanist tradition, which is here defined very broadly to include both secular/rationalistic shades of humanism as well as religious/liberal religion shades. I am myself a Unitarian (perceived by most of my colleagues on the “secular” side, I fear as being therefore a “soft” humanist), but I am also a senior editor of the journal Free Inquiry and an advocate of dialogue between the denominations of the movement. I have little defence for occupying this middle ground (Antony Flew once accused me of occupying a muddled ground) except that I feel comfortable doing so and because I came to humanism through Unitarianism and still need the consolation of its patron saints.

{WAS, 24 October 1996}

CENTRO COSCIENZA Centro Coscienza, an Italian humanist group, is at Corso Di Porta Nuova, 16-20121, Milan, Italy. {FD}

CENTRO POSITIVISTA DO PARANA Centro Positivista do Parana is at Rua Comendador Araujo 531, 80420-000 Curitiba, Parana, Brazil. It is an associate member of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.

CEREMONIES Barthez, a French physician and friend of D’Alembert, was once shown by the Archbishop of Sens a number of works relating to the rites of his see. Barthez is said wittily to have observed, “These are the Sens ceremonies, but can you show me the sens [sense] of ceremonies?” (See entry for Paul Barthez.)

Ceresole, Pierre (1879—1945) Ceresole was the Swiss founder of Service Civil International. He was a pacifist, a conscientious objector, and the assistant secretary of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation. {TRI}

Cerniglia, Mimi (20th Century) Cerniglia, a board member in several elective positions of the American Association of University Women in North Carolina, is treasurer and vice-president of Freethinkers, Inc.

CERTAINTY • Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies. —Friedrich Nietzsche

• Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one. —Voltaire

Cerutti, Joseph Antoine Joachim (1738—1792) Cerutti was an Italian writer who joined the Jesuit Society and taught with distinction at Jesuit colleges. He then embraced the deistic opinions of philosophers he read. His Bréviaire Philosophique (to which he put the name of Frederic the Great) and his Les jardins de Betz (1792) reveal his skepticism. Cerutti accepted the Revolution, delivered a funeral oration in memory of Mirabeau, and was elected to the Legislative Assembly. {RAT}

Cervantes, Saavedra Miguel de (1547—1619) Cervantes is a major Spanish novelist, dramatist, and poet. In his youth and in the service of a cardinal, he studied philosophy and literature in Italy. His left arm was permanently crippled in the naval battle of Lepanto (1571), and when captured by Barbary pirates in 1575 he was sold as a slave, eventually becoming the property of the viceroy of Algiers. Américo Castro, in El Pensamiento de Cervantes, avers that Don Quixote de la Mancha (Part 1, 1605; Part 2, 1615) is more than just a parody of chivalry, that it is a profound study of the cultural times and contains elements of the author’s unbelief. Quixote [Quijote], the gentle old man who goes crazy over the ideals of chivalry, is the Spanish Everyman. He is the typical Spaniard who recognizes that the glory of Spain is in the past and, in the end, takes the expedient route of confessing his sins and leading the illusional life of being a good Catholic. The work also is his most anticlerical. In Cervantes’s time, the Inquisitors had their hands full now that the Protestant Reformation had arrived. Erasmistas, followers of Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, were considered heretics, Lutherans, or some kind of crypto-Protestants, and Cervantes was aware of their influence. Actually, according to John Devlin, Cervantes was most unorthodox:

Because of the Inquisition, writers had to disguise their message; basically Cervantes was heterodox. The author is constantly tampering with reality and posing the question as to what reality is. Thus, Cervantes is supposedly attacking the ultimate foundations of belief. For example, the knight fell upon the poor traveling barber and snatched his basin from his head. The Don was convinced that the basin was Mambrino’s helmet. Quijote’s companions discussed the matter at the inn and split the difference: from one point of view it was obviously a barber’s basin; from another it was Mambrino’s helmet.

The scholastic “principle of contradiction” states:

What is, is. What is not, is not. What is, is not what is not.

Once this principle is abandoned, the floodgates for multiple skepticism are open. The foundations of society are undermined and the ordered Thomistic logic of the Catholic church and its teachings are exposed to grave doubt.

Cervantes, in Novelas ejemplares (1613), included twelve original tales of piracy, gypsies, and human passions, drawn from his own experience, and his work in general had a major influence upon development in Europe of the novel. Despite the anticlericalism in parts of his writings, his work never made the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. {CE; EU, John Devlin; JMRH}

Cervone, Ed (1945- ) Cervone, an artist whose representational works are highly erotic, is a non-believer. He never knew his father, a German naval officer who commanded a submarine sunk by the Allies during World War II. His Latvian mother, who had fled to Germany to escape the Russian army, married an American soldier, and Cervone was raised in the United States, renamed by his stepfather. Two books containing his erotic drawings are Ed Cervone (Janssen Verlag, Berlin, 1995) and Ed Cervone: Phantasies of Gay Sex (Janssen Verlag, Berlin, 1996).

Cesalpino, Andrea (1519—1603) An Italian botanist and physiologist, Cesalpino (also called Andreas Caesalpinus) was physician to Pope Clement VIII. Linnaeus considered him the first true systematist and admitted his obligations to his Cesalpino’s Plantis (1583). In Demonum Investigatio, Cesalpino contended that “possession” by devils is amenable to medical treatment. His Quaestinum Peripateticarum (5 books, 1588) was condemned as teaching a pantheistic doctrine similar to that of Spinoza, and Bishop Parker denounced him. Cesalpino founded the botanical garden at the University of Pisa. {BDF; CE}

Cesareo, Giovanni Alfredo (Born 1861) An Italian poet and critic, Cesareo taught Italian literature at the University of Palermo. His rationalism is seen in his sympathetic article on Renan in the Nuovo Antologia (1892). {RAT}

Cevallos Estarellas, Pablo (20th Century) Cevallos, who teaches at the Catholic University of Santiago in Guayaquil, Ecuador, is a secular humanist with a special interest in logic and critical thinking. He is active with the Asociación Iberoamericana Ético Humanista, a group of Spanish-speaking ethical humanists in Central and South America. In 1996 he spoke about humanism in Latin America at the Humanist World Congress held in Mexico City. In 1997, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study at Montclair State University in New Jersey. E-mail: <cevallop@ucsg.edu.ec>.

Chadbourn, Catalina (20th Century) In 1995, Chadbourn became President of the University of Minnesota Atheists and Humanists (UMAH).

Chadwick, John White (1840—1904) Minister for forty years of the Second Unitarian Church in Brooklyn, New York, Chadwick was a prominent spokesman for the radical wing of late 19th-century American Unitarianism. He championed the theories of evolution, arguing that Darwin helped confirm a view of nature and humanity as part of an evolving cosmos unified by a God who was revealed in that evolutionary process. His biographies of Theodore Parker (1900) and William Ellery Channing (1903) were highly praised, and his anti-supernaturalism was basic to his philosophic outlook. {U&U}

Chaeremon (1st Century C.E.) An Alexandrian rationalist and one of Nero’s tutors, Chaeremon explained the Egyptian religion as a mere allegorizing of the physical order of the universe. He regarded comets, however, as divine portents. {JMR; JMRH}

Chaho, J. Augustin (1811—1858) A Basque man of letters, Chaho wrote Philosophy of Comparative Religion and a Basque dictionary. At Bayonne, he edited the Ariel, which in 1852 was suppressed and he was exiled. {BDF}

Chainey, George (19th Century) Chainey edited the semi-monthly Boston publication, Infidel Pulpit, in 1881. He wrote The Infidel Pulpit (c. 1880) and Relics of Barbarism (1881). {GS}

Chait, Leonardo (20th Century) Dr. Chait, who signed Humanist Manifesto 2000, and Virginia Li, his wife, formed a trust to help fund the Center for Inquiry–West in the Los Angeles area. They were among the first of the donors for the West Coast center for secular humanism.

Chakraberty, Chandra (20th Century) Chakraberty, a rationalist in India, wrote The Outline of Rationalism (1938). {GS}

Challemel-Lacour, Paul Armand (1827—1896) A French statesman, Challemel-Lacour taught French literature at Zurich, then returned to France in 1859 and joined the anti-clerical politicians, especially Gambetta. From 1880 to 1882 he was French Ambassador at London, where he was attacked by the Irish Catholics. He became President of the Senate in 1893. His Pensées d’un Pessimiste is rationalistic. {RAT}

Chaloner, Thomas (1595—1661)

A member of Parliament, Chaloner was a witness against Archbishop Laud and was one of the King Charles Judges. Wood has said that Chaloner “was as far from being a Puritan as the east is from the west” and that he “was of the natural religion.” His True and Exact Relation of the Finding of Moses His Tomb (1657) was a satire directed against the Presbyterians. Upon the Restoration, Chaloner fled to the Low Countries and died in Zeeland. {BDF; RAT}

Chamberlain, Arthur Neville [Prime Minister] (1869—1940) Chamberlain, the “man with the umbrella,” was a British statesman who stated that Hitler, a rational person like himself, would not go to war, that he could be trusted despite his record. This resulted in the “appeasement” that culminated in the Munich Pact—had Chamberlain admitted that Hitler could be stopped by force, Chamberlain would have had to admit that his own policies had been wrong, thereby endangering his own political reputation. He once described Spanish dictator Franco as “a gallant Christian gentleman.” After the British debacle in Norway in 1940, Chamberlain was forced to resign as prime minister, leading non-appeasers to suggest he be rapped over the head with his often-photographed umbrella. However, in 1993, a political biography of Winston Churchill has suggested that Britain should not have gone to war against Adolf Hitler. John Charmley in Churchill: The End of Glory suggests that Chamberlain and his supporters knew Britain lacked the power to defeat Hitler, that it was more expedient to be prudent realists and allow Germany to assume a dominant role in Europe, even though Hitler’s methods were disapproved as being coarse. Otherwise, Britain would either lose to Germany or become a slave to American power while the Soviet Union replaced Germany as the dominant power in that area. But when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, Chamberlain was forced, Gaddis Smith of Yale has said in reviewing the Charmley thesis, “to go to war rather than accept a fait accompli, as it had over Czechoslovakia at and after Munich in 1938-1939.” A biography by David Dilks in 1984 states that although Chamberlain was grounded in the austere tradition of Unitarianism, “He felt no close affinity with many established institutions. He drew no daily comfort or hope of salvation from religious faith. He would not attend church.” {CE; EG; TRI; U; UU}

Chamberlain, Basil Hall (1850—1918) Chamberlain, son of Vice-Admiral Chamberlain and brother of Houston Stewart Chamberlain, settled in Japan and became on authority who taught Japanese philology at the Tokyo Imperial University. He wrote a dictionary or cyclopedia entitled Things Japanese (1902) and The Invention of a New Religion (1912). Chamberlain, an agnostic, was an honorary associate of the British Rationalist Press Association. {GS; RAT; RE}

Chamberlain, Daniel Henry [Governor] (1835—1907) Chamberlain was a Governor of South Carolina. He took part in the Civil War, then became Attorney General (1865—1872) and Governor (1874—1877). All assumed he was an orthodox believer in religion. But upon his death, the North American Review published a document stating Chamberlain had been a “freethinker” all along, that he rejected “the idea of a presiding or controlling Deity,” and that he was skeptical about a future life. {JM; RAT}

Chamberlain, Houston Stewart (1855—1927) Chamberlain, a writer who was an enthusiastic Wagnerian and a student of science and philosophy, was a rationalist with some leaning to Hindu mysticism. He wrote Immanuel Kant (1921). Purportedly, however, his mysticism may have influenced Adolf Hitler. {RAT}

Chamberlain, Joseph (1836—1914) 

Chamberlain, a Unitarian, headed the National Liberation Federation in England. “I have always had a grudge against religion for absorbing the passion in men’s nature,” he once stated. {TRI}

Chambers, Betty (20th Century) Chambers was a four-term President of the American Humanist Association, serving from 1973 to 1979. She is assistant to the President of the American Humanist Association, is on the editorial board of The Humanist, is editor of Free Mind, and is active in the Puget Sound Humanist organization in Washington. Chambers signed Humanist Manifesto II. (See entry for Washington Atheists, Humanists.) {FD; HNS2}

Chambers, Ephraim (c. 1680—1740) Chambers originated the Cyclopaedia of Arts and Sciences, the first edition of which procured him admission to the Royal Society. A French translation gave rise to Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie. He also edited the Literary Magazine, making known his infidel opinions. The encyclopedia was placed on the Roman Index, but Chambers was buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey. {BDF; RAT; RE}

Chambers, Jerry (20th Century) Chambers was on the board of directors of the American Humanist Association in the 1950s.

Chambers, Robert (1802—1871) A deist, Chambers rejected both the divine creation and religious fundamentalism’s miracles. He did, however, believe in a First Cause. His Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844) is said by Birx to be the most important work on organic evolution to appear between Lamarck and Charles Darwin. However, it contained errors of fact and interpretation, and the year Chambers died Darwin published his own more scientifically oriented Descent of Man.00 McCabe labels him a non-Christian theist. {CE; EU, H. James Birx; JMR; RAT; RE}

Chamfort, Sébastian Roch Nicolas de (1740—1794) A French writer known for his maxims and epigrams, Chamfort was popular at court because of his acute observations on literature, morals, and politics, this despite his republican beliefs. He was admired by Jean Rostand. Albert Camus called him a “true classic” and “a moralist as profound as Mme. de Lafayette or Benjamin Constant, and he takes his place, in spite of or because of his impassioned blindness, among the great creators of a certain art in which the truth of life is at no point sacrificed to the artifices of language.” W. S. Merwin, reviewing Claude Arnaud’s biography, Chamfort (1992), states that the philosopher E. M. Cioran spoke of Chamfort with respect and that Cyril Connolly “adopted Chamfort as a kind of private cult figure. . . . [Connolly] got away with it partly because his readers (as he must have assumed) knew little about Chamfort.” During the French Revolution, with its Reign of Terror, Chamfort the freethinker was denounced. Eventually, he committed suicide. {CE; JMR; JMRH}

Chamisso, Adelbert von (1781—1838) A French poet and naturalist, Chamisso in 1815 sailed round the world in the Rurik, and on his return he became custodian of the Berlin Botanical Institute. Many of his poems are bitterly anti-clerical, and he was both a skeptic and a rationalist. {RAT}

Champion, Henry Hyde (1859—1928) “Harry” Champion was a socialist propagandist who arrived in Australia from India in 1890, then returned to England in 1891. He was a friend of Annie Besant’s daughter, Mabel Besant-Scott. In Australia in 1898 he married Elsie Belle, sister of woman emancipist and suffrage worker, Vida Goldstein. The Goldsteins converted to Christian Science, which presented a medical problem for Champion, said to have had a venereal disease. Champion’s days for activism or campaigning for the secular cause diminished after his marriage. From 1906 to 1909, he was President of the Victorian Socialist Party. {SWW}

Champion, Rafe Alfred (1945— ) Champion, who grew up on a dairy farm in Tasmania, is an Australian humanist, liberal agnostic, biologist, technical editor, and writer. An admirer of the humanist philosophy of Karl Popper, Champion joined the New South Wales Humanists, establishing a working group on birth control and family planning. He is a joint author of Discrimination and Intellectual Handicap.

Champollion, Jean François (1790—1832) Champollion was a French Eyptologist who read Arabic, Persian, and Sanskrit as well as ancient Egyptian. He is credited with learning the secret of the hieroglyphic inscriptions (1822). Although the Church still claims him, his biographer, Hartleben, reproduced a discussion of religion which Champollion wrote and concludes that he had quit the church because of his skepticism. {JM; RAT; RE}

Chan, Pearl (20th Century) Chan, a Harvard University member of the Campus Freethought Alliance, was a 1998 signer of the Bill of Rights for Unbelievers.

Chance, Janet (1885—1953) Chance, a freethinker, was head in England of the Abortion Law Reform Association. {TRI}

Chancellor, John (1927—1996) An American reporter, news anchor, and commentator for NBC, Chancellor was “the wise man with ready wit,” Jack Thomas wrote in the Boston Globe. In an interview the year before Chancellor died of cancer, Thomas asked if he feared death and was told, “not as much as I would have thought.” Thomas then asked what he thought happens after death, to which Chancellor replied, “I’ve been an agnostic for as long as I can remember . . . so I don’t know where we go. But if it turns out that the lights are just turned off and nothing happens, well, that’s OK.” {E}

Chand, Gopi (20th Century) Chand was an eminent Telugu litterateur. Although he was a radical humanist much of his life, he converted to mysticism and became a disciple of Sri Aurobindo in his last days.

Chandler, David Ross (1938— ) Chandler is book review editor of Religious Humanism, the quarterly of the Fellowship of Religious Humanists. He is author of Toward Universal Religion (1996).

Chandler, John (20th Century) Chandler, who teaches philosophy at the University of Adelaide, is active in the Humanist Society of South Australia.

Chandler, Michael (20th Century) Chandler, a high school principal, received the 1997 Freethinker of the Year Award by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. A native of Alabama and a graduate of that state’s university, he successfully challenged a 1993 law promoting prayer in public schools. Alabama’s governor, however, counseled schools not to comply but did not appeal the ruling. “Extremists,” Chandler has said, “use this majority rule argument—which is mob rule—to force religion down your throat. My civil rights are not up for majority vote.” {Freethought Today, March 1998}

Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan (1910—1995) Chandrasekhar was elected in 1968 as an honorary associate by the Rationalist Press Association. A theoretical astrophysicist, he was on the faculty of the University of Chicago. Among his books are An Introduction to the Study of Stellar Structure (1939) and Ellipsoidal Figures of Equilibrium (1969). From 1952 to 1971, he was managing editor of The Astrophysical Journal. In 1994 Chandrasekhar was elected to the Royal Society and in 1983 was awarded the Nobel Prize. In a December 1995 obituary in New Humanist, Hermann Bondi noted that Chandrasekhar’s uncle, Sir C. V. Raman, was also a Nobel Laureate. Bondi included details about a quarrel with Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, in which Chandrasekhar showed that the ultimate fate of a star that has exhausted its nuclear fuel; it contracts and can reach equilibrium in a highly condensed state of future density only if its mass is less than the “Chandrasekhar limit”; more massive stars must go on contracting without limit, ending up as a “Black Hole.” Eddington, however, argued against this, and Bondi speculates, “My suspicion is that he, a devout Quaker who firmly believed in an orderly universe, was unwilling to accept that something as singular (and to him obnoxious) as a Black Hole could form naturally. This is another instance where deep faith can make an otherwise friendly and reasonable person behave nastily and irrationally.”

Changeux, Jean Pierre (1936— ) A professor at Collège de France and Institut Pasteur, Changeux is a Humanist Laureate in the Council for Secular Humanism’s International Academy of Humanism. He is author of L’Homme neuronal (1983) and co-editor (with M. Konishi) of The Neural and Molecular Basis of Learning: Report of the Dahlem Workshop on the Neural and Molecular Bases of Learning (1987). In 1994, he wrote Raison et plaisir. He signed Humanist Manifesto 2000. With Alain Connes, a distinguished mathematician, Changeux wrote Conversations on Mind, Matter, and Mathematics (1995). The conversation by Changeux, the celebrated neuroscientist and molecular biologist, with Connes pointed up differences of opinion on basic matters. Connes chides Changeux for not grasping some points about quantum physics, for example. But Changeux relates and questions to his vision of humans as being complex biological systems, the result of millions of years of evolutionary changes. He thinks of mathematics as a human construction, the result of having been shaped by the intricacies of neural wiring and cultural transmission. Changeux, according to Philip Kitcher, the Presidential Professor of Philosophy at the University of California in San Diego, includes an overview of the fundamentals of neuroscience which “is a model of lucidity.”

Channing, William Ellery (1780—1842) A prominent writer and a major figure in liberal religion, Channing was instrumental in identifying the goals of contemporary Unitarianism. Of Channing, Lamont has written, “While the world-view of the Unitarians was certainly non-Humanist, they were on the whole liberals in theology and also backed most of the important social reforms of the nineteenth century. They gave emphasis, too, to the right of individual religious freedom and welcomed into the Unitarian fellowship even those who questioned the existence of a personal God.” It is generally held that Channing is the single most important figure in the history of American Unitarianism. {CE; CL; ER; FUS; U; U&U; UU}

Channing, William Henry (1810—1884) The nephew of William Ellery Channing, William Henry Channing became a Unitarian minister and also collaborated with James Freeman Clarke and others on the Transcendentalist and Unitarian periodical, Western Messenger. Although he influenced the Brook Farm commune to embrace Charles Fourier’s ideas, the commune collapsed after the fire of 1846. His emphasis on Unitarianism focused on the church’s need to work for the progress of the human race as a whole, not simply emphasize the individual. {CE; U; U&U}

Chantrey, Francis Leggatt [Sir] (1781—1841) An eminent British sculptor, Chantrey abandoned “all Christian and religious feelings,” his biographer Holland states. Chantrey’s large fortune was left to the Royal Academy to found the trust that is still known as the Chantrey Bequest. {JM; RAT; RE}

CHAOS In Greek mythology, Chaos was the unfathomable space out of which all—including Gaea, the mother of all things—arose. Another version is that Eurynome rose out of Chaos, creating all things. The concept of chaos has come to refer to the confusion of matter, out of which the universe grew. In mathematics, physics, and other fields, according to James Gleick’s Chaos: Making A New Science (1987), chaos has taken on a contemporary significance, as illustrated in the work of the physicist Mitchell Feigenbaum, the Polish-born mathematician and inventor of fractals Benoit Mandelbrot, and the mathematician James Yorke. In current usage, between order and chaos lies complexity. Order, or stability, is a static, repeating state. {CE}

Chapin, Augusta Jane (1836—1905) One of the first Universalist women to be ordained, Chapin was active in the temperance movement and a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Women. She was a leading organizer of the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions and the first woman in America to be awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. {U; U&U}

Chapin, Edwin Hubbell (1814—1880) Minister of the Universalist Church of the Divine Paternity in New York City, Chapin was said to be one of the greatest orators of his day. Religion, he preached in a pragmatic way, is “not merely a theory of existence” but a “working-power.” {U; U&U}

Chapin, Lydia Maria (Born 1802) A Unitarian, Chapin was a 19th century author. {U}

Chapin, Schyler Garrison (1923— ) Chapin has been director of the Masterworks Columbia Records Division of CBS (1959—1962), vice president of programming of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (1964—1965), the Acting General Manager of the New York Metropolitan Opera (1972—1973), and in 1994 became the Cultural Affairs Executive of the City of New York. Chapin, a member of All Souls Church in New York City, is author of an autobiography, Musical Chairs (1977), and Leonard Bernstein, Notes from a Friend (1992).

CHAPLAIN Before the 20th century, a chaplain was a priest who served an institutional chapel or was appointed to the army or navy. The term may first have been applied to the priest-custodian of the cape (cappella) of St. Martin of Tours. In the 20th century, chaplains are still assigned to the Armed Forces. In the Netherlands, for example, a special post of Humanist Chaplain exists in light of the large numbers of Dutch who are humanists. Harvard University has created the position of Humanist Chaplain, a person who works with agnostics, atheists, and other freethinkers on the faculty and in the student body. In 1998 when Denis Cobell was named by Lewisham’s mayor the “Mayor’s chaplain—humanist officiant,” a priest objected that such an appointment by the English mayor “sends out completely the wrong signals to people—especially if they are going to call him chaplain.” Cobell quickly retorted that the title “Father” was hardly less confusing. (See entry for Harvard Chaplaincy.)

Chaplin, Charles Spencer [Sir] (1889—1977) 

Sir Charlie Chaplin, who was knighted one year before his death, was the English film actor known internationally as the Little Tramp. With his baggy trousers, black derby, cane, and over-sized shoes, he entertained audiences in silent short movies, then silent features, and in 1940 movies with sound. With D. W. Griffith, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford, he co-founded United Artists in 1919. His features include “The Kid” (1920), “The Gold Rush” (1924), “City Lights” (1931), “The Great Dictator” (1940), and “Limelight” (1952). Oona O’Neill, daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill, was his fourth wife. On political grounds, Chaplin was barred from returning to the United States, so he resided in Switzerland. Born in London, Chaplin was the son of a music hall singer who left the boy’s mother before the child was two and saw him rarely thereafter, dying in 1901. His mother when he was but a child was certified insane in 1903. Chaplin and a brother survived the workhouse and several poor-law schools, then entered showbusiness. Ironically, by 1916, Chaplin was earning more money than the President of the United States. In My Autobiography (1964), Chaplin wrote,

There is a fraternity of those who passionately want to know. I was one of them. But my motives were not so pure; I wanted to know, not for the love of knowledge but as a defence against the world’s contempt for the ignorant. So when I had time I browsed around the second-hand bookshops. In Philadelphia, I inadvertently came upon an edition of Robert Ingersoll’s Essays and Lectures. This was an exciting discovery; his atheism confirmed my own belief that the horrific cruelty of the Old Testament was degrading to the human spirit.

The pompous-sounding title of his autobiography reminded Wesleyan University professor Jeanine Basinger of Katharine Hepburn’s Me. She terms Walter Kerr’s The Silent Clowns as the best film book about Chaplin’s works and Lita Grey Chaplin’s My Life With Chaplin as the one written by an ex-wife with the longest list of complaints. Joyce Milton’s Tramp (1996) described Chaplin’s movies between 1931 and 1940 as handmade products in an era of mass production. She tells of his Dickensian childhood and his view of Communists: “They presented themselves as the representatives of the oppressed classes, with whom he identified, and they also purported to have the one correct answer to every question.” But he was not a party member and became disaffected with the group by the end of the 1920s. The Chaplin Milton portrayed is a petty individual, one who started lawsuits against his friends but one whose talent was in creating unique, hilarious movies. She depicted Chaplin as a great admirer of the Russian Revolution, quoting a 1942 remark of his that the American people were beginning

to understand the Russian purges, and what a wonderful thing they were. Yes, in those purges the Communists did away with their Quislings and Lavals and if other nations had done the same there would not be the original Quislings and Lavals today.

Rarely, lamented Milton, had the Stalinists “received such a ringing endorsement.” The Manual of a Perfect Atheist quotes Chaplin:

By simple common sense I don’t believe in God, in none.

Colleen Moore, in her autobiography, Silent Star, described how in 1922 Chaplin invited her and the four owners of First National Pictures to his home. He had heard that Robert Leiber, its president, had purchased Papini’s “Life of Christ,” and Leiber nodded yes. Chaplin nodded also, saying, “I want to play the role of Jesus. Although everyone appeared to be stunned by his request, Chaplin followed with:

I’m a logical choice. I look the part. I’m a Jew. And I’m a comedian. And I’m an atheist, so I’d be able to look at the character objectively. Who else could do that?

Although he did not choose Chaplin, Leiber said wistfully, “It would be the greatest religious picture ever made, but I’d be run out of Indianapolis.” (See entry for Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which for some reason post-baptized Chaplin. Also, see entry for the atheist, Pier Paolo Pasolini, who directed “the greatest religious picture ever made.” The entry for George Orwell indicates the creator of Big Brother thought Chaplin was Jewish.) {CE; Tim Madigan, Free Inquiry, Spring 1991}; The New York Times 28 July 1996}

Chaplin, Charles Spencer [Sir] (16 Apr 1889 - 25 Dec 1977) Sir Charlie Chaplin, who was knighted one year before his death, was the English film actor known internationally as the Little Tramp. With his baggy trousers, black derby, cane, and over-sized shoes, he entertained audiences in silent short movies, then silent features, and in 1940 movies that had sound. With D. W. Griffith, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford, he co-founded United Artists in 1919. His features include The Kid (1920), The Gold Rush (1924), City Lights (1931), The Great Dictator (1940), and Limelight (1952). Born in London, Chaplin was the son of a music hall singer who left the boy’s mother before the child was two and saw him rarely thereafter, dying in 1901. His mother when he was but a child was certified insane in 1903. Chaplin and a brother survived the workhouse and several poor-law schools, then entered showbusiness. Oona O’Neill, daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill, was his fourth wife. The Manual of a Perfect Atheist quotes Chaplin as saying, "By simple common sense I don’t believe in God, in none." In My Autobiography (1964), Chaplin wrote,

There is a fraternity of those who passionately want to know. I was one of them. But my motives were not so pure; I wanted to know, not for the love of knowledge but as a defence against the world’s contempt for the ignorant. So when I had time I browsed around the second-hand bookshops. In Philadelphia, I inadvertently came upon an edition of Robert Ingersoll’s Essays and Lectures. This was an exciting discovery; his atheism confirmed my own belief that the horrific cruelty of the Old Testament was degrading to the human spirit.

The pompous-sounding title of his autobiography reminded Wesleyan University professor Jeanine Basinger of Katharine Hepburn’s Me. She terms Walter Kerr’s The Silent Clowns as the best film book about Chaplin’s works and Lita Grey Chaplin’s My Life With Chaplin as the one written by an ex-wife with the longest list of complaints. Joyce Milton’s Tramp (1996) described Chaplin’s movies between 1931 and 1940 as handmade products in an era of mass production. She tells of his Dickensian childhood and his view of Communists: “They presented themselves as the representatives of the oppressed classes, with whom he identified, and they also purported to have the one correct answer to every question.” But he was not a party member and became disaffected with the group by the end of the 1920s. Ironically, by 1916, Chaplin was earning more money than the President of the United States. The Chaplin Milton portrayed is a petty individual, one who started lawsuits against his friends but one whose talent was in creating unique, hilarious movies. She depicted Chaplin as a great admirer of the Russian Revolution, quoting a 1942 remark of his that the American people were beginning "to understand the Russian purges, and what a wonderful thing they were. Yes, in those purges the Communists did away with their Quislings and Lavals and if other nations had done the same there would not be the original Quislings and Lavals today. Rarely, lamented Milton, had the Stalinists “received such a ringing endorsement.” On political grounds, Chaplin was barred from returning to the United States, so he resided in Switzerland. Colleen Moore’s autobiography, Silent Star, described how in 1922 Chaplin invited her and the four owners of First National Pictures to his home. He had heard that Robert Leiber, its president, had purchased Papini’s “Life of Christ,” and Leiber nodded yes. Chaplin nodded also, saying, “I want to play the role of Jesus. Although everyone appeared to be stunned by his request, Chaplin followed with:

I’m a logical choice. I look the part. I’m a Jew. And I’m a comedian. And I’m an atheist, so I’d be able to look at the character objectively. Who else could do that?

Although he did not choose Chaplin, Leiber said wistfully, “It would be the greatest religious picture ever made, but I’d be run out of Indianapolis.” [George Orwell indicated that the creator of Big Brother thought Chaplin was Jewish.] {CE; Tim Madigan, Free Inquiry, Spring 1991}; The New York Times, 28 July 1996}

Chapman, Antony M. (20th Century) Chapman is on the Board of Directors of the British Rationalist Press Association. He is associated with the Humanist Media Committee and is a director of the Rationalist Press Association.

Chapman, John (Born 1839) Chapman was a freethinker who wrote for and was the proprietor of Westminster Review.

Chapman, Linda (20th Century) Chapman is Member at Large of Arizona Secular Humanists.

Chapman, Stephen James (1954— ) Chapman, a columnist, was associate editor of The New Republic (1978—1981), and since 1981 he has been editorial writer and columnist for The Chicago Tribune. Chapman has gone on record as being a non-theist:

What I no longer understand, looking back on my life as a Christian, is the capacity to believe in something so outlandish as the existence of an Almighty God—much less one who created us all one by one, cherishes our immortal souls, intervenes on behalf of those who call upon his name, and holds a place for his faithful in an everlasting paradise. None of us has ever seen this being; none of us has ever heard him, except in the silence of our heads; none of us can produce a piece of evidence as large as a mustard seed that what we think of as God is anything more than a thought. Our scientists can see stars that have been dead for a billion years; they can document microscopic bacteria that concluded their brief lives on earth eons ago. But of God we have no trace, except for the testimony of scribes writing of events neither they nor those around them every witnessed—and the faith of millions of people who have managed to convince themselves that he lives and reigns somewhere in the sky.

{CA; E}

Chappell, Arthur (20th Century) Chappell, in a Freethinker (June 1994) article entitled “Humanism Keynote of Starship Space Quests,” disagrees with any critics who hold that the program’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, is guilty of militarism, racism, or fascism. Rather, he argues, “Star Trek is essentially a science fiction vision of mankind humanising a dangerous and exciting universe.” And he notes that Roddenberry was a passionate humanist. Once, he relates, Roddenberry was asked to put a padre in the regular cast in order to explain Christian values to aliens. The author wisely put his foot down: “How could you have a chaplain if you’ve got that many people of different and alien beliefs on your ship? With as many planets as we were visiting, every person on the ship would have to be a chaplain!”

Chappellsmith, Margaret (Born 1806) Chappellsmith was a writer of political articles in the Dispatch and lectured on socialism and freethought. Moncure D. Conway mentioned that Chappellsmith was the first female lecturer of the English Communists established by Robert Owen and others, in Broughton, a little village twenty miles north of the New Forest. Of this community, which Margaret Reynolds (her maiden name) joined, and where she became personally acquainted with many of the leading English freethinkers, Conway remarks as follows: The English Communists, the first considerable body in England who ever professed Materialism, and the only party, perhaps, that never possessed it, made their first practical settlement in Hampshire, at a time when society was hard and cold, taxation heavy, the people ignorant, and workingmen homeless. Robert Owen—the first to bring a breath of courage upon those evil days with which the present generation opened—and his disciples set up a propagandism, and subscribed money to create that situation in which it should be impossible for men to be depraved or poor. Looking around on the besotted and criminal, Owen said, “Give me a tiger and I will educate it!”

In that faith he called around him the most earnest men of his time, for the effort which represented more high sentiment and spiritual hope than any movement England has seen. . . . Harmony Hall (the name of the Community at Broughton) came to know discord, and after a few years of struggle came to an end, by a complication of disorders such as are too familiar in such experiments to require mention in detail.

When Harmony Hall, “the English Brook Farm,” broke up, the Chappellsmiths moved to America. In 1850 she contributed to the Boston Investigator. {BDF; SAU; WWS}

Chaptal, Jean Antoine Claude [Count de Chanteloup] (1756—1832) A French chemist and statesman who had been trained in medicine, Chaptal turned to chemistry and rendered great service to the Revolution and to Napoleon, who made him a count. Chaptal retired at the royalist-clerical reaction but was, in spite of his freethinking, recalled and sent to the Home of Peers by the King. His great-grandson, the Viscount Chaptal, says in his Souvenirs sur Napoleon that he “had no religion” but believed in “a sort of Providence.” {JM; RAT; RE}

CHARACTER • What you are thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

• Four characteristics seem to me jointly to form the basis of an ideal character: vitality, courage, sensitiveness, and intelligence. I do not suggest that this list is complete, but I think it carries us a good way. Moreover, I firmly believe that by proper physical, emotional, and intellectual care of the young, these qualities could all be made very common. —Bertrand Russell Education and the Good Life (1926)

Charbonnel, Victor (20th Century) A writer who had been educated for the Catholic priesthood, Charbonnel left the priesthood and the Church in 1897. He then became a leader and propagandist of rationalism in France, founding La Raison in 1901 and becoming co-editor of L’Action in 1902. {RAT}

Charavay, Gabriel (19th Century) In France, Charavay rejected religion and was a humanitarian and materialist.

CHARISMATIC RELIGION : See entry for Pentecostalism.

Charles, Andrew (20th Century) Charles, writing in Freethought Today (June-July 1996), includes the following as “Freethought’s Greatest Hits” in music:

• Baker, LaVern, “Saved”—a satirical testimony of a liar-cheater-hootchykoo dancer turned Salvation Army bass drum thumper

• Barker, Dan and Kristin Lems, “My Thoughts Are Free”—by the production assistant of Freethought Today, a performer who also wrote “Reason’s Greetings! All Year ‘Round”

• Berlin, Irving, “Pack Up Your Sins (And Go to the Devil in Hades)”—the tune tells why Hell is so much more fun than Heaven

• Burdon, Eric, “Sky Pilot”—an emotional critique of religion’s complacency during wartime

• Charming Beggars, “Tales You Tell”—an excoriation of preachers

• Crawford, Anthony, “Fit In”—an expression of the plight of not being able to believe in God and wondering how he “fits in”

• Crosby, Stills & Nash, “Cathedral”—a surrealistic flight through Winchester Cathedral that lands firmly onto unbelief

• Dead Kennedys, “Frankenchrist”—a slam on televangelists

• Dyer-Bennet, Richard, “The Vicar of Bray”—about a vicar determined to keep his job no matter who is on the throne, or how much he has to compromise himself

• Gershwin, George and Ira Gershwin, “It Ain’t Necessarily So”—those things you read in the Bible

• Harding, John Wesley, “The Devil In Me”—the British singer recounts his dirty deeds, then reveals his true identity: humanity

• Head, Murray and the Trinidad Singers, “Superstar”—a comment about Jesus

• Head, Murray, Ian Gillan and others, “Jesus Christ Superstar”—views the “son of God” in an earthly light

• Hills, Joe, “The Preacher and the Slave”—among the many recorded versions of Hill’s “In the Sweet By and By” re-write are those of “Haywire” McClintock and poet Carl Sandburg

• Lehrer, Tom, “Vatican Rag”—he admitted poking fun at the ritual but not at the religion, then suggested that the most sacrilegious song is “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition,” which implies “that God approves of A killing B but not B killing A.”

• Lennon, John, “God”—an unapologetic response to his once having been forced to apologize for saying the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus”

• Lennon, John, “Imagine”—a vision of a religionless, peaceful world

• Living Colour, “Cult of Personality”—the black musicians warn about personality cults

• M.C. 900-foot Jesus with D. J. Zero, “I’m Going Straight To Heaven”—a white freethought rapper mocks streetcorner preachers, even distorting his voice to make it sound like it’s going through a bullhorn.

• Nine Inch Nails, “Terrible Lie”—God is cursed for making the world and the singer so lousy; then the singer pleads for a reason to believe

• Robbins, Marty, “I’ll Go On Alone”—a country song about a wife’s conversion to born-againism, leading the husband to go on alone

• The Temptations, “You Make Your Own Heaven and Hell Right Here on Earth”—an obscurity from their “Psychedelic Shack” album

• XTC, “Dear God”—an unabashedly atheistic anthem produced by Todd Rundgren

Many musical groups have members who are freethinkers. For example, the Headstones, a Toronto group that has performed in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, has four Unitarians: Tim White, bass; Trent Carr, guitar; Steve Carr, tour manager; and Beverly Carr, publicist. A rock group, the Headstones, are on the Web at: <http://ww.headstones.com>.

Charles, Martin S. (20th Century) In 1931, Charles edited Godless World in Oakland, California.

Charleton, Walter (17th Century) Charleton, an atheist, wrote The Darkness of Atheism Dispelled by the Light of Nature (1652). {GS}

Charma, Antoine (1801—1869) A French philosopher, Charma was denounced for his impiety by the Count de Montalembert in the Chamber of peers, which resulted in an unsuccessful attempt to unseat him as a professor of philosophy at Caen. Charma wrote many philosophical works, including an account of Didron’s Histoire de Dieu. {BDF; RAT}

Charron, Pierre (1541—1603) Charron’s La Sagesse (1601) presented Montaigne’s thoughts and quickly made the Vatican’s list of prohibited books in 1605. His writing emphasized that nature, like mankind, has failings and inconsistencies, that both are reflections of the divine. Franck has written that “the scepticism of Charron inclines visibly to sensualisme and even to materialism.” Jesuits denounced his work as “a brutal atheism.” {BDF; CE; EU, Vivien Thweatt; ILP; RAT; RE}

Chartier, Émile Auguste (1868—1951) Using the pseudonym, Alain, Chartier wrote of his belief in an ethic of agnosticism based on a realistic acceptance of the limitations of human understanding. His work, states Thweatt, contributed to a new secular humanism. Alain wrote for La Nouvelle Revue Française. {EU, Vivien Thweatt}

Charvaka (Ancient India) Charvaka, or Lokayata, is a philosophic and materialist movement in India that rejects the ideas of karma and moksha (spiritual liberation). Its adherents are atheistic and do not believe in a future life: Only this world exists. No outstanding individual is representative of the group. A. J. Mattill Jr., in “An Ancient Atheist” (The American Rationalist, January-February 1999), describes the materialistic view of Charvaka, that matter is eternal and consists of the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Naturalistically, not supernaturalistically, there is no heaven, hell, transmigration of souls, retribution, reward, punishment. The Supreme Being was the earthly ruler of a state, one expected to be the arbiter of right and wrong in society. Charvaka rejected the authority of the Vedas, advocated trying to achieve happiness here and now, and found all religion to be an aberration. Mattill concludes that some of us “may prefer Epicurus’ description of the summum bonum to Charvaka’s.” However, the outlook protested the superstitions of its day, and modern rationalists are much indebted to the Charvaka manner of thinking. (See Dr. Dakshina Ranjan Sastri’s Charvaka Philosophy, which was published in Calcutta in 1967.)

CHARVAKAM A Telugu monthly, Charvakam is at B. Ramakrishna, Nidamarru, Mangalagiri 522 503, India.

Chase, Stuart (1888—1985) An economist, the social scientist who probably coined the term “New Deal” used by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Chase is author of A New Deal (1932); A Tyranny of Words (1938), which Sinclair Lewis referred to as the most important book of 1938; and The Proper Study of Mankind (1948). In 1951, he wrote the following about humanism:

Your question baffles me a little, because, since I took up semantics, I’m pretty shy of hard and fast categories. I’ve been called a “scientific humanist,” whatever that means, and of the categories you named in your letter, I’m sure I belong more with Julian Huxley and John Dewey—though I am not so sure about Thomas Mann and George Santayana. A handy book published by Simon & Schuster in 1939, edited by Clifton Fadiman and entitled I Believe, contains a summary of my point of view, together with the views of Thomas Mann, Franz Boas, Havelock Ellis, Julian Huxley, John Dewey, Albert Einstein, Lewis Mumford, Joseph Krutch, and many others. Using the operational definition of the physicists (see P. W. Bridgman, The Logic of Modern Physics, where the label comes out of what one does), I would seem to fall under ‘Naturalistic (or Scientific) Humanism.’ All my books deal with aspects of the scientific method applied to various phrases of human behavior. I have never been able to see how intuition, Authority, or common sense can save us in the long run, helpful as they may sometimes be in the short run. Only knowledge can save us, and knowledge depends on the scientific method—gathering the facts, evolving a theory to explain them, and applying standards of verification which other competent observers can repeat. The process is cumulative, and perhaps the major characteristic of the participant is the ability to say: ‘I was wrong.’ With the release of atomic energy, the fulcrum of the scientific method must now swing to problems of human behavior, especially ways and means for reaching agreement; for getting along with other races, religions, nations, classes, to the end of abolishing war, and using the new energy to establish world-wide standards of economic and emotional security. Finally, I believe that most of us use our minds far below capacity—like a power house operating at half load. Scientists are now in the process of discovering ways and means to improve the load factor. (See W. R. Ashby, Design for a Brain; J. Z. Young, Doubt and Certainty in Science; Sir George Thomson, The Foreseeable Future). Assuming the process successful, a whole new dimension opens for mankind: what now seems desirable may prove a blind alley; what now seems impossible becomes negotiable. I carry around a private picture which I call “The Man on the Cliff.” He is that human being, outlined against the sky, which we might all be if the bonds of ignorance now holding us were loosened.

In 1954, Chase wrote again, stating that he considered himself “80% a Humanist.” He asked The Humanist to consider reviewing his latest humanistic work, Some Things Worth Knowing (1958). The Humanist Newsletter (September-October 1953) quoted him as saying:

I tend to be guided in conscious decisions by four criteria: (a) that I am a creature of this earth; (b) that I am a member of a human group; (c) that it is meaningless to judge other members of the group until the biological and psychological facts are in; and (d) that progress depends not on revealed authority, not on ethics and morals, which shift with the folkways, but on using the scientific attitude in social as well as in physical affairs.

{CE; WAS, 23 March 1951}

Chasman, Deborah (20th Century) Chasman, a senior editor at Beacon Press, was a finalist for the 1995 Literary Market Place award for individual achievement in editorial trade publishing. She was recognized for attracting to Beacon such prominent authors as Doris Grumbach, Faye Moskowitz, Richard Mohr, and Cornel West. {World, May-June 1995}

Chastelet du Lomont, Gabrielle Emilie [Marchioness] (1706—1749) Chastelet (or Châtelet) du Lomont came from a noble family and learned Latin, Italian, English, and Spanish before she was sixteen years of age. She published a work on physical philosophy called Institutions de Physique (1740) and translated Newton’s Principia. Chastelet lived for thirteen years with Voltaire at Cirey between 1735 and 1747, and addressed to him her Deistic work, Doubts on Revealed Religions (1792). According to McCabe, it can be said of the marchioness, one of the most beautiful and accomplished women of her time, that “in this case the godly do not claim the brilliant lady.” Her Treatise on Happiness was praised by Condorcet. {BDF; JM; WWS}

Chastellux, François Jean de [Count] [Marquis de] (1734—1788) Count Chastellux was a soldier, traveler, and writer. Voltaire praised his On Public Happiness (1776). His article on “Happiness” in the Encyclopédie was suppressed by the censor because it did not mention God. {BDF; RAT}

CHASTITY • Chastity: the most unnatural of the sexual perversions. —Aldous Huxley (also attributed to Anatole France.)

• We may eventually come to realize that chastity is no more a virtue than malnutrition. —Alex Comfort (See entry for Virgins.)

Chateaubriand, François René, Vicomte de (1768—1848) The founder of romanticism in French literature, Chateaubriand was the most important French author of his time. The Martyrs celebrates Christianity’s victory over paganism. Despite the accumulating evidence of geology and paleontology, Chateaubriand persisted, Robertson lamented, “with his grotesque theorem that God made the world out of nothing with all the marks of antiquity upon it—the oaks at the start bearing ‘last year’s nests’—(on the ground that) if the world were not at once young and old, the great, the serious, the moral would disappear from nature, for these sentiments by their essence attach to antique things.” Robertson adds, “It is humiliating, but instructive to realize that only a century ago a ‘Christian reaction’ in a civilized country was inspired by such an order of ideas (as found in Chateaubriand’s Gémoe di Christianisme (The Genius of Christianity) [1802]) and that in the nation of Laplace, with his theory in view, it was the fashion thus to prattle in the taste of the Dark Ages.” {CE; JMR}

Châtelet, Gabrielle Émilie du (Marchioness): See entry for Chastelet.

Chatterton, Thomas (1752—1770) Called “the marvelous boy poet,” Chatterton wrote poems which he pretended were written by one Thomas Rowley in the fourteenth century and discovered by him in an old chest in Redcliffe Church. Several of his poems were deistic in content. In his letters he professed his rationalism. “I am no Christian,” he wrote to his family shortly before his death. When he visited London in 1769 and had bitter experiences, he destroyed himself in a fit of despair. {BDF; RE}

Chattopadhyaya, Debiprasad (1918—1993) Prof. Chattopadhyaya, a noted academician and philosopher of international repute, taught more than two decades in Calcutta, Bombay, and other colleges in India. His expertise in Indian philosophy and his emphasis on the study of the history of science and technology were guides to students and researchers trying to understand the complexities of development of knowledge in India. In 1987 he was elected National Fellow of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research. He was a member of the German Academy of Sciences and was the first Indian to be awarded the D. Sc. (honoris causa) from the Academy of Sciences, Moscow. Among his major publications were Lokayata: A Study in Ancient Indian Materialism (1959); Indian Philosophy: A Popular Introduction (1964); Science and Society in Ancient India (1977); Indian Atheism (1980), a Marxist analysis; and Tagore and Indian Philosophical Heritage (1984). {FUK}

Chaucer, Geoffrey (1340?—1400) 

Although in The Canterbury Tales (1387, unfinished) the Parson is designed to be a model for the truly religious to follow, Chaucer delights in relating how religion works in practice. His Pardoner, for example, uses religion for personal gain. Yes, the lascivious friar is “full of dalliaunce and fair language” for ”yonge wommen” and he depicts the essentially pagan Miller and Wife of Bath as colorful souls. Do not blame me, Chaucer is saying, if the doctor I describe loved gold so much, if a pilgrim was more Epicurean than Christian, and if animal bones were sold as saints’ bones to gullible country parsons: I am just relating what happened. What with the religious restraints placed upon everyone at that time, how better could Chaucer editorialize concerning what he found wrong in society. His understanding of how people actually speak is exemplified by his use of such words as erse (arse, ass), fart, quent (cunt), shitten, and piss, which apparently were not frowned upon inasmuch as he was simply a reporter of the language. Those who made their living from religion were placed on the defensive, and Chaucer became a revered iconoclast to his supporters. In his Studies in Chaucer (1892), Lownsbury calls Chaucer an advanced freethinker. Commenting on lines 1809 to 1825 of “The Knight’s Tale,” he asks: Can modern agnosticism point to a denial more emphatic than that made in the fourteenth century of the belief that there exists for us any assurance of the life beyond the grave? Lownsbury says Chaucer grew more opposed to the Church as time went on and was “hostile to it in such a way that implies an utter disbelief in certain of its tenets.” A retraction is appended to some editions of the Tales, but it is generally rejected as spurious, McCabe holds. {BDF; CE; EU, Victor N. Paananen; JM; RE}

Chaumette, Pierre Gaspard (1763—1794) A French revolutionary destined to lose his head, Chaumette as a youth received botany lessons from Rousseau. He embraced the revolution with ardor and was among the first to assume the tri-color cockade. Nominated a member of the Commune in 1792, he took the name of Anaxagoras to show his little regard for his baptismal saints. He abolished the rod in schools, suppressed lotteries, instituted workshops for “fallen women,” established the first lying-in-hospital, had books sent to the hospitals, separated the insane from the sick, founded the Conservatory of Music, opened the public libraries every day (instead of two hours per week, as in the ancien régime), replaced books of superstition by works of morality and reason, put a graduated tax on the rich to provide for the burial of the poor, and was the principal mover in the feasts of Reason and closing of the churches. Accused by Robespierre of conspiring with Cloots “to efface all idea of the Deity,” Chaumette was guillotined. {BDF; RAT}

Chauncy, Charles (1705—1787) A leader of the liberal or Arminian theological movement in New England, Chauncy was a Universalist who argued that punishments of hell were not eternal, that all humanity would be redeemed. His The Mystery Hid from Ages and Generations (London, 1784), is one of the earliest documents of American liberal theology. {CE; FUS; U&U}

Chaussard, Pierre Jean Baptiste (1766—1823) Chaussard was a French man of letters who, after the Revolution, took the name of Publicola and published patriotic odes, Esprit de Mirabeau, and other works. He was preacher to the Theophilanthropists and became professor of belles lettres at Orleans. {BDF; RAT}

Cheam, Michael (20th Century) Cheam is the secretary of the Humanist Society of Western Australia. His E-mail is <mcheam@WCOMPER1.telstra.com.au>. (See entry for Australian Humanists, Freethinkers.)

Cheetham, Henry H. (20th Century) Cheetham wrote Unitarianism and Universalism: An Illustrated History (1962). {FUS}

Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich (1860—1904) Chekhov was an eminent Russian short-story writer, dramatist, naturalist, and physician. The grandson of a serf, and the third of six children born of a grocer, he was whipped often by his father as well as by the choirmaster in church, where he was made to sing for hours while kneeling on freezing stones. When his father went bankrupt and the family departed Taganrog for Moscow in search of work, Chekhov was left to fend for himself. It was a time when many found a new church and dogma in the radical movement. As an indication of his outlook at the time, he advised a brother to refrain from force and deceit and to “work at it constantly, day and night. You must never stop reading, studying in depth, exercising your will. Every hour is precious.” When thirty and called an “unprincipled” writer by the editor of a journal, Chekhov protested, “I have never toadied, nor lied, nor insulted. . . . I have never written a single line that I am ashamed of today.” Upon graduating from Moscow University in 1884, he wrote that he was able to divide his time between “medicine . . . my lawful wife, and literature . . . my mistress.” His record of humanitarian work was impressive. He wrote about a prison colony on the Siberian island of Sakhalin, basing it on a medical-statistical survey of conditions there, bringing to the public’s attention the horrors of the Russian penal system. To alleviate famine in his region in 1891—1892, he treated peasants in a clinic on his estate, helped build schools, endowed libraries, and purchased horses to be distributed to peasants for transporting grain. Not one to believe in universal salvation, he had no faith in the intelligentsia en masse, placing his hopes on individuals because “They’re the ones who really matter.” On a visit to Nice, he wrote in a letter, he was pleased at finding no “Marxists with their self-important faces.” His Ivanov in 1887 launched Chekhov as a dramatist, and he came to be lionized in artistic circles. His work depicted mortals subject to the depredations of time and chance, as shown in Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. In the latter work, acceptance of the loss of the orchard means new possibilities for Ranevskaya and her daughter. Richard Gilman, in Chekhov’s Plays: An Opening into Eternity (1997), describes Chekhov’s unhappiness about Stanislavsky’s production of The Cherry Orchard: “With the exception of two or three parts nothing in it is mine. I am describing life, gray, ordinary life, and not this tedious whining. They make me either a crybaby or simply a bore.” Although Stanislavsky complained that Chekhov came to rehearsals and “messed everything up for us,” Gilman points out that Chekhov was masterful in telling us about the familiar, giving us a perspective on everyday experience which is different from the conventional assumptions, and offending cherished beliefs about ourselves and the world. The best single source on Chekhov’s thought, according to Aileen Kelly, a fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, remains the selection of his letters translated by Michael Henry Heim and introduced and annotated by Simon Karlinsky in 1973. Of particular importance, Karlinsky points out, is Chekhov’s asserting that his medical training in the empirical methods of the natural sciences had been the formative influence on his literary work. A writer, he held, should be faithful to the empirical reality of the world and of human behavior. Little wonder that he revered Tolstoy but was repelled by his didactic story “The Kreutzer Sonata,” whose treatment of human sexuality exposed the great writer “as an ignorant man who has never at any point in his long life taken the trouble to read two or three books written by specialists.” Writers, Chekhov lamented, had only a smattering of scientific method and were prone to the delusion that mankind was on the verge of resolving the ultimate mysteries of existence. Criticized once for having taken no clear position on the question of pessimism, he retorted,

It is not the writer’s job to solve such problems as God, pessimism, etc.; his job is merely to record who, under what conditions, said or thought what about God or pessimism.

This did not imply, Kelly added, a moral relativism. Chekhov wanted “to depict life truthfully and to show in passing how much this life deviates from a norm.” But no one can define that norm: “We all know what a dishonest deed is, but what is honour?—we do not know.” Therefore, one needs to be guided by the good that has withstood the test of time: liberation of the individual from oppression, prejudice, ignorance, or domination by his passions.

“It is obvious that nature is doing everything in her power to rid herself of all weaklings and organisms for which she has no use,” he wrote, comparing the famine and cholera threatening his region at the beginning of the 1890s with an influenza epidemic then affecting horses in central Russia. Life’s evanescence and unpredictability need to be accepted without resentment, for nature “gives a person equanimity. And you need equanimity in this world. Only people with equanimity can see things clearly, be fair, and work.” His outlook showed him to be an attentive reader of Darwin. Kelly wrote that Chekhov, like Darwin not one to be gloomy about the way things are,

believed that the romantic yearning for a world modeled on religious or rational ideals of perfection had blinded mankind to the beauty and rich potential of the world they actually lived in. The history of Russian exploration in the Far East, which he read in preparation for his trip to Sakhalin, was “enough to make you want to edify man, but we have no use for it, we don’t even know who those people were, and all we do is sit within our four walls and complain what a mess God has made of creating man.”

“Alas! I shall never be a Tolstoyan!” Chekhov wrote to Suvorin. “In women what I like above all is beauty, and in the history of humanity, culture, which is expressed in rugs, carriages with springs, and keenness of thought.” In short, Chekhov did not accept Tolstoy’s ideal of moral perfection, which demanded the sacrifice of all the attachments and desires that distracted mankind from the pursuit of a narrowly defined good. His humanistic outlook included having a fascination for lives utterly different from his own. He dreamed of how it would feel to have “a wife, a nursery, a little house with garden paths,” or to be a country gentleman, a university professor, a retired navy lieutenant, a traveler, or an explorer. Chekhov earned enduring international acclaim for his stories and plays. In 1888, “The Steppe,” a story in his third collection, won the Pushkin Prize. His plays became acclaimed when produced by the Moscow Art Theater. In 1901 he married the actress Olga Knipper, the interpreter of many of his characters. Three years later, he died of tuberculosis, the symptoms of which he had had for almost a decade but chose to ignore. When Tolstoy arrived at his hospital bed to discuss death and immortality, Chekhov remained unpreoccupied by ultimate questions, choosing instead to inquire about becoming a military doctor in the Russian Far East. His wife described his final moments in a scene that sounds Chekhovian. His doctor had ordered champagne to ease his breathing. Chekhov sat up, announced to the doctor in German, “Ich sterbe.”

Then he picked up his glass, turned to me, smiled his wonderful smile and said, “It’s been such a long time since I’ve had champagne.” He drank it all to the last drop, lay quietly on his left side and was soon silent forever. The . . . stillness . . . was broken only by a huge nocturnal moth which kept crashing painfully into the light bulbs. . . . [Then] the cork flew out of the half-empty champagne bottle with a tremendous noise.

	“His ideas on religion are not clear,” wrote McCabe, “but he stood well outside the Church.” For 20th century secular humanists, Chekhov is the person who wrote, inspiringly, that life “is given only once and one wants to live it boldly, with full consciousness and beauty.” {CE; JM; Aileen Kelly, “Chekhov the Subversive,” The New York Review of Books, 6 November 1997; RE; TRI; TYD}

Chemin-Dupontes, Jean Baptiste (Born 1761) One of the founders of French Theophilanthropy, Chemin-Dupontes published many writings, the best known of which is What Is Theophilanthropy? The Society of Theophilanthropes which he formed had as an active member Thomas Paine. {BDF}

Cheney, Ednah Dow Littlehale (1824-1904) Cheney, a suffragist, civil rights activist, and editor, was a Universalist, Unitarian, and member of the Free Religious Association.

Chénier, Marie André de (1762—1794) Considered by many the greatest French poet in 18th century France, Chénier was active in the early stages of the French Revolution but was horrified by Jacobin excesses. A freethinker, he contributed denunciatory pamphlets to the Journal de Paris, an organ of moderate royalism. His Élegies (published posthumously, 1819) and Bucoliques were consummate examples of his work, as was Iambes, which had stirring political satires in verse. Robespierre had him arrested in March, 1794, and just three days before the end of the Terror Chénier was guillotined. His life inspired the opera Andrea Chénier (1896) by Umberto Giordano. Chênedolle said of Chénier’s Hermes, a work in imitation of Lucretius, that Chénier “était athée avec délices (was a delightful atheist).” {BDF; CE; JMR; JMRH; RAT; RE}

Chénier, Marie Joseph de (1764—1811) Chénier, brother of André, was a French poet whose first successful drama was “Charles IX” (1789). A Voltairean, he satirized in Nouveaux Saints (1801) those who returned to the old faith. {BDF; RAT}

Cherbuliez, Charles Victor (1829—1899) A French novelist and freethinker, Cherbuliez wrote Noirs et Rouges (1881). He became an Officer of the Legion of Honour in 1892. He was admitted to the French Academy in 1881. {RAT}

Chernyshevsky, Niakolai Gavrilovich (1828—1889) A Russian intellectual and the leading disciple of Visarion Belinsky inside Russia, Chernyshevsky advocated basic agrarian reform and emancipation of the serfs. He translated Mill’s Political Economy and wrote on Superstition and the Principles of Logic (1859). A forerunner of the Russian revolutionary movement, he envisioned the village commune as a transition to socialism. In 1864 he was sentenced to the Siberian mines where, after heartrending cruelties, he became insane and died. {CE; BDF}

Cherbury, Lord: See entry for Edward Herbert.

Cherrington, Bet (1912-1998) Cherrington was born in Lucknow, India, where her father was in the Indian Civil Service. An activist who took part in Liberal politics, she was a fighter for women’s rights and abortion law reform. Facing the World: An Anthology of Poems for Humanists (1989) is an expression of her wide literary knowledge and her committed humanism. Jim Herrick conducted Cherrington’s funeral ceremony.

Cherry, Matt (1967— ) Cherry has worked in senior positions for humanist organizations in three countries. Having gained in 1989 a B.A. honors in philosophy from University College London (known as “The Ungodly Hole on Gower Street” because of its freethinking tradition dating back to its founder Jeremy Bentham), he started working in 1990 for the British Humanist Association. He led the Young Humanists, organizing a successful week-long international young humanist conference in 1991. That same year he became director of development and public relations at the British Humanist Association, for which he became editor of Humanist News. At the end of 1993 he joined the staff of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) as Secretary for Development and Public Relations, the office of which at that time was in The Netherlands. In 1995, he moved to Amherst, New York, becoming Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism and the International Secretariat for Growth and Development of the IHEU. Cherry was coordinator of the 1996 Humanist World Congress held in Mexico City. In 1999 he helped establish the Center for Inquiry branch in Los Angeles, California. Cherry signed Humanist Manifesto 2000. E-mail: <ficherry@aol.com>. On the Web: <http://www.secularhumanism.org/iheu/>. {International Humanist News, December 1996}

Cherubini, Mario Luigi Carlo Zenobio-Salvadore (1760—1842) Cherubini, an Italian composer who started at the age of ten, wrote a mass at thirteen, and an opera at nineteen, was King’s composer in London, then in France. He hailed the Revolution and composed hymns and anthems for its feasts as well as an opera, “Epicurus.” He also wrote an immense amount of religious music, making him a favorite in the Catholic Church. Yet Cherubini was a freethinker all the time. His Catholic biographer Bellasis quotes the evidence of his daughters that Cherubini was “not mystical but broadminded in religion” and admits that there is no evidence that he received the sacraments of the Church before death. McCabe attests that Cherubini did not. {JM; RAT; RE}

Chesen, Eli S. (20th Century) A freethinker, Chesen wrote Religion May be Hazardous to Your Health (1972). {FUS; GS}

Chesnutt, Vic (20th Century) A singer and songwriter, Chesnutt mentions his atheism in his songs, sometimes characterizing himself as “a backsliding atheist.” {CA; E}

Chesterton, Gilbert Keith (1874—1936) Chesterton, the English author, conservative, and Catholic apologist, wrote the following barb concerning Middleton Murry’s atheism:

Murry, on finding le Bon Dieu Chose difficile à croire Illogically said “Adieu,” But God said “Au Revoir.”

Chesterton also wrote, “From time to time, as we all know, a sect appears in our midst announcing that the world will very soon come to an end. Generally, by some slight confusion or miscalculation, it is the sect that comes to an end.”

Chesworth, Amanda (1971- ) Chesworth is a Campus Freethought Alliance Coordinator for the Council for Secular Humanism. A Canadian by birth, she works with youth program in high schools and campuses. {Secular Humanist Bulletin, Spring 1999}

Chevalier, Bernadette (20th Century) Chevalier wrote L’Atheisme dans le Monde Moderne (1969), a Swiss work utilizing a Catholic viewpoint. {GS}

Chevalier, Joseph Philippe (1806—1865) A French chemist, Chevalier wrote The Soul from the Standpoint of Reason and Science (1861). {BDF}

Cheves, Charles (20th Century)

Although raised a Southern Baptist, Cheves is a Florida attorney who is a freethought activist.

Chidley, William James (c. 1860—1916) Chidley was an Australian social and sex reformer. In The Answer he claimed that “our false coition makes villains of us all,” that the best method of human copulation is for the inert penis to be first drawn by suction or presence of air into the erect and distended female vagina. Publishing the book resulted in his being convicted for selling an indecent publication, which he had done while walking the streets with only a short voile tunic. After repeated convictions, Chidley was committed to a lunatic asylum where he died of arteriosclerosis. {SWW}

Chies y Gomez, Ramon (1845—1893) One of the foremost freethought champions in Spain, Chies y Gomez was educated at his father’s direction without religion. He wrote for a Madrid journal, La Discusion, took part in the Revolution of 1865, and at the proclamation of the Republic in 1873 became civil governor of Valencia. In 1881 he founded El Voto Nacional and in 1883 Las Dominicales del Libre Pensamiento. When the police forcibly closed the International Freethought Congress at Madrid in 1892, Chies alluded to the incident at the republican convention, predicting the fall of a monarchy which, instead of being the servant of the people, was but the henchman of the church. Upon his death, the funeral started with a hearse which was followed by three hundred carriages and ten thousand persons. The municipal council attended in a body. {BDF; PUT; RAT}

Child, Lydia Maria Francis (1802—1880) A Unitarian and novelist, Child wrote an antislavery tract, An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans (1833) which influenced William Ellery Channing’s Slavery (1835). She was an advocate of women’s independence, a historian of religion, and an editor of National Anti-Slavery Standard. One of her major works was the two-volume History of the Condition of Women in Various Ages and Nations (1835). Originally baptized an orthodox Congregationalist, Child supported the Free Religious movement and for a time was a convert to Swedenborgianism. She usually attended Unitarian services, however, and among her friends were William Lloyd Garrison, Maria Weston Chapman, William Ellery Channing, Margaret Fuller, Theodore Parker, and Anne Whitney. She was highly eulogized upon her death from heart disease by Wendell Phillips, and John Greenleaf Whittier recited a memorial poem in her honor at the funeral. “It is right noble to fight with wickedness and wrong,” she wrote in Over the River and Through the Woods (1842); “the mistake is in supposing that spiritual evil can be overcome by physical means.” In a biography, Carolyn L. Karcher notes that as early as the 1830s Child was vindicating the rights of women, Indians and, particularly, African-American slaves. She was a “household name” during her lifetime, but her works and influence have been all but “erased from history.” Karcher found Child’s writings had an anti-Catholic, anti-French, and anti-Irish bias. {BDF; CE; JM; PUT; RAT; U&U; WWS}

Childe, Vere Gordon (1892—1967) Childe, the son of an Australian clergyman, became a rationalist, political historian, and archaeologist. In How Labour Governs (1916) he concluded that the parliamentary system was a creation of the upper classes. From 1946 to 1956, he was professor of prehistoric European archeology at the University of London. {SWW; RE}


• As the twig is bent, the tree inclines. —Vergil

• Give me the children until they are seven, and anyone may have them afterward. —St. Francis Xavier

• A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother. —Mark Twain, “Letter to Annie Webster,” 1 September 1876

• The child is father of the man. —William Wordsworth

• There was a little girl Who had a little curl Right in the middle of her forehead; And when she was good She was very, very good, But when she was bad she was horrid. —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

• We’ve had bad luck with our kids—they’ve all grown up. —Christopher Morley

• You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. —Franklin P. Jones

• I abhor their [children’s] company, because I can only regard children as defective adults, hate their physical ineptitude, find their jokes flat and monotonous. —Evelyn Waugh who shipped his children off to school as soon as he could and avoided them as much as possible during the holidays

• Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. —Kahlil Gibran

• I’ve got two wonderful children—and two out of five isn’t bad. —Henny Youngman American comic

• So, remain the benevolent despot, vary your errors, spank little, sit-on if necessary, scream infrequently, threaten rarely, groan often, question organized activities, support their interests, control television watching, and act silly on occasion while trying to ignore snotty words as you attempt to read their feelings. Trust them to imitate us—30 years on down the pike. —Robert E. Kay, M.D.

Richard Dawkins considers the practice of giving children a religious appellation absurd. Calling a four-year-old a Muslim, a Sikh, or a Christian implies the child can have “developed theological opinions.” In The Independent (19 December 1996), he said it would be laughable to “speak of a four-year-old monetarist Eurosceptic, a four-year-old dialectical materialism, or a four-year-old neo-Kantian [but] we accept ‘Muslim child’ or ‘Christian child’ without thinking.” He continued, “If a child is the child of an atheist,” does that make her an atheist child?” {Michiko Kakutani in a review of Auberon Waugh’s Will This Do?, The New York Times, 23 June 1998}

CHILEAN FREETHOUGHT, HUMANISM: See entries for José Victorino Lastarria and Francisco Bilbao.

CHILTERN (England) HUMANISTS Details about the group are available by telephoning 01296 623730. Antony Chapman is one of its contacts.

Chilton, Marcus William (1815—1855) Chilton, a bricklayer who became a typesetter and then one of the editors of the British Oracle of Reason, wrote in the Movement and the Reasoner. He was an Owenite. {BDF; FUK; RAT; VI}


• Quaestio subtilissima, utrum chimera in vacuo bombinans possit comedere secundas intentiones. A most subtle question: whether a chimera bombinating in a vacuum can devour second intentions. —François Rabelais (1494?-c. 1553) Pantagruel, II: viii

• A memory of yesterday’s pleasures, a fear of tomorrow’s dangers, a straw under my knee, a noise in mine ear, a light in mine eye, an anything, a nothing, a fancy, a Chimera in my brain, troubles me in my prayer. So certainly is there nothing, nothing in spiritual things, perfect in this world. —John Donne (1571?-1631) XXI Sermons (1660)

• What the sage poets taught by th’ heavenly Muse, Storied of old in high immortal verse Of dire chimeras and enchanted isles And rifted rocks whose entrance leads to Hell,— For such there be, but unbelief is blind. —John Milton (1608-1674) Comus (1634)

• What a chimera then is man! What a novelty! What a monster, what a chaos, what a contradiction, what a prodigy! Judge of all things, feeble worm of the earth, depository of truth, a sink of uncertainty and error, the glory and the shame of the universe. —Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) Pensées

• Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man. Placed on this isthmus of a middle state, A being darkly wise and rudely great; With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side, With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride, He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest; In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast; In doubt his mind or body to prefer; Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err; Alike in ignorance, his reason such, Whether he thinks too little or too much; Chaos of thought and passion, all confused; Still be himself abused or disabused; Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled; The glory, jest, and riddle of the world. —Alexander Pope (1688-1744),

Essay on Man. Epistle II

• These unhappy people were proposing schemes for persuading monarchs to choose favourites upon the score of their wisdom, capacity, and virtue. . . .of instructing princes to know their true interest by placing it on the same foundation with that of their people: of choosing for employment persons qualified to exercise them; with many other wild impossible chimeras, that never entered before into the heart of man to conceive, and confirmed in me the old observation, that there is nothing so extravagant and irrational which some philosophers have not maintained for truth. —Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Voyage to Laputa in Gulliver’s Travels (1726)

• How chimerical, the wildly fanciful and highly improbable plots fabricated by those believers who think there is a supernatural and an afterlife! Yet how chimerical that they have succeeded so surprisingly with their biblical tales whereas Chimera—the mythological fire-breathing she-monster composed of a lion, goat, and serpent—is relatively unknown either as a creature or a concept. Chimeras now are references to the coming together of cells from two people that live in one person, such as during pregnancy, organ transplantation, and blood transfusion. How chimerical that during pregnancy the mother’s body does not reject the fetus as a foreign tissue! How chimerical that your blood might today flow within my body, or mine within yours! How chimerical that my heart might one day beat within your breast, or yours within mine! —Allen Windsor

CHIMPANZEES The chimpanzee, not the Neanderthal man, is mankind’s closest living relative. A 1997 study of Neanderthal DNA concluded that interbreeding of Neanderthals and humans was never possible. (See entry for Homo sapiens.)

CHINESE CURSE, THE • May your life be interesting! —Anonymous

CHINESE FENG SHUI: See entry for Superstition.

CHINESE FOLK RELIGIONS: For number of adherents, see entry for Hell.

CHINESE HUMANISTS Although Finngeir Hiorth in “Whither Freethought?” (New Humanist, December 1998) asserts that “In ancient China atheism was no real option,” Antony Flew notes that the observation although true is likely to be misleading. For, he wrote (New Humanist, March 1999), “it may suggest that atheism in ancient China, like apostasy in fully Islamic states today, was a capital offence. The truth is that the language of Imperial China contained no word for a supposedly omnipotent personal Creator. Atheism was thus not ‘no real option’ because it was suicidal, but because the Chinese had yet to learn what it is that atheists have as such to disbelieve.” Westerners know about two main streams of Chinese thought, the traditionalist and moralistic Confucianism (founded by Kongfu-zi, the Pinyin transliteration of Kung-fu Tzu); and the mystical and quietistic Daoism (Taoism), founded by Lao-zi (Lao Tzu) and Zhuang-zi (Chuang Tzu). According to Nicolas Walter (New Humanist, October 1998),

Most thinkers belonged to one or other (or more) of these traditions, which differed between and among themselves but which generally shared assumptions about the twin essences (yang and yin), the divinity of heaven, the propitiation of fate and spirits, reverence for ancestors and the past, and the practical importance of magic and ritual.

Mo-zi (Mo Tzu) in the 5th Century B.C.E. advocated altruism and asceticism based on utilitarian and leading to pacifism. Yang Chu in the 4th Century B. C. E. advocated individualism and hedonism based on pessimism and leading to egoism. Also, there was Wang Chong, described by Joseph Needham as “one of the greatest men of his nation in any age.” {See Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China—The History of Scientific Thought, 1956). Walter, surveying the various masters of early Chinese thought, concluded:

Just as we may wish that Europe had followed the philosophers of Ionia and Athens and Alexandria rather than the theologians of Constantinople and Rome and Geneva, we may wish that China had followed Wang Chong rather than all the other hundred schools, and we should pay tribute to a precious spirit of enlightenment and reason in a dark and irrational age.

China, since becoming a Marxist state, has made it difficult for freethinking philosophers to travel and exchange views with Westerners. One of the few known humanists is Xiao Xuehui, a philosopher in Sichuan province. However, by rejecting the official Marxist doctrine that morality is determined by economics, she was imprisoned, released after nineteen months, then not allowed to teach. In 1995, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) started an international campaign to protest Dr. Xiao’s treatment and to press the Chinese authorities to honor her human rights. At the Shang Xin-Jian Institute of Philosophy, the group which studies humanism is called Study Group of the History of Western Humanism (IHEU), Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, 25 Xi-San-Huan Bei Lu. Youzheng Li, of the Institute of Philosophy, CASS, Beijing, signed Humanist Manifesto 2000. In China, 2000 is the Year of the Dragon, 4698. (See entries for Xiao and Yong-shen.)

CHINESE PHILOSOPHY See an extensive discussion of Chinese philosophy by Wing-tsit Chan in the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Vol. 2. Most in the Western world admit and lament their ignorance concerning philosophy in the Eastern world. (Also, see entries for Tai-tsung and Xiao.)

CHINESE RELIGION According to Anthony DeBiasi of the State University of New York Albany, the Han people emphasized the domination of utilitarianism over strict adherence to a belief or faith. Gods and spirits exist everywhere – in trees and walls, not far away in some other place – and in addition to their having power over human lives humans can become spirits and gods when they die. The creation moment is not a main focus. Religious duties are performed with practical consequences in mind, not for the expectation of being rewarded with health or avoidance of disasters. Eclecticism allows ancestor worship overlapping the different religious traditions. Taoism and Confucianism emerged in the 6th century B.C.E. Buddhism also originated at that time in India, arriving in China around the 1st century of the Common Era.

Chisholm, Brock (1896—1971) The first Director General of the United Nations World Health Organization wrote to the present author about humanism:

While I have never considered the matter of a label for my particular set of attitudes, it appears that I might be listed as a naturalistic humanist, if such listing is desirable. Basically, my attitudes are founded on the fact, as I see it, that man is only just at the beginning of the development of his intellectual powers. For many centuries man has been presuming to provide answers for questions totally beyond his capacity. For instance, I believe that everything encompassed in the field known as ‘theology’ might advantageously be left for study by generations in the far distant future. At this state of human development our reliable knowledge is confined entirely to the field of nature. In the field of nature, there is still enough investigation, research, and understanding to do to occupy fully all the best brains of the human race for many generations into the future. I see no limit to the potential understanding of the human as long as he can resist the temptation to introduce magic and the “supernatural” into his system of beliefs. Tentative belief, based on acceptable evidence, and changeable with the introduction of new or more convincing evidence, is a very valuable instrument. “Faith,” meaning a rigidly held certainty, if unchangeable with the introduction of new evidence, or only changeable at the expense of a feeling of guilt, I believe to be a serious barrier to man’s continuing evolution. Any systematized faith, protected by ritual and dogma, and developing vested interests in real estate, salaries, prestige, and power, will tend to slow man’s development of his highest powers.

In 1959 the American Humanist Association named Dr. Chisholm their Humanist of the Year. He addressed the Third International Humanist and Ethical Union World Congress held in Oslo in 1962. From its formation in 1968 until his death in 1971, Dr. Chisholm was the first honorary president of the Humanist Association of Canada. Dr. Chisholm was a distinguished Canadian psychiatrist who once made the headlines because of his view that Santa Claus should be taught as a myth to youngsters rather than as a real individual whom they will come to learn does not really exist. Jove, for example, is taught as a myth, and other gods one day will be, also, he reasoned. {CL; HNS; HNS2; TRI; WAS, 24 June 1956}

Chitwood, Marci (20th Century) Chitwood in 1998 became assistant editor of Figleaves, the newsletter of Cincinnati’s Free Inquiry Group.

Choate, Lowell F. (20th Century) Choate was editor of Progressive World (1947) and the American Rationalist. {FUS}


Anthropologists from Cornell University and the University of California at Berkeley, California, have located evidence of a village in the Ulúa Valley in northwestern Honduras which was continuously occupied for 3,000 years, until about 1000 C.E. The valley was renowned in pre-Columbian America for the quality of its cocoa beans, and Montezuma at the time of the conquistadors was said to have drunk cups of chocolate beverage every day. By 1500 Spanish explorers had returned samples to Europe, in 1657 the drink netted luxury prices in a London shop and in 1765 chocolate was manufactured in Massachusetts. Instead of wafers at communion, secularists choose wafers with chocolate at home. {CE; Henry Fountatin, The New York Times, 17 November 1998}

Choi, Jaihi (20th Century) A Korean, Prof. Choi addressed the Fourth International Humanist and Ethical Union World Congress held in Paris (1966).

Chomsky, Avram Noam (1928— ) A noted American linguist, Chomsky addressed the Fifth International Humanist and Ethical Union World Congress held in Boston (1970). In 1995, Chomsky became an Honorary Associate of the Rationalist Press Association. Speaking at the opening plenary of the 1999 Socialist Scholars Conference in New York City, he cited Thomas Paine as an inspiration, then detailed why freedom without opportunity is a dubious gift—the United States aid to the poor is the most miserly in the world, he lamented, suggesting that the International Monetary Fund is not on the side of the world’s poor despite its claims. Chomsky has called the Bible “probably the most genocidal book ever written.” Noting polls that show large percentages of Americans believing the Bible, he lamented that

the figures are shocking. Three-quarters of the American population literally believe in religious miracles. The numbers who believe in the devil, in resurrection, in God doing this and that—it’s astonishing. These numbers aren’t duplicated anywhere else in the industrial world. You’d have to maybe go to mosques in Iran or do a poll among old ladies in Sicily to get numbers like this. Yet this is the American population.

Unlike the structural linguists, who study language by starting with minimal sounds, Chomsky posited a rudimentary or primitive sentence, from which many syntactic combinations evolved through a series of transformational rules. The Chomskyan generative grammar was a theory that focused almost exclusively on syntax, or the rules of sentence formation. A rival view, such as that advanced at the University of Chicago by James McCawley, was called generative semantics and held that the study of grammar must necessarily involve the study of logic and meaning as well. Leibniz’s New Essays Concerning Human Understanding (1704) defended “innate ideas” against Locke’s attack, and Chomsky revived the concept of “innate ideas” in his Cartesian Linguistics: A Chapter in the History of Rationalist Thought (1966). Chomsky presently teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his most recent theory of language is called the Minimalist Program. Imagine, he told reporter Margalit Fox of The New York Times (5 December 1998), that some divine superengineer, in a single efficient stroke, endowed humans with the power of language where formerly they had none. This simple idea, the Minimalist Program, is the cornerstone of his approach to the discipline he founded in 1957. Although previously he had taught that an inborn mental endowment allows human beings to acquire, use, and understand language, the Minimalist Program streamlines his previous views, dispensing with concepts like “deep structure” and “surface structure,” both of which were more or less canonical in his earlier work. Some have spoken of Chomsky’s introduction of his theory of language in 1957 in the same breath with Darwin’s theory of evolution and Freud’s theory of the unconscious so far as its importance in the history of ideas. {CA; CE; E; HNS2}

Chorley, Robert Samuel Theodore [Baron of Kendal] (Born 1895) Lord Chorley was an honorary associate of the Rationalist Press Association when Bertrand Russell was its president. He was editor of Arnould’s Law of Marine Insurance and President of the Haldane Society. He wrote Charley and Giles’ Shipping Law (1987).

Chorowsky, Karl (20th Century) Chorowsky, a Unitarian minister who found theists as well as humanists in his congregations, served in Brooklyn, New York, as well as in Westport, Connecticut.

Choukri, Mohammed (20th Century) A Moroccan author, Choukri wrote For Bread Alone (translated into English by Paul Bowles), The Tent, and Jean Genêt in Tangier. An atheist, he was asked by Ludmilla Biebl in Spitting Image #2 if he was unafraid of becoming a victim of the Islamic fundamentalists. “There is no point in being afraid,” Choukri responded. “If it happens, it happens.” {CA}

CHRIST Christ is a word which came from the term Christos, meaning “anointed with oil” [the Greek translation of the Aramaic Meshicha; Hebrew, Mashiakh]. Even by the time of Paul of Taursus, Christ became more of a proper noun than a title. In the Christian religion, Jesus is the personal name of its founder, Christ his title—his last name, many do not realize, is not Christ. (See entries for Christmas and for Jesus. For an atheist’s account, see “The Origin and Establishment of the Christ Myth,” by John M. Davis, in Secular Nation (Fall 1995].) {ER}

CHRIST, ACCORDING TO MONTY PYTHON “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” is a movie with the following plot: Brian is born just down the street from Jesus Christ. He joins the People’s Front of Judaea thirty-three years later and swears to defeat the Roman oppressors. Pursued by admirers and arrested, he is called before Pontius Pilate, who sentences him to death. Brian is crucified with some other bad guys upon a hill, and they join him in singing as they merrily go off to the afterlife. It’s the humorous story of a nobody.

Christesen, Clement (1911— ) “Clem” Christesen is an Australian rationalist, literary journalist, and editor. In 1940, he founded the Meanjin Quarterly and was its editor until 1975. Christesen was a one-time vice-president of the Council for Civil Liberties and a director of the Rationalist Association of Australia Ltd.

CHRISTIAN • Christian, n. One who follows the teachings of Christ insofar as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin. —Ambrose Bierce

• I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. We give them a nice Jewish boy to worship, five books—no charge. And what do we get in return? Crusades, the Inquisition, pogroms, the Holocaust. And now they want us to join them in heaven? I’ll take hell any day! —Harriet Levenbaum Kean

CHRISTIAN ADHERENTS Of the 5,772,000 humans in 1996, an estimated 66% are not Christians and a total of 34% are Christians, according to mid-1997 estimates. (See entry for Hell.)

CHRISTIAN ATHEISMThomas J. Altizer (1927— ) is an American theologian who is termed a Christian atheist. “Only by accepting and even willing the death of God in our experience can we be liberated from a transcendent beyond, an alien beyond which has been emptied and darkened by God’s self-alienation in Christ.”

Paul Van Buren (1924— ) in The Secular Meaning of the Gospel claims that it is no longer possible to speak of God acting in the world. Science and technology have made the old mythology invalid. A simple faith in the Old Man in the Sky is now clearly impossible, but so has been the more sophisticated belief of the theologians. Thus, Van Buren holds, we must do without God and hold on to Jesus of Nazarath. The Gospel is “the good news of a free man who has set other men free.”

William Hamilton (1924— ) wrote Radical Theology and the Death of God. He, Altizer, and Van Buren are all listed as Christian atheists in Karen Armstrong’s A History of God.

Freethinkers, rationalists, and secular humanists find all such ratiocination impossible to follow, comparing Christian atheism to the experience of playing a game of cricket using General Henry M. Robert’s Rules of Order.


The Christian Coalition (1801-L Sara Drive, Chesapeake, VA 23320) was founded in 1989 by Pat Robertson “to give Christians a voice in government. We represent a growing group of nearly 2,000,000 members and supporters who believe it’s time for people of faith to have a voice in the conversation we call democracy.” Or so its Online homepage reads at <http://www.cc.org>. The Executive Director is Randy Tate. The group’s Families 2000 Stragegy has the aim of “recruiting 100,000 volunteers to serve as liaisons between their churches and local Christian Coalition chapters—an effort to mobilize hundreds of thousands of pro-family activists by November 2000.” Key beliefs: • Pro-life [code for: being against abortion] • Pro-family [code for: being against homosexuality] • Pro-religious freedom [code for: vote the nonbelievers out of office] The two organizations that have been the most efficient in fighting this right-wing religious group are People For the American Way (2000 M Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036 <www.pfaw.org>); and the Interfaith Alliance at <http://www.tialliance.org>, whose president is the Rev. J. Philip Wogaman and whose executive director is the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy. Many benefit “from the fiction that religion has been banned from the public schools,” George B. Pyle has editorialized in The Salina Journal, Salina, Kansas. “Some may be truly anti-religious. But the rumor is more likely to be spread by those who claim to follow a Christian faith. It can certainly boost Christian Coalition fund-raising.” Pyle then reports that those who complain “that God has been banished from the public schools are very much mistaken. . . . There are as many prayers in the public schools as there are prayerful people. If our children are murdering each other, we must find something other than a lack of faith to blame.” {The New York Times, 31 May 1999}

CHRISTIAN ETHICS According to Bertrand Russell’s Education and the Modern World (1932), “The fundamental defect of Christian ethics consists in the fact that it labels certain classes of acts ‘sins’ and others ‘virtue’ on the grounds that have nothing to do with their social consequences. An ethic not derived from superstition must decide first upon the kind of social effects which it desires to achieve and the kind which it desires to avoid. It must then decide, as far as our knowledge permits, what acts will promote the desired consequences; these acts it will praise, while those having a contrary tendency it will condemn.” Through such an emphasis laid upon sexual virtue, Russell wrote in Marriage and Morals (1959), “The Christian ethics inevitably . . . did a great deal to degrade the position of women. Since the moralists were men, woman appeared as the temptress; if they had been women, man would have had this role.” Only in modern times, Russell suggests, have women regained the degree of freedom which they enjoyed in the Roman Empire. Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, a move which led to women’s freedom being curtailed under the pretense of protecting them from sin. Only during the French Revolution were the laws of property and inheritance altered in order that women could recover their rights of inheritance which had been lost over the time of a dozen centuries.

CHRISTIAN HUMANISM Two Protestants, Karl Barth and Paul Tillich, referred to their outlooks at times as being that of Christian Humanism.

CHRISTIAN IDENTITY Christian Identity is an example of a hate group which embarrasses not only most Christians but also most Americans. Mark Thomas, for example, runs a Pennsylvania neo-Nazi group known as Christian Identity near Seisholtzville, Pennsylvania. In 1994 at a Hitler Youth Festival several hundred “skinheads” and other white supremacists met. “It is the trademark of the Jew to make us feel dirty and unworthy,” stated the monthly newsletter, The Watchman. In Idaho, a similar racist group—the Aryan Nation—is active. Both groups hold that the first chapter in the Bible claims that Jewish people are descended from Cain, who was a descendant of the devil snake and Eve. White people, they hold, are descendants of Abel, who was a descendant of Adam and Eve. They hold that there are two main races, Jews and white people, with everyone else being classified under “beasts of the field.” God’s chosen are not the Jews, in short: His chosen are whites of northern European extraction. Jews are Satan’s children and blacks are subhuman. Their culture, which glorifies violence, made its way to the United States from England in the early 1980s, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama. However, William Potter Gale, a retired Army colonel, had founded the Posse Commitatus, an anti-government group active during the 1970s and early 1980s. One large group, in Elohim City (City of God), Oklahoma, was founded by ex-Mennonite Robert G. Millar, who claims he was divinely led to the site. Millar has said that “this people [the Germanic and Scandinavian peoples] represents 9% of the population of the world. They control 50% of the wealth of the world. So it’s evident that the promises of God have come to pass.” Similar groups exist in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. In 1994, sixty-four white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups were active in Pennsylvania alone. An estimated two thousand incidents against Jews occurred nationally in 1994, according to the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. In 1996, the Rev. Helen Young, a Montana Protestant minister, interviewed a group, the Freemen, which had threatened government officials and was being indicted for bank and mail fraud. They told her that as believers in Christian Identity they believed that God created white gentiles as a superior race, descended directly from Adam and Eve. Jews, they held, descended from a sexual union between Eve and Satan. Whites, therefore, are the true “Israelites,” a lost tribe that had migrated to America, the new promised land but one now corrupted by Jewish influence. Although Christian Identity was condemned by the National Council of Churches, the group issued documents calling on those would be “free” to sever ties to government, by not paying taxes and shunning Social Security cards, marriage licenses, and building permits. Ms. Young listened for four hours, then called their beliefs disgusting. Journalist Gustav Niebuhr, writing in The New York Times (12 April 1996), described the group’s twenty-page “edict,” or manifesto, which describes two categories of citizens: “We the People,” or white males, subject to “God’s law,” the Constitution, and its first ten amendments; and other racial groups, enfranchised only by “man’s law,” the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. “Free” white males have lost control of the country, said one of their leaders, Rodney Skurdal, and “We the People are now ruled by foreigners/aliens.” In a message to others, the Christian Identity group proclaimed, “This is a religious war between the Freemen characters, i.e., American nationals, in their attempt to return to their one and only true Almighty God and His laws.”


Roman Catholic bishops in the United States went on record in 1994 concerning marital roles: marriage must be characterized by “mutual submission” of a husband and wife to each other. In 1998 Southern Baptists, the largest Protestant denomination and an increasingly conservative force among American religious organizations, amended its essential statement of beliefs to include a declaration that a woman should “submit herself graciously” to her husband’s leadership and that a husband should “provide for, protect, and lead his family”:

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God. Both bear God’s image but each in differing ways. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being “in the image of God” as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his “helper” in managing their household and nurturing the next generation.

The president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, R. Albert Mohler Jr., declared that submission of wives to their husbands is “not a modern idea” but “is clearly revealed in Scripture.” He added that “the secular world may hear it as strange, but it is, we believe, God’s pattern.” To critics he said if they would read the Bible they would see that God in the fifth chapter of the Letter to the Ephesians “says” that just as Christ is head of the church so the husband is “head of the wife.” Just “as Christ loved the church” so the husband, not the wife, was “to provide for, to protect, and to lead” their families, all the while recognizing that “husband and wife are of equal worth before God.” However, according to Baptist official Herb Hollinger, “I don’t know anyone who would say, ‘If you don’t believe [wives must be submissive to their husbands] you can’t be a member of our church.’” Jerry Falwell, a noted fundamentalist Christian, not a Southern Baptist, agreed with the Baptists’ statement, adding that marriage also was not a sacred ceremony that could ever be enjoyed by homosexuals. (Wags wondered if the Southern Baptist United States President, Bill Clinton, had discussed the ruling with his wife, a Methodist; or if the Southern Baptist wife of the Southern Baptist Vice President Al Gore was submissive or ungraciously non-capitulative, passive or active, masochistic or sadistic. Other wags wondered when Bible literalists such as Mohler and Falwell would show their faith by washing each other’s feet during 7 p.m. telecasts.) The Southern Baptists also have boycotted the Walt Disney Company, complaining that the entertainment giant condones homosexuality. In 1996 it voted to appoint a missionary specifically to evangelize Jews and went on record as opposing divorce, homosexual unions, and abortion. Although the Southern Baptists are, like the Mormons, on the conservative end of Protestant thinking, the more liberal churches are the Friends and the Congregationalists. Their adherents have the more contemporary view that the Biblical references are statements of the early church, not of Jesus, ideas that had been written but then later interpreted to support patriarchal and sexist outlooks. {The New York Times, 10 June 1998}

CHRISTIAN MEGACHURCHES Charles Trueheart in The Atlantic Monthly (August 1996) describes the “full-service” mostly Protestant churches which are winning millions of “customers” with pop-culture packaging. They may, he holds, be building a new form of community. Mariners Southcoast Church in Newport Beach, California, has an orchestra which plays upbeat soft rock with cappuccino carts dispensing “the secular sacrament” while numbers of seminars draw hundreds of individuals from throughout the area. Prince of Peace Church in suburban Minneapolis, Next Church in Dallas, Texas, Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, and Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, are examples of such megachurches which use contemporary music rather than pipe organs, old hymnals, and robed choirs to attract hundreds, sometimes thousands, of members. Willow Creek, for example, boasts 15,000 worshippers. Saddleback Valley Community Church in Mission Viejo, California, has a seventy-nine-acre campus, a 10,000-seat auditorium, 11,000 worshippers, and a building which cost more than $50 million. An estimated 400 megachurches were in business as of 1996.

CHRISTIAN NATION Many Christians refer to the United States of America as “a Christian nation,” this despite the clear statement to the contrary of President John Adams in 1797. Referring to the Treaty between the United States and Tripoli, Adams said “the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.” Many individuals, however, still continue to argue that because ours is a Christian nation, for example, it follows that religion can be taught in the public schools, “In God We Trust” can appear on our currency and our courtroom walls, and other such extensions can be concocted. In 1995, as an “olive branch” to Jews, the executive director of the Christian Coalition, Ralph E. Reed Jr., said it was a “blatant wrong” for some on the religious right to talk of the United States as a “Christian nation.” Such a phrase, he held, conjures up for Jews fearful historical memories of the Inquisition, of “barbarous acts” against Jews like pogroms, the establishment of ghettos and the Holocaust, and other such persecutions. Disinterested viewers doubt that such a declaration will sway those who believe that God is deaf to Jews’ prayers and that America is not necessarily a place where non-Christians should be welcome. [See entry for John Adams.]

CHRISTIAN NUDISM “Father God, we present ourselves to you in humble gratitude,” intoned the seventy-two-year-old preacher. Reporter Jennifer Lee of The Wall Street Journal (11 August 1997) described the scene as the Nottingham, New Hampshire, congregation rose to sign the opening hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Many Christian believe they will stand naked before God on Judgment Day. This group, Lee wrote, does not want to wait. The Rev. Harry Westcott stepped out from behind the pulpit “naked except for white sneakers and a black watch. The accompanist, his fingers skimming the keyboard of the Wurlitzer, is similarly undressed.” Although worshipers have the option of wearing clothing and some wear their Sunday best, others wear “their birthday suits.” Christian nudist publications are proliferating, as is nudism generally, Lee reported. “If you believe that the human body is a creation of God in his own image, there is nothing shameful or harmful about being nude,” the Rev. Westcott preached, citing Isaiah 20:2. Opponents cite parts of Genesis. Meanwhile, freethinkers have seldom gone on record as opposing nudism. In fact, the editor of Sunshine and Health in the 1950s was an active members of the American Humanist Association. (See entry for Nudity.)

CHRISTIAN RECONSTRUCTION, DEBUNKING THE MOVEMENT The radical wing of the Religious Right is a group called Christian Reconstruction. Its leaders would replace democracy with a government that enforces their version of biblical law. One of its key individuals is James Dobson, a child psychologist who launched Focus on the Family in 1977. Debunking of the Christian Reconstruction Movement can be found on the Web: <http://www.servecom/thibodep/cr/cr.htm>.

CHRISTIAN RIGHT Skipp Porteous in Freedom Writer (May-June 1999) listed the following top ten Religious Right organizations:

• American Family Association—headed by the Rev. Donald Wildom, 61, of Mississippi • Chalcedon—founded by the “father of Christian Reconstruction,” the 82-year-old R. J. Rushdoony. • Christian Coalition—Pat Robertson, the 69-year-old founder boasts of a large membership but is a paper tiger having trouble with the Internal Revenue Service • Coalition On Revival—led by Jay Grimstead, 65, the group bent on creating a theocracy in America is “burned out.” • Concerned Women for America—founded by Beverly LaHaye, 69, now led by Carmen Pate and somewhat unproductive of any results. • Oregon Citizens Alliance—headed by Lon Mabon, the group is now defunct. • Focus on The Family—is the 800-pound gorilla of the Religious Right; founded by James Dobson, 64. • Free Congress Foundation—founded and directed by Paul Weyrich, who has announced, “We have lost the culture war.” • NACE/CEE—the National Association of Christian Educators and Citizens for Excellence in Education was founded by Robert Simons, 74; had some success in electing conservative Christians to school board seats. • Operation Rescue—once loud and boisterous, this antiabortion group founded by Randall Terry has lost most of its steam. • Traditional Values Coalition—Run by the Rev. Lou Sheldon, 65, and his family, it is primarily an antigay organization. • Christian Action Network—headed by Martin Mawyer, formerly of the Moral Majority, it is another primarily antigay organization. • Eagle Forum—founded by Phyllis Schlafly, it almost single-handedly defeated the Equal Rights Amendment. • Ruthrford Institute—a conservative Christian advocacy group was founded by John Whitehead, who made a break from his former Christian Reconstructionist views and now approaches issues from a more liberal viewpoint. • Promise Keepers—once feared by some as the “third wave,” it now is merely a ripple. Rallies planned for state capitals on 1 Jan 2000 have been canceled for fear of the Y2K bug.

CHRISTIAN SAINTS Lavender Lists (1990) makes note of the following “noteworthy saints”:

• St. Aelred of Rievaulx “of twelfth-century England, left writings expressing deep feelings for male spiritual friendship. To control his carnal impulse, Aelred fasted and took icy baths.

• St. John the Evangelist (the Apostle) “also known as the Beloved Disciple whom Jesus loved and who lay on Jesus’ bosom at the Last Supper. Medieval sculptures of John asleep with his head in Christ’s lap gave rise to mystical texts in which John is said to have enjoyed the milk of the Lord.”

• St. Moses the Hungarian (11th Century) “was sold as a slave to a polish noblewoman who developed a yen for him, but he preferred to stay with his fellow Russian prisoners rather than marry her. Angered by his refusal, she finally had Moses whipped and his genitals cut off. He eventually entered a monastery, where he constantly warned the other monks to avoid women and sin. He was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.”

• St. Sebastian “has been venerated by homosexuals since at least the second half of the nineteenth century, as well as by male artists looking for an excuse to draw a nude male body.”

• St. Sergius and St. Bacchus “were said to have been lovers.”

CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS, FUNDAMENTALIST Fundamentalist schools have been established across America, allegedly because parents believe and want to follow Deuteronomy 6:7’s injunction, “And thou shalt teach [God’s commandments] diligently unto thy children”. According to Christian Schools International, at least 3,200 member schools existed in 1998 with 600,000 pupils who had been taken out of public schools.

	When is a Christian school a fundamentalist school? The Economist (6 June 1998) answers:

There are no hard-and-fast rules; but an unequivocal belief in creationism is probably the most reliable indicator. So is a sense of ministering to the whole child. “We believe that every human has three parts: spirit, body and soul, and that we should minister to all three parts,” says John Burges, the principal and only full-time teacher at Grace [Christian School, Mason, Texas].

The “Accelerated Christian Curriculum,” which Grace uses, has a Christian slant:

The history curriculum carries the notion of America’s “manifest destiny” far beyond Monroe’s dreams. Spain was defeated in North America because it was Catholic. George Washington was preserved by a miracle during the French-Indian war. All Muslims are “descendants of Isaac’s half-brother Ishmael.” Above all, “Americanism” is the divine template for the world.

Grace is pragmatic in some respects. In deer season the whole school goes hunting (physical education), butchers a deer (biology), then cooks it (home economics) into venison burgers for the school lunch. And everyone says grace first.

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE Christian Science is a denomination founded by Mary Baker Glover Patterson Eddy. Widowed six months after her marriage to George W. Glover, and separating from dentist Daniel Patterson in 1866, she married Asa Gilbert Eddy in 1877. She gave birth to one child, also named George W. Glover. The church Mrs. Eddy founded is centrally organized and directed but, as pointed out by Gaius Glenn Atkins who once taught homiletics and sociology at Auburn Theological Seminary in North Marshfield, Massachusetts, it functions denominationally in local churches with their own buildings, leaders and “readers,” stated times, and forms of worship. The “Mother Church” in Boston was in its origin a variant of American Protestantism, although it has since extended internationally. Science and Health was a book in which Mrs. Eddy explains the philosophy of Christian Science, which is pure idealism: “Nothing is real and eternal; nothing is spirit—but God and His ideal; evil has no reality.” In short, Atkins writes, “Since God is good, He cannot have created nor be responsible for all the shadowed side of life. Man is ‘God’s spiritual idea’ and belongs by right to an order in which there is neither sickness, sin, sorrow, or death. Such things are errors of his mortal mind. They have no reality for him save as he admits them. Deny them and they cease to exist. There are, therefore, two fundamentally opposed systems of belief, the true and the false. Man is entangled in a false system of belief whose sources Mrs. Eddy does not convincingly trace. He may escape that entanglement with all its consequences by affirming the other system and demonstrating his affirmation by faith, self-discipline, and practice.” Adds Atkins, “One may say, therefore, that Christian Science is a philosophy, a semi-theology, a system of Biblicism and a psycho-therapy effectively organized, amply financed and aptly propagated. Its followers have an unusually strong group consciousness.” Two leading critics of Christian Science have been Mark Twain in Christian Science (1907) and Willa Cather in The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science (1908). Village Voice critic Michael Warner has written, “Eddy’s own prose style is one of the wonders of the modern world. She took the English language to places it had never been before. Together with Artemus Ward and Erma Bombeck, she stands in the front rank of American humorists, writing in such masterful deadpan you can still hear a 19th-century pin dropping. She writes, for example, ‘Obesity is an adipose belief of yourself as a substance.’ (Sentences of this grandeur prompted Mark Twain, in a 1903 work called The Literary Guillotine, to pose as the judge of a lawsuit by Henry James against Mary Baker Eddy. James argues that Eddy has infringed on his ownership of ‘the patent obscure sentence.’ Judge Twain concludes that Eddy beat James to it.) As philosophy, Eddy’s writing is a minor branch in the American pragmatist tradition, telling us that the world we encounter has already been shaped by our beliefs about it. But Eddy concludes that if reality is shaped by belief it must be delusional and malign, and thus she veers from pragmatism into the gothic. When you treat a patient with a fever, she instructs, ‘the fever is to be argued down,’ and your argument should go like this: ‘Inflammation is not inflammation or redness and soreness of any part; this is your belief only and this belief is the red dragon the King of beasts which means this belief of inflammation is the leading lie out of which you get your fright that causes chills and heat.’ In later life, Eddy gave herself over to these gothic tendencies. Her greatest creation in this vein is the theory of malicious animal magnetism (MAM). Eddy thought that several of her enemies—all former disciples—were poisoning her with MAM, and that she could tell which enemy was working on her at any given moment because each produced the effects of a different poison: when one was thinking about her, she felt strychnine; when another, arsenic. If nothing else, such fantasias show that Eddy shared with Cather a marked distaste for the merely commonplace. Eddy wrenched herself free of the ordinary, and this got Cather’s attention. It also prompted in Cather the moral melancholy that would become the distinctive note of her mature style.” (See entries for Samuel Clemens, Willa Cather, Caroline Fraser, and Martin Gardner.) {ER; RE; Village Voice, 17 August 1993}

CHRISTIAN WRITERS: See entry for Theistic Humanism.

CHRISTIANITY • In reality we Christians are nothing more than a sect of Jews. —G. C. Lichtenberg

• It is surely high time to recognize that Christianity is a busted flush: we can no longer view the Bible reverentially and uncritically as a God-given guide to faith and morals. Nor (if we use the same canons of critical scholarship that have been applied to Church history since the time of Gibbon) can we give credence to the claim of any Church to embody an authentic divine revelation or ongoing sacramental channel of grace. —Daniel O’Hara,

a former Anglican curate (1968—1970) 

and Rationalist Press Association Director

Christianity, which is professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies, is a religion derived from Jesus—the Christ, the Messiah, the second person of the Trinity—as interpreted from a series of books called the Holy Bible. Over the centuries, Christianity has developed from its original roots in Judaism, despite sporadic persecution, being spread through the Roman Empire by missionaries, notably St. Paul, and it was recognized by Emperor Constantine in 313 as the official religion of Rome. The First Council of Nicaea in 325 condemned such heresies concerning the nature of Christ as Arianism (the belief that the Son of God was not the same as the Father but was an agent for creating the world), Nestorianism (a belief that divine and human persons remained separate in the incarnate Christ), and Monophysitism (a belief that Christ’s nature remains divine and was never human although Jesus took on an earthly and human body). Some basic sources for understanding Christianity are as follows:

Michael Arnheim, Is Christianity True? (1984) J. G. Davies, The Early Christian Church (1965) Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History (1995) Asher Finkel, The Pharisees and the Teacher of Nazareth (1964) R. M. Grant, Augustus to Constantine (1970) R. Joseph Hoffman, The Origins of Christianity Philip Hughes, History of the Church (3 volumes, 1949) K. S. Latourette, History of the Expansion of Christianity (1937—1945) Jules Lebreton and Jacque Zeiller, A History of the Early Church (4 volumes, 1944—1946) Hans Lietzmann, The History of the Early Church (4 volumes, 1961)

“Ever since the start of public opinion polling in the late 1930s,” complain Roger Finke and Rodney Stark in The Churching of America 1776—1990: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy (1992), “surveys have always found that virtually everyone has a religion [in the United States]. I know of no national survey in which as many as ten percent answered ‘none’ when asked their religious affiliation. But the nation’s churches cannot possibly seat ninety percent of the population. More careful investigation reveals that for many, their claim to a religious affiliation amounts to nothing more than a vague recollection of what their parents or grandparents have passed along as the family preference. . . . Can students who think they go to the Pisscaple Church have ever seen the word Episcopal? Or what of Presditurians?” Some Christians claim the United States has always been a Christian nation. Stephanie Thomas in Virginia wrote The Economist (15 January 1994) that “Until Engel v. Vitale (1962) America, in both its public and private life, was an openly Christian nation. Until that decision struck down ‘prayer in the public schools,’ everyone acknowledged that although no particular denomination was entitled to be ‘established,’ the very fabric of America’s culture as well as its government was grounded and founded on Christian principles. Indeed, both the words and deeds of Thomas Jefferson clearly indicate that this is what was intended. As Justice Joseph Story indicated, the institution of the church was to be isolated from the institution of the state.” However, President Washington in 1797 confirmed and signed the Treaty between the United States and Tripoli in which appears the significant statement, ‘. . . the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.’ ” “Organized Christianity,” wrote R. Gallienne, “has probably done more to retard the ideals that were its founder’s than any other agency in the world.” What Christianity has accomplished, most of its critics agree, is a remarkable ability to convince its adherents that their souls are stained indelibly with sin. As to why Christianity incorporated the Old Testament instead of using just the New Testament, Irving Kristol in Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea (1995) has suggested

They [the church fathers] needed the Old Testament for certain key statements that are not found in the New Testament, or at least are not found there in an emphatic way, such as that when God created the world, he saw that “it was good.” That is an Old Testament doctrine. It became a Christian doctrine, and it is crucial to any orthodoxy, in contrast to gnosticism, which says that no one knows who created the world—a demiurge or whatever—but that the world is certainly bad. (See entries for John Adams, Arianism, Civilization, Thomas Jefferson, Monophysitism, and Nestorianism.) {CE; ER; Freethought History #8, 1993}

CHRISTIANITY, FOUNDER OF Ferdinand Christian Baur (1826—1860), the pioneering German Scripture scholar who headed what was known as the Tübingen School, tried to explain the evolution of Christianity in terms of a rigidly maintained Hegelian philosophy of history. In its earliest stage, he found, Christianity was a form of Judaism: Jesus was the Messiah of the Jews, not the founder of a world religion. In contradistinction to this view (thesis), Paul maintained that Jesus was the Messiah of the whole world, and Christianity was wholly distinct from Judaism and thus unrestricted by the Mosaic law (antithesis). The British novelist A. N. Wilson, in Paul: The Mind of the Apostle (1997), holds that Paul is the one who created Christianity, not Jesus, and expected that his research would “change the way we think about Christianity.” What disturbs many is Wilson’s picture of Paul himself: once a wealthy tent maker who supplied the hated Roman forces; a former member of the Jerusalem temple guard who had not only persecuted Jesus’s followers but probably even had a role in the death of Jesus himself. {ER; Peter Steinfels, The New York Times, 22 March 1997}

CHRISTIANS: For an estimate of the number of Christians in the world, see entry for Hell.

CHRISTIANS AND GAYS In 1998 Time reported the following quotations in its issue entitled “The War Over Gays” (26 October 1998):

• God hates fags. —Sign carried by the Rev. Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, and his band of protesters at the 1998 funeral of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old Wyoming gay man beaten to death by two heterosexuals who disliked homosexuals.

• We are standing with the G.O.P. [Republican Party] against the Sodomites. —The Rev. O. N. Otwell, one of several protesters wanting to ban a Republican

gay group from the Texas party’s convention.
• You should try to show them a way to deal with [homosexuality] just like alcohol

. . . or sex addiction . . . or kleptomaniacs. —Trent Lott, the U. S. Senate majority (Republican) leader on television during june. He also suggested that gays are sinners and said he got his views “in the Bible.”

• wage the war against the homosexual agenda. —Gary Bauer’s website for the Family Research Council calls homosexuality “destructive”

• the acceptance of homosexuality is the last step in the decline of Gentile civilization. —Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network, who also warned that hurricanes could hit Orlando, Florida, because of gay events there.

CHRISTIANS, HIDDEN Christianity was banned in Japan in 1612, having been introduced by Francis Xavier in 1549. The government, concerned about dual loyalties the Christian converts might have, crucified, boiled, drowned, burned, or otherwise murdered those who disputed the banning. Many gave up, but those who did not became kakure Kirishitan, or hidden Christians. In 1873 when Christianity was again legalized, most of the 50,000 or so hidden Christians returned to conventional Christianity. A few, however, re-created from memory in the 1820s their version of Biblical stories. As described in The Economist (11 January 1997), the young Holy One debated with Buddhist priests, “as twelve-year-old Jesus was said to have done with the Jewish elders. Two men, Ponsha and Piroto (i.e., Pontius Pilate), are told to kill all children of five and under, an echo of Herod’s order. Mary gives birth in a stable, but the innkeeper who had spurned her then takes her in: in a wonderfully Japanese touch, he offers her a hot bath.” Little wonder, say freethinkers, that the initial Biblical stories written long after the facts were similarly stretched.

Christie, Dame Agatha (1891—1976) Christie, the English detective storywriter who in 1971 was named Dame Commander, Order of the British Empire, may or may not have been a philosophic naturalist. In her story, “The Hound of Death” (1933), however, she wrote, “The things we call supernatural are not necessarily supernatural at all. An electric flashlight would be supernatural to a savage. The supernatural is only the natural of which the laws are not yet understood.”

CHRISTMAS Christians object to the shortening of Christmas to “Xmas” by commercial concerns and others. Non-believers, however, editorialize their feelings about the holiday by calling it “Xmess.” The Rationalist Society of St. Louis, describing the event as “Christmyth,” has published the following:

• December 25: Christmas was given this date because it was strongly identified with pagan rites, the winter solstice, and numerous feats already celebrated close to that date. In fact, Dec. 25 was so strongly identified with pagan rites that many felt it sacrilegious to observe Jesus’s birth then. The ancient Roman calendars identified Dec. 25 as the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun, the Intermediary of the One and Only Supreme God, the Sovereign Master of Heaven. Emperor Aurelian consecrated a temple to this god on Dec. 25, 274 C.E. [Common Era], well before agreement was reached on the date of Christ’s birth. The final selection of Dec. 25 as the date to celebrate Christmas may have been given a boost by Constantine who was a worshiper of the Unconquered Sun. There has been no unanimity in acceptance of this date; there have been movements by Christians to remove it from the ecclesiastical calendar. (See entry for Stanley Stokes.)

• Bethlehem: To fulfill his role as king of the Jews, Jesus had to be born in Bethlehem, as were Joseph and David. But it was reported that Jesus was a Nazarene. Some way was needed to explain why a man from Nazareth was born in Bethlehem. The story of the census allowed the writers of the Gospels to not only move their central character to the appropriate city of birth, but to also conveniently explain the circumstances surrounding his birth in a stable, which just happened to parallel the conditions under which similar saviors were born. There is no historical evidence that such a census was conducted in any year that could possibly have been that of Jesus’s birth.

• We Three Kings: This notion was not unique to the Jesus story. The birth of Socrates (469 B.C.E.) and Krishna (1200 B.C.E.) were both also marked by the presentation of the gifts of gold, frankincense (a type of incense made from resins of a tree found in the Mideast), and myrrh (another type of incense made primarily from the tree gum resin of the myrrh tree; also used as an embalming compound and a drug). The arrival of Magi with gifts was a virtual cliché, also reported earlier in the myths of Osiris, Zoroaster, and Mithra. The Magi were actually a Persian priestly caste that arose to prominence under Zoroastrianism. Biblical accounts do not establish the number of Magi, so various traditions have arisen in depicting this aspects of the nativity scene. The notion that there were three is likely because three gifts were mentioned. The Magi are also occasionally identified as kings, although this is not contained in the Gospel accounts.

• Nativity Scene: The popular scene, including animals, has been traced back to St. Francis of Assisi. But the traditions tapped by St. Francis go back much further even than the supposed time of Jesus’s birth. The stable could very well be an adaptation of the cave, which was the birthplace of numerous other savior gods which preceded him. However, stables are also frequently cited as origin points for gods. The astrological explanation is that the constellation Capricorn, the Goat, was directly under the earth at the time of the winter solstice. This constellation was also known as the Stable of Augeas, which was cleaned by Hercules. Similar tales have been traced back to at least 1700 B.C.E., the date of an Egyptian nativity scene from the Temple of Amen at Luxor. This depiction was intended to relate the birth of the first-born sons of the Pharaohs, but did so in a manner that would be instantly recognized by Christians.

• Mary: The Egyptian god Isis is said to have been the most important model for the character Mary, mother of Jesus. In Alexandria in the fourth century the Temple of Isis and the Church of St. Mary were next door neighbors, and pagans and Christians viewed the two as largely interchangeable. Isis was actually called Meri, and is said to have made occasional personal appearances before her more devout worshippers. Isis, also a virgin, was a gentle mother-goddess who was an intercessor on the behalf of mortals. Joseph had an Egyptian counterpart in the earth god, Seb. In the Egyptian tongue, “Jo” means god, so that if this is put together with the name Seb, we have approximated the name Joseph. Likewise, as Mary begat Jesus, Isis begat Horus. As Isis and Seb hid Horus from the serpent Herut, Mary and Joseph hid Jesus from Herod. The similarity of the names of the mythical Herut and the historical Herod was apparently too much for the authors to the Gospels to ignore. They had to work him into the story with the Massacre of the Innocents, totally unsubstantiated by any historical accounts, but easily explainable by examining parallel myths.

Wick Allison, former publisher of National Review and author of That’s in the Bible?, figures that Jesus was born in 6 B.C.E. (Before the Christian Era). Dionysius Exiguus (“Denny the Runt”) designated the first year after the birth as anno Domini (year of our Lord) 1, so Jesus would have been born in the year before that: not the year 0, but 1 B.C.E. Christian scholars complained that Dionysius erred, that Jesus had not been born in the 753rd year of the old Roman calendar: Herod the Great, King of Judea, they argued, had died in the 750th year after Rome was founded, so if Jesus was born in Herod’s reign then Dionysius was at least three years off, maybe five. Allison uses other evidence—Luke may have confused Quirinius with Quintilius, writing that a census was taken “while Quirinius was governor of Syria,” but it was Quintilius who was legate in Syria from 6 to 4 B.C.E. The man-hours spent in such mathematics has been staggering, everyone agrees. Janis Ian, in The Advocate (12 December 1995), told of a gay male couple wishing to educate their son about Christmas. “If we start early, he’ll have more time to get over it later on,” remarks one of the two dads, whose forebears were Catholic priests. They invite Ian to help re-create the Last Supper for a Christmas dinner, but she points out that the Last Supper did not take place until late April. Going ahead, nevertheless, they invite twelve friends for a re-enactment of the meal. All goes well, particularly when Jason decides, after being told how the story ends, to play Judas and gets kissed by the person (a lesbian) playing Jesus. Mary, they decide, is not present because “they probably had her back in the kitchen.” The youth is said to have enjoyed the religious re-enactment, except he had a quick tantrum upon finding that he would not at the end collect the thirty silver dollars. Christmas has no relevance for freethinkers, who regard it as a time of inflated prices and sales of un-needed items. As observed by Jimmy Cannon, “Christmas is a holiday that persecutes the lonely, the frayed, and the rejected.” (See entries for Thomas William Flynn, often dubbed “the anti-Claus”; Charles Follen; Humanist Holidays; and Rick Ganulin.)

CHRISTMAS CAROLS: “We Wish You a Merry Solstice,” “Arrest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Deck the Halls with Calls of Folly”: these are new humanistic lyrics for old religious tunes. See entry for David J. Gornik.

CHRISTMAS TREE: See entries for Eliza and Charles Follen, who introduced the custom to America.

CHRIST’S PENIS Penises in various societies have been revered, sometimes even been eaten by victorious warriors who believed they would then receive added sexual potency from such a diet. A fascinum in Latin was the image of an erect penis which people hung up in their rooms, wore around necks, or worshiped as an aid to warding off the evil eye. Diane Ackerman, noting that the word fascinate refers to penises, is fascinated by the religious interest in the male organ. The penis of the crucified Jesus Christ, for example, has long been an object of adoration. “Hundreds of Renaissance churches,” she writes, “claimed to have part of Christ’s penis as a holy relic. His circumcised prepuce, the only mortal part of him left on earth when he ascended to heaven, was treasured as a miraculous fertility aid. Women prayed at Christ’s foreskin for help in conceiving. Thirteen of those relics survive today. The best known, at the Abbey Church in Chartres, was said to be responsible for thousands of pregnancies.” Connecticut painter and photographer Anne Rowland, partly in response to the fundamentalist hysteria surrounding art work sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in the late 1980s, holds that “if we assign a gender to God, we must accept the deity as a sexual being, with all the ramifications that entails.” At the Gregg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, Washington, she exhibited in a 1991 show entitled “Dictu Sanctificare” not only “Jesus’s Penis” (which was erect and circumcised, leading some “size queens” to comment about its smallness) but also “God’s Penis” (which was flaccid and not circumcised, leading other wags to ask why He had not been mutilated). She also exhibited “God’s Beard,” “Mary Magdalene’s Hair,” “Eve’s Fig Leaf,” “Jesus When He Was Just An Embryo,” and other such works. Rowland is concerned about the politicization of religion in America and the censorious stance of the fundamentalist right. Fundamentalists have been infuriated by such a blasphemous cock-up. Others, however, noting that God’s penis is flaccid whereas Jesus’s is erect, compliment Rowland for giving an entirely original meaning to “religious member.” (See entry for Circumcision.) {ACK}

CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT UNIVERSITY Humanists at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, are on the Web at: <www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>.

Christopher, James (1942— ) An editorial associate of Free Inquiry, Christopher founded an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Calling it the Secular Organization for Sobriety (SOS), he has organized a large number of groups which do not utilize the “higher power” concept of AA’s 12-step plan. His program has received much favorable attention from a variety of counselors in medical and scientific circles in this and other nations. Christopher, who is a Secular Humanist Mentor of the Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism, is author of SOS Sobriety, The Proven Alternative to 12-Step Programs (1992). Christopher was a participant in 1996 at the Humanist World Congress held in Mexico City. (See entry for the Secular Organization for Sobriety.)

CHRONOLOGICAL ERAS: See entry for Eras.

[[Chubb, Percival (1860—1960) 

An Englishman and charter member of the London Ethical Culture Society, Chubb became an Ethical Culture leader in New York, having been recruited and trained by Stanton Coit. From 1898 to 1904, he edited Ethical Record. From 1911 to 1933, he led the St. Louis society and was emeritus until his death. (See entry for Ethical Culture.) {EU, Howard B. Radest; HNS; RAT}

Chubb, Thomas (1679—1747) An English deist, Chubb was one of the first to show rationalism among the common people. Gradually relinquishing supernatural religion, he came to consider that Jesus Christ was of the religion of Thomas Chubb. In his A Farewell to His Readers (1747), he appears to reject both revelation and special providence. {BDF; FUK; RAT}

Chugerman, Samuel (20th Century) Chugerman wrote Lester F. Ward: The American Aristotle (1939). {FUS}

Chuman, Joseph (20th Century) Chuman, a classics graduate of City College of New York who received his doctorate in religion at Columbia University, started Ethical Culture leadership training in 1967. He led briefly in Essex County, New Jersey, then settled as Leader in Bergen County. Chuman signed Humanist Manifesto II and has been on the editorial board of the International Humanist. He is on the Board of Governors of The Humanist Institute and is one of the members of the IHEU’s Committee on Religious Extremism and Rational Inquiry. In 1998 at the International Humanist and Ethical Union’s congress in Mumbai, Chuman spoke about the resurgence of religion in North America, lamenting the fact that fundamentalists have become a powerful political force. E-mail: <jchuman@idt.net>. (See entry for Ethical Culture.) {EU, Howard B. Radest; HM2}

Chumbawamba Members of the United Kingdom band known as Chumbawamba had a 1997 hit, Tubthumping. On the Web, the group was asked questions about religion, and their freethinking responses are as follows:

LuLu09: Were you raised an atheist, or were you born into a religion and dropped out? If so, why? Chumbawamba: I [Boff that is] was raised as a Mormon in Burnley, heartland of Fundamental bible-bashing (cf “Oranges Are not The Only Fruit” by Jeannette Winterson), it took me most of my teenage years to extricate myself from religion. I never “got” religion, though I tried—read the Bible, prayed, went to Sunday School, etc. Nothing happened. No “still, small voice,” no answers to prayers. Nothing. And then this mental void began to be filled with real philosophical/logical problems which religion was skirting around (existence of God, creationism, etc) and by political and social problems which religion was part of (male dominance, racism, war, capitalism, etc,). And eventually the whole bundle imploded sometime when I discovered the Bonzo Dog Band, sex, and truancy. All my huge family are still Mormons; we all get along fine. LuLu09 Um, this little question has been bugging me for a while. Do you guys see any benefit in religion/spirituality at all? I'm not religious or anything, just curious. And another thing I've been running over with a few friends . . . (just want an opinion) people want meaning in their lives, they look for meaning in everything they do. But say there is no meaning? Suppose there's no reason or “truth” or “rightness” in anything? It's all meaningless. Or suppose EVERYTHING matters? Which would be worse? Chumbawamba: No, I don't see any benefit in religion, other than the wearing of priest's robes makes paedophiles easier to identify. As for spirituality, what exactly is it? I've never trusted anybody who claimed to be spiritual. It's like claiming to have a sixth sense which nobody else can see. When people say they're spiritual what they usually mean is: “I'm dead special me! Unlike the rest of you who are a couple of steps down the evolutionary ladder.” The problem with religion or the state for that matter is that it involves putting faith in something above yourself. They take power and responsibility away from ordinary people and undervalue people's worth. In lefty circles there's a tendency to dismiss Western religions as bollocks whilst believing any old clap-trap as long as it's Eastern. I'm sick of hearing how spiritual and fantastic Buddhism is; tell it to the slave labourers in Burma. They live under a Buddhist system and its not doing them much good. As for the second part of your question... the tendency to claim everything is meaningless or of equal importance seems part of the disease of post-modernism. I hate post-modernism because it's just an excuse to be self serving and not care about anything. I think it's worth taking part in the struggle to be human. Calling it searching for truth sounds a bit pompous. Human beings are endlessly inventive and capable of fantastic things, seems sensible to put our efforts in to creating something better than we have now. We don't believe in fate. We've got capitalism, religion and military regimes murdering and depriving people, these aren't unchangeable, immutable ever to be with us systems. We don't have to accept them. Questions like “Does nothing matter? Does everything matter?” have to come second to “why are vast portions of the earth's population starving in the midst of plenty.” - S. Berkely: My question is this: if you believe in god/divine power/creation force on any level, how would you define it and how do you see it manifest itself in the world around you (if you believe it does)? Chumbawamba: We don't believe in god on any level. Religion is a socially acceptable version of heroin, it's a prop which fucks people up and over. And as Blaise Pascal so aptly put it: "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." {http://www.chumba.com/_faquestions.htm}

CHURCH AND STATE President Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone describes him not as a former President but as the father of the University of Virginia and the author of the Declaration and of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. The latter was a law which he and James Madison struggled for nine years to get through the legislature. “The Virginia Statute,” wrote Anthony Lewis in The New York Times, “not only rejected official support for a single, established church. It forbade neutral support for all denominations: which is what some Americans want government to do today. The statute’s principles informed the religion clauses of the First Amendment, which was drafted by Madison.” Lewis, noting that in the 1800 campaign for President, Jefferson was attacked as an atheist, added, “In fact he believed in God despite his dislike of priesthoods and his rejection of biblical revelation, saying he “was a sect of one.” He believed that diversity of creeds and separation of church from state would actually strengthen religion in America, a prediction which has proved true. In the absence of state involvement, religion has thrived. On the Jefferson Memorial in Washington is carved his statement: “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man,” which he wrote about activities of the clergy. Lewis notes that Jefferson and John Adams, political opponents and longtime friends, both died on 4 July 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Adams’s last words were, “Jefferson still lives.” (See entry for Protestants and Others United for the Separation of Church and State.)

CHURCH AND STATE (Ireland) A quarterly, Church and State can be reached by contacting P. Maloney, Box 159, Cork, Ireland.

Church, Archibald (20th Century) Church was editor of The Realist, a Journal of Scientific Humanism from 1929 to 1930. Lancelot Hogben was one of its contributors.

Church, Henry Tyrell (Died 1859) 

Church was a lecturer and writer who edited Tallis’s Shakespeare. He contributed to the Investigator when it was edited by Bradlaugh. {BDF}

Church, Mary Ann (19th Century) Although not ordained, Church was listed in the Universalist Register (1838), making her the first woman in Canada to be officially recognized as a preacher.

CHURCH OF CHRIST The Church of Christ, organized in 1830, is at PO Box 472, Independence, Missouri 64051.

CHURCH OF EUTHANASIA The C of E (not to be confused with the Church of England) is led by the Rev. Chris Korda (PO Box 261, Somerville, MA 02143). In the tradition of the ancient May-Pole worshippers and heathen Free Spirits, the group is noted for its craziness. For example, it has One Commandment: “Thou Shall Not Procreate.” The Four Pillars of the Church are Suicide, Abortion, Cannibalism, and Sodomy. In their efforts to restore “balance between Humans and the remaining species on Earth,” they advocate “massive voluntary population reduction, which will require a leap in Human consciousness to a new species awareness.” Included among the 100,000 of bumper stickers the group has sold are the following:

• Save the Planet—Kill Yourself • Eat People Not Animals • Prevent AIDS—Aim for the Chin • Thank You for Not Breeding • Eat a Queer Fetus for Jesus • God is Coming, Stick Out Your Tongue

The Church’s on-line journal, Snuff It, is found at <http://www.envirolink.org/orgs/coe>. “Unfortunately,” according to the Rev. Chris, “the group attracts Humanists like flies on crap, so the conversation tends to be dull to say the least. We occasionally try to liven things up a bit by posting sermons or articles from Snuff It. Feel free to lurk there, annoy the Humanists, and flame the idiots who post pro-life messages.” {Freethought History, #23, 1997}

CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST The Church of God in Christ, which has over 5,000,000 members, is at 939 Mason Street, Memphis, Tennessee 38126.

CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS Commonly called Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe that their founder, Joseph Smith, had golden tablets revealed to him by God. Those tablets, translated as the Book of Mormon, were dropped from the sky at Palmyra, New York. Mormons followed Smith westward, founding Salt Lake City in Utah in 1847, three years after a mob murdered Smith and his brother Hyrum in 1844. Under the leadership of Brigham Young, the Mormons weathered hardships and built a communal economy. Plural marriages within the group prevented Utah’s admission to the Union until 1896, but in 1890 the church withdrew its sanction of polygamy. The church is led by a three-member First Presidency and by the Council of Twelve (the Apostles). Mormons believe in baptizing those who died without hearing the Mormon message. As a result, they have established massive genealogical records which include an estimated 200,000,000 people who were baptized and added to the index. Included are Anne Frank, Joan of Arc, St. Francis of Assisi, Charlie Chaplin, W. C. Fields, and other non-Mormons. Because of intense pressure from Jewish groups, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints signed an agreement to remove from their Index all Jewish Holocaust victims, except those with descendants who are current Mormons and approve of their Jewish ancestors’ inclusion. A separatist group, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was organized in 1852 and has its headquarters in Independence, Missouri. D. Michael Quinn, in Same-Sex Dynamics Among Nineteenth-Century Americans: A Mormon Example (1996), found that “most of Utah went apoplectic” at his assertions that several prominent Mormons might be gay. “When I wrote that [Mormon Church founder] Joseph Smith slept with men all his life,” he told The Advocate, 3 March 1998), I meant slept with them.” Quinn also alleged that the former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir never married and referred to his protégés as his “boy chums” and “the loves of [his] life.” Quinn, who had been a full professor at Brigham Young University,” resigned in 1988 and was excommunicated from the church in 1993. Quinn—himself a homosexual—laments the church’s homophobia and its hyprocisy. (See entries for Steve Benson, grandchild of Ezra Taft Benson, a Mormon leader; for non-theists Charles Chaplin and W. C. Fields; and for Virgil Thomson.) {CE}

CHURCH OF POSITIVISM In 1881 in Brazil the Church of Positivism was established. It emphasized the views of Auguste Comte, whose slogan “Order and Progress” appears on the Brazilian national flag.

CHURCH OF THE EXQUISITE PANIC: See entry for Robert Delford Brown.


Shane McGowran is the Irish singer-author of a freethinking “Church of the Holy Spook.”

CHURCH OF THE LARGER FELLOWSHIP The Church of the Larger Fellowship, 25 Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02108, provides a ministry to Unitarian Universalists all over the world. For individuals who live nowhere near a Unitarian Universalist society, the organization keeps in touch by mail.

CHURCH ORGANISTS: See entry for Andrew DeMasi.

CHURCH UNIVERSAL AND TRIUMPHANT The Church Universal and Triumphant, a Montana sect, was founded in 1957 by Elizabeth Clare Prophet and her husband Mark. The group has its roots in theosophy and has told the press that it establishes “direct mystical contact with divine principle through contemplation, revelation, and other techniques.” Ms. Prophet claims to receive dictations from a host of spirits called Ascended Masters. When the group in 1980 issued a warning of an imminent Soviet missile strike that could destroy the United States, several thousand followers sold belongings, left their families, and crammed into bomb shelters in mountains on the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park. Enthusiasm waned when no attack occurred. Ms. Prophet, whom many followers call Mother, announced in 1997 that she and her fourth husband, Edward Francis, had divorced, which further disillusioned members, who had been told that “the marriage is divinely inspired.” {The New York Times, 2 March 1997}

Churchill, Charles (1731—1764) In Gotham (1763), Churchill, an English poet and satirist, wrote, “Faith is a necessary fraud at best.” {TYD}

Churchill, R. C. (20th Century) A freethinker, Churchill wrote English Literature and the Agnostics (1944) and Art and Christianity (1945). {GS}

Churchill, Randolph (1911-1968): For a comment by the son of Sir Winston Churchill, see entry for Bible.

Churchland, Patricia Smith (20th Century) Churchland, a professor of philosophy at the University of California at San Diego, is a Humanist Laureate in the Council for Secular Humanism’s International Academy of Humanism. She is the author of Neurophilosophy and Alzheimer’s Disease (1992), Neurophilosophy: Toward A Unified Science of the Mind-Brain (1986), and The Computational Brain (1992). In Free Inquiry (Fall 1995), she further developed contemporary notions of consciousness, neuroscience, and ethics. (See entries for Adam Carley, consciousness, and John R. Searle.) {CA; E}

Churchland, Paul (1942— ) Churchland, who teaches at the University of California in San Diego, is author of The Engine of Reason, the Seat of the Soul: A Philosophical Journey into the Brain (1995). For The Journal of Philosophy in 1981, he wrote, “Eliminative Materialism and Propositional Attitudes.” He is married to Patricia Smith Churchland. {CA; E}

Chydenius, Anders (19th Century) Chydenius was a noted non-theist in Finland. (See entry for Scandinavian Unbelievers.)

Chypere, John (20th Century) A freethinker, Chypere wrote A Psychoanalysis of Jesus Christ (1986). {GS}

Ciardi, John (1916—1986) A member of the Institute of Arts and Letters of the American Academy, Ciardi once proposed to The Humanist editor Priscilla Robertson that John Holmes be the magazine’s poetry editor. She appointed Holmes soon thereafter. Ciardi had taught at Harvard and Rutgers, was poetry editor of Saturday Review, and translated Dante’s Inferno. His poetry is witty and includes vernacular diction. Three of Ciardi’s works are Homeward to America (1940), I Marry You (1958), and For Instance (1979). A personable man, Ciardi had a special way with words. Asked what gentility is, he replied, “Gentility is what is left over from rich ancestors after the money is gone.” He also once confided that of the various contemporary poets, he was one of the few who could afford a Cadillac. Ciardi was a signer of Humanist Manifesto II. {CE; HM2}

Ciccone, Madonna Louise Veronica: See entry for Madonna

Cicero, Marcus Tullius (106—43 B.C.E.) According to Corliss Lamont, Cicero “showed an absolute disbelief in all the accepted practices of divination, but thought they should be fostered ‘on account of popular opinion and of their great public utility.’ ” During the French Revolution, Maréchal cited Cicero as being only a “possible” atheist. Robertson explains that Cicero devised a religious make-believe which paralleled the State. His outlook can be looked at as being historically, not theologically, appropriate for his day. He swears, for example, that “the Gods” exist, albeit it is their glory to do nothing. Yet, he held that “There are no miracles” and “What old woman is so stupid now as to tremble at those tales of hell which were once so firmly believed in?” In the last three years of his life, he reinforced his reputation as a major classical skeptic by writing Concerning the Nature of the Gods (44 B.C.E.), by which he made Greek philosophy accessible to Latin audiences, according to Gaskin. {CE; CL; EU,; JM; JMR; JMRH; TYD}

CIRCUMCISION Male circumcision is an operation—a barbaric custom, according to many—which removes the foreskin covering the glans (so-called because of its acorn-like shape; acorn in Latin is glans) of the penis. As a religious rite it was widespread throughout the Middle East before being introduced among the Hebrews, presumably by Abraham. Jews ordinarily perform the rite on the eighth day after the birth of the male child, and the practice is said to be a sign of the covenant between God and man. (Jewish comics have been known to say that although a mohel’s pay is lousy, at least the guy gets good tips. . . . ) According to the Village Voice, inflation has apparently resulted, and five hundred dollars has been charged in 1996 “for hacking a foreskin.” Acts 15, however, states that Christians need not practice circumcision. Saint Catherine of Siena claimed that Jesus gave her his foreskin as a wedding ring, allowing her to become his bride “not with a ring of silver but with a ring of his holy flesh, for when he was circumcised just such a ring was taken from his holy body.” She whipped herself three times a day, according to Ackerman: once for her own sins, once for the sins of living people, and once for the sins of the dead. Although male circumcision is said to be performed as a sanitary measure, there are arguments both pro and con. Those who favor circumcision sometimes point out that penile carcinoma is almost unheard of in circumcised men; that circumcised boys are ten to twenty times less prone to urinary tract and bladder infections than their uncut peers; and that circumcision is associated with a 50-90% reduction in transmission of HIV (Nature, 1994). Kenyan microbiologist Maina Kahindo in 1999 described his study that found circumcised men were less likely to become HIV-infected. Of 219,755 boys born in United States armed forces hospitals, a tenfold increase in the incidence of urinary tract infection was found among those who were uncircumcised. As for any pain involved, rabbis stated that a 30% lidocaine cream is applied thirty minutes before the procedure. Others, however, find it a brutal practice and blame organized religious groups for abusing children before they are able to object. As times change, mohalim (the plural form for mohel, pronounced moyle) are presented with new problems. At a Bethesda, Maryland conference in 1998, they discussed how the mohalim could make the rite as meaningful as posssible to a gay or lesbian couple who have given birth to or adopted a baby: does the child of an interfaith couple need to be immersed in a mikvah, or ritual bath, or does the bris itself suffice? What should the mohel do when families ask for a postponement so that a grandparent can afford to attend from afar? Is a religious circumcision covered by insurance or managed care? And how do mohalim use the Internet to inform the public? Are all Jews circumcised? Ronald Goldman, a Boston psychologist who founded The Circumcision Research Center in 1991, claims more than 200 Jewish-identified members are not. For example, Moshe Rothenberg is a Brooklyn, N.Y., social worker and high school guidance counselor who has held a bris-sans-circumcision meeting for more than a hundred local families, “a welcoming ceremony, a celebration of the newborn” that includes tree-planting, singing, dancing, or similar events. His son, 9-year-old Samuel is not circumcised. He cites scripture that he believes supports abjuring circumcision, but the majority of Jews counter that his interpretations are twistings and distortions. Since the 1960s, some children in presumably frivolous lawsuits have demanded of parents that they replace their lost foreskins. Some studies indicate a reduction of such operations in the United States, although Jane E. Brody in The New York Times (25 May 94) estimates that 86% of newborn boys in this country are being circumcised. A number of Humanist leaders have said circumcision should be for medical reasons only. On the topic, Joseph Lewis wrote In the Name of Humanity (1956). In the 1990s, secular humanist groups have met to discuss circumcision, and Robert Gorham Davis in “The Unkindest Cut of All” (Free Inquiry, Fall, 1993) discussed the subject. A 1997 study by National Health and Social Life researchers at the University of Chicago found that circumcision in the United States was most prevalent among white men and men from educated families (96% in Jewish families questioned but only 54% for Hispanic men). Circumcised men were found to be engaged in a wider range of sexual practices, like oral and anal sex and masturbation, but that routine circumcision did not, contrary to some past studies, lead to lower rates of sexually transmitted diseases. Since 1989, the American Academy of Pediatrics has been neutral on circumcision, leaving it up to parents and pediatricians. “Which is better, to be or not to be circumcised?” Neither, according to current views, unless there is some specific medical reason. In England, circumcision levels dropped from 85% to near zero in the 1950s. In the 1990s, the United States was the only Western country (except for Israel) that still circumcised a majority (66% in 1995) of baby boys. Pediatrics (March 1999), summarizing new information, reported that the American Academy of Pediatrics found no “medical indication” for circumcision, reversing its findings in 1989 that circumcision might bring “potential medical benefits.” Although in the 1960’s over 90% of American-born boys were circumcised before leaving the hospital, the figure has dropped to 60% today. The figure for Hispanic and Asian immigrants is closer to 36%. Female circumcision, which involves the excision of the labia minora and clitoris (clitoridectomy), is common in Islam and in certain tribes of Africa, South America, and elsewhere. Africans who have worked to abolish the removal of all or part of a girl’s external genitalia, usually to insure virginity or control sexuality, include New York human rights lawyer Seble Dawitt and Wellesley College filmmaker Salem Mekuria. Both oppose the practice and call for its eradication, but they argue that Africans must lead the fight, that “superior Western attitudes do not enhance dialogue or equal exchange of ideas. . . . Neither Alice Walker nor any of us here can speak for [African women]; but if we have the power and the resources, we can create the room for them to speak, and to speak with us as well.” In 1993, Sudan, Kenya, Egypt, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso had taken legal or policy measures against genital mutilation. A leading secular humanist, Bangladesh’s Taslima Nasrin, herself a physician, has written of her utter contempt for individuals who would genitally mutilate a child. In 3001, according to Arthur C. Clarke’s science-fiction novel, much will have changed:

Circumcision made a lot of sense in primitive times but no longer. By the mid-twenty-first century so many malpractice suits had been filed that the American Medical Association had been forced to ban it. The practice, however, continued a century later, until “some unknown genius coined a slogan—please excuse the vulgarity—“God designed us: circumcision is blasphemy.” {ACK; Sheila Anne Feeney, NY Daily News, 27 May 1997; The Economist, 27 Nov 1999}

Cirrincione, Gerald Angelo (20th Century) Cirrincione, who is a talk show host on “Jazz and Conversation,” and a cable interviewer on “Omniverse,” is a freethinker who writes for Truth Seeker.

CIVIL RELIGION: See entry for Conor Cruise O’Brien.

CIVILIZATION “Civilization” to many is a word with as many useless encrustments as “humanism.” Some Europeans have joked that the symbol of American civilization is the tail fin on a Cadillac automobile. Lexicographers define civilization as “a relatively high level of cultural and technological development.” The Economist in 1994 inquired why one group of men felt the need to kill another group, suggesting that what is involved is a conflict of specific interests, a clash of life-shaping ideas; and one group’s belief that it is in blood and bone superior to the rest. The fundamental fear, that there will be a general war between Islam and the West, was followed by, “Not again, for heaven’s sake.” In short, the editors hoped that in the 20th century we would not return to the time of Pope Urban II, who in a sermon at Claremont in 1095 brought about the First Crusade against Islam. At the same time, The Economist noted the potential problems, the differences between the two groups concerning ideology, skin color, and conflicts of interest. In 3001, according to the novel of the same name by Arthur C. Clarke, the character Ted Khan is described as being “still famous back on Earth for at least two of his sayings: ‘Civilization and Religion are incompatible’ and ‘Faith is believing what you know isn’t true.’ ” Meanwhile, Samuel Huntington, a professor of Harvard University, holds that there currently are eight civilizations, or cultures, five of which (the Latin American, African, Slavic, Hindu, Japanese, Buddhist) are not potential problems. The three cultures he cites are (a) the West, the Euro-American culture that is the product of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment, and is the begetter of modern capitalism and democracy; (b) Confucian, the body of ideas that has grown up around the Chinese language and the habits of public life that are said to belong to the Chinese region; and (c) Islam, which claims to be an idea based upon a transcendental certainty, that of the word of God, revealed syllable by syllable to Muhammad in a dusty corner of Arabia 1,400 years ago, and copied down by him into the Qur’an. Brian Beedham of The Economist argues that the West and the 1.2 billion followers of Islam have every reason to cease their perpetual confrontation, that they should not overlook the Confucian. (See entry for K’ung Fu-tzu.)

Cjecka, Victor (20th Century) Cjecka started editing Vek Rozumu in New York in 1910, later moving his monthly publication to Berwyn, Illinois.

Clafin, Adelaide Avery (19th Century) Clafin was one of the early graduates, 1896, of Meadville/Lombard Theological School, and she was ordained as a Unitarian minister in 1897. {World, May-June 1995}

Clampett, W. Frederick (20th Century) Clampett, a freethinker, wrote Luther Burbank, “Our Beloved Infidel”: His Religion of Humanity (1926). {FUS}

Clanton, Gordon (1942— ) Clanton was an assistant professor at Trenton State College in New Jersey when he signed Humanist Manifesto II. {HM2}

Clapp, Theodore (Born 1792) Clapp, a Unitarian, was a pioneer religious liberal in New Orleans, Louisiana. {U}

Claretie, Jules Armand Arsène (1840—1910) 

A French writer, Claretie wrote biographies of celebrities, La libre parole [Free Speech] (1868), and Camille Desmoulins (1875). The 1868 work was the result of having been refused by the minister of Public Instruction to lecture on one occasion, whereupon Claretie issued a vigorous defense of free thought and speech. Claretie, one of the leading French writers in the second half of the nineteenth century, was a member of the French Academy. {BDF; JM}

Claretie, Jules Arsène Arnaud (Born 1840) Claretie was a French author who won distinction as a journalist and drama critic. His La Libre Parole (1868) was a rationalistic defense of free speech. Claretie was a Commander of the Legion of Honour and a member of the French Academy. {RAT}

Clarey, (Reynold) Arnold (1897—1972) Clarey was an Australian rationalist, Unitarian, accountant, and politician. A Freemason, he opposed state aid to denominational schools. {SWW}

Clark, Alex (20th Century) Clark, of the Auckland United Atheists in New Zealand, was one of the founding members of Campus Freethought Alliance. {International Humanist News, December 1996}

Clark, Brad N. (20th Century) Clark, a correctional educator in California, is a member of Atheists and Other Freethinkers in Sacramento. He wrote “How Religion Impedes Moral Development” in Free Inquiry (Summer 1994) and “Acts of God and Other Disasters.” (Secular Nation, Fall 1994).

Clark, Dorine (20th Century) “The Masochistic Myth” by Clark appeared in Joseph Lewis’s freethought magazine, Age of Reason (January, 1966). For the same publication, she wrote “The Voice of the Truth” (January, 1967).

Clark, Harry Hayden (1901—1971) Clark edited Poems of Freneau (1929). {FUS}

Clark, Jaden (20th Century) Clark, a secular humanist who writes reviews for the Gay & Lesbian Humanist, wrote the film script for “Wavelengths.” It is a short, stylish film about a quest for gay love in contemporary London.

Clark, Jonas Gilman (1815—1900) Clark was an American philanthropist. The $2,000,000 he gave for the founding of Clark University was called “the largest sum ever given in New England up to that time by any individual for education.” Clark was a rationalist and expressly stipulated that no religion was to be taught in it. However, its first president, Stanley Hall, pressed Clark to allow it. {RE}

Clark, Oscar (20th Century) Clark, a New Zealander who is working for a doctorate in chemistry, is treasurer of Auckland University Atheists. With sophomoric wit, he has described his hobby as “inventing a cult Christian Killer (I, II & III) series of games.”

Clark, Thomas Welbourne (20th Century) Clark, associate director of the Institute for Naturalistic Philosophy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has noted that humanism has been broadly naturalistic but that it now is at odds “with the postmodern denial of universal, perspective-neutral reason.” He edited The Novel in India (1970). In “Humanism and Postmodernism, A Reconciliation” (The Humanist, Jan-Feb 1993), Clark concluded that “Humanists will always want to argue naturalism against theism, evidence against faith, rationality against superstition, and the individual against the herd; but to find allies for the real fight, the pragmatic recommendation is to see where one’s presumed opponents stand on practical issues. When and if agreement is reached about ends and means, many ideological differences can safely remain unresolved. The humanistic project will continue on in as many different guises and under as many different names as our tolerance for ideological diversity will permit.” In “Secularism and Sexuality” (The Humanist, May-June 1994), he makes the case for gay equality. In the scientific view, he notes, everything in nature, including sodomy, is literally and unavoidably natural. The harm of homosexual behavior or homosexual partnerships is simply and only a function of homophobia and heterosexism, he holds, and after homosexual marriage is adopted in keeping with the U. S. Constitution’s protection, “many will wonder what all the fuss was about. How could anyone have supposed that being gay or lesbian was intrinsically immoral or deviant or sick? On what basis, precisely, did they think that homosexuals should be denied any right or privilege given to heterosexuals?” Says Clark, the central truth is that prejudice against homosexuals is “a religiously incited and secularly unfounded bigotry.” Clark’s web site regarding naturalism is <http://www.naturalism.org>.

Clark, W. E. (20th Century) Clark, a freethinker, wrote Can Jesus Save? (1910). {GS}

Clark, Warner (20th Century) Clark has been an active member of the American Humanist Association. {HNS}

Clarke, Arthur C(harles) [Sir] [C.B.E.] (1917— ) Clarke, a preeminent writer of science fiction, a Commander of the British Empire who was knighted in 1997, emigrated in 1956 from England to Sri Lanka, where he became one of that island’s major figures. He is Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa and of the International Space University in Sri Lanka. In 1968, he wrote the memorable science fiction work, 2001. The dean of the science fiction genre, he has become internationally famous partly because his work has been turned into realistic motion pictures, notably “2001,” which have captured the imaginations of so many viewers. Science fiction, which sometimes resembles Utopian fiction, is a literary type whose writers have included Mary Shelley, Poe, Verne, Fitz-James O’Brien, and H. G. Wells. Samuel Clemens’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is exemplary of the genre. Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. have used it as an instrument of social criticism. When a farm lad in Minehead, England, Clarke had a job as mail deliverer that required him to ride his bicycle on winter nights. He had already started a serious collection of science fiction magazines, and from his bicycle the teenager gazed into the night sky, sure that one day men would walk on the moon and leave their bootprints on the red sands of Mars. His certainty that the exploration of space was inevitable found few that were in agreement. Even in the RAF he was considered some kind of screwball, always talking about the British Interplanetary Society and taking it for granted that rocket-launched satellites could be made to remain stationary over the Earth. When the Nazi V-2 rockets began raining terror on British cities, his “crackpot views” suddenly became credible. Beginning in the mid 1940s and with the subsequent travel into outer space, authors such as Clarke have extended science fiction into new realms, extrapolating about the future of space travel and anticipating the resultant problems and challenges which will face humankind. Neil McAleer, in Arthur C. Clarke, The Authorized Biography (1992), reveals the following details about the author whose books have sold more than fifty million copies:

• During World War II, inductees into the RAF who had no religious affiliation were required to put “Church of England” on their dogtags. Clarke, who unhappily had gone to an Anglican Sunday school as a farm lad, refused. “I got the man who was handling the paperwork and made them change it to pantheist,” he explained. From his youth, he has had a consistent aversion to organized religion, saying faith is no substitute for knowledge.

• In 1943 while in the RAF, he complained to C. S. Lewis that his novels attacked scientific humanism in general and scientists and astronauts in particular.

• Early in 1970, he told the Playboy interviewer, “I have a long-standing bias against religion that may be reflected in my comments,” adding that he could not forgive religions for the wars and atrocities they have inspired. Many, said Clark, “confuse religion with a belief in God. Buddhists don’t necessarily believe in a god or a supreme being at all; whereas one could easily believe in a supreme being and not have any religion.” Clarke knew Buddhism well, having chosen in the 1970s to live in Sri Lanka.

• When a “20 / 20” ABC camera once captured the parade of the Buddha’s tooth, the Perahera, Clarke observed to the reporter, “I’m anti-mysticism. I’m very anti the sort of lamebrains who accept anything fanciful, nonsensical like pyramid power, astrology, which is utter rubbish, much UFOlogy, flying saucers. There’s so much garbage floating around and on the newsstands. This is one thing that does worry me about the present mental state of the West, not only the United States. At the same time, I’m sure there are many very strange things in the universe.”

• When in the USSR it was revealed that 2010: Odyssey Two takes place aboard Cosmonaut Leonov’s spaceship, officials at first were delighted. But then they read the book’s dedication:

Dedicated, with respectful admirection, to two great Russians both depicted herein: General Alexei Leonov Cosmonaut, Hero of the Soviety Union, Artist and Academician Andrei Sakharov Scientist, Nobel Laureate, Humanist

Sakharov had been banished to Gorky two years prior, and officials thereupon banned the book.

• His story, “The Nine Billion Names of God,” describes two computer engineers hired by a sect of Tibetan monks to program and run a computer to help generate the nine billion names of God, which they have worked on for three centuries. They believe that once their goal is reached, God’s purpose will end and mankind will have completed its reason for existence. Clarke’s memorable end-line: “Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.” When he read the story in 1997, the Dalai Lama wrote to Clarke, “Your short story titled ‘The Nine Billion Names of God’ was particularly amusing.”

• His story, “The Star,” has an opening line that describes the conflicting scientific and religious systems of belief: “It is three thousand light-years to the Vatican.”

• To Pope Pius XII’s statement that exploring space is simply to fulfill mankind’s God-given potential, Clarke wrote, “Any path to knowledge is a path to God—or to Reality, whichever word one prefers to use.”

• Father Lee Lubbers, a Jesuit priest and one of the dozens McAleer interviewed for the book, recalls that when he met the man who had first predicted telecommunications via satellite, Clarke stepped out from behind his desk, extended his right hand, “as though he were protesting dramatically that I was going to convert him before he could reach the other end of the room,” all the while saying, “I am an atheist.”

• In 1975, addressing the U.S. Congress, Clarke remarked, “It is true that we must cherish and conserve the treasures of this fragile Earth, which we have so shamefully wasted. . . . It may be that the old astrologers had the truth exactly reversed, when they believed that the stars controlled the destinies of men. The time may come when men control the destinies of stars.”

Mark Nuttal, a reporter for the London Times interviewed Clarke (4 Aug 1992), asserting there had been a spate of books linking science and an ultimate creator with titles such as The Mind of God. And would he comment, please? To which Clarke responded, “I remain an aggressive agnostic.” Time, in a special Fall 1992 issue, “Beyond the Year 2000,” published Clarke’s “The Hammer of God,” a story set in the third millennium about an asteroid that imperils the earth—it was only the second piece of fiction ever to be published by the magazine, the first having been a 1969 selection by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The story was further evidence of Clarke’s agnosticism and philosophic naturalism, and it pointed up the dangers of any increases in religious fundamentalist groups around the world. A member and an active supporter of the Secular Humanist Society of New York, Clarke has long been on record as being a non-believer. “It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God,” he once wrote, “but to create him.” A Humanist Laureate in the Council for Secular Humanism’s International Academy of Humanism, Sir Arthur signed Humanist Manifesto 2000 . Isaac Asimov, also an active supporter of the Secular Humanist Society of New York, was his friend and sparring partner. As for Clarke’s ability to reconcile materialistic science with a kind of mystic imagination, Asimov wrote:

Old Arthur C. Clarke of Sri Lanka Now sits in the sun sipping Sanka Enjoying his ease Excepting when he’s Receiving pleased notes from his banker.

Clarke, the man who first put forward the concept of a communications satellite in 1945, also predicted then that the first flight around the moon would be in 1967— a year early—and that the first manned moon landing would be between 1970 and 1972—just six months off. His longer-term forecasts were not so accurate: that the first flight around Mars would be in 1980 and the first landing there would be in 1990. In 1966 he predicted that the actual colonization of other planets would take place by the year 2000. And he believes “there’s a 99% chance of life all over the universe and a 90% chance of intelligent life being all over the place as well.” By 2015, he has recently stated, a baby will have been born on Mars. Clarke extrapolated further in a 1997 novel, 3001. The character of Frank Poole, who had been killed by Hal the computer in 2001, is accidentally discovered in a frozen state. He awakes in a rather dull utopia, in which organized religion, circumcision, meat-eating, madness, prisons, and poverty have all disappeared. Earth’s ten billion humans became no longer habitable, so a remaining one billion now lived in a cartwheel, its rim in orbit, its spokes reaching down to the earth at the hub. Poole, after getting his bearings, leaves for the Jovian satellite Europa, finding one of the big black monoliths mentioned also in 2001, 2010, and 2061, monoliths which imply a connection with the meaning of existence. The visionary Clarke at one point cites Lucretius, who

. . . hit it on the nail when he said that religion was the by-product of fear—a reaction to a mysterious and often hostile universe. For much of human prehistory, it may have been a necessary evil—but why was it so much more evil than necessary—and why did it survive when it was no longer necessary?

He also notes that

. . . most of the other religions, with a few honorable exceptions, were just as bad as Christianity. . . . Even in your century, little boys were kept chained and whipped until they’d memorized whole volumes of pious gibberish, and robbed of their childhood and manhood to become monks. . . . Perhaps the most baffling aspect of the whole affair is how obvious madmen, century after century, would proclaim that they—and they alone!—had received messages from God. If all the messages had agreed, that would have settled the matter. But of course they were wildly discordant—which never prevented self-styled messiahs from gathering hundreds—sometimes millions—of adherents, who would fight to the death against equally deluded believers of a microscopically differing faith.

Lest that leave any doubt as to his outlook, Clarke informed the media that he considered the Pope as well as Mother Teresa two of the most dangerous people in the world, this because of their doctrinal stands on condom usage, the rights of women to become church leaders, sexuality, family planning, etc. “Would you argue that anyone with strong religious beliefs was insane?” Poole asks Dr. Khan in 3001. Khan replies, “In a strictly technical sense, yes—if they really were sincere, and not hypocrites. As I suspect ninety percent were.” (See “God, Science, and Delusion,” a chat about mankind, morality, and religion that Matt Cherry had with Sir Arthur, in Free Inquiry, Spring 1999.) {CA; CE; E; WAS, extensive correspondence}

Clarke, David (20th Century) An experienced Unitarian minister with a doctorate, Clarke commenced in-service training with West Coast Ethical Culture Societies in the 1980s. (See entry for Ethical Culture.)

Clarke, James Freeman (1810—1888) Clarke, a Unitarian and a theologian, edited the Western Messenger (1833—1840) and taught at Harvard Divinity School. He was a member of the Transcendental Club, along with Bronson Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Clarke was active in the anti-slavery, woman-suffrage, and other reform movements. He wrote Ten Great Religions (1872—1883) and Non-Essentials in Religion (1878). {CE; EG; U; U&U}

Clarke, John (19th Century) A Methodist who then changed his opinion by studying the Bible, Clarke became one of Carlile’s shopmen. In 1824 he was tried for selling a blasphemous libel of The Republican and after a spirited defence, in which he read many of the worst passages in the Bible, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. While in prison he wrote A Critical Review of the Life, Character, and Miracles of Jesus (1825, 1839), a work showing with some bitterness much bold criticism and Biblical knowledge. {BDF}

Clarke, Malcolm Gordon (1910-1999)

Clarke, who was born in Lahore and who once fled South Africa because of its apartheid regime, taught mathematics in Zambia and became head of Science and Education at the University of Lusaka. An avowed atheist and a subscriber to Freethinker, he willed that he be cremated with no service. {Freethinker, July 1999}

Clarke, Marcus Andrew Hislop (1846—1881) Clarke was an early Australian atheist, journalist, and author. He wrote for the Melbourne Argus and the Victorian Review. One of his noted articles in 1879 was “Civilisation Without Delusion,” in which he described the new civil society that had abandoned belief in miracles and Christ’s divinity; “where the fear of judgment and the hope of redemption had lost their force and there was no longer absolute certainty of any life other than this.” When accused of being an atheist, he began a literary debate and was said to have scored a notable victory. {BDF; SWW; RAT; RE; TRI}

Clarke, Rebecca Sophia (1833-1906) Clarke, a Unitarian, wrote children’s books.

Clarkson, Frederick (20th Century) Clarkson, a widely published journalist, author, and public speaker, co-authored with Skipp Porteous Challenging The Christian Right: The Activists Handbook. To successfully counter religious fundamentalism, he holds, “will likely depend on our ability to reclaim the legacy of Madison and Jefferson—as articulate, passionate, and credible advocates of pluralism, and as active and strategic practitioners of participatory democracy.” {Free Inquiry, Fall 1996}

CLASSICAL HUMANISM At the end of the Middle Ages, or from the 14th to 16th centuries, a revival of letters commonly known as the Renaissance occurred. During this period a genuine desire arose among some scholars to bring about an emancipation of thought and education from what they considered to be excessive domination on the part of the medieval Church over their thoughts and actions. Such was the beginning of classical humanism, an interest in studia humanitatis, litterae humaniores, and so-called polite learning. Although some of the classical humanists were anti-clerical and critical of the Church, such an attitude was not a prerequisite. What was wanted was not an elimination of control but rather a broadening of outlook on the part of the Church toward the development of individual learning and research. In fact, classical humanists often were supernaturalists and members of the Church. At least two—Nicholas V and Leo X—were Popes. After Pope Martin V in 1417, the papacy increasingly warmed to humanistic ideas, and a Vatican Library document defines Renaissance humanism as a “belief not in the unique value of the individual but in the transcendent value of scholarship.” Whereas ancient humanism is, by definition, a thing of the past, classical humanism has persisted and is prevalent even today. Contemporary classical humanists, however, are not so concerned with theological criticism as were their historical namesakes, for most are educators interested in the problems of the humanities, as contrasted with the sciences. When, for instance, one sees titles such as “The Liberal Arts in Public Education,” “Scholarship and Humanism,” and “Humanism in Education,” classical humanism is being discussed. The two greatest classical humanists of the Renaissance period in Italy were Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) and Giovanni Boccaccio. Both looked to the “humaner letter” for their mental salvation, and in so doing they dug up forgotten classics, helped restore the culture of the past, and assisted in recapturing some of the mighty spirit of early thinkers. One of the most extensive lists of classical humanists is to be found in Paolo Giovio’s Elogia (published in Antwerp, 1557). Giovio included Pietro Pompanazzi, who championed a purified Aristotelianism, as against neo-Platonism, and brought about a new interest in the classics—somewhat of a typical classical humanist, he believed in the soul and the possibility of miracles; Gemisthos Pletho, the scholar who encouraged the study of Plato and neo-Platonism and whose aim seems to have been the substitution of a neo-Platonic mysticism for Christianity; Pico della Mirandola; Giordano Bruno, who was steeped in Platonic and Pythagorean speculations and was later to influence such philosophers as Spinoza, Leibniz, Descartes, and Schelling; Campanella, whose humanism was manifest in his belief that man can truly know only himself, that like can be known only by like, and that therefore man cannot know anything of the universe except through the medium of sense-perception; Pietro Bembo; Bruni; Trapozuntius the Cretan; Cardinal Bessarion; Valla, whose De Voluptate was an imitation of Cicero’s Tusculans; Beccadelli, sometimes called the poet of pornography; Enea Silvio dei Piccolomini; Platina; Michael Chrysoloras; Theodore Gaza; Johannes Argyropulos; Demetrius Chalcondylas; Musurus of Crete; Lascaris; Lorenzo de’ Medici; Ermolao Barbaro; Politian; and Savanarola. Other classical humanists: Luigi Marsiglio, leader of the Florentine club of humanists; Coluccio Salutati, Chancellor of State whose letters set the pace for style at that time; Cosimo de’ Medici, founder of the Florentine Academy; Marsiglio Ficino; Estienne Dolet, champion of a Ciceronianism against Erasmus and, because he was burned in Paris for heresy, a martyr of the Renaissance; Adrien Turnebe, teacher who advanced Greek scholarship; Julius Caesar Scaliger, writer who attacked Erasmus; Robert Estienne, publisher with his brother, Henri Estienne, of numerous classical publications; Ludovico Vives and Telesio, who boldly criticized the strong entrenchments of Aristotelianism; and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, who favored Platonism to such an extent that he was finally brought under the ban of the Church. Well-known French classical humanists were Michel de Montaigne and Rabelais. Also, there were the following: Jean de Montreuil, a disciple of Petrarch; Nicholas de Clemanges, known for his Ciceronian eloquence; John Lascaris, who taught Greek at the University of Paris; Jerome Aleander, who added the study of Hebrew at the University of Paris; Guillaume Budé, sometimes called the best Greek scholar of his day in Europe; Lefevrew d’Etaples, who translated the Bible; and Guillaume Farel. German classical humanists included Johann Reuchlin; Ulrich von Hutten; Philip Melanchton; and the following: Alexander Hegius, one of Erasmus’s professors; Gregor von Heimburg, scholar of the Italian humanists though often repelled by them; Peter Luder, renowned student of his day; Mutianus Rufus, leader of the Erfurt group of humanists; Rudolf Agricola, leader of the Heidelberg group and of whom Erasmus said was “the first to bring us out of Italy a breath of higher culture”; Johann Eik, opponent of Luther at Ingolstadt; Urbanus Rhegius, zealous supporter of Luther; Wilibald Pirkheimer, leader of the Nuremberg group of humanists; Conrad Peutinger, an Augsburg humanist; Jacob Wimpfeling, a Strasbourg schoolmaster; and Sebastian Brant, satirist from Strasbourg. Spanish humanists included Antonio Lebrixa and Cardinal Ximenes. Scottish thinkers in the same tradition were George Buchanan and Andrew Melville. A hotbed for classical humanism in England was the Oxford Group, from which came such supporters as the four “Oxford reformers,” Thomas Linacre, William Grocyn, John Colet, and William Lyly. Generally considered to be the most important English humanist, however, was Sir Thomas More, a contemporary of the Dutch “humanist of humanists,” Erasmus. Additional English classical humanists included the following: Sir Thomas Elyot; Sir Thomas Smith and Sir John Checke, who established Greek at Cambridge; William Baldwin; John Leland; John Bale, John Stow; William Camden; Thomas Wilson; Richard Hooker; John Fisher; William Tyndale; William Latimer; and Roger Ascham, sometimes called “the last humanist” because his style was allegedly so perfect that it was no longer necessary for the English to travel abroad for a humanistic model. The chief Italian collectors of manuscripts were Guarino Veronese and Poggio Bracciolini, ardent bibliophiles, along with Angelo Ambrogini and Francesco Filelfo. But of all the classical humanists, Erasmus is perhaps the most famous, and his influence upon the Oxford Group and English classical humanists was considerable. Erasmus, More, and Colet all remained in the Church, although never hesitating to offer what they considered to be constructive criticism. More’s Utopia, as well as Sir Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis and Campanella’s City of the Sun, advanced and furthered the principle that experiment and research with their resulting discoveries were to be used for human well-being, an idea which gave an added impetus to the natural sciences and the part they should play in assisting the improvement of material and social conditions of mankind. {CE; ER; Warren Allen Smith, “The Seven Humanisms.”}

Claude-Constant (19th Century) Claude-Constant was author of a freethinkers’ catechism, published at Paris in 1875. {BDF}

Clausse, Arnold (20th Century) At the Ninth International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) World Congress held in Oslo (1986), Prof. Clausse from Belgium received a Humanist Award “for his contribution to the advance of humanist thought, especially in the fields of education and psychology.” He wrote L’epopee laique, ou la conquete des libertés (1982).

Clausson, Nils (20th Century) A teacher in Regina, Saskatchewan, Clausson wrote “In Search of the Gay Lifestyle” (Humanist in Canada, Spring 1999). It is illogical to talk about a heterosexual or a homosexual lifestyle, he reasoned. Although people belong to a different culture, one would not for example say that Muslims with their different culture “have a different lifestyle.” Or “being black in America, or native in Saskatchewan, or of French descent in Quebec is not a lifestyle. To use the word in that context is to trivialize the lives of blacks, natives, and Quebecois.” Clausson finds redundant the phrase “chosen lifestyle,” and he points out that one can go from multiple sexual partners to serial monogamy, thereby changing lifestyles. But a gay person in a city who moves to the country will not by so doing change his fundamental identity.

Clavel, Adolphe (Born 1815) Clavel was a French positivist and physician. {BDF}

Clavel, F. T. B. (19th Century) A French author of a Picturesque History of Freemasonry and also a Picturesque History of Religions (1844), Clavel had Christianity take a subordinate place in religious history. {BDF}

Clayton, Robert (1695—1758) Clayton successively was Bishop of Killala, Cork, and Clogher. In 1756 he proposed in the Irish House of Lords the omission of the Nicene and Athanasian creeds from the liturgy. A legal prosecution was instituted, but he died, Wheeler reports, from nervous agitation before the matter was decided. {BDF}

Cleanthes (c. 331—232 B.C.E.) Cleanthes was the second head of the Stoic school, the philosopher who followed Zeno. His Hymn to Zeus is said to have blended free will and fate.

Cleave, John (19th Century) Cleve was a bookseller, one of the pioneers of a cheap political press. He started the London Satirist and Cleve’s Penny Gazette of Variety (1837—1844). In 1840, he was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment for selling Haslam’s Letters to the Clergy. {BDF}

Cleland, John (1709—1789) Cleland wrote Fanny Hill, or the Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1748—1749) which censor Anthony Comstock has called “the most obscene book ever written.” What Comstock found was thirty acts of copulation and perversion but no four-letter word. Fanny was a fifteen-year-old lass whose acrobatic bedroom experiences netted Cleland twenty guineas but earned £10,000 for its printer. However, the bookseller, Drybutter, was punished in the pillory for having “altered the language of the book for the worse after it had been favorably noticed in the Monthly Review.” Lord Granville, when he presided over the Privy Council, got Cleland a pension of £100 per year so long as Cleland promised that he would write no more dirty books. Irving Wallace has written, “Cleland’s Fanny Hill remained the major underground classic of erotic literature for over two centuries, until it was published openly by the New York firm of G. P. Putnam’s Sons in 1963. Putnam’s was taken to trial, won, lost an intermediate appeal, and in 1964 won again in New York’s Court of Appeals, 4 votes to 3. Fanny Hill was free at last.” For some reason, the 18th century work never made the Vatican’s list of prohibited reading. Although in his later life Cleland was accused of being a sodomite, such may have been a conjecture based on an interpretation that he was the first-person narrator, Fanny, of Fanny Hill. {GL; PA}

Clemenceau, Georges [Premier] (1841—1929) Twice the premier of France (1906—1909; 1917—1920), Clemenceau was called “the Tiger.” Trained as a physician, he was in conflict with Napoleon III because of a belief in republicanism, so he went (1865) to the United States as a journalist and teacher. When Napoleon III was overthrown (1870), Clemenceau returned to France and had a stormy life in politics, once being implicated in a Panama Canal scandal. A passionate defender of Alfred Dreyfus, he later led France during World War I and was a main antagonist of Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference. The humanist historian Geoffrey Bruun wrote a definitive biography (1943), as did Wythe Williams (The Tiger of France). E. M. Forster, however, said of the Tiger who “urged millions to die” that “[P]inch the book where you will, and it does not move. Not only are the characters ‘dead’ . . . being mere bundles of qualities, but the scenery, the social face of Paris, is also defunct.” “As a result of quarrels over heresies,” Clemenceau wrote, “what massacres followed among Christians in the name of the common God of universal charity.” Clemenceau was an honorary associate of the British Rationalist Press Association, which in 1899 had been founded by Charles A. Watts. Before dying, he asked for no burial procession, no official or religious ceremony, and a tomb without inscription and surrounded by a simple iron railing. {CE; Robert Craft, The New York Review of Books, 6 May 1999; BDF; JM; RAT; RE; TYD}

Clemens, Samuel Mark Twain (1835—1910) “Both Mark Twain and his inventor, Samuel Clemens, continue to give trouble to those guardians of the national mythology to which Twain added so much in his day, often deliberately,” Gore Vidal has written. He then cites an “academic critic,” Guy Cardwell, who “tells us that Clemens was sexually infantile, burnt-out at fifty (if not before), and given to pederastic reveries about little girls, all the while exhibiting an unnatural interest in outhouse humor and other excremental vileness.” Vidal adds, “It is hard to believe that at century’s end, academics of this degraded sort are still doing business, as Twain would put it, at the same old stand.” Referring to Cardwell’s description that Clemens was “banal anal,” Vidal comments, “as opposed to ‘floral oral?’ ” Vidal is one of many, including William Dean Howells, Bernard DeVoto, Van Wyck Brooks, and Lionel Trilling, who have praised the unique American writer generally considered to be one of its top humanists. Mark Twain’s What Is Man? (1906) and Letters from Earth (published posthumously in 1962) contain a savage attack on orthodox Christianity. Generally conceded to be one of the foremost if not the foremost of American authors, Clemens is noted for his humor and philosophic gems:

• Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.

• Adam was but human—this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple’s sake; he wanted it only because it was forbidden.

• When angry, count a hundred; when very angry, swear.

• He (Satan) hasn’t a single salaried helper; the Opposition employ a million.

• The first thing a missionary teaches a savage is indecency. He makes him put clothes on. He is as innocent and clean-minded up to that time as were our first parents before the Lord and not ashamed. He hid the knowledge of indecency from them; the missionary doesn’t.

• Satan to newcomer, with discontent: “The trouble with you Chicago people is that you think you are the best people in Hell—whereas you are merely the most numerous.”

• Martyrdom covers a multitude of sins.

• There is nothing more impressive than a miracle, except credulity that can take it at par.

• Clothes make the man? Nonsense! Clothes are not important. Why, I’d rather associate with Sarah Bernhardt, without a stitch on, than with General Grant in full uniform!

• In God We Trust. It is simple, direct, gracefully phrased. It always sound well—In God We Trust. I don’t believe it would sound any better if it were true.

• It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me—it’s the parts that I do understand.

With Voltaire-like wit, he satirized hypocrisy and gullibility in The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg (1900), which some considered cynical. He mercilessly attacked Mary Baker Eddy’s new religion in Christian Science (1907), which some said was sacrilegious. His daughter, Clara, suppressed Letters from Earth for a long time after his death, believing Soviet Union intellectuals were using it to mock American values. In their Freethought on the American Frontier, Whitehead and Muhrer conclude that basically Clemens was a theist. The late critic Philip Foner wrote, in Mark Twain: Social Critic, a good analysis of the writer as an infidel: “It is true that, rather early in life, Twain began to doubt the truth of his religious teachings, and, as his faith in Christian dogma vanished, he rejected orthodox religion. Nonetheless, Twain was deeply interested in the relationship of institutionalized religion to man and society, particularly in reconciling Christian ethics and the social structure of his own day. Hence, while he indicted the influence of religion and the church when it served to fetter man and society, he also called for a religion and a church that would help man and society. A sincere, courageous, vital, realistic, dynamic religion for him meant one that would inspire people to create a better world. He urged all churches, as a major step toward this goal, to tear from Christianity all the camouflage of self-deception, hollow sham and hypocrisy, to strip it of the ornamentation of the ages and to return to the original, sound principles of Jesus Christ—the ethics of humanity. Although Clemens would not like to have been called a philosopher, he might agree to being described as the first philosopher ever to discuss the moral position of the God who created flies.” Twain in his The Book of Mormon called the Mormon bible “an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print.” In Following the Equator, he observed, “There are those who scoff at the schoolboy, calling him frivolous and shallow. Yet it was the schoolboy who said ‘Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.’” In Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar, he wrote, “Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” Huckleberry Finn, generally said to be his best work, has also been termed the major United States novel. Its theme, man’s inhumanity to man, has appealed to adolescents, as has his Tom Sawyer, with its humanistic and happy ending. Secular humanists are particularly interested in some of the lesser-known works that show his philosophic outlook: Extracts From Adam’s Diary (1904); Eve’s Diary (1906); and Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven (1909). Clemens was one of the first seven chosen by secret ballot to be one of the original members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He did not, however, receive the most votes: William Dean Howells, whose works have not had the long life of Twain’s, did. Clemens, however, received more than Henry James. In 1908, responding to a person who asked if he would include Jesus among the 100 greatest men of history, Clemens said he would include Jesus as well as Satan. “These two gentlemen,” he explained, “have had more influence than all others put together, and 99% of it was Satan’s.” He added that the devil is “worth very nearly a hundred times as much to the business as was the influence of the rest of Holy Family put together.” Clemens and wife Lizzie, daughter of Judge Jervis J. Langdon of Elmira, New York, had three daughters and one son. His personal misfortunes were many. His son died in infancy, and one daughter died in her teens. When his wife died, Clemens never remarried. Some critics have suggested that his personal troubles led him to become misanthropic. But even when he was in bankruptcy, he was a public hero, one who was greatly in demand as a speaker. Clemens enjoyed speaking out bitterly on public issues, for example denouncing imperialism and objecting to the European subjugation of the Congo. In the year before Clemens died, his daughter Jean drowned Christmas morning in the bathtub in her father’s house in Redding, Connecticut. As a result, his daughter Clara, who was married to Ossip Gabrilowitsch, inherited his entire estate. A known prankster, Clemens once arranged that his obituary be printed in New York newspapers, after which he had cabled from London that “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” When he died in Connecticut, he was too weak to speak and had written a note to his nurses, “Give me my glasses.” On the bed when he died was Thomas Carlyle’s French Revolution. (See entries for Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, and Alfred Kazin.) {BDF; CE; CL; EU, William F. Ryan; FUS; JM; RAT; RE; TRI; TSV; Gore Vidal, The New York Review of Books, 23 May 1996}

Clement, Ron (20th Century) Clement has been active with the Humanist Community of Central Michigan. (See entry for Michigan Humanists.) {FD}

Clements, Tad S. (20th Century) Author of Science versus Religion and Science and Man: The Philosophy of Scientific Humanism (1990), Clements is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at State University of New York College at Brockport. He addressed the Tenth International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) World Congress held in Buffalo (1988). Clements, co-editor of Religion and Human Purpose (1987), signed Humanist Manifesto 2000. [[Clemetshaw, C. (Born 1864) A French writer who used the name Cilwa, Clemetshaw was a delegate to the International Congress in 1887 and was editor of Le Danton. {BDF}

Clendening, Logan (20th Century) According to Fred Whitehead’s Freethought History (#1, 1992), Dr. Clendening was one of the most successful medical journalists in early 20th century America. A professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, he defined his outlook as being that of a freethinker.

CLERGY • Clergyman, n. A man who undertakes the management of our spiritual affairs as a method of bettering his temporal ones. —Ambrose Bierce A Devil’s Dictionary

• A clergyman is one who feels himself called upon to live without working at the expense of the rascals who work to live. —Voltaire

• Of learned men, the clergy show the lowest development of professional ethics. Any pastor is free to cadge customers from the divines of rival sects, and to denounce the divines themselves as theological quacks. —H. L. Mencken

Clericus, B. B. C. (20th Century) Clericus, possibly an Englishman’s pseudonym, wrote Religion (1942). {GS}

Cleveland, Patricia (20th Century) Cleveland is director of the Lake Hypatia Freethought Hall, near Talladega, Alabama. Also, she is on the board of directors of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. {Freethought Today, May 1996}

Cleveland, Roger (1945- ) Cleveland, with his wife Patricia, is on the board of directors of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. A former paper-mill worker, he started the Alabama Freethought Association in 1989 to combat what he saw as the incursion of religion into state government. {The New York Times Magazine, 7 December 1997}

Cleyre, Voltairine de: See entry for De Cleyre.

Clifford, Dick (20th Century) Clifford is President of the Humanist Society of South Australia. Also, he is that group’s webmaster: <rmc@adelaide.on.net>.

Clifford, John (20th Century) Clifford, who has Unitarian ties in Edinburgh and London, is on the Worldwide Web: <www.geocities.com/Heartland/Hills/2038>.

Clifford, Martin (c. 1600—1677) An English rationalist, Clifford was Master of the Charterhouse (1671) and published anonymously a treatise of Human Reason (1674). In the Nouvelle Biographie Générale, Clifford is amusingly described as an “English theologian of the order des Chartreux,” who, it is added, was “prior of his order.” Robertson states that although Clifford makes no overt attacks on religion and points out that many modern wars have been on subjects of religion, he adds that reason alone, fairly used, will bring a man to the Christian faith, that he who denies this cannot be a Christian. {BDF; JMRH; RAT}

Clifford, William Kingdon (1845—1879) “It is wrong, always, everywhere, and for everyone,” Clifford wrote, “to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.” An English mathematician-philosopher, the son of a bookseller, he formulated skepticism as an ethical imperative and was one of the first to appreciate the relevance of Darwin’s evolutionary theory to human ethics. When thirty-one, he delivered “The Ethics of Belief” (1876) to the Metaphysical Society, a group that met in London nine times a year to discuss philosophical ideas and religious beliefs. Members included William Gladstone, Thomas Henry Huxley, Archbishop Henry Manning, John Ruskin, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. He wrote Seeing and Thinking (1879); Lectures and Essays, Volumes I and II (1879, edited by Leslie Stephen and Frederick Pollock, with an introduction by Pollock); Mathematical Papers (1882, edited by Robert Tucker); and. The Common Sense of the Exact Sciences (published in 1946, with a preface by Bertrand Russell). His attacks on Christianity were profound. Religion, “that awful plague which has destroyed two civilizations,” had its priests, “at all times in all places the enemy of all men,” he accused. With Thomas Henry Huxley, he was a member of the Metaphysical Society. Wheeler cites Clifford as “an outspoken Atheist, and he wrote of Christianity as a religion which wrecked one civilisation and very nearly wrecked another.” Putnam says that Clifford, next to Darwin, Huxley, and Tyndall, is along with R. A. Proctor the ablest scientist to aid English freethought during the nineteenth century. Foote added that Clifford “utterly dismissed from his thoughts, as being unprofitable or worse, all speculations on a future or unseen world.” Further, “as never man loved life more, so never man feared death less,” which was similar to Spinoza’s Homo liber de nulla re minus quam de morte cogitat (A free man thinks less of nothing than of death.). Clifford died of consumption, first giving exact directions as to the disposal of his works. His wife, Lucy, the daughter of John Lane and a close friend of Henry James, wrote Mr. Keith’s Crime (1885) and shared her husband’s rationalism. She has written in the Rationalist Press Association annual. “The Virtues of ‘The Ethics of Belief’,” by Timothy J. Madigan (Free Inquiry, Spring 1997), is discueed Clifford’s outlook, pointing out that Clifford “wished to motivate all members of society to utilize their intellectual abilities to the highest degree and—aware of the growing doubts about traditional Christian beliefs that had helped to gird society up to that time—he felt a personal responsibility to use his own gifts to further the cause of rationalism.” Madigan has edited “The Ethics of Belief” and other Essays by W. K. Clifford (1999), the most thorough Clifford study to date. {BDF; EU, Peter H. Hare; FUK; PUT; Tim Madigan, March 1997; RAT; RE; TRI}

Clinchy, Everett R. (20th Century) A freethinker, Clinchy wrote All in the Name of God (1934). {GS}

Cline, Austin (20th Century) Cline is a German Literature graduate student at Princeton University. He founded the Princeton Freethought Association. In Pennsylvania, he is a regional director of the Council for Secular Humanism.

Cline, Henry (1750—1827) Cline, a surgeon and a skeptic who admired Horne Tooke, “thought there was a cause superior to man, but believed that nothing was known of the future,” according to the Dictionary of National Biography. {RAT}

Clinton, William Jefferson (1946- ): See entry for Roma.

Cliteur, Paul (20th Century) Cliteur was once president in the Netherlands of Humanistisch Verbond. He is professor of philosophy at Technical University Delft. At the 1994 Toronto conference of the Coalition for Secular Humanism, Atheism, and Freethought (CSHAFT), he spoke on the subject of “Humanism and Ethics/Humanism and Postmodernism.” Postmodernism, he holds, is a revolt against the Enlightenment, against the grand narrative of the Enlightenment. As a result, secular humanists need to be against postmodernists and, although many are atheists, would do well to refute their methodology. In 1995, in Madrid, he spoke on “A New Approach to Government Support of Morals.” E-mail: <jfencpc@law.LeidenUniv.nl>. {“The Challenge of Postmodernism to Humanism,” New Humanist, August 1995}

Clitomachus (Fl. 129 B.C.E.) 

The fifth head of the New Academy, as contrasted with Plato’s Old Academy, Clitomachus is remembered because Carneades left no written works but Clitomachus taught Carneades’s philosophic skepticism in four hundred treatises. As described by Bertrand Russell in his History of Philosophy (1945), the two

set themselves against the belief in divination, magic, and astrology, which was becoming more and more widespread. They also developed a constructive doctrine, concerning degrees of probability; although we can never be justified in feeling certainty, some things are more likely to be true than others. Probability should be our guide in practice, since it is reasonable to act on the most probable of possible hypotheses. This view is one with which most modern philosophers would agree. Unfortunately, the books setting it forth are lost, and it is difficult to reconstruct the doctrine from the hints that remain. {JMRH}

CLITORIS: See entry for Federico Andahazi, who described Mateo Colón as the first man to discover the female organ, at least within the world that he knew.

CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE God, some say, created the universe, which like a clock needs Him to keep it wound up. Just as the clock’s gears are governed by the laws of physics, so are the universe’s. During the Enlightenment, scientists held that Newton’s laws of motion and the law of universal gravitation explained the behavior of the solar system. Some young freethinkers, entirely ignorant of ratchet wheels, drums, winding squares, and springs, fail to comprehend the concept of a clockwork universe, pleading tongue-in-cheek that they have never experienced anything but digital. (See entry for Aristarchus of Samos.) {DCL}

Clodd, Edward (1840—1930) Clodd was a banker and anthropologist who, from 1906 to 1913, was chairman of the Rationalist Press Association. He wrote The Childhood of Religions (1875); The Story of Creation (1888); and Pioneers of Evolution (1897). {FUK; RAT; RE; TRI}

CLONING A clone is something that appears to be a copy of some original form. In a science lab, a clone can be reproduced or propagated asexually, such as in the cloning of a frog (or a plant variety), with the intent of using the result to fight diseases, infertility, and animal extinction. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus in 1818 tells of the Genevan medical student of natural philosophy who stitches together a body, bringing it to life. The creature is rational and articulate, one who enjoys Goethe, Plutarch, and Paradise Lost but is lonely and displeased with his unusual origin. When Dr. Frankenstein refuses to create a female counterpart, his creation murders his brother, his friend Clerval, and his bride Elizabeth. He is then pursued to the Arctic by the doctor, who dies in the pursuit after relating the story to Walton, an English explorer in the Arctic. In movie and other versions, the creature is driven mad and murders the good doctor himself. The work has been regarded as the first of science fiction stories, although it also is a version of the myth of the Noble Savage, in which a nature essentially good is corrupted by ill treatment. Science fiction writers such as Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. LeGuin, and William Gibson continued the tradition, as did Philip K. Dick, author of “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” from which the cult film “Blade Runner” was made. Dick envisioned a world, journalist Brent Staples has written, “where in vitro fertilization and cloning are passé and have given way to the wholesale manufacture of synthetic human life.” In 1996 Ian Wilmut announced in Scotland that he and his colleagues at Roslin Institute had, indeed, scraped a few cells from the udder of a 6-year-old ewe, then fused them into a specially altered egg cell from another sheep, resulting in a lamb named Dolly, the first instance of cloning an adult mammal. The lamb was named Dolly after the well-endowed country music star, Dolly Parton. In 1998 Dolly became a mother the old-fashioned way. Free Inquiry (Summer 1997) devoted an entire issue to the subject. Included was a declaration in defense of cloning and the integrity of scientific research that was signed by thirty-one members of the International Academy of Humanism. A 1999 study, however, found genetic abnormalities in cloned animals. Nature (May 1999) found that the sheep named Dolly, the first animal that was a clone of an adult, may show a sign of aging, appearing, in effect, older than the original animal that was cloned. Although the initial findings are tentative, they indicated that Dolly’s cells had slightly stunted telomeres, the tickertape-like appendages to chromosomes. Telomeres are like a virtual aging clock for cells grown in the laboratory, shortening with each cell division and marking off the number of divisions remaining before a cell dies. The telomeres in older animals tend to be shorter than they are in younger animals, according to Gina Kolata in an evaluation of the scientists’ announcement. (See entry for Ian Wilmut.) (OEL; The Economist, Brent Staples, The New York Times, 1 Mar 1997; and Gina Kolata, The New York Times, 27 May 1999}

Clooney, George (1962- ) An actor, Clooney was in “E.R.,” a television series, from 1984 to 1985 and from 1994 to 1999. He has been in numerous movies, including “Batman & Robin (1997). Sharon Waxman, profiling him in the Washington Post (28 September 1997), quoted him: “I don’t believe in Heaven and Hell. I don’t know if I believe in God. All I know is that as an individual, I won’t allow this life—the only thing I know to exist—to be wasted.” {CA}

Clooney, George (6 May 1962 - ) A popular actor, the Kentucky-born Clooney was in E.R., a television series, from 1984 to 1985 and from 1994 to 1999. He has been in numerous movies, including Return of the Killer Tomatoes (1988), Batman & Robin (1997), The Thin Red Line (1998), Three Kings (1999), The Perfect Storm (2000), and Ocean’s Eleven (2001). Sharon Waxman, in a Washington Post (28 September 1997) profile, quoted Clooney: “I don’t believe in Heaven and Hell. I don’t know if I believe in God. All I know is that as an individual, I won’t allow this life—the only thing I know to exist—to be wasted.” {CA}

Cloots, Johann Baptist [Baron] (1755—1794) Cloots (or Clootz) was a Prussian enthusiast, a nephew of Cornelius de Pauw. In 1780 under the pseudonym of Ali-gier-bet, an anagram of Bergier, he published The Certainty of the Proofs of Mohammedanism, a parody of the of Certainty of the Proofs of Christianity. With Paine, Priestley, Washington, and Klopstock, Cloots was made a French citizen, and in 1792 he was elected to the Convention by two departments. Cloots de-baptized himself, taking the name Anacharsis, becoming a prime mover in the Anti-Catholic Party and declaring that there is no other God but Nature. Incurring the enmity of Robespierre, he and Paine were arrested as foreigners. Imprisoned for two and a half months at St. Lazare, Cloots was then brought to the scaffold with the Hébertostes, where he died calmly, first uttering materialist sentiments, saying “Let me lie under the green sward so that I may be reborn in vegetation.” “Nature,” he said, “is a good mother, who loves to see her children appear and reappear in different forms. All she includes is eternal, imperishable like herself. Now let me sleep!” He ended as one of a tumbril-load of victims, nineteen in all. {BDF; RAT}

Close, Converse (19th Century) Close, a freethinker in Grattan, Michigan, was an invalid who contributed articles to the Truth Seeker and other liberal journals. For him, freethought “was a power in man’s heart and brain to eventually make the real paradise of this world.” {PUT}

CLOSET, CLOSETED To be “closeted” carries the connotation of having motives that are secret. One can be a closeted atheist although a nominal Catholic, for example. A “closet queen” in the 1940s and 1950s referred to a crypto-homosexual. “And are you a practicing homosexual?” accusers asked individuals seeking positions, for example, in top-secret government posts, implying that they would be denied such jobs because they would be easy to blackmail. “No,” one exceptional out-of-the-closet homosexual reportedly responded, “I am an accomplished homosexual.” Bill Bonano’s Bound by Honor: A Mafioso’s Story (1999) described the author’s understanding of why J. Edgar Hoover, who headed the Federal Bureau of Investigation, assigned only “about half a dozen” agents to “organized crime.” Removing seven or eight photos from a manila envelope and showing them to gangster Joe Bonano, lawyer Roy Cohn said, “You know, [Hoover] still won’t use the term Mafia.” According to Bonano’s son, “Most were five-by-seven shots, a couple were eight-by 10s. They were all pictures of Hoover in women’s clothing. His face was daubed with lipstick and makeup and he wore a wig of ringlets. In several of the photos, he posed alone, smiling, even mugging for the camera. In a few others, he was sitting on the lap of an unidentified male, stroking his cheek in one, hugging him in another, holding a morsel of food before his mouth in yet another.” Because Hoover knew the photographs existed, Bonanno alleges Hoover feared being blackmailed. The photos were said to have been taken by Lewis Rosenstiel “at a party on a houseboat in the Keys, 1948-1949.” During a period in which homosexuality was called a sickness by psychiatrists, and reinforced by religionists with appeals to sacred books, gay individuals chose then, and often still do choose, to be closeted.

Clough, Arthur Hugh (1819—1861) An English poet, Clough was a skeptic and was somewhat cynical. He has been said to be closer in spirit to the 10th than to the 19th century. He wrote Blasting the Rock of Ages (published in 1925). His poetry, including “Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth,” “Dypsichus,” and “Mari Magno,” reveal not only his doubts about religion but also about himself. On an 1852 trip to the United States, he gained the friendship of Emerson and Longfellow. Clough is the Thyrsis of Matthew Arnold’s “Monody.” Leslie Stephens has said of Clough, “He never became bitter against the Church of his childhood, but he came to regard its dogmas as imperfect and untenable.” According to McCabe, Clough “wavered a little, as poets do, but in his final declaration on religion he is practically agnostic, not Unitarian, with a thin lingering shade of theism or pantheism.” {BDF; CE; GS; JM; JMR; RAT; RE; TRI}

Clouston, Thomas [Sir] (1841—1915) A physician and lecturer on mental diseases at Edinburgh University, Clouston was president of the Edinburgh Royal College of Physicians and editor of The Journal of Medical Science. He rejected belief in a separable mind and severely criticized what he called “religionists.” {RAT; RE}

Clunas, John (20th Century) Clunas in Scotland is active with the Aberdeen Humanist Group. He has had articles in Humanism Scotland.

COALITION FOR SECULAR HUMANISM, ATHEISM, AND FREE THOUGHT The Coalition for Secular Humanism, Atheism, and Freethought, Box 32, Buffalo, NY, 14215, is a group which espouses secular humanism, freethought, rationalism, secularism, agnosticism, and atheism. It seeks joint action on secular humanist and freethought positions on issues of concern to people, including values, morality, and ethics. {FD}

Coate, Lowell H. (20th Century) In Los Angeles, Coate and a group of Quaker humanists broke away from their denomination and in 1939, at a meeting of the First Universalist Church, established the Humanist Society of Friends. {HNS2}

Coate, Lowell L. (20th Century) Coate was an editor of The American Rationalist. {EU, Eldon Scholl}

Coates, Collinson (1885—1981) Coates, the son of a freethinker, became an apprenticed shoemaker in Liverpool, England, at the age of fourteen. Emigrating to Western Australia in 1912, he became active in the Australian Labor Party. In 1958 he co-founded the Western Australian Secularist Fellowship, which continued until about 1980. At the age of 95, Coates published an anti-war book, Almost Too Late.

Coates, J. B. (20th Century) 

Coates, a freethinker, wrote A Challenge to Christianity (1958), which in an appendix contained “A Humanist Manifesto.” {GS}

Coates, Jack (Born 1892) Writing in Literary Guide, Coates spoke of the need to develop secular humanism in the Rationalist Press Association (RPA). Science without ethics could destroy the world, he held. Agreeing with Emmanuel Mournier’s Esprit (1932) and with J. P. van Praag, the Dutch leader, Coates founded in 1945 the London Personalist movement. {TRI}

Cobb, Irvin S(hrewsbury) (1876—1944) A noted humorist, columnist, and author, Cobb wrote over sixty books. Best known for his humorous stories of Kentucky local humor, he wrote an autobiography entitled Exit Laughing (1942). Upon his death, he left a “To Whom It May Concern” letter for Edwin J. Paxton Sr., publisher of the Paducah Sun-Democrat, which read in part as follows:

In death I desire that no one shall look upon my face and once more I charge my family, as already and repeatedly I have done, that they shall put on none of the bogus habiliments of so-called mourning. Folds of black crepe never ministered to the memory of the departed; they only made the wearers unhappy and self-conscious. I ask that my body be wrapped in a plain sheet or cloth and placed in an inexpensive container and immediately cremated—without any special formality or ceremony. If anybody tries to insert me into one of those dismal numbers run up by the undertaker’s dress-making department, I’ll come back and ha-nt ’em. Nor do I crave to make my mortal exit in a tailcoat with white tie and artificial pearl studs. I’ll be done with after dinner speaking forever, so why dispatch me hence in the regalia of the craft? When a man dies with his sins, let the sins die with the man. That’s what I say and it sums up such speculations as I might ever have had touching on the future state, if any. When convenience suits, I ask that the plain canister—nothing fancy there, please—containing my ashes shall be taken to Paducah, and that at the proper planting season a hole shall be dug in our family lot or elsewhere at Oak Grove and a dogwood tree planted there and the ashes strewn in the hole to fertilize the tree roots. Should the tree live, that will be monument enough for me. But should my surviving relatives desire to mark the spot further, I make so bold as to suggest that they use either a slab of plain Kentucky limestone set flat in the kindly earth, or a rugged natural boulder of southern granite bearing a small bronze plate with my name on it and, if it seems pertinent, the year of my birth and the year of my death. Also on the bronze tablet or the stone slab, as the case may be, and provided it doesn’t cost too much, I’d like to have inscribed certain lines, as I remember them, from the epitaph which Robert Louis Stevenson wrote for himself:

These be the lines you ’grave for me; Here I lie where I long to be. Home is the hunter, home from the hill, And the sailor home from the sea.

[Ed. note: To correct the record, Stevenson’s lines were as follows:]

This be the verse you grave for me: Here he lies where he longed to be; Home is the sailor, home from sea, And the hunter home from the hill.

And, thank you, no flowers. Does anybody feel moved to send flowers, I’d prefer that they give the money they’d spend there to some local non-denominational charity. Above all I want no long faces and no show of grief at the burying ground. Kindly observe the final wishes of the undersigned and avoid reading the so-called Christian burial service which, in view of the language employed in it, I regard as one of the most cruel and paganish things inherited by our forbears from our remote pagan ancestors. In deference to the faith of our dear mother, who was through her lifetime a loyal though never a bigoted communicant of that congregation, perhaps the current pastor of the First Presbyterian church would consent to read the Twenty-Third Psalm, which was her favorite passage in the Scriptures and is mine since it contains no charnel words, no morbid mouthings about corruption and decay and, being mercifully without creed or dogma, carries no threat of eternal hell fire for those parties we do not like, no direct promise of a heaven which, if one may judge by the people who are surest of going there, must be a powerfully dull place, populated to a considerable and uncomfortable degree by prigs, time-servers, and unpleasantly aggressive individuals. Hell may have a worse climate but undoubtedly the company is sprightlier. As an aside I might add that my notion of an ideal religion would combine the dignity and the beauty of the Romanist ritual with certain other ingredients. The good taste and the ability of the Unitarians and Episcopalians—a trait not too common to some of the evangelical groups—to mind their own business. To these add the noble ethics and the splendid tolerance expressed in Reform Judaism; the study in independence and the good business principles of the Mormons; the gentle humility and ordered humanity of the Quakers, plus the militant zeal and unselfish devotion of those shock troops of the Lord—the Salvation Army. If, based on this combination, there was a determination to practice the sectless preachments and the teachings of Jesus Christ, who was the first true gentleman of recorded history and the greatest gentleman that ever lived, I might not have joined the fold but certainly I’d have stood on the sidelines and cheered for it. By the way, have you ever noticed that in time of war not the most passionate partisan dares to ask the Prince of Peace to bless his bloody arms and forward his bloody deeds? He invokes the aid of the God of unjustified battles as created by the ancient Hebrews. Well, I reckon that will be about all except that I extend, in passing, my affectionate and grateful regards to the gracious and generous folks who make up so overwhelmingly the dwellers in my home community and my native section. You’ve been mighty good to me and I appreciate it. Much obliged, you-all, and good-by and bless you and prosper you. (signed) Irvin S. Cobb New York, Dec., 1943

Cobb, John Storer (19th Century) A freethinker, Cobb wrote The Efficacy of Prayer (1883). {GS}

Cobb, Leslie (20th Century) Cobb was President of the Secular Society of New York, members of which in 1949 included Eva Ingersoll Wakefield and Sherman Wakefield.

Cobb, Sylvanus (1798—1866) A Universalist minister, Cobb founded the Christian Freeman and Family Visitor, a publication which made him the most influential Universalist social reformer before the Civil War. {U&U}

Cobbe, Frances Power (1822—1908) A British philanthropist and author of works on religious and social questions, Cobbe has been described by Underwood: “Her position, as I understand it, being that of the most liberal phase of Unitarianism; or, perhaps, more correctly, that of a Free Religionist; for Miss Cobbe, in spite of her advanced Liberalism, is the most reverent Theist.” She met Theodore Parker when he was on his deathbed, and she found him calm, serene, not desirous of death but resigned to the inevitable. She was present at his burial in the Protestant cemetery at Florence, and she edited his life and letters. Moncure Conway observed that she weighed nearly three hundred and fifty pounds and had to walk on crutches, “which gives one a sad feeling that this enormous size is far from being the result of, or accompanied by, health.” But he found her witty and charming, an excellent conversationalist. “Morality may exist in an Atheist without any religion,” Cobbe once wrote, “and in a Theist with a religion quite unspiritual.” {SAU}

Cobell, Denis (20th Century) Cobell, who had been Vice President of Britain’s National Secular Society, was elected President in 1997. He is publisher of The Freethinker and writes book reviews for New Humanist. He also is chair of the Lewisham Humanist Group and was honored by being made the “Mayor’s chaplain—humanist officiant.” When a priest objected that such an appointment by the Mayor of Lewisham “sends out completely the wrong signals to people—especially if they are going to call him chaplain,” Cobell retorted that the title “Father” was hardly less confusing. {The Freethinker, August 1998}.

Cobbett, William (1762—1835) Cobbett wrote Legacy to Parsons (1835). He had been the person who brought Thomas Paine’s bones to Britain in 1819—the bones, however, have since been lost. Cobbett was an anti-Malthusian. {FUK; GS, TRI}

COCAINE Vin Mariani, a drink manufactured by a Corsican named Angelo Mariani, was an elixir invented in 1863 and awarded a gold medal by Pope Leo XIII. Around 1878 Pope Pius X also was on record as enjoying the drink. According to Richard Rudley’s Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances, the drink consisted of wine laced with cocaine. {Colin McCall, The Freethinker, May 1998}

Cockburn, Alexander (20th Century) Cockburn, a columnist for The Nation, has often gone on record as being a non-theist, a rationalist, and a profound skeptic. (See entry for Graham Greene.) {CA}

Cocteau, Jean (1889—1963) Cocteau (the plural of cocktail, according to a jocular Manhattan dipsomaniac) was a French writer, visual artist, and filmmaker. He was ten when his father committed suicide. A school dropout, he made his Sorbonne the Paris cafes, galleries, theatres, and lovers. The actor Edouard de Max, who once played opposite Sarah Bernhardt, guided the decadent youth “through the Parisian scene (with the approval of Cocteau’s mother),” according to the critic Charles Shively. A leader in the 1920s of the avant-garde, he had as his first success a novel, Les Enfants Terribles (1929), which in 1950 he made into a film. Upon meeting Sergei Diaghilev and asking why he was noncommittal concerning his work, the Russian ballet impresario and art critic is said to have adjusted his monocle and replied, “Astonish me,” inspiring Cocteau to write for the ballet. “Parade,” which used Picasso’s sets and costumes, Satie’s satirical music, and Cocteau’s wild scenario of acrobats, a juggler, and a girl riding a bicycle duly astonished the audiences, Parisian critics agreed. At first attracted to de Max, Igor Stravinsky, and older men, Cocteau then turned to the very young: John Le Ray, whom he described as “young, handsome, good, brave, full of genius, unaffected, everything Death likes”; Raymond Rodriguet, a teenager whose death in 1923 left Cocteau devastated; Maurice Sachs, who stripped his apartment of his belongings; Jean Bourgoint, called by Glenway Wescott “one of God’s fools”; Jean Desbordes, a Resistance fighter whose eyes were plucked out by the Nazis; and the actor Jean Marais who was the beast in the 1946 film “Beauty and the Beast” which Cocteau directed, to name but a few. When Marais was twenty-four, he met Cocteau and promptly fell in love with him, their relationship lasting until Cocteau’s 1963 death. Marais died in 1998. Smoking opium as an experiment to enhance his senses, Cocteau stopped because the drug put his sexuality to sleep. An anarchist, he disliked both the French government and the Nazi conquerors. “Religious, political, and literary judges, whether Roman Catholic, Communist, or academic, repelled him because of their pretensions to absolute knowledge,” Shively found. He added that although, during his drug recovery, Cocteau turned briefly to Catholicism and received communion, he “fled the church after falling for a handsome monk.” On the day Edith Piaf died, 11 October 1963, Cocteau recorded a tribute to her that the French radio broadcast. Later that day, Cocteau himself died. {AA; CE; Charles Shively, The Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage [1995]}.

CODESH: See entry for the Council for Secular Humanism. It was a coincidence that the acronym for Council of Democratic and Secular Humanism so closely resembled the Hebrew word for “holy.” Also, “democratic” in the title was thought to be redundant, and the organization’s title was shortened in 1995.


Coffee was once banned in the Christian world, accused of being the Devil’s brew. In 1600, however, Pope Clement VIII developed a taste for the beverage (was instructed by God?) and lifted the prohibition.

Cogdell, G. D. (20th Century) Cogdell wrote What Price Parochiaid? (1970).

COHABITATION Cohabitation involves the living together of two individuals who are not married. The term applies mainly to heterosexuals inasmuch as same-sex individuals are almost universally not allowed to marry legally. Although cohabitation was illegal in all American states until 1970, it is now considered to be routine. More than half of all first marriages are preceded by cohabitation, reported The Economist (6 February 1999), and a quarter of unmarried women aged between twenty-five and thirty-nine are cohabiting. According to Kathleen Kirnan of the London School of Economics, people who lived with one partner whom they then married were no more prone to divorce than those who married in “the old-fashioned way.” Some Quakers, as well as others, have been known to cohabit as a deliberate statement that the state has no right to make couples “marry” and pay for a license. Any such decision between a man and a woman, or the fact of their cohabitation without a civil or religious ceremony, is called a “common-law marriage” and is treated differently depending upon the district or state in which they live.

Cohen, Chapman (1868—1954) Cohen, an English freethought advocate, was the first generation of freethought leaders not to have known Bradlaugh. He emerged as Foote’s successor in the Edwardian years, and he was president of the National Secular Society from 1915 until 1949. Born of a Jewish family, he studied the history of freethought and by the age of eighteen had read works by Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Berkeley, and Plato. When he moved from Leicester to London in 1889 Cohen knew little about the National Secular Society, coming across the Secularists entirely by accident. Hearing a Christian Evidence Society lecturer in Victoria Park mimicking an old man with a speech impediment, Cohen intervened to rebuke the lecturer. The following week he himself opposed the Christian, and the secularists who were present invited the young stranger to join them. As was later remarked, the first freethought lecture he had ever heard was his own. Cohen’s first experience of journalism was editing John Grange’s Bradford Truth Seeker while its editor was ill in 1896. The following year he became involved with the Freethinker, and following Wheeler’s death in 1898 Cohen became Foote’s loyal assistant. Cohen wrote the five-volume Essays in Freethinking, and in his Bradlaugh and Ingersoll (1933), he criticizes what Berman calls “the Spinozistic and metaphysical component of Bradlaugh’s atheism, the thesis that existence or substance can be ‘conceived in itself,’ with ‘no relation to any other thing.’ This Cohen calls ‘metaphysical moonshine’ and ‘unthinkable.’ If existence is the sum of phenomena [as Bradlaugh holds], then whether we use the one term or the other [i.e., substance or the sum of phenomena] we are saying the same thing.” Cohen has written, “The agnostic sees that there is a definite amount of mystery about the working of the universe, and he frankly admits that there may be some motivating force animating that universe in a way which our minds cannot appreciate. . . . The whole Agnostic position is against dogmatism in any shape or form.” McCabe considered Cohen’s God and the Universe to be among Cohen’s chief works. “Morality Without God” was one of his more than sixty books and pamphlets. Cohen’s Theism and Atheism (1921) also has been rated as one of his best. He also wrote Almost an Autobiography: The Confessions of a Freethinker (1940). By the end of the war in 1945, Cohen was an old man who, having served the freethought movement for years, was loath to relinquish the leadership. At a stormy conference in 1948, however, he was urged to give up the presidency, which he did in 1949, and in 1951 he handed over the Freethinker to F. A. Ridley. At his funeral, an officiant declared, “. . . the name of Chapman Cohen will be linked in the history of human liberation with those of Voltaire, Thomas Paine, Robert Ingersoll, Charles Bradlaugh, and the whole glorious army of freedom-loving pioneers.” {EU, Victor E. Neuburg; FUK; HAB; RE; RSR; TRI}

Cohen, Edmund D(avid) (1943— ) A psychologist, attorney, and author of The Mind of the Bible Believer, Cohen has written for Free Inquiry. Christianity, he feels, is only a mind-game, a deadening mass-compulsion neurosis. Atheists, he feels, instead of criticizing Christianity for its jumbled facts and scrambled morality should expose its weaknesses now by detailing how it uses the psychology of indoctrination. Cohen, who was a born-again Christian but broke with Pat Robertson, has in a 1993 article described the rise to prominence of fundamentalist Christian psychiatric inpatient programs:

The first of these was Palmdale (California) General Hospital, where both Jim and Tammy Bakker were treated in 1977. Three such programs, Minirth-Meier Clinics, Rapha, and New Life Treatment Centers, have grown rapidly into large, multi-state health care businesses. These have become major influences on the larger conservative church subculture through books and videotape teaching packages. It is common for the latest book in Thomas Nelson Publishers’ Minirth-Meier Series, or the latest book by Robert S. McGee, founder of Rapha, or Stephen Arterburn, chairman and CEO of New Life Treatment Centers, to be a Christian bookstore bestseller.

Cohen’s e-mail address: <edcohen@bellatlantic.net>. {Free Inquiry, Spring 1987 and Summer 1993}

Cohen, Hermann (Born 1842) Cohen, a Jewish philosopher who was head of the Neo-Kantian Rationalist school in Germany, wrote about philosophy and literature. He professed a kind of idealistic theism. {RAT}

Cohen, Larry (1947- ) A film director, producer, and screenwriter, Cohen has been a television writer for “NYPD Blue.” He created “Branded” (1965-1966); was film writer for numerous movies, including “Guilty as Sin” (1993); was director-producer-writer of “Bone” (1972); “Hell in Harlem” (1973); “The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover” (1978); and was producer-writer of “Maniac Cop II” (1990). His most irreverent horror movie was “Demon” (1976), in which a New York City cop investigates a bizarre series of homicides committed by murderers possessed by a demon from outer space. When confronted by police, each murderer claims that God told him to commit the crimes. For Cohen, this was part of a general critique of religion:

I don’t relate to anyone who is a professional religionist . . . who has the ego to tell us that they know God’s will, and can tell us what God thinks and what God likes and what God is, and how God feels about integration, South Africa, and AIDS. Everybody’s got a different idea what God thinks; the crazy guy on the corner knows about as much as the guy in St. Patrick’s Cathedral—none of them know anything. . . . People say, “Reverend Moon—what a crook!” and I say, But what about the Pope?” It’s all the same, anybody who starts telling you what God thinks should be locked up immediately. {CA} Cohen, Larry (20 Apr 1947 - ) A film director, producer, and screenwriter, Cohen has been a television writer for NYPD Blue. He created Branded (1965-1966); was film writer for numerous movies, including Guilty as Sin (1993); was director-producer-writer of Bone (1972); Hell in Harlem (1973); The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1978); and was producer-writer of Maniac Cop II (1990). His most irreverent horror movie was Demon (1976), in which a New York City cop investigates a bizarre series of homicides committed by murderers possessed by a demon from outer space. When confronted by police, each murderer claims that God told him to commit the crimes. For Cohen, this was part of a general critique of religion:

I don’t relate to anyone who is a professional religionist . . . who has the ego to tell us that they know God’s will, and can tell us what God thinks and what God likes and what God is, and how God feels about integration, South Africa, and AIDS. Everybody’s got a different idea what God thinks; the crazy guy on the corner knows about as much as the guy in St. Patrick’s Cathedral—none of them know anything. . . . People say, “Reverend Moon—what a crook!” and I say, But what about the Pope?” It’s all the same, anybody who starts telling you what God thinks should be locked up immediately. {CA}

Cohen, Morris R(aphael) (1880—1947) 

Cohen, wrote Corliss Lamont, is “one of the most important American philosophers since William James.” His The Faith of a Liberal (1946) emphasized that dogmatism in any field is abhorrent. The book discussed a liberal thinker’s views about Bertrand Russell, Einstein, Huxley, Spinoza, Dante, Heine, Justice Brandeis, Justice Holmes, Sacco and Vanzetti, and others. Cohen, who taught philosophy at City College of New York wrote of liberalism,

Revolutionaries and reactionaries alike are irritated and perhaps inwardly humiliated by the humane temper of liberalism, which reveals by contrast the common inhumanity of both violent parties in the social struggle. Liberalism on the other hand regards life as an adventure in which we must take risks, in which there is no guarantee that the new will always be the good or the true, in which progress is a precarious achievement rather than an inevitability.

	Felix Frankfurter, reviewing Cohen’s A Dreamer’s Journey, the Autobiography of Morris Raphael Cohen (1949), noted that Cohen “identified philosophy with ‘natural curiosity or wonder about the nature of the world, things, life, knowledge, art, religion and morality as roads leading to a common concern with perennial problems,’ turning that curiosity in upon himself and proving that the adventures of the mind can be as exciting as the deeds of soldiers and statesmen.” Because it gave insight into the making of a significant mind as well as a deep glimpse into the makings of America, Frankfurter compared the book to Jacob Riis’s The Making of an American, Booker T. Washington’s Own Story, and Mary Antin’s The Promised Land. {CE; CL; TYD} 

Cohen, William Sebastian [Senator] (1940— ) Cohen, a Unitarian, was U. S. Senator from Maine (1979—1996) and is currently Secretary of Defense at The Pentagon. He wrote Of Sons and Seasons (1978); Roll Call (1981); Getting the Most Out of Washington (1982); A Baker’s Nickel (1986); One-Eyed Kings (1991, with Gary Hart); The Double Man (1985, with George Mitchell); Men of Zeal (1988, with Thomas B. Allen); and Murder in the Senate (1993). On the Web: <www.bates.edu/~jwallace/reps/billcohen.html>.

Cohn, Norman (1916- ) Cohn’s The Pursuit of the Millennium (1957) was a history of popular religions and social movements in Europe from the eleventh to the sixteenth century, one inspired by his Latin and medieval German and French studies at Oxford. Norwegian Humanist editor Terje Emberland has described the Cohn work as “still the standard work on the subject,” one written in a clear, classical style such as the following:

The group of starving, blood-spattered flagellants, who in summer 1349 storm Frankfurt’s gates and slaughter the town’s Jews in a religious-ecstatic orgy of killing. “The Master from Hungary,” a renegade monk who at Easter 1251 gathers a rag-tag army of several thousand paupers—shepherds, beggars, thieves, and prostitutes—who with raised pitchforks capture the villages of Picardy on the order of the Holy Virgin.

Emberland noted that Cohn’s shedding light on the ancient collective fantasies helps us understand today’s religious madness, such as the doomsday sects which are starting as the year 2000 approaches, and the collective suicide, assassinations, or mass murder experienced in the 1990s at Waco (Texas), Quebec, and Japan. Cohn’s view about the “Kingdom of God”:

I believe that both Jesus and the first Christians expected that those who gained salvation would inhabit a purified and regenerated world with purified and regenerated bodies, but that this teaching gradually became unacceptable to the Church and was interpreted spiritually.

One of the reasons that the myth of his resurrection spread, Cohn wrote, is that Jesus did not fulfill the Millanarian expectations. If Jesus had not fulfilled his task in his lifetime, followers reasoned, this must mean that his Messianic role had to happen after his death. Cohn’s Warrant for Genocide(1966) concerns “the basic myth of the Jew as God’s demonic opponent.” Despite the lessening of the power of religion in our time, the tradition of hating Jews lives on. Says Cohn, “Religiously substantiated anti-Semitism is preached today by people who otherwise do not believe one whit in Christianity.” Europe’s Inner Demons (1976) noted the need for societies in crisis to seek scapegoats:

According to this fantasy, in the centre of society there exists a secret community that constantly threatens the established order and which commits acts that are totally repulsive—quite simply inhuman—namely cannibalism, child sacrifice, and incest.

The book includes how heretics were persecuted in the Middle Ages and how witch hunts started in the fifteenth century:

One might just as well believe that the first Christians sacrificed infants as believe that witches and heretics did so. . . . The fact that such accusations have nevertheless proved to be long-lived is due to the fact that they meet societal needs. To put it cynically, a society threatened by dissolution and crisis may be consolidated by constructing such an imaginary group [that] can also be slaughtered in righteous wrath.

Witch trials “were primarily a demonisation of fellow Christians,” Cohn notes. Today witches are depicted as the heroic bearers of a peace-loving, female fertility religion, a view he rejects out of hand. The popularity of such a view is connected with a feminist myth that underpins their view of the historical battlefield in the eternal struggle between the sexes, Christianity representing the repressive patriarchy, the witches standing for the feminine, soft, ecological values. Cohn, in the interview with Emberland, did not come across as an optimist on behalf of common sense. “Unfortunately,” Cohn said, “it would seem that no human folly disappears forever. Collective fantasies—indeed, fanatical irrational belief—are still present in our to all intents and purposes so secularised and rational society, and the creation of demons and saviours takes place just as much now as in the middle Ages.” {New Humanist, March 1998}

Cohn, Ruth C. (20th Century) Cohn, a member in the 1970s of the advisory board of the New York Chapter of the American Humanist Association, was the founder-director of the Workshop Institute for Living-Learning. In 1972 she was named Psychologist of the Year by the American Academy of Psychotherapists.

Coit, Stanton (1857—1944) A British Ethical Culture leader, Coit was a colleague of Felix Adler. He founded in 1886 the first settlement house in the United States (known today as the University Settlement). In 1887, he headed the South Place Ethical Society in London. Among his writings are National Idealism and A State Church (1907) and The Spiritual Nature of Man (1910) and Congregations: South Place and Others. According to James F. Hornback, “Coit, a self-styled humanist, was always too empirical, liturgical, and willing to translate Christian words and symbols into humanism, for Adler’s taste. Yet, he recruited and trained several of the second- and third-generation Leaders for Adler’s movement: Golding, Chubb, O’Dell, Hynd, and Collier.” McCabe wrote that where Coit uses “God” in his works, he means “the Good.” Others objected that a humanist would do better to avoid such an ambiguous term. (See entries for Ethical Culture and for Freethought.) {CL; EU, Howard B. Radest; FUK; HNS2; RAT; RE; RSR; TRI; WSS}

COITUS • If a Jew has a coitus with a Gentile woman, whether she be a child or three or an adult, whether married or unmarried, and even if he is a minor aged only nine years and one day—because he had willful coitus with her, she must be killed, as is the case with a beast, because through her a Jew got into trouble. —Maimonides

“Prohibitions on Sexual Intercourse”

{Israel Shahak, The Nation, 6 July 1998}

Coke, Henry John (1827—1916) Coke was a freethinker, the author of Creeds of the Day (1883), or collated opinions of reputable thinkers. The third son of the first Earl of Leicester, Coke served in the navy during the first China War, 1840—1842. He published accounts of the siege of Vienna in 1848, at which he was present. And he was private secretary to Horsman, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, 1854—1858. {BDF; RAT}

Colby, Clara (1846—1916) Although born in England, Colby moved to Wisconsin in 1849. In 1869 she was graduated by the University of Wisconsin, was the valedictorian, and was in that university’s first class of women. After teaching Latin there, she moved to Nebraska and became known for her woman’s suffrage efforts. She adopted two children, including a Sioux Indian baby girl, “Lost Bird,” found by Clara’s husband in the arms of her slaughtered mother after Wounded Knee. Colby was the first woman designated as a war correspondent during the Spanish War. Although she belonged to the Congregational church, she introduced and defended resolutions denouncing patriarchal religious dogma, notably at the 1885 woman suffrage convention. Olympia Brown, who wrote a memorial of her, classified Clara’s views as “New Thought,” adding that she believed, “God and I are one, and I am the one.” {WWS}

Colden, Cadwallader (1688—1776) A colonial scholar and political leader of New York, Colden was born in Ireland of Scottish parents. During the administration of George Clinton (1686—1761), the colonial governor, Colden was an influential member of the governor’s council. In his fifty-five years of active public life, he made himself one of the most learned men in the colonies. Principles of Action in Matter (1751) critiqued Newton’s principles. Colden was a botanist of the Linnaean system of classifying flora, and he contributed to the medical literature of the colonies. In History of the Five Indian Nations (1726), Colden described the Iroquois tribes. His works show a close connection to Enlightenment naturalism. (See entry for Colden written by Paul Kurtz in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy.) {CE}

Cole, Alfred S. (20th Century) Cole, a member of the American Humanist Association, wrote with Charles R. Skinner a biography of John Murray, Hell’s Ramparts Fell (1941). {HNS}

Cole, David (20th Century) A liberal minister, Cole was a member of the American Humanist Association. {HNS}

Cole, Edward William (1832—1918) Cole, of Cole’s Book Arcade in Melbourne, is one of Australia’s better known unbelievers. A freethinker and publicist, he was criticized for doubting the validity of miracles in a work, The Real Place in History of Jesus and Paul. His book arcade was a meeting place for freethinkers for more than fifty years, known for providing “rich food for the imagination of those with honest doubts.” {SWW}

Cole, George Douglas Howard (1889—1959) 

Howard in 1958 became an honorary associate of the Rationalist Press Association (RPA). He was an economist, a socialist, and a labor historian. From 1939 to 1946, he was president of the Fabian Society. Cole wrote A Short History of the British Working Class Movement (3 volumes, 1927) and A History of Socialist Thought (5 volumes, 1953—1960). With his wife, Margaret Isabel (Postgate) Cole, he wrote over thirty detective stories. In 1939 he took part in the International Congress of Freethinkers. (Entry for George Orwell indicates the creator of Big Brother thought Cole was a Communist sympathizer, a shallow person, and a diabetic.) [FUK; RE}

Cole, JohnIn 2005 was on the board of the AHA. 2525 Kelley St. (#3), Hayward, cA 94541

Cole, Margaret (Born 1893) Cole, a freethinker, was active in the Fabian Society. She wrote The Story of Fabian Socialism (1971). {TRI}

Cole, Peter (Died 1587) Cole was a tanner of Ipswich who was burned for blasphemy in the castle ditch, Norwich, in England. A Dr. Beamond preached to him before the mayor, sheriffs, and alderman, “but he would not recant,” reported Hamont. {BDF}

Cole, Robert (20th Century) A freethinker, Cole wrote Religion or Superstition—Which? (1939). {GS}

Cole, Stewart G. (Born 1892) Cole, who wrote The History of Fundamentalism (1931 and 1971), was asked by the present author his views of humanism and responded,

The idea of humanism is subject to a number of interpretations. Some are contradictory, others complementary. My own point of view includes selective elements from “naturalistic” humanism and “theistic” humanism. I believe that we understand the meaning of man as we observe him and his kind against the backgrounds of history—human, pre-human, and cosmological—which are functionally related and which imply a single stream of unfolding reality. I believe that we comprehend the significance of man as we attempt to identify our own persons [sic] with his high adventures in every aspect of living in the contemporary world. As far as we know, man is Nature’s highest form of creative life. He has unmeasured impulses for achieving the good, full life of mankind. Thus we pay allegiance to the dignity of the human individual, to the inherent endeavors of human society to improve its lot, and to those forces of the cosmos, the democratic movement, the arts and the sciences, and of personal initiative which contribute to the enhancement of these values. Furthermore, it is my belief that these forces are spiritual in character. They are of the very nature of the dynamic universe itself. They inhere in cosmic-human reality, and invite personal loyalty to them. If individuals and societies disregard them in any particulars, they suffer human reverses; as they support them, they rise in the moral and spiritual scale. This universal process of social achievement versus human reverses suggests the field of modern man’s religion. Its implications are traced in John Dewey’s A Common Faith and in the anthology, This Is My Faith (Harper’s 1956).

{WAS, 13 August 1956}

Coleman, Kari (20th Century) A veteran of film and television roles, Coleman is a skeptic who acknowledges her godlessness and her ability to fool people about psychic powers:

I think I have finally found my answer to those people who tell me that skepticism takes the joy out of life, that you need God to experience morality, and that without him it’s just a heartless existence. People [who thought I had psychic powers] were happy to talk. They really just wanted to go over funny stories about a loved one they’d lost or just sit and remember them out loud with someone. When I took away the voodoo, the fact that we had “shared” didn’t go away. There is all the joy you need in human interaction. I really made sure that after we were done I gave each person, for lack of a better way of saying this, a part of me. I felt I had taken away something fake and I needed to replace it with something real. Human contact, human caring, human interaction. {CA}

Coleman, William Emmette (Born 1843) Coleman, a Virginian, became a radical non-Christian Spiritualist at the age of sixteen. Raised in the midst of slavery, he saw the enormity of the institution and was in full sympathy with William Lloyd Garrison and other reformers. He also became an advocate of universal suffrage, prison reform, peace, temperance reforms, and total separation of church and state. Coleman dramatized East Lynne, which was shown on a New York stage, and he was a columnist for that city’s Clipper and also its Mercury. Coleman wrote many tracts and was the Kansas representative in the Centennial Congress of Liberals at Philadelphia in 1876. A charter member of the National Liberal League, he often spoke on Darwinism, spectrum analysis, and the parallelism between biologic and philologic evolution. Coleman was a strong critic of theosophy and “asserted that the so-called feats of magic claimed to be performed by Madam Blavatsky and the Indian adepts were sleight-of-hand tricks—mere jugglery.” {PUT}

Colenso, John William (1814—1883) Colenso was a master at Harrow who, after writing a famous Treatise on Algebra (1849), became first Bishop of Natal. His The Pentateuch and Book of Joshua Critically Examined (1862—1879) made a great stir and was condemned by both Houses of Convocation and its author declared deposed. In 1865, the Privy Council declared the deposition “null and void in law.” Colenso pleaded the cause of the natives at the time of the Zulu War. {BDF; TRI}

Coleridge, John Duke [Sir] (1820—1894) Coleridge, Lord Chief Justice of England, showed his liberality in mid-career by working for the suppression of religious tests at the universities. But, as is usual in such cases of men of his position, the full extent of his heresy was known only to intimate friends until he died. In a letter to a brother-judge and fellow-heretic, Lord Bramwell, Coleridge wrote, “Of ecclesiastical Christianity I believe probably as little as you do,” adding that he thought that religion will last “longer than is good for the world.” {JM; RAT; RE}

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772—1834) Coleridge, like fellow Unitarian minister Ralph Waldo Emerson, was a major transcendentalist of his day. His “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” “Christabel,” and ”Kubla Khan” continue to be popular with readers of all ages, some of whom recognize that “Christabel” deals with the subject of lesbianism. His Biographia Literaria (1817) is a major work, but some accuse him of having borrowed heavily from German idealist philosophers. Ved Mehta relates the story (New Yorker, 11 November 1991) that the headmaster of his school was unhappy with young Coleridge “for having confessed that he was a non-believer and therefore didn’t want to be a clergyman.” As an adult, Coleridge wrote extensively on religion, philosophy, and literature as well as lectured on Shakespeare. He was greatly influenced by William Godwin. His essay, “Religion,” mentions the heresy of Socinianism, suggesting that a Socinian is “a man who has passed from orthodoxy to the loosest Arminianism, and thence to Arianism, and thence to direct Humanism.” Nicolas Walter has pointed out that Coleridge’s use of “Humanism” was one of the first times Unitarians utilized the term, that his reasoning helped lead American Unitarians to alter the word’s meaning. For Coleridge’s arthritic condition, a physician in 1801 prescribed laudanum, a tincture of opium. Although not an opium addict by choice, Coleridge became addicted to the drug and wrote “Kubla Khan” while under its influence. At one point, in 1814, he took a pint of laudanum a day, diluting it with quince juice and flavoring it with cinnamon. Friends are said to have urged him to reduce the dose of the drug which friends and chemists surreptitiously supplied. As corroborated by Althea Hayter’s Opium and the Romantic Imagination (1968), others at that time—Dickens, Scott, Bulwer Lytton, Mrs. Gaskell, Elizabeth Barrett Browning—took the drug that even babies were dosed with: Godfrey’s Cordial or Mother Bailey’s Quieting Syrup. Coleridge suffered massive bowel movements and eruptions from it, but laudanum gave him the physical relief that was so necessary, not to mention led him into poetic dreams, trances, reveries. Martin Gardner points out that Coleridge erred in The Ancient Mariner when he wrote, “The Sun’s rim dips, the stars rush out: At one stride comes the dark.” This is followed by a “horned moon” climbing in the east, a crescent moon with “one bright star within its nether tip.” A moon rising after sunset has to be full, not crescent shaped. Perhaps Coleridge intended the scene to be a supernatural omen, Gardner adds. Richard Holmes has written that Coleridge was melancholic, constipated, a heavy drinker, and toward the end of his life looked twenty years older than he actually was. He left his wife and their three children to go to Malta in 1804, partly to escape his wife, staying for three disorganized decades with friends such as the John Morgans and the James Gillmans. His play, “Remorse” was too metaphysical for Lord Byron, who commented, “I wish he would explain his explanation.” Biographia Literaria was written in six weeks and was encouraged by John Morgan, who in defense of the charge that his friend had borrowed passages wholesale from Friedrich Schelling, said that they “form a kind of psychodrama within the heart of ‘Biographia.’ ” The work has been described by novelist Penelope Fitzgerald as his “personal philosophical journey from the materialism of Locke to the perception that faith in God is not only beyond reason but a continuation of it.” Robertson quotes Coleridge’s objections to being called an atheist, writing, “Little do these men know what atheism is. Not one man in a thousand has either strength of mind or goodness of heart to be an atheist. I repeat it. Not one man in ten thousand has goodness of heart or strength of mind to be an atheist.” But Robertson although agreeing that Coleridge, like Wordsworth, was not an orthodox Christian does find that Coleridge although a liberal in religion was attracted to mysticism. Coleridge, in short, discarded much of organized religion but believed, as did other Unitarians of the day, in some greater force, or “God.” This “God” he observed while watching a beetle on the surface of the water, casting “a cinque-spotted shadow fringed with prismatic colours on the sunny bottom of the brook,” or while scouring the beauties so often overlooked in nature. (James Fenton’s “A Lesson from Michelangelo,” The New York Review of Books, 23 March 1995, relates William Wordsworth’s disliking “Kubla Kahn,” Dorothy Wordsworth’s embarrassing Coleridge by calling her drinking vessel Kubla Can, and Byron’s being most favorably impressed by the work.) {CE; Penelope Fitzgerald, The New Yori Times Book review, 11 April 1999; JMR; JMRH; PUT; TRI; TYD}

Colins, Jean Guillaume César Alexandre Hippolyte [Baron] (1783—1859) 

Colins was a Belgian socialist, the founder of “collectivism.” He wrote nineteen volumes on social science. Colins denied monotheism as well as pantheism, and he taught the natural immortality of the soul. A number of his disciples propagated his opinions in Philosophie de l’Avenir. {BDF; RAT}

COLLEGE FREETHINKERS: See entry for Campus Freethought Alliance.

COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA Humanists at the College of Charleston are at <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>.

COLLEGE OF LAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS Humanists at the College of Lake County are at <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>.

COLLEGE OF THE SISKIYOUS, CALIFORNIA Humanists at College of the Siskiyous are found at <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>.

COLLEGES, MOST AND LEAST RELIGIOUS A 1996 survey of 56,000 students at 310 of the top colleges in the United States revealed the following:

• Most “Religious”:

Mormon Brigham Young; Grove City; Furman; Loyola Marymount; Stamford; Holy Cross; University of Dallas; Notre Dame; Baylor; and Calvin

• Least “Religious”:

Reed; Bennington; Bard; College of the Atlantic; San Francisco Art Institute; Eugene Lang; Sarah Lawrence; Deep Springs; Hampshire; New College of the University of South Florida {Freethought Today, December 1996}

Collet, Dobson (1812—1898) Collett, a secular activist, was secretary of the Newspaper Stamp Abolition Committee (1849) in England. {VI}

Collet, Sophia Dobson (19th Century) Sophia Collet, a sister of Dobson Collet, composed several hymns for the South Place chapel, of which she was a member. {VI}

Colette, Jules-Joseph (1829-1903) Colette, father of the eminent French author, was a non-believer. His wife, Adèle Eugénie Sidonie Landoy (1835-1912), was the freethinking daughter of Adèle Chatenay and Henri-Marie Landoy, a quadroon whom she described as “the Gorilla.” Her father was a manufacturer of chocolate, the slabs of which were laid out in the open at evening but by morning often had imprints of cat paws. She had first been married to Jules Robineau-Duclos, known to people in her village as “The Savage,” an uncouth and heavy drinker. She baptized her children but did not accept the dogma, the Catholic ritual, or the Catholic holidays. An atheist and a Fourierist, she fostered free will in her children, sometimes being chastised by her husband for talking about the catechism with her daughter, then denying religion’s worth. Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954), who described herself as the daughter of a “quadroon,” did not follow in her parents’ non-religious ways, although she was anything but orthodox in her views. She became an outstanding French writer of the first half of the century. Called Gabri, she experimented with opium, was bisexual, and her novels concerned the pleasures and pains of love. Her first husband was Henri Gauthier-Villars (who was called Willy and who, despite rumors, never locked her in a room to force her to write); after their divorce in 1906 she married Henry de Jouvenel in 1912 and Maurice Goudeket in 1935. Moralists of all stripes complained, but she became the “sensation of tout Paris,” a legendary figure in the capital city. Her novels included the “Claudine” series (1900-1903), Chéri (1920), and Gigi (1945). Surrounded by her cats, Colette died peacefully in her Palais-Royal apartment that overlooked Paris. Captain Colette served under Napoleon III in the Battle of Melegnano, losing a leg. Just after it was removed, the Emperor asked about him. Pointing to his leg, the captain—his just amputated leg wrapped in a towel—responded, “Mother and child are doing well.” Sartre, aware of his reputation in heterosexual matters, once called him “a local gay blade.” When the Chevalier de la Légion-d’honneur died, the family draped over his coffin his Captain of the First Zouave’s tunic—the wasp-waisted jacket of an officer in the Second Empire. {Claude Francis and Fernande Gontier, Creating Colette, 1999; Judith Furman, Secrets of the Flesh (1999)

Collette, Merrill (20th Century) A journalist in Venezuela, Collette has written for Free Inquiry (Fall, 1988).

Collette, Robert D. (20th Century) Collette is active with the Humanists of South Pinellas in Saint Petersburg, Florida. (See entry for Florida Atheists, Humanists.) {FD}

Collier, Curt (1961- ) Collier is leader of the Riverdale Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture in New York. He travels to New York once or twice a week to fulfill his duties, but he lives in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he works as an audiologist. “The Bible has been used as a weapon against people,” he has said. “What humanists need to realize is that not all believers in the Bible believe in it in the same way. There is a difference between the way a Presbyterian looks at it as opposed to a Fundamentalist.” He prefers the term “non-theist” to describe his outlook, adding, “An atheist is certain there is no God. For an agnostic, the jury is still out. I’m a non-theist. I really don’t care whether people believe or don’t believe in a god.” Collier at one time studied in Israel to become a rabbi. “I see humanism as coming out of a religious background. Humanism is not a break from the past. In Judaism, we have a group of people who put justice at the center of their religious belief, and that’s the humanist message today.”

Collier, John (1850—1934) Collier, a British painter and the son of Lord Monkswell, married a daughter of Professor Huxley. When she died, he defiantly married her sister, accomplishing much in the way of reforming the law which forbade marrying a deceased wife’s sister. Collier wrote Religion of an Artist (1926). An agnostic, Collier was contemptuous of all theology. He was overheard by McCabe as saying that few artists, in fact, have any religious feeling at all. “I’ve steered clear of God,” he said. “He was an incredible sadist.” Collier was an honorary associate of the Rationalist Press Association. {GS; JM; RAT; RE; TYD}

Collier, W. Edwin (20th Century) In 1934, Collier became a Philadelphia leader of the Ethical Culture Society. James F. Hornbach has described Collier as being an “ethical mystic and transcendentalist” who had been recruited by Stanton Coit from the Church of England. (See entry for Ethical Culture.) {EU, Howard B. Radest}

Collin, Christen Christian (Born 1857) A Norwegian writer, Collin taught European literature at Christiana and was a member of the historical-philosophical faculty of that university. He has co-operated with the Ethical movement. {RAT}

Collins, Anthony (1676—1729) 

Collins, whom McCabe termed a deist but others have called a theist, was described by T. H. Huxley as a “Goliath of Freethinking.” A friend of Locke, he developed Locke’s principles. His books include Essay Concerning the Use of Reason (1707), Discourse on Freethinking (1713), and Discourse on the Grounds and Reason of the Christian Religion (1724). The 1713 book occasioned a great outcry, as it argued that all belief must be based on free inquiry, that the use of reason would involve the abandonment of supernatural revelation. Deism was made in a manner fashionable because of the controversial book, because of its style and sincere outspokenness. Although termed by Bentley an atheist, Collins once wrote, “Ignorance is the foundation of Atheism, and Freethinking the cure of it.” But he was attacked widely. Joseph Smith in The Unreasonableness of Deism, or, the Certainty of a Divine Revelation (1720) called deists in general “the Wicked and Unhappy men we have to deal with.” Collins often engaged in controversy with the clergy, wrote against priestcraft, and debated with Dr. Samuel Clarke “about necessity and the moral nature of man,” stating the arguments against human freedom, observed A. C. Fraser, with “a logical force unsurpassed by any necessitarian.” With respect to Collins’s controversy on “the soul,” Huxley said, “I do not think anyone can read the letters which passed between Clarke and Collins without admitting that Collins, who writes with wonderful Power and closeness of reasoning, has by far the best of the argument, so far as the possible materiality of the soul goes; and that in this battle the Goliath of Freethinking overcame the champion of what was considered orthodoxy. Berkeley, however, claimed that Collins had announced “that he was able to demonstrate the impossibility of God’s existence,” obviously the exaggeration of an opponent. According to the Biographica Britannica, “Notwithstanding all the reproaches cast upon Mr. Collins as an enemy to religion, impartiality obliges us to remark, what is said, and generally believed to be true, upon his death-bed he declared ‘That, as be had always endeavored, to the best of his abilities to serve his God, his King, and his country, so he was persuaded he was going to the place which God had designed for those who love him’: to which he added that ‘The Catholic religion is to love God, and to love man’; and he advised such as were about him to have a constant regard to these principles.” Upon Collins’s death, the Earl of Egmont, John Percival, wrote the following: “Of Collins Esq. deceased December 1729 . . . [he] is a Speculative Atheist and has been for many years, as he owned to Archibald Hutchinson Esq. who told it to Dr. Dodd M.D. and he to me.” (See entries for Infidel and for Jonathan Swift.) {BDF; CE; EU, David Berman; FO; FUK; HAB; JM; JMR; RAT; RE}

Collins, Daniel S. (20th Century) Collins was a leader of the Unitarian Fellowship of Jonesboro, Arkansas, when he signed Humanist Manifesto II. {HM2}

Collins, Erin (20th Century) Collins is a publicity chairman for and activist member of the University of Minnesota Atheists and Humanists.

Collins, John (20th Century) In 1953, Collins was president of the Greenwich Village Humanist Club in New York City. His group of college students met in the Rienzi Coffee House on 107 MacDougall Street, carried copies of The Humanist, and challenged any existentialists to a verbal duel. Items discussed at meetings, according to The Humanist Newsletter: “proselytizing the city’s intelligentsia by publicizing the basic concepts of naturalistic humanism; setting up an ‘ethical clearing house’ committee whose members would be on guard to back up, in public statements, difficult or unpopular moral actions which individuals have taken and which are felt to be particularly humanistic; forming a committee to help orient foreign students who want to learn about the United States without beating treated as heathens who are expected to join whatever sect the guide happens to belong to; visiting sects or groups desirous of comparing, sharing, or modifying our . . . or their . . . views; and listing worthy organizations already in existence, such as the Eye Bank, the World Calendar Association, and the Prison Association of New York, whose goals are commendably humanistic.” Collins’s interest in the investigation of cosmic and sub-atomic phenomena led him to complain about the view, “There is no causality or determinism in nature.” His retort was that “this may be a valuable heuristic axiom when it comes to observing the path of an electron, but if it were applied literally to large scale phenomena, it would mean, among other things, that science is impossible. As Waldemar Kaempffert pointed out in the Times of July 1953, ‘What is only a probability in the atom is as good as certainty in a rock.’ The ‘free will’ controversy, it seems, is not going to be resolved by a cyclotron.” (See entry for Greenwich Village Humanist Club.)

Collins, John Churton (1848—1908) A British writer, Collins wrote studies of Voltaire and Bolingbroke. He had refused to take up a clerical career and, becoming a skeptic in his early years, had been disinherited. In a memoir by his son, prefixed to The Life and Memoirs of J. C. Collins (1912), a note explains that his father believed in God but not immortality or Christianity. He was, however, appreciative of the French deists. {JM; RAT; RE}

Collins, M. J. (20th Century) In Uganda, Collins leads a humanist group known as the K. Executive Club. (See entry for Africa, Freethought and Humanism in.) {FD}

Collins, May (19th Century) Collins is a freethinker who wrote A Plea for the New Woman (1896). {GS}

Collins, Nigel (20th Century) Collins is active in Britain with the Cotswold and Cheltenham humanists. He also is a leader of the Humanist Funeral Network. In 1998 he became a director of the Rationalist Press Association.

Collins, William Whitehouse (1853—1923) An Anglo-American freethought publisher and editor, Collins was a secularist both in Australia and in New Zealand. He wrote a rationalist burial service and a variety of freethought pamphlets. From Christchurch, New Zealand, he edited Tribune (1894—1895) and the monthly and bi-monthly Examiner (1907—1917). He also edited the Australian journals, Freethinker & New South Wales Reformer (1886) and Freedom (1889—1890). Collins founded in Sydney the Freethought Press, was a president of the Rationalist Association of New South Wales, and was an honorary associate of the Rationalist Press Association. Collins was the great grandson of Chartist John Collins. {EU; FUK; RSR; SWW}

Collis, David (20th Century) A dealer of freethought books, Collis collected a large number of works which were purchased by the University of Wisconsin Library. {FUK}

Collyer, Robert (1823—1912) “The blacksmith preacher,” Collyer became a Unitarian minister who continued being a blacksmith during his early manhood, having worked fourteen-hour days in grinding poverty at the age of eight. He was associated with the First Unitarian and the Second Unitarian groups in Chicago. During the Civil War, he worked with the Sanitary Mission, giving first aid, comfort, and ministry to the wounded. With no medical background, however, he felt he was ill-suited to the job. He saw action in Washington, D.C., and Missouri. Collyer, after making several trips back to his native England, died of a stroke. On the Web: <www.btinternet.com/~mike.dixon/collyer.htm>. Collyer’s last pastorate was at the Church of the Messiah in New York. {CE; U}

Collymore, Errold D. (20th Century) Collymore, an African American, is a prominent Unitarian.

Colman, Lucy N. (1817—1906) An American reformer, Colman spent most of her life advocating the abolition of slavery, women’s rights, and freethought. A radical in many ways, she opposed white as well as black slavery and devoted herself to woman’s as well as man’s rights. She accused the churches of being in complicity with slavery, and she even renounced the liberal Unitarians and Universalists. “Christianity demands entire subordination to its edicts. Until the majority of the people are emancipated from authority over their minds, we are not safe,” she wrote in Reminiscences (1891). Colman was a contributor to Truthseeker, fighting against Anthony Comstock and his censorship, and Boston Investigator. {BDF; PUT; RAT; RE; TYD; WWS}

COLOMBIA, ATHEISTS IN: See entry for Antonio José Restrepo. Ruben Ardila, professor of psychology at Colombia’s National University, signed Humanist Manifesto 2000.

Colón-Ríos, Etienne (20th Century) Colón-Ríos is a Puerto Rican secular humanist. He is assistant to the secretary of Asociación Iberoamericana Ético Humanista (ASIBEHU).

COLORADO: See entry for Jefferson, Territory of.

COLORADO FREETHINKERS, HUMANISTS Colorado has the following humanist groups:

• American Atheists, Inc., Margie Wait is in Lakewood. E-mail: <aachat@atheists.org>, and <irep@atheists.org> and <art@atheists.org>. • American Humanist Chapter of the Mountain and Plains Region, A-512, 1780 South Bellaire Street, Denver, Colorado 80222. Lewis Dunlap is the contact. • Atheists of Northern Colorado (ASHS; Atheist Alliance Inc.), PO Box 2555, Loveland, CO 80539-2555; (970) 577-0015. On the Web: <http://www.atheistalliance.org/anx/>. Co-founders: Guy and Victoria McCoy <vgmccoy@juno.com> President: Calvin Wichern <cwichern@aol.com> Vice Presidnet: Jan Abbott <jan@tesser.com> Secretary: Debra Mathewson: <mark_m@sprynet.com> • Freethinkers of Colorado Springs, Colorado. (719) 535-0321. • Humanist Association of Pikes Peak (AHA), POB 195, Colorado Springs, CO 80901. Sarah Primm and John Ramsay are contacts. (719) 635-2416. • Humanists of Boulder, Colorado (AHA), 455 South 38th Street, Boulder, Colorado 80303. Darryl Mehring is the contact. • Humanists of Colorado, 10124 E. Jewell Ave. (#8), Denver, Colorado 80231. Ken Roberts is President.

• Humanists of Denver, Colorado (AHA), 2230 East Columbia Place, Denver, CO 80210-6009; (303) 759-0875. Darwin K. Rolens, President; contact, Ken Roberts.

• Humanists of the Durango Region, Colorado, (303) 259-2216 • University of Colorado at Boulder’s Campus Heretics are on the Web: <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>. • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Freethinkers are on the Web: <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>. • Walk Away, 1700 Rutledge Court, Fort Collins, Colorado 80526. Jim Hoyne leads the local group in supporting recovering fundamentalists.

Colotes (3rd Century B.C.E.) Colotes of Lampsacus was a hearer and disciple of Epicurus, with whom he was a favorite. He wrote a work in favor of his master’s teachings. Colotes held it was unworthy of a philosopher to use fables. {BDF}

Colton, Helen (20th Century) Colton wrote The Gift of Touch, which describes the importance of cuddling newborn babies to comforting elderly parents. In 1998 she was a presenter at the American Humanist Association’s convention.

Columbus, Christopher [Cristóbal Colón in Spanish; Cristoforo Colombo in Italian] (1451—1506) In a letter from Jamaica to Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Columbus mentioned that he had read Roger Bacon’s Opus Majus, a work which suggests the possibility of reaching India by sailing westward. To his credit, Columbus proceeded with the westward voyage although few (including two friars, one a Franciscan, the other a Dominican) were supportive of the risky venture. Even members of his crew were mutinous, sabotaging the Pinta’s rudder. And when a meteorite fell near the superstitious seamen, it was interpreted as a bad omen, described by Columbus as follows: “. . . when the sea made up considerably without wind, [the crew] were astonished. I saw this as a sign from God. As with Moses when he led his people out of captivity, my people were humbled.” Long before this, Eratosthenes (275—194 B.C.E.) had calculated with great accuracy the circumference of the earth and the distance of the sun and moon. Posidonius (circa 135—50 B.C.E.) had suggested that India could be reached by sailing across the Atlantic—he erred, however, by estimating that India was 70,000 stadia across the Atlantic from Europe. In short, even in Columbus’s time it was known that the world was “round,” even if the point had not yet been proven. Five hundred years later, Isaac Asimov has observed that anyone with adequate supplies to keep three ships sailing could not have missed landing somewhere in the Americas, from Argentina to Canada. The truly great feat, Asimov declared, was not solely that Columbus landed but that he had not landed . . . in Asia. What this meant, philosophically, was that Aristotle as well as earlier thinkers could now be doubted, and this helped pave the way for Copernicus and later scientists to give us the more accurate picture we now have of our universe. In short, America had been found . . . and Aristotle had been found lacking. W. R. Anderson, President of the Leif Ericsson Society in Chicago, claims that the tax lists now in the Vatican show there were at least 1,000 families on the continent in the 12th century. In 1488, four years before the discovery by Columbus, these individuals requested the Pope to send a bishop and priest, “and he ordained and sent them a new apostle by the name of Mathias.” In addition, Canadian scientists have excavated Basque as well as Norse traces in Iceland and Newfoundland, all of which preceded Columbus’s landings. Who did discover America? Not Columbus, not Leif Ericsson, not the Indians, according to Ronald Fritze in Skeptic (Vol. 2, No. 4, 1994). He explains, “The prehistoric hunters who were the ancestors of the Native Americans and crossed the Bering Landbridge some 15,000 years ago were the true discoverers of the Americas. Furthermore, Leif Ericsson and other Norse seafarers reached the Americas in the decades after 1000 CE (Common Era). The testimony of the Norse sagas has been confirmed by the discovery of a genuine Norse archaeological site at L’Anse aux Meadows on Newfoundland which may have even been Leif Ericsson’s own camp.” Despite all the publicity, then, it possibly was the pagans—Asian as well as European—who beat the Christians to the continent named by the latter group. It is the latter group, however, which is being held responsible for its barbarous treatment, in the name of religion, of the descendants of the discoverers of the Americas: the native Americans, variously called Native Americans or American Indians. Historians at some point, and in keeping with new discoveries, will likely replace “Indian” and “American” with words more precise than these erroneous references to India and Amerigo Vespucci. Some of the Eskimo people of Canada, for example, understandably insist upon being called Inuits (the plural of inuk, or person), not American Indians. “We are condemning the Spanish conquest,” protested Candido Martinez in Honduras at an October 12th Columbus Day holiday in 1997. “These are 505 years that we are not celebrating because the truth is that for 505 years we have been executed, our ancestors were assassinated.” Protestors pulled down a six-foot statue of Columbus, broke off its head and hands, and painted it red, symbolic of blood. Similar protests took place in 1997 in Chile and El Salvador.

    In 2006, scientists confirmed that at least some of Columbus's remains were buried inside a Spanish cathedral.  DNA samples from 500-ear-9ld bone slivers could contradict the Dominican Republic's competing claim that Columbus was laid to rest in the New York, according to Marcial Catro, a Spanish historian and teacher.  The forensic team was led by Spanish geneticist Jose Antonio Lorente, and it compared DNA from bones buried in a cathedral in Seville with DNA from remains known to be from Columbus's brother Diego, who also is burie in the southern Spanish city.  "There is absolute matchup beween the mitochondrial DNA we have studied from Columbus's brother and Christopher Columbus," Castro said.

{CE; Reuters, 12 October 1997; AP, 20 May 2006}

COMADRE Freethinkers who dislike being termed a “godmother” have no objection to being called a comadre. Ordinarily, a comadre or compadre assists in the intellectual growth of a child (comhijo and comhija?). No legal obligation to provide financial assistance is involved, nor to adopt children if their situation becomes dire—relatives fulfill that role. (See entries for compadre, comhija, comhijo, and godparenting.)

Comazzi, Giovanni Battista [Count] (17th Century)

An Italian writer, Comazzi wrote The Morals of Princes (c. 1680), a commentary on the lives of the Roman Emperors, with heterodox reflections. {RAT}

Combe, Abram (1785-1827) One of a noted Scottish family of seventeen, Combe after becoming acquainted with Robert Owen founded a community at Orbiston. He devoted nearly the whole of his large fortune to the scheme. Combe wrote Metaphysical Sketches of the Old and New Systems and other works advocating Owenism. {BDF}

Combe, Andrew (1797—1847) A physician and brother of Abram Combe, Andrew aided his brother George in founding the Phrenological Society. He wrote popular works on the Principles of Physiology. {BDF; RAT}

Combe, George (1788—1858) A phrenologist and educationalist, Combe after meeting Spurzheim published Essays on Phrenology (1819) and founded the Phrenological Journal. In 1828 he excited controversy with his Constitution of Man, which called for removing the chimeras of special providence and the efficacy of prayer. His last work, The Relations Between Science and Religion (1857) upheld a secular theism. George Eliot, with whom he spent a fortnight, was a friend. Combe is said to have done more than any man of his time, save Robert Owen, to further the cause of secular education. {BDF; RAT}

Combes, Emile (19th Century) Combes was a leading supporter in the final achievement of France’s separation of church and state in 1905. Commencing 10 April 1868 Flaubert, Taine, Renan, and others celebrated the event and toasted Combes. At the 1868 banquet “roast beef with Champeaux potatoes and a tarte Tatin were washed down with kir and regional wines by 200 committed anti-clerics” in a three-hour feast at the Mutualité Hall in Paris. {Freethought History #14, 1995}

Combes, Justin Louis Émile (1835—1921) Combes was a French statesman who had studied for the priesthood but abandoned the Church before ordination. A physician, he also went into politics, becoming Minister of Public Instruction (1895—1896) and Minister of the Interior and Premier (1902—1905). He presided over the final stages of the separation of Church and State. Although many French rationalists complained of his leniency to the church, Catholics everywhere denounced him as their bitterest enemy. {RAT; RE}

Combes, Paul (Born 1856) Combes, a French writer, wrote Darwinism (1883) and other works which popularized science. {BDF}

COMEDY: See entry for Tragedy.

COMET A comet in the sky is a fearful sign that God or the gods are unhappy. Or so the view was held until astronomers explained that it is a celestial body consisting chiefly of ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide, and water. Whereas in ancient minds comets were blamed for fires, famines, pestilence, and wars, Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997, the brightest to pass inside Earth’s orbit in more than four hundred years, was watched with awe and admiration by more people than ever before. Aristotle used kome, or “hair of the head,” to mean “luminous tail of a comet” and used kometes, “wearing long hair,” to mean that which today is known as those rare balls of dirty ice that release gases and dust that glow in the sun’s radiation, resulting in their extraordinary splendor. (See entry for Alan Hale, discoverer of Comet Hale-Bopp in 1995.)

Comey, Arthur C. (20th Century) 

Comey was an active member of the American Humanist Association. {HNS}

Comfort, Alex (20th Century) Comfort’s The Pattern of the Future (1949) included his favorable views of scientific humanism.

COMHIJO, COMHIJA When told in 1980 that freethinkers might one day replace godfather and godmother by compadre and comadre, Fernando Vargas of Costa Rica suggested godchildren could then be replaced by comhijo and comhija. He warned, however, that compadre also connotes a crony and a comadre can be a gossip. (See entries for compadre and comadre.)

Commager, Henry Steele (1902—1998) Commager, an eminent historian, author with Samuel Eliot Morison of The Growth of the American Republic (1930), a standard college textbook for four decades, taught at Amherst (26 years), Columbia (18 years), and New York University (12 years). The American Mind (1951) explored the nation’s cultural and philosophical forces. The Empire of Reason (1977) rejected historian Charles A. Beard’s views, which he termed “sterile” economic determinism, and held that the principles of the Age of Enlightenment only envisioned by great European philosophers had actually been carried out by 18th and early 19th century Americans. In 1951, asked about humanism, he replied to the present author:

I know nothing about naturalistic humanism and have therefore nothing to write you.

Later, however, he accepted a pending Humanist of the Year award from the American Humanist Association. An opponent of the war in Vietnam, he said “Having the United States in Vietnam is like having the Chinese invade the shores of Long Island!” Critics complained that although he arguable was “the greatest anthologist American ever produced,” he gave too little attention to Native Americans and African Americans. Commager wrote Theodore Parker: Yankee Crusader (1936), a biography of the Unitarian reformer. “History is a story,” Commager once wrote, and “if history forgets or neglects to tell a story, it will inevitable forfeit much of its appeal and much of its authority as well.” {CE; FUS; WAS, 14 February 1951}

Commazzi, Gian-Battista (18th Century) Count Commazzi wrote Politica e Religione Trovate Insieme Nella Persona di Giesù Cristo (1706—1707), in which he makes Jesus to be a political imposter. The work was rigorously confiscated at Rome and Vienna. {BDF}

COMMITTEE FOR THE SCIENTIFIC EXAMINATION OF RELIGION (CSER) The Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER), Box 703, Amherst, NY 14226, is headed by Hector Avalos. For the Council for Secular Humanism, it was organized to examine the claims of Eastern and Western religions and of well-established and newer sects and denominations in the light of scientific inquiry. It is interdisciplinary, including specialists in biblical scholarship, archaeology, linguistics, anthropology, the social sciences, and philosophy who represent differing secular and religious traditions.

COMMITTEE FOR THE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION OF CLAIMS OF THE PARANORMAL (CSICOP) The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal is an international organization that publishes Skeptical Inquirer (Box 703, Amherst, NY 14226-0702). Its leaders include Paul Kurtz, chairman; Barry Karr, Executive Director and Public Relations Director; Joe Nickell, Senior Research Fellow; and Lee Nisbet, Special Projects Director. CSICOP’s executive council includes James E. Alcock, psychologist at York University in Toronto; Barry Beyerstein, biopsychololgist of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Kendrick Frazier, science writer and editor of Skeptical Inquirer; Martin Gardner, author and critic; Ray Hyman, psychologist at the University of Oregon; Philip J. Klass, aerospace writer and engineer; Paul Kurtz, chairman; Joe Nickell, senior research fellow; Lee Nisbet, philosopher at Medaille College; and Eugenie Scott, physical anthropologist and executive director of the National Center for Science Education. In addition to its Amherst, New York, office, the Center for Inquiry has offices in Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles, California; and Moscow, Russia. Dedicated to science and reason, Skeptical Inquirer encourages the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible, scientific point of view and disseminates factual information about the results of such inquiries to the scientific community and the public. It also promotes science and scientific inquiry, critical thinking, science education, and the use of reason in examining important issues. On the Web: <www.csicop.org>.

COMMITTEE FOR THE STUDY OF KORANIC LITERATURE The Committee for the Study of Koranic Literature was formed by the Council for Secular Humanism to examine the foundations, claims, and practices of Islam and its holy book, the Qur’an. Chairman of the committee is Ibn Warraq (a pseudonym—the individual fears he will be attacked by religious fundamentalists).

COMMON MORAL DECENCIES Paul Kurtz makes the point that, left to our own devices and free of early childhood conditioning, humans recognize what is moral and decent. Theological doctrines are not a desirable test of what is decent, in short. Kurtz includes as examples: altruism; integrity; honesty; truthfulness; and responsibility. “Humanist ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance,” he wrote in “The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles.” “There are normative standards that we discover together. Moral principles are tested by their consequences.”

Common, Thomas (20th Century) In 1896 Common began the publication of Nietzsche’s works in English. He became one of the leading English authorities on the German philosopher. In his Scientific Christianity (1904), Common rejected all religion. {RAT}

Commoner, Barry (1917— ) Commoner, a biologist and educator, represented the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) at a UN conference on environment in Stockholm (1972). In 1970, he had received the first Humanist award of that organization, for his contribution to the cause of ecology.

COMMUNALISM Communalism is found in two forms. First, some groups advocate what often is religious communalism, or group ownership of the goods and property of their community of individuals. Several religious groups including the Shakers [officially known as the “United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Coming”] were communalists and their society was called, by some, a religious communistic settlement. Also, some groups are more interested in their own minority or ethnic group than in society as a whole. To counter such groups, in Britain the Alliance Against Communalism and for Democracy in South Asia was founded after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya and the communal riots that followed in 1992. Their aims are to oppose communal forces in South Asia and to rally together anti-communal forces in Britain; to expose what they hold are lies and myths propagated by the communalist forces and to obtain and disseminate reliable information about the communal situation in India; to combat in Britain the influence and ideology of all communalist forces; to work in solidarity with all secular and progressive forces; and to support the struggle for a genuine secular democracy in South Asia. The anti-communalists have opposed the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, have opposed anti-secularist forces in India, and have opposed fundamentalists who for thousands of years have victimized the untouchable class. {International Humanist News, December 1993}

COMMUNION CHALICE: See the entries for Ganymede and for Theophagy.

COMMUNISTIC HUMANISM In the early years of the 20th century, a philosophic-political movement commenced for the express purpose of establishing a classless society in which all goods were to be socially owned. Karl Marx expressed the theories of the movement, and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who led the successful Communist revolution in Russia, modified those theories. The theory that property should be held in common was not new, for the Incas had an Ejido property-and-work system. The Ancient Greek concept of a world of communal bliss and harmony without the institution of private property was described in Plato’s Republic. The Jewish Essenes and early Christian communities were communally oriented. Thomas More’s Utopia proposed forms of communal property ownership in reaction to what the author felt was the selfishness and depredation of growing economic individualism. Thomas Münzer and the Anabaptists upheld communism in the Peasants’ War. Robert Owen, Étienne Cabet, Charles Fourier, Pierre Joseph Proudhon, Friedrich Engels all modified earlier communistic concepts. Communistic settlements in the United States during the 19th century included the Amana Church Society in Iowa; the Harmony Society in Pennsylvania; Zoar, in Ohio; the Labadists in Maryland; the Oneida Community in New York; Brook Farm in Massachusetts; and settlements founded by the Shakers, Mormons, Mennonites, Dukhobors, and Jansenites. Some, such as the Amana Church Society were Christian; others, such as those inspired by Marx’s Communist Manifesto (1848) and his Das Kapital (1867, 1885—1894) were atheistic. In short, theists as well as atheists have been attracted to the communitarian philosophy. Where they have differed has been in their proposals for achieving such goals. Marx believed himself to be the messenger of a new social gospel, for the propagation of which he wrote all his books and pamphlets and became internationally famous not as a philosopher but as a political reformer. Numbers of intellectuals and others rallied to the cause of Marxism, hoping to carry out its theory of socialism including the labor theory of value, dialectical materialism, the class struggle, and dictatorship of the proletariat until a classless society could be achieved. To achieve such goals, Communist parties developed in many countries with the goal of establishing a single authoritarian party which could control state-owned means of production with the professed aim of establishing a stateless society. With the Russian Revolution of 1918, the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR) was formed to govern about one-seventh of the earth’s land area. Leon Trotsky’s former secretary, Raya Dunayevskaya, describes Karl Marx as having been a thoroughgoing philosophic naturalist, one who at first had called his outlook “a new humanism,” by which he meant a Marxist humanism.

	Asked what was wrong with communism, Bertrand Russell in Power (1938) responded, 

I think the most important thing that is wrong in communist doctrine is the belief in benevolent despotism, a belief which is really ancient and existed in all sorts of communities, but has always proved itself wrong, because when you take a benevolent man and make him a despot, his despotism survives but his benevolence rather faces away. The whole theory of communism is that you give an enormous amount of power to people who are adherents of a certain creed, and you hope that they will exercise that power benevolently. Whereas it seems to me that everybody—with very few exceptions—misuses power, and therefore the important thing is to spread power as evenly as you can, and not give immense power to some small clique.

Although the First, Second, and Third International or Comintern (1919) called for the uniting of all the workers of the world for the coming world revolution, which would be followed by the establishment of a dictatorship of the proletariat and state socialism, Joseph Stalin set up a “socialism in one country” plan, believing that the USSR should, alone, build a true Communist system which could serve as a model for other nations to follow. By the 1930s, when the party began purges, it became evident that in practice Communism, contrary to the hopes of theorists and intellectuals, had created in the USSR a giant totalitarian state that dominated every aspect of life and denied the ideal of individual liberty. In the 1990s, however, the USSR literally came to an end. “Humanism” used in conjunction with Marxism or communism, however, has been rare, an exception being Cuba’s Fidel Castro. An atheist, Castro hopes to carry out humanistic goals by improving the lot of the lower classes, uprooting the advantages previously enjoyed by the propertied classes, collectivizing agriculture, and expropriating all native and foreign industry. In the 1960s his prospects for succeeding were generally applauded, but by the 1990s and with the fall of the USSR his prospects have diminished tremendously. This is particularly evident in light of the fact that hundreds of thousands of Cubans have fled in fear from what they describe as being the non-humanistic, totalitarian nation Castro has chosen to mold. Castro has termed his philosophy “communistic humanism.” Others have termed it “inhumanism-by-politburo.” By 1997, the very term “communistic humanism” had become rarely if ever utilized. (See entries for Raya Dunayesvskaya and Mihailo Markovic.) {CE}

COMMUNISTIC RELIGIOUS SETTLEMENTS Large numbers of religious sectarian groups within the Hebrew-Christian tradition have from time to time attempted to organize their life on a collectivist basis. Duke University’s Howard E. Jensen has detailed several such groups:

• early Hebrew-Christian Communities, in which complete communism in consumption goods first appeared among the Hebrews and included the largely celibate communities of the Essenes in the 2nd Century B.C.E.; also, revivals of Christian communism such as found in the Benedictines 6th- century monastic order and the 17th century Jesuits in Paraguay • early Modern Sectarian Communities, such as those of the Waldenses, the Albigenses, the Cathari, the Apostolican Sect of Alanzo in Italy and France, the Beghards of France and Germany, the English Lollards of Norfolk, the Bruges Weaving Friars, the Dutch Fraternity of the Common Life, the Bohemian Taborites, the Moravian Brethren, and others; • the Labadists in Maryland, disciples of Jean de Labadie (1610—1674), a former French Jesuit who preached the perfectibility of man, who settled in Elkton, Maryland, on a 3,750 acre tract; • German Separatist Communities, all found in Pennsylvania and as exemplified by the disciples of Johann Kelpius (1673—1708), Johann Conrad Beissel (1690—1768), and George Rapp (1757—1847); and in Ohio with Joseph Michael Bimeler (1778—1853), as well as in Buffalo, New York, with Christian Metz (1794—1867) and Barbara Heinnemann; • Bishop Hill Colony, a Scandinavian Lutheran group led by Eric Janson in Bishop Hill, Illinois; • Shaker Communities, such as those of the “United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Coming” led by Mother Ann Lee (1736—1784) in New England states and New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Florida, Iowa, and Indiana; • the Bruderhof or Huterite Communities, followers of Jacob Huter, an early 16th-Century Mennonite reformer; a contemporary Bruderhof group, one founded in Germany in 1920, is an offshoot of Anabaptists and is distantly related to the Amish. Its rituals include adult baptism. In 1996 its membership was estimated to include 2,100 U. S. members and 500 in England. The Bruderhof frowns on rock music, bans television, and most of its members refuse to vote. Members live in spartan dormitories, no salaries are paid, everything from clothing to boxes of cereal is distributed according to need, and people who join give their possessions to the community and are assigned tasks—either in the businesses or in the community. Their combined revenue was over $20 million in 1995, with profit of about $9 million, according to The Wall Street Journal (5 July 1996). • the Doukhobors, a Russian communistic religious sect which settled in Canada in 1897; • Mormon Communism, such as the United Order of Enoch which was established by the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith, in Ohio and Missouri. {ER}

COMMUNITARIANSM Communitarianism involves small cooperatives or collectivist communities, combined with a campaign to restore basic moral values. Amitai Etzioni, a German who studied with Martin Buber, liked Buber’s I-and-Thou philosophy and developed a concept in line with communitarianism. Etzioni designed a “communitarian platform,” which recognizes that a child’s first encounter with society’s values is in the family. Then he or she goes to school, becomes a member of the neighborhood and finally a member of the community of communities, society itself. His approach, found in the Communitarian Quarterly, has been encouraged in the 1990s by such diverse figures as Vice President Al Gore, Bush cabinet member Jack Kemp, and former Unitarian Universalist Association President Bill Schulz. Called a “darling of reconstructed Democrats,” Etzioni recommends “public humiliation” of criminals. Requiring that certain kinds of convicts wear signs that identify them in public, he has stated without mentioning Hester Prynne of The Scarlet Letter, is “a surprisingly effective and low-cost way of . . . expressing the moral order of a community.” (For negative critiques of communitarianism, see “The Politics of Restoration,” The Economist, 24 Dec 1994; and “Communitarian Conceits,” The Economist, 18 March 1995.) {Warren R. Ross, “Are You a Communitarian Without Knowing It?” World, September-October 1994}

COMMUNITY Many freethinkers, particularly those on the World Wide Web, foresee a future Earth that is not a representative community but is participatory. It will not emphasize national boundaries but, rather, will aim toward humanistic participation by all peoples. In light of mankind’s past history, particularly its religiosity about killing those who are at all different, the change will not be an easy one. However, if and when humans are easily interconnected in cyberspace, optimists expect democracy and freedom will occur in a fashion undreamed of prior to the advent of computers.

COMPADRE Freethinkers who dislike the term “godfather” often prefer being called compadre. Ordinarily, a comadre or compadre assists in a child’s intellectual growth. No legal obligation to provide financial assistance is involved, nor to adopt children if their situation becomes dire—relatives fulfill that role. (See entries for comadre, comjiha, comhijo, and godparenting.)

Comparetti, Domenico (Born 1835) An Italian philologist, Comparetti taught at the Institute of Superior Studies in Rome. In his many works on the classic writers, he evinces his pagan partialities. Comparetti edited La Rivista di Filologia. {BDF; RAT}

Compayré, Jules Gabriel (1843—1913) Compayré was a French educationalist who taught at Pau, Poitiers, and Toulouse. From 1881 to 1889 he sat in the Chambre and in 1866 was admitted to the Higher Council of Public Instruction. A member of the Institut, Compayré was one of the leading French teachers and a thorough rationalist. “We rely no longer,” he wrote, “on the religious sentiment, on belief in the supernatural. We appeal solely to reason and nature.” {RAT}

COMPASSION IN DYING Compassion in Dying is a unique American organization that has assisted a number of seriously ill people who have wanted to commit suicide. (See entry for Ralph Mero, a Unitarian minister who is its executive director.)

Compton, Arthur Holly (1892—1962)

An eminent American physicist, Compton helped develop the atomic bomb. He shared the 1927 Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery of “the Compton effect” (the increase in the wavelengths of X rays and gamma rays when they collide with and are scattered from loosely bound electrons in matter). Dr. Compton once wrote, “If we ascribe to God the beauties of the world, we must likewise hold him responsible for the most ugly crimes.” {CE}

Compton-Burnett, Ivy [Dame] (1884-1969) A British novelist of note, Compton-Burnett studied classics, became a prolific writer, and was made a Dame in 1967. In the upper-class Victorian or Edwardian society she described, the characters frequently belonged to large families and spanned several generations. Her plots included examples of domestic crime that ranged from adultery or incest or child abuse to murder and fraud. Pastors and Masters (1925), Brothers and Sisters (1929), A Family and a Fortune (1939), Manservant and Maidservant (1947) are examples of work which A. N. Wilson has described: “In the age of the concentration camp, when, from 1935 or so to 1947, she wrote her very best novels, no writer did more to illumine the springs of human cruelty, suffering and bravery.” Wilson in God’s Funeral 1999) points out that Compton-Burnett’s novels uniformly made the point that religion had had its day. {OEL}

COMPUTERS: From the standpoint of the internet, see entries for Tim Berners-Lee and Ted Nelson.

Comstock, Anthony (1844—1915) Comstalk, a morals crusader born in New Canaan, Connecticut, advocated the suppression of obscene literature. He wrote a comprehensive New York state statute (1868) which forbade immoral works, and in 1873 he arranged for strict Federal postal legislation against obscene matter. His New York Society for the Suppression of Vice was credited with having destroyed 160 tons of literature and pictures. D. M. Bennett’s Anthony Comstock: His Career of Cruelty and Crime (1878) cited Comstock as a ruthless persecutor, the “Roundsman of the Lord,” in a class with Torquemada and Calvin. In fact, Comstock bragged that he had convicted enough people to fill a passenger train of sixty-one coaches, not counting the many who had been driven to suicide. When Ida Craddock was hauled into court for having written The Wedding Night, a work about a maiden lady who imagined she was the chosen bride of Heaven’s lustiest angel, Comstock described the work as “indescribable obscenity.” Craddock left the court, went home, and turned on the gas. Comstock, although mocked as an old wheezer, justified her suicide by saying that he was “stationed in a swamp at the mouth of a sewer,” that “in my heart I feel God approves” putting writers of obscenity—as well as publishers and tavernkeepers—out of business. In 1905 he unsuccessfully tried to block a New York production of “Mrs. Warren’s Profession,” immediately making a hit of the play and establishing overnight the reputation of an “Irish smut dealer,” author George Bernard Shaw. In 1913 he ordered the removal of a painting “September Morn,” from a gallery on Manhattan’s 46th Street, leading to publicity that made it one of the world’s most famous paintings. In his vigilant career, Comstock sought prosecutions against James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Mae West, radio programs, and true-detective magazines. In 1915 the Society for the Suppression of Vice, aware that Comstockery had become “the world’s standing joke at the expense of the United States,” in Shaw’s words, named John Summer to assume Comstock’s duties. Comstock died soon afterwards, and by 1950 the organization had ceased to exist. (See entries for D. M. Bennett and Elizabeth Slenker.) {CE; Jay Maeder, New York Daily News, 29 April 1999}

Comte, Auguste (1798—1857) Positivism, which holds that theology and metaphysics are imperfect modes of knowledge, was Comte’s far-reaching philosophic system. Positive knowledge, he held, is verifiable by the empirical sciences and concerns natural phenomena and their properties and relations. His viewpoint developed into a kind of “Catholicism minus Christianity.” “The universe displays no proof of an all-directing mind” and “The heavens declare the glory of Kepler and Newton,” he wrote. Brazil’s flag has the Comtean motto, Ordern e Progresso, thereby being the sole national emblem which perpetuates a philosopher’s words. In 1881 a Positivist Church formed in Brazil, and his thought also became popular in other parts of Latin America. Known as the originator of sociology, Comte felt man passes through three stages: the theological, in which he ascribes to the supernatural whatever he does not understand; the metaphysical, in which ideas are thought to be the key to natural phenomena; and the positive, in which phenomena are explained using a scientific method of reasoning. Religion he placed on a higher level than sociology, but for him humanity was the object of worship and no metaphysics was involved. In 1825 Isidore Marie Auguste François Xavier Comte married, but the union proved unhappy. In the following year he lectured but broke down under an attack of brain fever, which occasioned his detention in an asylum. He speedily recovered and continued his writing and lecturing. Comte once wrote, “I am not an atheist, because that is to take theology seriously.” In 1864, the Vatican prohibited reading of his Cours de philosophie positive (1830—1842). His last work, Subjective Synthesis (1856) verges on the mystical. Comte invented “altruism,” which he explained is the opposite of egoism. His concept of altruism has been elaborated upon by Spencer, Mill, and a number of admiring contemporary sociologists, of whom Ayn Rand is not one. Mill speaks of Comte as the superior of Descartes and Leibniz. Comte also coined the word “positivism,” a philosophic system of thought that denies any validity to speculation or metaphysics. J. Cotter Morison said, “Comte belonged to that small class of rare minds, whose errors are often more valuable and stimulating than other men’s truths.” McCabe says that although Comte insisted on “positive” thought—hence the common name Positivism—and refused to be called an atheist, in fact Comte was just that. Comte died of the painful disease of cancer in the stomach,. M. Littre, his greatest disciple and author of Auguste Comte et la Philosophie Positive, described his last days: “The fatal hour arrived, M. Comte, who had borne his malady with the greatest fortitude, met with no less firmness the approach of death. His bodily weakness became extreme, and he expired without pain, having around him some of his most cherished disciples.” (For a description of the Positivist calendar—which had thirteen months of twenty-eight days each, plus a Festival of all the Dead and, on leap years, a Festival of Holy Women—see The London Heretics, 1870—1914, by Warren Sylvester Smith; also, see entry for Brazil’s Church of Positivism.) {BDF; CE; CL; ER; EU, Christopher Kent; FUK; HNS2; ILP; JM; JMR; RAT; RE; TRI; WSS}

Comte, François Charles Louis (1782—1837) Comte, the brother of Auguste Comte, was a French writer. He founded Le Censeur (1814) and incurred fines and imprisonment for his attacks on reaction. He retired to Switzerland, where he taught natural law at Lausanne. He returned to France and in 1811 entered the Chambre and the French Academy. An anti-clerical, Comte wrote Traité de législation (4 volumes, 1827—1835), for which he obtained the Academy’s Monthyon Prize. {RAT}

Conant, Joseph A. (Born 1830) Conant, according to Putnam, was a freethinker in Maine, a member of the Fort Fairfield Liberal League. His father was a Universalist, which appealed to his son until he read Ingersoll’s lectures and found what he said was something better than even liberal Christianity. Conant, father of nine sons and two daughters, built a log hut, cleared away the native forest, threshed the grain by hand, and hauled it through the woods with horse and sled, then took a boat nine miles to the mill where it was ground. {PUT}

CONCERN A humanistic monthly, Concern is at 4450 Fieldston Road, Bronx, New York 10471.

CONCORD SAGES For a number of years, a group known as the Concord Sages met informally for philosophical discussion. Often they met at the home of Ralph Waldo Emerson in Concord, Massachusetts, and their interests included religion and economics as well as philosophy. They were inspired by the spirit of revolutionary Europe, German philosophy, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Carlyle. The Dial, their literary organ, was edited by Margaret Fuller and later by Emerson. In “Nature” (1836), Emerson outlined his views of transcendentalism. Included among the Concord sages were Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bronson Alcott, and the younger William Ellery Channing. (See entry for Transcendentalism.) {Carlos Baker, Emerson Among the Eccentrics: A Group Portrait; OCA; OCE}

Condillac, Étienne Bonnot de (1715—1780) The French philosopher who developed sensationalism, Condillac held that all knowledge comes from the senses, that there are no innate ideas. He was a member of the Academy of Sciences (1769) and of the French Academy (1795). Attempting to simplify Locke’s theory of knowledge, Condillac argued that all conscious experience is simply the result of passive sensations. Nevertheless, he retained the Cartesian dualism of soul and body, thus attempting to harmonize his deterministic psychology with his religious views. Robertson categorizes Condillac as an abbé whose Essays on the Origin of Human Knowledge (1746) was essentially rationalistic and anti-theological, adding that he was a materialist. McCabe states that Condillac was “a priest but was too virtuous for the French clergy and was too able and honest to keep the faith.” {BDF; CE; JM; JMR; JMRH; PUT; RAT; RE}

CONCUBINES Jewish law is said to permit married men and single men to maintain a pilegash (concubine), a concept which is said to have been in practice throughout Jewish history and advocated by the Godel Hador Rabbi Yaakov Emdin. In 1996 Brooklyn, therefore, Shalom Bayis (Household Peace) operated a telephone hotline through which men could meet women willing to serve as kept mistresses. The organization insists concubines offer an alternative to divorce and are acceptable based on the Torah, the Five Books of Moses that form the basis for written Jewish law. The organization, however, has been denounced by Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld of Kew Gardens Hills in New York, calling it “nonsense, lies, and fabrications.” “I’m a father of six children. I’m married 28 years,” stated one forty-nine-year-old caller. “You can reach me on my beeper. All right?” Another said, “It is very urgent. I have a long-term marriage, but my [wife] is not into sex, and I need something on the side.” Most sought a clandestine relationship, not a live-in concubine. “Do I love my wife? I still don’t know what love is, and we never talk about sex because that’s how we were raised. I would say 60% of my married friends are miserable. I have spent thousands of dollars in counseling, and then I called Shalom Bayis and I really liked the message,” a third person stated. However, Isaac Abraham, a Hasidic spokesman in Brooklyn, retorted that Shalom Bayis “isn’t quoting from Jewish law. It is quoting from Heidi Fleiss [a prominent madam of a brothel].” After as many as 2,000 calls daily to the Bayis hotline were being made, the service ceased because of community criticism. Concubinage is not limited to any one organized religion. It is found universally. {New York Daily News, 29 December 1996 and 7 January 1997}

CONDOM The Bishop of Condom, Jacques Bénigne Bossuet (1627-1704)—tutor of the dauphin (father of Louis XV)—did not invent the flexible sheath used for contraceptive purposes. Condom is a town in France’s southwestern region of Armagnac known particularly for its liquer, foie gras, the Three Musketeers . . . and nothing manufactured from rubber. Condoms are devices which, dating back at least to the Egyptians 3,000 B.P. (Before the Present), were made of linen. In the 1840s, according to Hoag Levins, with the advent of the vulcanization of rubber the first “safe and effective interface [became possible] between machinery and internal human organs.” A 19th century act of Congress, the Anthony Comstock Law, prohibited contraceptives, including “immoral rubber articles,” and was supported by leading religious leaders. The law, however, resulted in a condom undergound in which the objects were sold furtively in barbershops and shoeshine parlors. By World War II millions of condoms were issued to avoid the spread of venereal disease. The Reality female condom, made out of polyurethane, is currently in wide use. It is common knowledge that most men and women prefer to have naked sex, that in moments of passion neither partner thinks about applying a condom. However, fear of getting a venereal disease or AIDS is a major inducement to use the preventive, consummately humanistic devices.

Condon, Charles M.(olony) (1953— ) Condon, the Attorney General of South Carolina, is noted for being “defender of God, the South, and the unborn.” He once proposed an “electric sofa” rather than an electric chair to speed executions. He favors preserving the State Capitol’s Confederate flag. He supported the Citadel’s fight to bar female cadets. He holds that a viable fetus is a person under the state’s child abuse laws, that therefore a woman who uses illegal drugs while she is pregnant can be charged with neglect, manslaughter, even murder. A Roman Catholic, Condon received national notoriety in the late 1990s for having refused to swear in a justice of the peace who was an atheist.

Condon, Richard J. (1919-1999) Condon, the author of Our Pagan Christmas (1974), was once a Vice President of the National Secular Society. A prolific contributor to the Freethinker, he received a tribute in that publications October 1999 issue. Bill McIlroy officiated at the funeral, held at the South Essex Crematorium, for the lifelong atheist.

Condorcet, Marie Jean Antoine Caritat [Marquis de Nicolas] (1743—1794) Condorcet’s pious Picardy mother dedicated him to the Virgin Mary, keeping him in girls’ clothes until he was eleven. A French philosopher, political leader, leader, and mathematician, Condorcet was a freethinker and encyclopedist at the time of the Revolution. His work, Theory of Probability (1785), was a valuable contribution to mathematics. According to Robertson, Condorcet wrote Esquisse d’un tableau historique des progrés de l’esprit humain (1795), “in which the most sanguine convictions of the rationalistic school are reformulated without a trace of bitterness or of despair.” Edward Goodell, in The Noble Philosopher (1994), describes the person entrusted with drafting a constitution for France following the French Revolution. He includes Condorcet’s “Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind,” which develops the idea that the human race is progressing toward an ultimate state of perfection. In 1776 Condorcet published his atheistic Letters of a Theologian, and he wrote in favor of American independence and against Negro slavery. Upon his election to the National Assembly, of which he became secretary, he moved that all orders of nobility were abolished. He voted against the death of the king, siding with the Gironde group. He also protested the butcheries of the pious Robespierre. This put him at risk, and he fled to the home of Madame Vernet, then left fearing this would bring her into trouble. “He cared as little for his life,” Foote quotes Morley as saying, “as Danton or St. Just cared for theirs. Instead of coming down among the men of the plain or the frogs of the Marsh, he withstood the Mountain to its face.” While hiding from those who thirsted for his blood, and burdened with anxiety as to the fate of his wife and child, he wrote, without a single book to refer to, his novel and profound Esquisse d’un Tableau Historique des Progres de l’Esprit Humain. Morley reported that “among the many wonders of an epoch of portents this feat of intellectual abstraction is not the least amazing.” Despite the odious law that whoever gave refuge to a proscribed person should suffer death, Condorcet was offered shelter by a noble-hearted woman, who said, “If you are outside the law, we are not outside humanity.” But he would not bring peril upon her house, and he went forth to his doom.

	He died either of exhaustion or by poison self-administered. According to Putnam, however, although he hid he also got hungry and entered a tavern, calling for an omelette. Asked how many eggs in his omelette, he replied “a dozen.” “What is your trade?” he was asked. “A carpenter.” “Carpenters have not hands like these and do not ask for a dozen eggs in an omelette,” they exclaimed, whereupon they demanded his papers. He had none, so the villagers seized him, bound him, and he was cast into a cold, damp prison cell. Arrested at Clamartsous-Meudon, he was conducted to prison at Bourg-la-Reine. Wounded in the foot, and exhausted with fatigue and privation, he was flung into a miserable cell. “On the morrow,” Morley stated, “when the gaolers came to see him, they found him stretched upon the ground, dead and stark. So he perished—of hunger and weariness, say some; of poison ever carried by him in a ring, say others.” The Abbe Morellet, in his narrative of the death of Condorcet, Memoirs, stated that the poison was a mixture of stramonium and opium, but he added that the surgeon described the death as due to apoplexy.  

His wife, Marie Louise Sophie de Condorcet (1764—1822), married him in 1787. She shared her husband’s ideas and at his death supported herself by painting and writing. She translated Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments and was a thorough rationalist. (See entries for Arthur O’Connor and E. O. Wilson.) {BDF; CE; FO; JM; JMR; JMRH; PUT; RAT; RE; TRI}

Cone, Orello (1835—1905) A disciple of German biblical scholarship, Cone was one of the foremost biblical scholars to have taught at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. An author of several books, he also contributed frequently to the Universalist Quarterly. {U&U)

Conerly, Porter W. (20th Century) Conerly, a freethinker, wrote Genealogy of the Gods (1957). {GS}

CONFESSION • Nothing spoils a confession like repentance. —Anatole France

CONFIRMABILITY PRINCIPLE: See entry for Verifiability, or Verification, Principle.

CONFIRMATIONS Confirmation is involved when in a relation between propositions one supports or adds credence to another. Confirmation theory hopes to delimit what kind of proposition or theory is confirmable. In Carnap’s kind of inductive logic, it is the relation between evidence and hypothesis. Popper, however, denies that experience ever confirms the hypotheses of a scientific theory. And others, including Feyerabend, advocate epistemological anarchy with no established criteria to separate rubbish from sensible theory. The Finnish logician, Jaakko Hintikka, has developed a system of confirmation theory which eliminates the difficulty about measuring the confirmation of laws, as distinct from the confirmation of predictions about individuals. All those named, however, have been critiqued negatively. No unanimity has been found. Christians, however, arrange “confirmation” by “baptizing” or by “laying on of hands” or “unction” (or both), thus giving what is claimed “full initiation into Christian discipleship” with its gift of the Holy Spirit—so understood in the early and mediaeval Church on the basis of Acts 8:114-17, 19: 1-7. In Iceland and Finland, to give but two examples, people are initiated at birth/confirmation into the Lutheran Church. Only a small percentage choose any other denomination. The church receives tax money, so everyone’s income is skimmed for taxes, and employers are also skimmed regardless of whether their employees are members of the church—“I know,” said humanist Paul Harrison of Turku, Finland, “because I managed a language school a few years ago and the tax office insisted on the tithe although the staff was all foreigners who didn’t know Luther from a lukather.” However, in Sweden, according to Jone Johnson, “if you avow yourself an atheist and not a member of any church, you get a refund of a portion of your tax money (that which otherwise would go to the churches in proportion to declared membership, approximately). In Norway, your proportion of the money that the government gives to the established church can be diverted to the church of your choice—or, in the case of 50,000+ humanists, to their equivalent programs, such as for children’s coming-of-age type programs.” The Icelandic Humanist Association encourages parents to designate their newly born as humanists during the time of confirmation paperwork. {AF; OCP; Hope Knutsson and Paul Harrison to WAS, 9 May 1999}

CONFUCIANISM Called Ju Chia (the School of the Learned) in Chinese, Confucianism advocated true manhood (jên) as the highest good, called the superior man (chün tzu) the ideal being, and sought the cultivation of life (hsiu shûn) as man’s supreme duty. Not quite a religion, in the Western sense, it has served the purpose of a religion, offering hope to the oppressor and oppressed alike. In his Chinese Humanism (1985), Universalist minister Kenneth Patton wrote of his appreciation for Confucianism, which he found had abolished human sacrifice, had been this-worldly, and had treated spiritual matters as being related to the highest ethical standards of character. Dr. David Lawson, a Montreal-based writer and poet currently teaching in China, discusses in “Humanism in China” (The Humanist, May-June 1993) how the Eastern and Western humanisms interrelate. He takes up how the various political factions in China have reacted to Confucian thought. The Analects of Confucius, translated by Simon Leys of Sydney University in Australia in 1997, is one of the most readable versions. (See entries for Civilization and for K’ung Fu-tzu, with Bertrand Russell’s critique.) {CE; ER; RE}

Confucius: See entry for Kongfu-zi, the Pinyin system of spelling Kung-fu Tzu. Confucius is a word invented by Christians acquainted with Latin but ignorant of Chinese. For an estimate of the number of Confucians worldwide, see entry for Hell.

CONGRESS OF SECULAR JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS The Congress of Secular Organizations (CSJO, 19657 Villa Drive North Southfield, MI 48076; phone: 248-569-8127) had the following officers in 1998: Chair: Jeff Zolitor; Vice-Chair: Julie Gales; Executive Director: Roberta Feinstein; Treasurer: Joan Kurtz; Recording Secretary: Bess Katz; Teen/Young Adult Liaison: Karen Knecht; Executive Committee: Rhea Seagull, Renee Lipson, and Bennett Muraskin; Teen Representative: Jennifer Knecht; Young Adult Representative: Denora Knecht; NAF co-chair: Bobbie Varble; Past Co-Chairs: Lawrence Schofer, Ph.D., and Jack Rosenfeld; System Operator and Site Maintenance: Jeff Zolitor.

Congreve, Richard (1818—1899) An English positivist, Congreve was a follower of Comte and influenced many to embrace positivism. He translated Comte’s Catechism of Positive Philosophy (1858) and wrote many brochures. Congreve also conducted a small “Church of Humanity.” {BDF; FUK; RAT; TRI}

Conklin, Edwin G. (20th Century) Conklin has been a supporter of the American Humanist Association. {HNS}

Conn, Deidre C. (20th Century) Conn, while at student at West Virginia’s Marshall University, was one of the founders of and is an officer of Campus Freethought Alliance. In 1998 she signed the Alliance’s “Bill of Rights for Unbelievers.” She is a contributing editor of the Secular Humanist Bulletin, the Vice President of Rationalists United for Secular Humanism (RUSH), and a regional director in Kentucky of the Council for Secular Humanism. E-mail: <Conn3@marshall.edu>. {International Humanist News, December 1996}


Connecticut has the following groups:

• Connecticut Skeptical Society, PO Box 456, Cheshire, CT 06410-0456 • Freethinkers/Thomas Jefferson Society, Box 200, Southbury, Connecticut 06488. Dr. Robert Wolsch is the contact. (203) 262-6123 • Humanist Association of Central Connecticut (ASHS) (AHA), 27 Thornton Street, Hamden, CT 06517. (203) 281-6232. Dr. David Schafer is the contact at <djschaf@compuserve.com>. • Humanist Friendship Center of Western Connecticut (AHA), 19 Homestead Avenue, Danbury, Connecticut 06810. Robert Wolsch is a contact. • Humanists of Fairfield County (AHA), 17 Whipoorwill Lane, Westport, Connecticut 06840. Uri Brier is a contact. • Hvmanist Book Clvb—the first of its kind, it was located in New Canaan, Connecticut; see entry for Humanist Book Club, now no longer in existence. • Northeast Atheist Association (ASHS), Box 63, Simsbury, Connecticut 06070. (203) 596-0545. Publishes The Northeast Atheist. Contacts: Janos Palotai and John C. Parker. E-mails: <janict@aol.com> and <jparker04@snet.net> and <president@northeastatheist.org>. • Yale College’s Humanist Society is at <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>.

Connolly, Cyril Vernon (1903-1974) Connolly was a distinguished English editor and critic, one who played a significant role in the literary life of England from the 1930s until his death. He was a regular contributor to the New Statesman, was the literary editor of the Observer (1942-1943), and reviewed for the Sunday Times. With Sir Stephen Harold Spender, he founded Horizon and edited it from 1939 to 1950. He wrote only one novel, The Rock Pool (Paris, 1936; London 1947), allegedly because he was too much a perfectionist and found it difficult to live up to his high standards. He said that he was a “lazy, irresolute person, over-vain and over-modest, unsure in my judgments and unable to finish what I have begun.” His favorite themes included the hazardous lure of literary immortality, the dangers of early success, and the joy of eating well, drinking the best wines, and traveling widely. “When we die we become what we have loved,” he held, “and that, were I to be vaporised tomorrow, the bulk of me would soon be staring out at the world through those topaz panes at which I now dream my life away looking.” He liked Lucretius’s views concerning death and died of arterio-sclerosis, hypertension, and cardiac failure. According to Anthony Hobson, “like a poet, in the sense that Erasmus used the word himself, that is, a humanist whose life is based on the study of classical ethics and ancient literature.” His tombstone quotes the Aeneid, “Intus aquae dulces vivoque sedilia saxo (Within are fresh waters and seats from the living stone). “Those of us who were brought up as Christians and who have lost our faith have retained the Christian sense of sin without the saving belief in redemption. This poisons our thought and so paralyzes us in action,” Connolly declared. In The Unquiet Grave (1945), he wrote, “Believing in Hell must distort every judgment on this life.” In Horizon in his later years, he backtracked, observing that man was now “betrayed by science, bereft of religion, deserted by the pleasant imaginings of humanism against the blind fate of which he is now so expertly conscious.” According to a 1997 biography by Jeremy Lewis, Connolly suggested that an appropriate memorial service should be held at Sotheby’s, complete with a “sung bibliography” and the chanting of a “wanted list.” Connolly the gourmet laughed when it was suggested that he be buried clutching a bottle of Worcestershire sauce “in case the chef’s British.” (See Jeremy Lewis’s Cyril Connolly: A Life (1999). {OEL; TYD}

Connor, Bernard (1666—1698) A physician born in County Kerry of a Catholic family, Connor became court physician to John Sobieski, King of Poland. His Evangelium Medici (1697), in which he attempts to account for the Christian miracles on natural principles, led to his being accused of atheism. {BDF}

Conover, Bev (20th Century) Conover is a contributing editor of Atheist Nation (PO Box 3217, Chicago, Illinois 60654).

Conrad, Jane Kathryn (1916—1996) Conrad, a Coloradan non-believer who was raised a Jew, called herself a religious non-believer. Jehovah, she has written, was originally a pagan tribal deity of Jews even as Allah was an ancient tribal god of Arabia. Monotheism, she added, was borrowed from Egyptian and Persian cultures: “God is a word, a semantic expression of something you picture in your imagination. This being is usually a form of parental substitute. It returns you to the comfort of a mother’s womb when you have no responsibility and all your needs were taken care of without personal effort. There comes a day when a school child realizes Mother Goose is a story, Santa Claus is Daddy, and the Tooth Fairy a parent. But some adults cannot reject their infantile Superman whom they named ‘God’ and for them ‘God-belief’ causes intellectual retardation.” Her 1978 book, The Pillars of Religion included favorable comments concerning Madalyn Murray O’Hair, but in 1983 she wrote Mad Madalyn, which she said is based on “personal knowledge of the O’Hair family; correspondence to and from and about her; radio programs; published articles; newsletters; information from former associates; and telephone calls from coast to coast.” Her purpose, she stated, was “to make the public aware that they should not judge all Atheists by the image projected by Madalyn O’Hair.” Since 1978, Conklin edited Humanist Quest for Truth. Her The Loose Mother Goose, “illegitimately conceived” in 1981, includes the following:

• Mary, Mary, quite contrary How did your baby grow? With an invisible Pop Who in your bed did flop A Jesus seed to sow.

• Little Miss Muffet Sat on a tuffet Worrying if the rent she could pay When along came an electronic preacher Whose program had reached her And conned her pennies away.

• There was an old woman who lived in a slum She had many children because she was dumb She knew not of condoms or birth control pills And that is the source of her family’s ills.

In 1993, during the Pope John Paul II’s visit to her state of Colorado, Conrad suggested that the irreverent arrange a “pope tent” and set the buffet with Vatican vittles that would include popesicles, hot cross buns, angel food cupcakes, devil’s food cake, deviled eggs, soul food, vaticanned ham, hot buttered popecorn, Royal Crown cola, flavored sparkling holy water, Ten Commandments cakes . . . plus five loaves and two fishes. In the sky overhead an airplane was to be sent with a banner, STOP THE POPEULATION EXPLOSION. She circulated her witty material in a publication, The Now and Then Irreverent Review.

Conrad of Marburg (Died 1233) One of the most notorious early officers of the Inquisition, Conrad was a secular priest. In 1231, after Pope Gregory IX’s promulgation of the centralized Inquisition, Conrad was put in charge of destroying heresy, particularly Waldensianism, in Germany. He was also charged with reforming monasteries and denouncing corrupt priests. So efficient was he in executing suspected heretics that he frightened the German clergy as well as the nobility, including Count Henry of Sayn. Soon after the count was accused of heresy in 1233, a council of bishops and priests were summoned to hear the charges. When the council declared Count Henry innocent, Conrad refused to accept the council’s verdict. Along with a Franciscan monk, Conrad was mysteriously murdered five days later. {EH}

Conrad, Joseph (1857—1924) Theodore Józef Konrad Korzeniowski, the Ukrainian-born English novelist known as Joseph Conrad, so mastered English that he rose to the front rank of British novelists. A master mariner, he retired from the merchant fleet in 1894, and his works, all written in English, include The Nigger of the Narcissus (1897), Lord Jim (1900), Nostromo (1904), The Secret Agent (1907), Under Western Eyes (1911), and Chance (1913). He also wrote the novellas Youth (1902), Heart of Darkness (1902), and Typhoon (1903). His work portrayed the conflict between non-western cultures and modern civilization, and it remains popular not only among pre-college but also college students. In Some Reminiscences (1912), Conrad wrote, “The ethical view of the universe involves us in so many cruel and absurd contradictions that I have come to suspect that the aim of creation cannot be ethical at all,” an avowal of his agnosticism.

Sleep after toyle, port after stormie seas, Ease after warre, death after life, does greatly please.

Conrad was buried with the above epitaph at the St. Thomas Church Cemetery in Canterbury, England. (David Denby evaluates contemporary criticism of Heart of Darkness, discussing how far Conrad should be judged negatively for writing within the confines of his own time, in “Jungle Fever,” The New Yorker, 6 November 1995.) {JM; PA; RAT; RE; TRI; TYD}

CONSCIENCE The “conscience,” in religious terminology, is thought of as an independent source of moral insight: as the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good. Theologians, unable to derive conscience from a human source, call it a “divine endowment.” Intuitionists, however, call it an innate endowment. Some regard it as a direct perceptual capacity. Others stress its emotional quality, which involves feelings of approval or disapproval. Still others explain it as the direct and authoritative guidance of our moral life. Meanwhile, Freudians speak of the id, ego, superego, and libido. The children who have been rewarded for following the arbitrary rules of society, or punished for not so doing, have a strong superego and are not expected to hurt others unless given sufficient reason. Otherwise, they are punished by conscientious parents. Believers’ children are taught behavior which is consistent with their religious precepts, and similarly they are not expected to hurt others. Children of believers who misbehave, however, may be guilty of “sinning” and are punished for having transgressed religious as well as societal rules. Bertrand Russell in What I Believe (1925) wrote, “In the orthodox Christian conception, the good life is the virtuous life, and virtue consists in obedience to the will of God, and the will of God is revealed to each individual through the voice of conscience. Conscience is a most fallacious guide, since it consists of vague reminiscences of precepts heard in early youth, so that it is never wiser than its possessor’s nurse or mother.”

Others have gone on record:

• Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends. —H. L. Mencken

• The inner voice which warns us that someone may be looking. —H. L. Mencken

• Conscience and cowardice are really the same things. Conscience is the trade-name of the firm. —Oscar Wilde

CONSCIOUSNESS • We know nothing about the intrinsic quality of physical events except when these are mental events that we directly experience. —Bertrand Russell

A, if not the, major unsolved mystery is what causes consciousness. We know about its vivid sensations, pressing thoughts, indomitable urges. But, asks philosophy professor Colin McGinn of Rutgers (The New York Review of Books, 10 June 1999), “How does consciousness fit into the scientific world-picture so laboriously constructed since the seventeenth century? How does it relate to the physical world of atoms, space, and fields of force? How is it that the organ known as the brain contrives to usher consciousness into existence?” John R. Searle, McGinn explains, has three principal theses in Mind, Language, and Society: Philosophy in the Real World (1999):

(1) Consciousness consists of inner, qualitative, subjective states and processes, such as experiences of red, thoughts of skiing, feelings of pain; (2) Consciousness cannot be reduced to the “third-person phenomen”’ investigated by the neurosciences; (3) Consciousness is nevertheless a “biological process,” a higher-order natural feature of the organic brain.

Searle says there are also biological processes in at least three senses:

(1) They characteristically occur in organic systems, unlike computer programs; (2) they must have resulted from the process of natural selection and not from intentional design, unlike CDs and bell-bottoms; (3) they are genetically based rather than learned or acquired, unlike knowledge of history and typing skills.

McGinn, however, faults Searle for his not being entirely naturalistic, for his not ultimately resolving the problem, for his not being completely convincing as to why cells in a brain can allow one to imagine that London is a dingy city. How consciousness is explained by Paul M. and Patricia S. Churchland’s On the Contrary: Critical Essays, 1987-1997 (1999), is entirely unlike Searle’s approach. McGinn says, “Searle takes our common-sense view of the mind seriously and resists attempts to reduce or eliminate it in favor of a materialistic metaphysics; Churchland regards the very idea that human beings have beliefs and desires as a false theory of how our brains work, soon to be replaced by a better theory that describes us according to neuroscience.” McGinn found both views intelligible, but mistaken. Consciousness “cannot just spring into existence from matter like a djinn from a lamp,” he states. “There may be an explanatory theory of the psychophysical link somewhere in Plato’s heaven; it is just that our minds are miles away from grasping what this theory looks like.” (See entries for Adam L. Carley, Frances Crick, Patricia and Paul Churchland.)

CONSEIL CENTRAL LAÏQUE Since 1972, the Belgian and Flemish humanist groups have coordinated their activities by means of a ten-member committee called the Conseil Central Laïque (CCL). Since 1981 it has been legally recognized as representing the non-believer community in Belgium. As such, it is responsible for providing moral counseling within the armed forces, is found at the Brussels airport, and represents the secularist case to the federal authorities. (See entry for Belgian Humanists.)

CONSEQUENCES • In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments—there are consequences. —Robert Ingersoll

CONSERVATIVE • Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored by existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. —Ambrose Bierce The Devil’s Dictionary

Considine, Michael (1885—1959) Considine was an Australian rationalist, union militant, and labor politician. In 1919 he was imprisoned for three weeks for having said, “Bugger the King. He is a bloody German bastard.” Upon his death, the former Catholic was cremated after a rationalist service. {SWW}

CONSILIENCE Edward O. Wilson’s Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1998), according to Paul Kurtz, seeks to defend the sciences “against the forces that would undermine their integrity, to integrate knowledge across the disciplines and branches of knowledge, and to apply this knowledge for human betterment.” Wilson praises the Enlightenment’s goal “to demystify the world and free the mind from the impersonal forces that imprison it” and, claims Kurtz, offsets charges by the critics who include “a bevy of postmodernist deconstructionists, cultural relativists, ecofeminists, Afrocentrists, neo-Marxists, philosophic Feyerabendians, and Kuhnians and Latourian social constructionists.” Explaining his view of the difference between coherence and consilience, Wilson argues that we must attempt consilience anew, given the great progress in recent decades in many of the sciences, and he offers his own generalized account of what this should include. Richard Rorty is quoted in The New York Times (2 May 1998) as disagreeing with Wilson’s thesis. Rather than thinking about human nature, “which strikes me as having very little interest,” he said, rather than seeking to reduce human activities to biological tendencies, Wilson is more interested in the multiple ways in which humanity can be studied and described. Using the analogy of a computer Rorty suggested that Wilson gives too much importance to the hardware, while what we really care about is the software. Thus, consilience, he suggested, is limited and limiting. Wilson, however, holds that software—culture, behavior, and social organizations—is not added onto hardware; it grows out of it and is partly indistinguishable from it. We cannot separate our biology from our culture. Both Wilson and Rorty are members of the International Academy of Humanism. (For the distinction between coherence and consilience, see entry for E. O. Wilson.) {Paul Kurtz, Skeptical Inquirer, July-August 1998}

Constant de Rebecque, Henri Benjamin (1767—1830) A French-Swiss political writer and novelist, Constant was a tribune under the first consul, Napoleon (1799—1801). But when Germaine de Staël was expelled (1802), he went with her to Switzerland and Germany, publishing pamphlets attacking Napoleon and urging constitutional government and civil liberties. When Napoleon returned from Elba, however, Constant accepted an office under him. His semi-autobiographical Adolphe (1816) is highly regarded for its style, and in 1951 an unfinished novel, Cécile was discovered and reviewed favorably. According to Robertson, Constant along with Flaubert, Zola, Daudet, Maupassant, and the DeGoncourts were all rationalists. Wheeler, however, states that Constant professed Protestantism, although at heart he was a skeptic and “a second Voltaire.” Constant’s son was executor to Auguste Comte. {BDF; CE; JMR; JMRH; RAT}


The Constitution of the United States, a 1787 document embodying the fundamental principles upon which the American republic is conducted, was ratified in 1788. It established the system of Federal government that began to function in 1789. Of particular importance to rationalists and other freethinkers is the Constitution’s First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

In 1995, some religious fundamentalists suggested that the following proposals for amendments to the Constitution should be discussed and put into action:

In order to secure the unalienable right of the people to acknowledge God according to the rights of conscience, neither the United States nor any State shall deny benefits to or otherwise discriminate against any persons on account of their religious expression, belief, or identity; nor shall the exercise by the people of full and equal rights to freedom of speech, press, association or religion be construed as an establishment of religion because of its religious content.

Neither the United States nor any state shall abridge the freedom of any person or group, including students in public schools, to engage in prayer or other religious expression in circumstances in which expression of a non religious character would be permitted; nor deny benefits to or otherwise discriminate against any person or group on account of the religious character of their speech, ideas, motivations or identity. Nothing in the Constitution shall be construed to forbid the United States or any State to give public or ceremonial accommodation to the religious heritage, beliefs, or traditions of its people. The exercise, by the people, of any freedoms under the First Amendment or under this Amendment shall not constitute an establishment of religion.

Such proposals, however, would entirely change the separation of church and state envisioned by the American Founding Fathers. They would, of course, lead to a theocracy. (See entry for First Amendment.) {Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore, The Godless Constitution: The Case Against Religious Correctness (1996}

Conta, Basil (1845—1882) A Romanian philosopher, Conta taught at the University of Jassy in Moldavia. In 1877 he published a theory of fatalism which, states Wheeler, “created some stir by its boldness of thought.” {BDF; RAT}

Conti, Thomas Antonio (1941— ) An actor, writer, and director, Conti is the Scottish-born Tony Award winner for his 1979 appearance on Broadway in “Whose Life Is It Anyway.” He has appeared in numerous films and on television. When The Big Issue inquired of him in 1996, were he to be given a time-machine, when would he take it, where would he go, and why, he replied, “Nazareth 35 A.D., to find Jesus the carpenter and tell him of the trouble he caused.” {The Freethinker, April 1996}

Conti, Thomas Antonio (22 Nov 1941 - ) An actor, writer, and director, Conti is a Scottish-born Tony Award winner for his 1979 appearance on Broadway in Whose Life Is It Anyway. He has appeared in numerous films and on television. In 1996 The Big Issue inquired of him that, if he were to be given a time-machine, when would he take it, where would he go, and why, he replied, “Nazareth 35 A.D., to find Jesus the carpenter and tell him of the trouble he caused.” {The Freethinker, April 1996}

CONVERSION, LOGICAL For philosophers, conversion is a form of immediate inference in which the order of the terms is reversed. In logic, a proposition obtained by conversion is a converse, which is a theorem formed by interchanging the hypothesis and conclusion of a given theorem (e.g., “no P is S” is the – of “no S is P”). To convert is to transform a proposition by conversion.

CONVERSION, RELIGIOUS A religious convert is one who has been converted from one religion to a different religion. Jews have become Christians (e.g., Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger was the son of Jewish parents); Christians, Muslims (e.g., Benjamin Chavis, former head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, joined Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam in 1997); Muslims, Buddhists; Buddhists, Hindus; Hindus, Moslems; Moslems, Jews; etc. Many of the organized religious groups have missionaries, whose job it is to convert individuals from what is held to be a “wrong” viewpoint to that of a “right” viewpoint. The United State Department in 1997 released a report on seventy-eight countries, detailing the discrimination, repression, and violence that befell those who practiced the “wrong faith.” For example: • Algeria: In July 1996, the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) after declaring its intention to eliminate Jews, Christians, and polytheists from Algeria, kidnapped and killed seven Roman Catholic monks in central Algeria, and the Catholic Bishop of Oran was murdered at his home. • Bosnia and Herzegovina: In July 1996 a Roman Catholic church, the last in the town in the Muslim-controlled town of Bugojno, was firebombed. • Germany: Scientologists, including American citizens, were reportedly discriminated against and harassed. • Indonesia: Atheism is banned, and rioters destroyed churches and a Buddhist temple on the East Java coast to protest the leniency of a sentence given to a Muslim by an Indonesian judge for slandering Islam. • Iran: Non-Muslims may not proselytize Muslims, and Muslims who convert to another faith, such as the Baha’i, are considered apostates and may be subject to the death penalty. • Singapore: The Government banned Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1972 on the grounds that the group opposes military service. • Sudan: Forced conversion to Islam of Christians, animists, and other non-Muslims takes place as part of Government policy. Reports abound that Christian children have been forced into re-education camps where they are given Arab names and raised as Muslims. {AF; The New York Times, 27 July 1997}

Conway, John (20th Century) Conway is a legend in computer science because in 1970 he was the first to create an artificial life simulation that he called the “Game of Life.” Although a game, it does simulate the “birth” and “death” of organisms according to a set of simple rules. In Charles Seife’s 1994 article in The Sciences, Conway exults about the nature of discovery, finding that mathematics is not cold, that “the whole damn thing is sensual and exciting. I like what it looks like, and I get a hell of a lot more pleasure out of math than most people do out of art!” He does, however, feel like an artist:

I like beautiful things—they’re there already; man doesn’t have to create beauty. I don’t believe in god, but I believe that nature is unbelievably subtle and clever. In physics, for instance, the real answer to a problem is usually so subtle and surprising that it wasn’t even considered in the first place. That the speed of light is a constant—impossible! Nobody even thought about it. And quantum mechanics is even worse, but it’s so beautiful, and it works! {CA}

Conway, Moncure Daniel (1832—1907) An Anglo-American social reformer, Conway was once a Methodist minister but changed his convictions through the influence of Emerson and Hicksite Quakers. For a time, he called himself a Unitarian. Conway disbelieved in Christ’s divinity, debunked biblical miracles, and spoke of Eastern religions as being just as valid and valuable as Christianity. He is best known for his ministry of London’s South Place Ethical Society. It had originated as a universalist Baptist congregation in the late eighteenth century and had become a Unitarian chapel by the time of the ministry of W. J. Fox. Conway moved his group in the direction of religious humanism and gave it links with the American Ethical Culture movement. D’Entremont notes that Conway had a heterodox freethought approach which still is a tradition at South Place Chapel. In 1860, he commenced editing the monthly Dial from Cincinnati, Ohio. His Earthward Pilgrimage (1870) was the artistic record of a gifted preacher’s progress from Wesleyan Methodism, through Unitarianism, to a theism which was soon to pass into agnosticism and rationalism. In 1876 he wrote Human Sacrifice in England and, in 1894, Centenary History of the South Place Society. Conway’s autobiography in 1904 is valuable for its sketch of leading nineteenth-century figures. Conway died in Paris. “To the last,” wrote J. M. Robertson, “I never found him despairing, never even apathetic.” (See “Freethought Congregations: South Place and Others” in The London Heretics by Warren Sylvester Smith. For a criticism of Moncure’s work on Thomas Paine, see the entry for John Keane. Also see entry for Katherine Conway Nicholson; Conway was her great uncle.) {BDF; CE; EU, John D’Entremont; FO; FUK; FUS; HNS2; JM; JMR; JMRH; RAT; RE; RSR; TRI; WSS}

Conway, William Martin (1856—1937) 

An art expert and a traveler of international fame as a climber, Conway disdainfully defined religion as “man’s description of his ideas about the great unknown, his projection upon the darkness of what he conceives that darkness to contain.” {JM; RAT; RE}

Conybeare, Frederick Cornwallis (1856—1924) Conybeare wrote Myth, Magic, and Morals (1910), an agnostic’s study of Christian origins. He also wrote Russian Dissenters (1962) and A Grammar of Septuagint Greek (1980). An Orientalist and a tutor of great erudition at Oxford University, he was a member of the Rationalist Press Association (RPA). In several learned works he criticizes Christianity and even more severely the myth theory of Jesus. {JM; RAT; RE}

Conyers, Lisa (20th Century): See entry for Crime.

Coogan, Michael D. (20th Century) Coogan with Bruce M. Metzger edited The Oxford Companion to the Bible (1993). The work is written in a scholarly and not necessarily skeptical point of view.

Cook, Alfred W. (20th Century) Cook is President of the North American Committee for Humanism. Also, he is the Secretary and Assistant Treasurer of The Humanist Institute.

Cook, E. V. (20th Century) In Vancouver, Canada, Cook edited The Rationalist starting in 1914. {FUK}

Cook, Fred (20th Century) Cook, an American, is a Vice-president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union. E-mail: <conachi@aol.com>.

Cook, J. H. (Born 1819) Cook, originally from Connecticut, lived a childhood amid that state’s blue laws and its Methodist revivals. Exceedingly poor, he had no shoes for the first ten years of his life and often subsisted upon a potato and salt to eat. At ten he went to the poor-house, where he was abused, then “bound out to an aristocrat who treated me like a slave. I took to my heels for liberty, and traveled one hundred and fifty miles, barefooted.” Somehow, he became a driver on the canal, “like Garfield,” and in 1830 was an Abolitionist “almost as early as Garrison.” In 1840 he was a woman suffragist and dress reformer. In 1835, he wrote, “when I discovered that ‘the brain is the organ of the mind,’ theology, priestcraft, and all their fearful concomitants fled from me, and ever since I have been an Atheistic humanitarian, at great cost, however, with personal insult and often peril. . . . My doors and windows were twice smashed in at midnight, and I had to flee for my life. . . . I was a Spiritualist for over forty years, but science now compels me to be a Monist and a Secularist.” Unfortunately, he spent his old age in poverty, in Kansas. {PUT}

Cook, Kenningale Robert (1845—1886) “If God was omnipotent could he make what happened not have happened?” asked the young Cook to his puzzled mother and father, the Vicar of Stallbridge in England. Although intended for the Church, he declined to subscribe to the articles. In 1877, Cook became editor of the Dublin University Magazine, in which appeared some studies of the lineage of Christian doctrines and later published as The Fathers of Jesus. {BDF; RAT}

Cook, Maria (1779—1835) Cook is generally considered to have been the first woman, in 1811, to have preached in Universalist pulpits. When she was jailed on a trumped-up vagrancy charge in Cooperstown, New York, by some anti-Universalist, she preached to the prisoners after frustrating the magistrate’s attempts to get her to pay any respect to their authority. {U&U}

Cook, Ransom (19th Century) Cook was president in the 1840s of the United Moral and Philosophical Society, which may have been headquartered in Buffalo, New York. {FUS}

Cook, William Glanville Lau (20th Century) Cook, who went to Australia in 1938, edited the Australian Rationalist from 1969 to 1975. A rationalist, schoolteacher, secretary, editor, and raconteur, he had been born in Fiji, the son of a Methodist missionary. Although a trainee for the Methodist ministry, he failed the final oral examination by rejecting belief in eternal damnation. He then became a secondary school teacher, was active in the formation of the Left Book Club, and was active in the Rationalist Society of Australia. {FUK}

Cooke, William (19th Century) With Joseph Barker, Cook wrote “The Authentic Report of the Theological Discussion Between the Rev. W. Cooke and Mr. Joseph Barker” (1845). {GS}

Cooke, William (1956— ) Cooke, a lecturer in the School of Art and Design, Manukau Institute of Technology, is on the editorial committee of the New Zealand Rationalist and Humanist. He is President of his country’s Rationalists and Humanists Association. In 1997 he was working on a Ph. D. project, “The Best of Causes: A Critical History of the Rationalist Association.” He is author of Heathen in Godzone (1998), a work which evaluates the rationalist movement in New Zealand and cites Joseph McCabe as having been an inspiration for starting the New Zealand Rationalist Association. Cooke signed Humanist Manifesto 2000.

Cookes, Walter David (1878—1976) Cookes, a footwear manufacturer, joined the Rationalist Society of Australia in 1911 and was local secretary of the Perth District in 1914. During the 1930s, Cookes became involved with an Australia First movement, a small group of pro-fascist, pro-monarchist, pro-Australian nationalists, which led to the disruption of the rationalist organization. {SWW}

Cooley, P. J. (20th Century) Cooley was a freethinker who wrote Evolution (1901). {GS}

Coon, Carl [Ambassador] (1927— ) Coon, once the United States Ambassador to Nepal (1981—1984), is an outspoken atheist. He describes his outlook as being that of progressive humanism. Asked about his outlook, he responded, “Yes, Carleton Coon was my father. Growing up listening to him sound off gave me a head start toward becoming a full-fledged humanist.” Coon’s “progressive humanism” is described in detail on the Web: <http://www.progressivehumanism.com/>. E-mail: <carlcoon@citizen.infi.net>.

Coon, Carleton Stevens (1904—1981) Coon, an eminent American anthropologist, archaeologist, and educator, discovered in 1939 the remains of a Neanderthal man in Africa. He taught (1934—1948) at Harvard and in 1948 became professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and curator of ethnology at the University Museum there. His Origin of Races (1962) argued that certain races had reached the Homo sapiens stage of evolution before others, which he found explained why different races achieved different levels of civilization. Coon wrote Races (1951), The Seven Caves (1957), The Story of Man (2nd edition 1962), The Living Races of Man (1965), The Hunting Peoples (1971), and his autobiography, Adventures and Discoveries (1981). Coon was non-theistic in his writings.

Cooper, Anthony: See entry for Shaftesbury.

Cooper, James R. (19th Century) Cooper, a Manchester radical publisher and bookseller, was a member in England of the Manchester Secular Society. {VI}

Cooper, John Charles (20th Century) Cooper wrote Religious Pied Pipers: A Critique of Radical Right-Wing Religions (1981) and Roots of the Radical Theology (1988). {GS}

Cooper, John Gilbert (1784—1824) Cooper, a poet and enthusiastic disciple of Lord Shaftesbury, published Life of Socrates (1749), for which he was coarsely attacked by Warburton. Cooper wrote some poems under the signature of Aristippus. {BDF; RAT}

Cooper, Peter (1791—1883) A Unitarian, Cooper built in the U.S. one of the earliest locomotives, “Tom Thumb.” Cooper made his money in glue, iron, and a forerunner of Jell-O. In addition to promoting New York City public schools, he founded the tuition-free Cooper Union (1859) as a free institution of higher learning, a pioneer evening engineering and art school (attended by Thomas Edison, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Felix Frankfurter). In 1860, Lincoln made a speech in the Great Hall of Cooper Union that helped pave his way to the presidency. In 1876 Cooper was the Greenback Party candidate for US president. Of 234 nominees in the first election to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans in 1900, he was one of twenty-nine to be elected. In Political and Financial Opinions of Peter Cooper (1877), Jaches describes Cooper as “so broad, sincere, and catholic in his religious principles that I believe he would be recognized by any minister of the Christian religion as a truly religious man.” To this, however, McCabe responds, “It is the usual religious way of saying that a freethinker is a ‘true Christian’ if he is a fine man.” Once when asked to sum up his philosophy, Cooper responded, “I have endeavored to remember that the object of life is to do good.” Upon his death at the age of ninety-two, an estimated 3,500 hundred Cooper Union students and more than 12,000 others assembled to pay their respects. Cooper left no money for any religious purpose, but he was a member in New York City of the Unitarian Church of All Souls. {BDF; CE; EG; JM; RE; U}

Cooper, Robert (1819—1868) Cooper, with Charles Bradlaugh, edited London Investigator from 1854 to 1859. A secularist writer brought up in a freethought family, he became at age fourteen a teacher in the co-operative schools of Salford. At fifteen, he lectured, and by seventeen he became an acknowledged advocate of Owenism and secretary to Robert Owen. One of his lectures, on Original Sin, sold twelve thousand copies when he was eighteen. His pamphlet, “Deathbed Repentance” (1852), is one of the earliest detailed exposures of the lies fabricated by Christians in regard to the last days of prominent freethinkers. The Bishop of Exeter in the House of Lords denounced his Holy Scriptures Analysed (1832), resulting in Cooper’s losing a job he had held for ten years. In 1858 he remodeled his Infidel Text-Book into a work, The Bible and Its Evidence. Shortly before his death, Cooper wrote, “At a moment when the hand of death is suspended over me, my theological opinions remain unchanged; months of deep and silent cogitation, under the pressure of long suffering, have confirmed rather than modified them. I calmly await, therefore, all risk attached to these convictions. Conscious that, if mistaken, I have always been sincere, I apprehend no disabilities for impressions I cannot resist.” Cooper was not related to Thomas Cooper, to whose lectures on “God and a Future Life” he wrote a reply in 1856. {BDF; FO; FUK; PUT; RAT; RSR; VI}

Cooper, Steve (20th Century) Cooper is a businessman and the author of Liberty to Live (1980) and To Hell with God? (1991). He is an honorary associate of the New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists.

Cooper, Thomas (1759—1840) A natural philosopher, Cooper became professor of medicine at Carlisle College and later taught chemistry and political economy in South Carolina College, of which he became President (1820—1834). This position he was forced to resign because of his religious views. In philosophy a materialist, in religion a freethinker, in politics a democrat, he urged his views in many pamphlets. {BDF; FUK; RAT}

Cooper, Walter (Born 1814) An English Chartist and freethinker, Cooper brought Holyoake into touch with Christian Socialists. {VI}

Cooper, William (Born 1822) Cooper was a secularist, a founder of the Rochdale Pioneers and a leading Rochdale Co-operator in England. {VI}

Coornhert, Dick Volkertszoon (1522—1590) A Dutch humanist, poet, and writer, Coornhert became secretary of the city of Haarlem. He had a profound horror of intolerance and defended liberty against Beza and Calvin. The clergy vituperated him as a Judas and as instigated by Satan. The magistrates of Delft drove him out of their city. Coornhert translated Cicero’s De Officiis and other works. Bayle said of Coornhert that he communed neither with Protestants nor Catholics. {BDF}

Coots, Max A. (20th Century) Coots, parish assistant at New York City’s Universalist Church of the Divine Paternity, preached a 1953 sermon, “The Little Gods of Humanism.” These he described as man and nature, and Coots insisted they were false. The reaction of liberal Christians to humanism, he was quoted as saying in The Humanist Newsletter (Summer 1953), is one of fear and loathing, for humanism is a threat. Saying that once upon a time he was a humanist and an atheist, Coots added that instead of fleeing from Christianity’s imperfections, liberals should stay within the church to reform and cleanse it. Humanism, he lamented, is beginning to have its own saints and saviors, and their writings are becoming “sacred.” As examples, he gave Benjamin Franklin, George Santayana, and Charles Francis Potter. “Humanists do not exist because they are perverse and want to shatter time-honored traditions,” he reasoned. “They are simply disillusioned seekers.” Universalists do believe that man is important, he said, but the ultimate theology of Universalism is theism and belief in something beyond man. “When the solar system ceases to exist in millions of years,” he ejaculated, “then what will the humanists do?” Told of the sermon, Charles Francis Potter wrote, “I’m sorry that Rev. Max Coots, preaching in my former pulpit, apparently is quite unaware of what is happening in his own denomination. The five most successful and respected Universalist ministers I know—one in the Far West, two in the Midwest, and two in New England—are out-and-out ardent Humanists and proud of it. And, as everyone knows, or should, ‘the reaction of liberal Christians to humanism’ is not by any means ‘one of fear and loathing,’ as Mr. Coots alleged, for the majority of Unitarian ministers and Ethical leaders in America are now counted among the humanists.”

Cope, Edward Drinker (1840—1897) Cope was a paleontologist, one of the most eminent of his time and a leading champion of Darwinism in America. His Theology of Evolution (1887) showed him to be a theist, but Cope did not believe in immortality. Cope’s large collection of fossil mammals are at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He believed that evolution arose from an organism’s inner urge to attain a higher state of being. {CE; JM; RAT; RE}

COPERNICAN THEORY The Copernican Theory is that the earth rotates daily on its axis and, along with the other planets in the solar system, revolves around the sun. De Revolutionibus Orbius Coelestium [On the Movement of Heavenly Bodies, c. 1530] was denounced by the Vatican in 1616 and only removed from the Vatican’s Index Prohibitorum two centuries later, in 1822. Modern astronomy was built upon the book’s findings. In 1999 Pope John Paul II, in Torun, Poland, Kopérnik’s birthplace, indulged in apologetics, stating, “Although Copernicus himself saw his discovery as giving rise to even greater amazement at the Creator of the world and the power of human reason, many people took it as a means of setting reason against faith.” Meanwhile, it was Aristarchus 1800 or so years earlier than Kopérnik who had discovered the movements of the planets around the sun, not the Latinized Copernicus, who erred in thinking the sun was the majestic symbol of God. (See entry for Aristarchus of Samos.) {CE; CL; ER; The New York Times, 8 June 1999; TYD}

Copernicus, Nicholas: See entry for Nicholas Kopérnik.

COPT Copts are Egyptians who are descended from people of ancient or pre-Islamic Egypt. Their Afro-Asiatic language is Coptic. The Coptic Church is a Christian church in Egypt, one that adheres to the Monophysite doctrine. Freethinkers usually are ignorant about theological inventions, but Monophysites hold that physically there is a unity of the divine and human in Christ, a third part of the Trinity. However, the flesh becomes transformed into divine nature, a distinction that confounds all but the most attentive freethinkers.

Corben, Herbert Charles (1914— ) Corben, a physicist and educator, is author of Classical and Quantum Theories of Spinning Particles (1968) and The Struggle to Understand (1992), in which he relates the pitfalls of superstitious explanations. His Who’s Who listing includes the following: “Faith in the order of nature is a source of both certainty and wonder. The certainty is my foundation; the wonder is my religion. Together, they form the quest for truth that influences every area of my life. I am fascinated by the unsolved problems both of science and mankind, and I am dedicated to finding accurate solutions. In sharing knowledge through research and teaching, I believe that the certainty is reinforced, the wonder multiplied, and truth interpreted and carried forward.”

Corbin-Singletary, Lisa-Jo (20th Century) Corbin-Singletary is active in the Humanist Association of Los Angeles. (See entry for California Atheists, Humanists.) {FD}

Corcoran, John (1937— ) At the Tenth International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) World Congress held in Buffalo (1988), Corcoran addressed the group. He was editor of Ancient Logic and Its Modern Interpretations (1974) and Tarski’s Logic, Semantics, Meta (1983). Corcoran teaches philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Corina, F. J. (20th Century) In Bradford, England, Corina edited the English monthly, Freethought News from 1947 to 1950. He wrote God and the Co-op: Will Religion Split the People’s Movement? (c. 1935). {FUK; GS}

Corl, Ed (20th Century) Corl, a member of the Atheists of Florida, said on a Tampa, Florida, radio program that all of us need to question ideas. Children do not automatically think to question their parents about myths such as Santa Claus, but this is a part of maturing, one that applies equally to subjects considered sacred by some adults.


Cornell University at Ithaca, New York, has a humanist group on the Web at <http://www.secularhumanism.org/cfa/orgs.html>.

Cornell, Ezra (1807-1874) Cornell founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. A civic benefactor, noted in his day, he worked with Samuel Morse in promoting a new invention, the telegraph. Cornell was a Unitarian.

Corner, George Washington (1889—1981) An anatomist and medical historian who identified the hormone progesterone, Dr. Corner was an educator and the author from 1927 on of such books as Attaining Manhood: A Doctor Talks to Boys About Sex and Attaining Womanhood: A Doctor Talks to Girls About Sex. At that time, very few books were available for adolescents, who were likely embarrassed to ask librarians or any other adults for such material. Corner’s books were among the first to break the strict Puritanism rampant in so many of the nation’s libraries. Concerning humanism, Corner wrote the present author:

I suppose that my views place me in the class of naturalistic humanism. I am not enough of a philosopher to offer comments that would be of further use.

{WAS, 30 April 1956}

Cornette, Henry Arthur Marie (Born 1852) Cornette was a Belgian professor of Flemish literature at Antwerp. He wrote for L’Avenir of Brussels and in Revue Socialite. Cornette also published separate works on Freemasonry (1878), Pessimism and Socialism (1880), and Freethought Darwinism. {BDF; RAT}

Cornish, Brenda (1922— ) Mrs. Keith Cornish was a Baptist Sunday School teacher before resigning her membership in 1970. She is a member of the South Australia Rationalist Association and a founding member, and treasurer since 1989, of the Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc. {SWW}

Cornish, Keith Stanton (1916— ) Reared a Baptist, Cornish was a youth worker and lay preacher but came to reject Christianity as being false and unethical. In 1970 he joined the South Australia Rationalist Association and then was elected Vice-President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia. Upon the death of John Campbell in 1976, Cornish became president and then editor of The Australian Atheist. {SWW}

Cornish, Louis Craig (1870—1950) Cornish, who had been secretary to an Episcopal bishop, became a Unitarian minister and eventually president of the American Unitarian Association (1937—1937). During that period, the Depression made it difficult for him to carry out his duties. But he worked for international religious cooperation and led an investigation in the 1920s into the alleged persecution of Unitarians in Transylvania. {U&U}

CORNWALL (England) HUMANISTS For information, write B. Mercer, “Amber,” Short Cross Road, Mount Hawke, Truro TR 4 8EA; or telephone 01209 890690.

CORPSE WORSHIP: See entry for Charles Allen, who held that corpse worship, as distinguished from theophagy (the symbolic eating of God), necrophilia (the erotic interest in corpses), or necrophagia (the feeding on corpses), is “the protoplasm of religion.”

Corson, E. O. (20th Century) Corson in the 1950s edited the Humanist World Digest, which was published by the Humanist World Fellowship of California. The publication sought “to present Humanism as a religious philosophy which denies no particular faith, but which provides a path over which all people can travel toward a unity that rises above the barriers of the beliefs which divide them. In behalf of this common faith, we emphasize a constructive approach rather than opposition to traditional philosophies.” He commenced the publication because “we are trying to fill a void the American Humanist Association has missed, that is, an objective approach through Humanism to man’s problems of survival in a democratic world order. Dr. Packard’s ‘Answer in Greece,’ Dr. Zeuch, and other writers who have given thought to that approach are some examples.” {WAS, 28 September 1955}

Cortez, Carlos (20th Century) Cortez, whose woodcuts were often depicted in publications of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), is often called the elder statesman of that anarchist group of “Wobblies.” His father had been a member of the IWW, and his mother was a German socialist-pacifist. During World War II, Cortez served two years in the federal penitentiary at Sandstone, Minnesota, for refusing to fight “the bosses’ war,” and as a poet, artist, editor, and public speaker he is one of the union’s best known figures. In one of his poems, “City of Angels,” he writes “. . . A real Oakie town / Where white-robed salvationists / Fleece their flocks / In architectural monstrosities / Called Temples of Everlasting / Mystic Revelation.” His work is included in Crystal-Gazing in the Amber Fluid & Other Wobbly Poems (1990). {Freethought History #8, 1993}

Corvin-Wiersbitski, Otto Julius Bernard von (1812—1886) A Prussian Pole who traced his descent from the Roman Corvinii, Corvin-Wiersbitski wrote History of the Dutch Revolution (1841) and History of Christian Fanaticism (1845), which was suppressed in Austria. When he took part with the democrats in 1848, he was condemned to be shot on 15 September 1849, but the sentence was commuted and he spent six years of solitary confinement in prison. Moving to London and becoming a correspondent to the Times, he reported on the American Civil War and afterwards the Franco-Prussian War as a special correspondent. {BDF; RAT}

Cosic, Dobrica [President] (20th Century) Cosic, a former President of Yugoslavia, is a signer of Humanist Manifesto 2000.

COSMOLOGY Cosmology is a branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of the universe. To an astronomer who is a naturalist, however, cosmology is a science that aims at a comprehensive theory of the creation, evolution, and present structure of the entire universe. Bertrand Russell has written extensively on the subject, as have contemporary astronomers attempting to fathom the “big bang theory” of the origin of the universe. Religionists have used the “five ways” of Aquinas to prove that things “go back to infinity” and therefore to a “first cause.” Cosmologists who are naturalists, however, do not accept that cosmological argument, stating that they have no evidence that there has to have been a beginning. The conservation of mass and energy theory holds that the quantity of mass and energy does not change and will continue to stay the same, so that although we may not know if humans will be alive one thousand years from now we do know that the quantity of mass and energy will not have increased or decreased then. Timothy Ferris, in The Whole Shebang (1997), stated that science can tell us nothing about God: “In a creative universe God would betray no trace of his presence, since to do so would rob the creative forces of their independence. . . . All who genuinely seek to learn . . . are united in not having a faith but faith itself. . . . For God’s hand may be a human hand, if you reach out in loving kindness, and God’s voice your voice, if you speak the truth.” Lee Smolin, in The Life of the Cosmos (1997), advanced what some claim is not a verifiable scientific theory. Smolin avers that when a very large star collapses of its own dead weight, it forms a black hole, a kind of tear in the fabric of space-time. Out the other end of every black hole, he adds, pops a new universe with slightly different physical laws. If that universe, burgeoning from its own Big Bang, can also make stars massive enough to collapse into black holes, it will produce more offspring. Indeed, our own universe emerged, he speculates, through a black hole in some other universe. George Johnson, writing of Smolin’s hypothesis (The New York Times, 27 July 1997), interprets this as meaning that universes multiply like rabbits. The result is a universe of universes, dominated by the ones that are fittest—those best equipped to make the stars and black holes that allow them to reproduce. These are also the universes capable of supporting complex phenomena like life. Although Johnson found Smolin’s theories of interest, he concluded that much more serious research needs to be completed “for some kind of laws of complexity.” Scientist Dennis Overbye, however, has pointed out (The New York Times, 13 July 1997) that if physicist Smolin is right, science is on the verge of a new kind of synthesis that will explain not just the birth of the universe but also, for the first time, why life and beauty are inescapable parts of that universe. At a Pritzker Symposium and Workshop on the Status of Inflationary Cosmology in 1999, Andrei Linde of Stanford University explained to cosmologists his theory of eternal inflation, in which countless universes are born every second. If an explosive event such as the Big Bang occurred, he reasoned, and it was followed by a brief phase of rapid cosmic expansion, then one can posit that this could happen an infinite number of times, and may well have. “So universes reproduce like rabbits,” Alan Guth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology observed. Linde continued that if parallel universes exist, each would have started with its own Big Bang, grown from a separate inflationary bubble, and probably acquired entirely different laws of physics. Ours may not be a typical universe and, instead of four dimensions of space-time in this universe, other universes could have as many as eleven dimensions, still others only three. Cosmologists at the conference included Rocky Kolb and Michael Turner of the University of Chicago; Sir Martin Reese of Cambridge University; P. James E. Peebles of Princeton University; and Stephen Hawking, who observed that the cosmic inflation theory “does a good job” supporting the Big Bang.” John Noble Wilford, a science editor, noted that Allan Sandage’s comment to the attendees that in broad outline their scenario of cosmic history was a lot like St. Augustine’s 1,600 years ago met with laughter, but “the cosmologists were not appreciably humbled.” Sandage, who was born in 1926 and converted to Christianity in 1980, has been attacked widely by new rival teams of cosmologists. Commenting upon such attacks, an aging Sandage sadly said, “It’s a disaster for me. It’s a psychological disaster. I mean, you just can’t imagine. . . . If you permit it, the world will either break your heart or turn your heart to stone.” (See entry for Steven Weinberg, with his explanation of the current views of cosmologists.) {CE; The New York Times, 9 February 1999 and 25 July 1999}

Costa, Margarita (20th Century) In Argentina, Costa is a corresponding member of The Hume Society, a group engaged in scholarly activity concerning David Hume. She is author of Filosofia y formacion humana (1978).

COSTA RICAN HUMANISTS: See entry for Asociación Ético Humanista Costarricense (ASEHUCO). Also see entries for Costa Rican Presidents Jose Figueres Ferrer and Francisco Morazán.

Costikyan, Edward Nazar (1924— ) Costikyan, a lawyer, has been law secretary to Judge R. Medina of the U.S. District Court of New York (1949—1951) and in 1994 became special advisor to the Mayor of New York City on school decentralization and borough government. He wrote Behind Closed Doors, Politics in the Public Interest (1966) and How to Win Votes (1980). Costikyan since 1976 has been on the board of editors of the New York Law Journal. He is a member of New York City’s All Souls Unitarian Church.

Costley, William E. (20th Century) Costley, a freethinker, wrote The Pagan Foundations of the Christian Religion Exposed (1922). {GS}

Cote, Charlotte (20th Century) 

Cote wrote Olympia Brown (1989), a biography of the first woman to be ordained by a denomination. Brown was a Universalist.

Cotes, Peter (1912— ) Cotes in 1952 directed a play that opened in Nottingham before transferring to West End, a “little thriller” which had a mixed press. But more than forty years later the play, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, is still running. A freethinker, he contributes newspaper obituary notices of stage folk to The Guardian and is author of Thinking Aloud: Fragments of Autobiography (1993). {TRI}

Cotereau-Visla, Jean (Born 1898) In the 1950s, Cotereau was a correspondent (France) for The Humanist. He is author of Laicite, sagesse des peuples (1965). In 1953, he edited La Raison, a bi-monthly in French which was the official organ of the French National Federation of Free Thinkers. In 1966, he became President of the World Union of Freethinkers. {TRI}

Cotes, Peter [Sydney Arthur Rembrandt Boulting] (1912-1998) Cotes, a British theatrical producer and director, was supervising producer of Channel 7 in Melbourne (1961-1962). An actor, television as well as film director, and producer, he supervised 35 film and 65 theatre productions in Britain, New York, and Australia. To circumvent the Lord Chamberlain’s rules about “obscene” language on the public stage, Cotes formed a theatre in Manchester and two in London, turning them into theatre clubs rather than public theatres. His publications include “No Star Nonsense (1949); The Little Fellow (1951); A Handbook for the Amateur Theatre (1959); Robey (1972); and Thinking Aloud: Fragments of Autobiography (1993). After marrying the Canadian actress and fellow freethinker Joan Miller, the two in “Pick-Up Girl” (1946) included such edgy topics as venereal disease, juvenile sex, child abuse, and four-letter words. His connection with freethought involved launching three plays by secular dramatist Ted (Lord) Willis: Look in Any Window, The Young and the Guilty, and Women in a Dressing Gown. Cotes contributed to The Freethinker, and Miller was a collaborator on Freethought and Humanism in Shakespeare (1964). {David Tribe, Death of a Freethought Stalwart, The Freethinker, November-December 1998}

Cothran, Andrew (20th Century) In 1966 for his Ph. D. at the University of Maryland, Cothran wrote a dissertation on freethinker Emanuel Haldeman-Julius. {FUS}

COTSWOLD (England) HUMANISTS For information, contact Philip Howell, 2 Cleevelands Close, Cheltenham GL50 4PZ; or telephone 01242 528743.

Cotta, Bernhard (1808—1879) A German geologist, Cotta wrote The Dendroliths (1832). He wrote many geological treatises and did much to support the nebular hypothesis and the law of natural development without miraculous agency. Cotta also wrote on phrenology. {BDF}

Cotton, Henry John Stedman [Sir] (1845—1915) Cotton was Home Secretary to the Indian Government (1896—1898) and Chief Commissioner of Assam (1898—1902). In those offices, and later as M. P. for Nottingham, he applied a rare idealism to the settlement of Indian problems. Sir Henry was a positivist of high character, according to McCabe. {RAT; RE}

Cotton, Ian (20th Century) Cotton, in The Hallelujah Revolution (1996), describes the rise of the new charismatic religious groups sweeping Great Britain. The new Evangelical movement focuses on “miracles,” the supernatural, and the transcendental.

Couchand, Paul Luis (20th Century) Couchand, a freethinker, wrote The Book of Revelation—A Key to Christian Origins (1932). {GS}

Coughlin, David R. (20th Century) 

A freethinker, Coughlin wrote Review of the Bibles (1916). {GS}

COUNCIL FOR SECULAR HUMANISM (CSH) The Council for Secular Humanism is the organization which publishes Free Inquiry and which sponsors many organizations, including the following:

• African Americans for Humanism • Alliance of Secular Humanist Societies • Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion • Inquiry Media Productions • Institute for Inquiry • International Development Committee • James Madison Memorial Committee • Robert G. Ingersoll Memorial Committee • Secular Organization for Sobriety (SOS) • Secular Humanist Aid and Relief Effort (SHARE) • Society of Humanist Philosophers

The Alliance of Secular Humanist Societies (ASHS) is a network of regional groups in several dozen United States and ten Canadian cities. The International Academy of Humanism consists of eminent members from nations around the world. The Council’s headquarters is at 3965 Rensch Road, Amherst, NY 14226. In 1995, the Council for Secular Humanism’s board of directors voted to change the corporation’s name from the Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism (CODESH) to the Council for Secular Humanism. The board in 1999 consisted of the following: Paul Kurtz (Chairman); Vern Bullough; Jan Eisler; Jonathan Kurtz; Joseph Levee; Kenneth Marsalek; Jean Millholland; and Robert Worsfold. In 1999 Robert Price became the Executive Director. On the Web: <http://www.secularhumanism.org>. (See entries for Free Inquiry and Secular Humanism.)

COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIAN HUMANIST ORGANIZATIONS The Council of Australian Humanist Organizations, a member of the IHEU, is at 137 B Princess Street, Kew, Victoria 3101, Australia.

Countryman, Valery (20th Century) Countryman, who in 1993 became editor of Secular Subjects, a publication of the St. Louis, Missouri, Rationalist Society, has written about Ethan Allen and other secular subjects for that newsletter. In Rochester, New York, she spoke in 1994 on “Female Freethinkers” at a 1994 Robert G. Ingersoll commemoration of Ingersoll’s work on behalf of women’s equality. On the Web: <www.SecularHumanism.org/library/aah/countryman_3_4.html>.

Coupland, Douglas Campbell (1961— ) Coupland, an author and a non-theist, is known for writing Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture (1991); Shampoo Planet (1992); Life After God (1995); and Microserfs (1996). He writes for numerous periodicals, including The New York Times, The New Republic, and Artforum. Most of what organized religion stands for, Coupland illustrates in his stories, is external to what makes humans humanistic. “I was raised in a totally secular environment,” he told interviewer Alexander Laurence in 1994. “That germ of Judeo-Christian thinking wasn’t there to begin with. You can’t imagine it there. It simply wasn’t there. You are presuming that I’m some lapsed Christian. I’m not. I’m working from zero.” {CA; E}

Coupland, Georgina (20th Century) 

Coupland in Britain is active in the Preston Humanist Group. An aticle in FREETHINKER June 2002

Courier, Paul Louis (1772—1825) A French writer, Courier de Méréwrote many pamphlets which were directed against the clerical restoration, for which he was imprisoned, then was apparently assassinated. He had had a presentiment, according to Wheeler, that bigots would kill him. {BDF; RAT}

COURTLY LOVE During the Middle Ages and entirely apart from religion, a set of attitudes known as courtly love developed. According to the ideal of courtly love, a knight or nobleman worshiped a lady of high birth. His love for her inspired him to do great things on the battlefield and elsewhere. There usually was no physical relationship or marriage and, in fact, the lady was usually married to another man. Such a humanistic concept led many to practice a form of human brotherhood that elevated the status of women. {DCL}

Courtney, Janet E. (19th Century) Courtney’s Freethinkers of the Nineteenth Century (1920) is considered a classic study of freethought.

Courtney, Leonard Henry [Baron] (1832—1918) Courtney was a British statesman, a lawyer who entered politics and rose to first-rank positions. He published a Diary of a Church-Goer, in which he confessed that he has no religious beliefs beyond a liberal theism and that a large number of distinguished churchgoers like himself do not believe in Christianity. According to McCabe, Courtney was a non-Christian theist who rejected the idea of a future life. {JM; RAT; RE}

Courtney, William Leonard (1850—1928) Courtney was a writer, the editor of the Fortnightly Review from 1894 onward. In a symposium, Do We Believe? (1905), he wrote that “a hard, definite, logical, and systematic religious faith is almost an impossibility in the England we know.” His definition of God: “the sum of individual consciousness.” {RAT; RE}

Cousens, M. Bonnie (20th Century) Cousens is Executive Director of the Society for Humanistic Judaism.

Cousin, Victor (1792—1867) Cousin was a philosopher, one of the leading French thinkers of the early nineteenth century. He translated and edited the works of Plato, Proclus, Descartes, and Abelard (27 volumes). In his own eighteen works he is eclectic and a pantheist as regards religion. {JM; RAT; RE}

Cousins, Norman (1915—1990) A consummate opinion maker who received over fifty honorary university and college degrees, Cousins was an essayist who was best known as the editor of the Saturday Review of Literature and, later, of Saturday Review. The latter journal drew a connection between current events and the various types of literature, showing the influence of one upon the other. The Good Inheritance: The Democratic Chance (1942) spoke of the potential for greatness that exists in America. Modern Man is Obsolete (1945) included his ideas about humanity in the atomic age. Anatomy of an Illness (1979) was based upon his experience with a life-threatening illness, telling about the healing ability of the human mind and the medical value of laughter. Cousins occasionally attended Unitarian and Ethical Culture meetings. In the 1950s he arranged to bring a group of “Hiroshima Maidens,” girls whose bodies were disfigured by the atom bomb’s explosion in their city, to receive surgical and medical attention in United States hospitals. One, Shigeko Niimoto, lived at his New Canaan, Connecticut, home and became a part of his family. Members of the Friends volunteered to house the other girls. Cousins’s editorials, lectures, and books on Albert Schweitzer and other subjects show him to be one of his time’s major independent thinkers. He was well-known internationally and had visited Schweitzer at his African hospital. For the Unitarians in Westport, Connecticut, Cousins donated the pulpit in memory of Schweitzer. Active on behalf of the World Federalists, Cousins once was sent by President Kennedy to negotiate the release of two Catholic priests with Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev, after which he visited the Pope to inform him of the project. A memorial service for Cousins, held at the Manhattan Ethical Culture Society, included eulogies by Ved Mehta; Unitarian minister Homer Jack; Walter Hoffman of the World Federalists; McGeorge Bundy; Horace Sutton; and Yevgeny Yevtushenko, who said that the world contains clever pessimists who through ruse argue for military destruction and war. “But Norman Cousins was a clever optimist,” Yevtushenko observed, lamenting that no one of his stature appeared able in the 1990s to speak for man and mankind quite the persuasive way Cousins was able to do. At that memorial service, his brother Robert read a letter written for the occasion by Norman himself, in which the thoughtful humanist stated that he hoped people “would come away from this joyous event better than when they came in.” (See entries for Albert Einstein and for Albert Schweitzer.) {FUS; WAS, extensive conversations}

Coveney, Joseph (19th Century) An Irishman who came to the United States in 1826, Coveney was memorialized in 1874 by a monument at Michigan’s Oak Ridge Cemetery. Made of red granite, the monument is etched with slogans such as “The more religion, the more lying. . . . The more priests, the more poverty. . . . All Christian denominations preach damnation to the others.” According to Free Inquiry (Winter 1991-1992), the monument has been vandalized by individuals trying to erase the inscriptions, and its spire was toppled.

Coventry, Henry (c. 1710—1752) Coventry wrote Letters of Philemon to Hydaspus on False Religion (1736). A deist, he was a native of Cambridgeshire in England. {BDF; RAT}

COVENTRY AND WARWICKSHIRE (England) HUMANISTS For information, write Waverley Day Centre, 65 Waverley Road, Kenilworth; or telephone 01926 58450.

Coward, Noel (Pierce) [Sir] (1899-1973) An actor from the age of twelve, Coward was an accomplished singer and became a major playwright. He wrote The Vortex (1924), Hay Fever (1925), Private Lives (1930), and Blithe Spirit (1941), all filled with satirical humor and witty dialogue. His two volumes of autobiography are Presnt Indicative (1937) and Future Indefinite (1954). Some Brtish humanists claim he was a non-believer, pointing to many witty pokes at religion which are found in his various works. {Gay and Lesbian Humanist, Summer 1999}

Coward, William (1656—1725) A physician, Coward wrote Second Thoughts Concerning the Human Soul, which excited indignation by denying natural immortality. The House of Commons (17 March 1704) ordered his work to be burned. {BDF; RAT}

Cowell, Henry (20th Century) Cowell, an executive in 1915 of the English National Secular Society, was dismissed from jury duty because he affirmed instead of swore the oath. The prosecution then objected to him. The objection pointed up the fact that an affirmation was allowed only when grounds were given why the oath was not acceptable. The freethinker still had to make public confession of his unbelief before he could take advantage of the Bradlaugh Act, and this still exposed him to ridicule and prejudice. Meanwhile, the Christian who simply preferred to affirm, but had no objection to the oath, was also excluded. {RSR}

Cowell, Henry Dixon (1897-1965): See entry for Lou Harrison.

Cowen, Joseph (1829—1900) Cowen was a politician and reformer. He smuggled revolutionary literature into Italy, Hungary, and France in the years of reaction, and he spent large sums in aiding the cause of reform and progress. As M.P. for Newcastle in England, he opposed a Bill to increase the number of bishoprics, saying that the country wanted no more “sleek and oily parsons.” He called religious creeds “the ghosts of obsolete opinions” and was a cordial ally of Bradlaugh. {RAT; RE; VI}

Cowley, John Paul (1904—1985) Cowley, a professor of literature in Cedar Falls at the University of Northern Iowa, co-sponsored the Humanist Club with Martin L. Grant. The school’s 1948 yearbook, Old Gold, described it as a “deep thinkers club” with the following aims: “Believing their college training alone does not supply the integration of ideas so necessary in the development of a personal philosophy, the members meet weekly and discuss their own and others’ individual philosophies. Subjects cover all fields, including ethics, aesthetics, determinism, planned economies, social action, and Unitarianism. Although larger campuses have clubs of similar purpose, this is the first of its name on any campus.” Cowley was a Unitarian who did not mention that fact in class but who illustrated his outlook by interestingly and thoroughly discussing with his students deism, transcendentalism, Emerson, Thoreau, and authors associated with Brook Farm. His octogenarian widow, Helen Cowley, is still an active Unitarian.

Cowley, Malcolm (1898—1989) Cowley was an editor of New Republic and author of popular editions of selected works by Hemingway, Faulkner, Hawthorne, Whitman, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. He wrote to the present author concerning humanism:

I am a humanist, yes, but not a naturalistic humanist. Naturalistic humanism, so-called, implies an oversimplified notion of the nature of man. Communism makes the same mistake (which is not to confuse naturalistic humanists with communists, except on this one point). The mistake is to regard humankind as composed simply of the individual integers of the human race that we see or read about or have enumerated or find traces of in caves or rocks—a plus b plus c to the nth power equals the human race. Add the integers together and the result is less than the human race, because each human society is also an integer, and because individual human beings are all of the incomplete and unable to subsist by themselves without the support of the society to which they belong. The society is something invisible, yet real and measurable in many of its effects. In order to represent this invisible reality, men invented religions, which are essentially based on the dual nature of man—as individual and as part dependent on the whole. Rituals and ceremonials are therefore an essential part of human society, because they are designed to render visible and tangible this relationship that we sense but cannot see. Any state belief will therefore become a religion—and unless it faces the problem squarely it will become an impoverished and ultimately dangerous religion (as communism has become in Russia). What I am saying is not to question the application of the scientific method to human society. It is simply to suggest that the scientific method has so far, and in most cases, been asking the wrong questions. As for naturalistic humanism, as represented by The Humanist, I sympathize deeply with most of its aims and wish strongly to endorse its campaign for civil liberties and for secular education. It is going at these matters in exactly the right way, by organizing groups and giving them a feeling of cohesiveness (i.e., by becoming a sort of church). On the philosophical side it doesn’t go far enough.

In Exile’s Return (1934) and A Second Flowering (1973), Cowley wrote of the “lost generation” of authors. {CE; WAS, 21 March 1951}

Cox Alvarado, Alexander (1964— ) Cox, a university statistician in San José, Costa Rica, is the first president of the Asociación Iberoamericana Ético Humanista (ASIBEHU), an Ibero-American Ethical Humanist Association for Spanish-speaking secular humanists in Central and South America, including the Caribbean. Cox participated in the 1996 Humanist World Congress in Mexico City and the 1998 Humanist World Congress in India. At both, he spoke of the Latino humanists’ aim to keep church and state separate, to have the right to choose an abortion, and to back rights of gays and lesbians. His E-mail addresses: <acox@conare.ac.cr> and <asibehu@sol.racsa.co.cr>. On the Web: <http://idt.net/~wasm/asibehu>.

Cox, Donald W. (1921— ) Cox, who is president of the Hemlock Society of Delaware Valley, is author of Hemlock’s Cup: The Struggle for “Death With Dignity (1993) and Doomsday Asteroid (1996).

Cox, Eva (20th Century) Cox was named the 1997 Australian Humanist of the Year. A lecturer at the University of Technology in Sydney, she is author of Leading Women: Tactics for Making a Difference (1996). She commented as to how women in a position of power can contribute to a more caring and people-centered style of leadership. {Australian Humanist, May 1997)

Cox, George William (the Right Rev.) [Sir] (Born 1827) Although he entered the Church, Cox devoted himself to history and mythology, writing Mythology of the Aryan Nations (1870). In 1886 he became Bishop of Bloemfontein. Cox is credited with the authorship of the English Life of Jesus, published under the name of Thomas Scott. At the Church Congress of 1888 he read an heretical paper on Biblical Eschatology. {BDF; FUK}

Cox, James A. (20th Century) Cox, vice president of Atheist Alliance, Inc., is a contributor to Free Inquiry. and to The Freethought Observer, a Texas publication which commenced in 1994. Editor in Chief of Midwest Book Review, he reviews current freethought and atheist books for Secular Nation and is webmaster for the Atheist Alliance. E-mail: <mwbookrevw@aol.com>. On the Web: <http://www.execpc.com/~mbr/bookwatch>.

Coyer, Dennis (20th Century) An atheist and an activist, Coyer is found on the Web: <http://www.execpc.com/~dcoy/humanist>.

COYOTE For Crow Indians, Coyote is the God of Creation. {LEE}

Coyteux, Fernand (Born 1800) A French writer, Coyteux wrote a materialistic system of philosophy and studies of physiology. {BDF}

Cozzens, James Gould (1903—1978) A Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist for Guard of Honor (1948), Cozzens when asked by the present author about humanism responded:

I suspect you’ve confused me with Norman Cousins—something both Mr. Cousins and I are used to. I imagine he would be, but I am not at all interested in semantical studies. Still, if it could be of some indirect use, I don’t mind commenting: (1) Humanism, I’m afraid, connotes for me exactly the kind of vaporing exhibited in the examples of the reply you sent; (2) Like Herr Mann, I trust I fall in none of the categories; but, in my case, for the more ignoble reason that I’m not a proud sympathizer with the secret of man but simply a writer; (3) Many writers, not excluding several you name as having commented, strongly influenced me, by sounding like such asses when they neglect their business and shoot their faces off, against what I gather is humanism; (4) When what a writer thinks cannot be told from his regular line of writing, or when he feels he has to supplement that with explanatory pronouncements, he’s probably unable to think at all; and I’m sure no present or future persons of judgment, whether literary historians or lay readers, will have the faintest interest he says he thinks he thinks. {WAS, 19 April 1956}

Crabbe, George (1754—1832) An English poet, Crabbe in The Borough (1810) wrote, “See yonder preacher to his people pass / Borne up and swelled by tabernacle-gas.” {TYD}

Craddock, Ida (Died 1902) Craddock believed so strongly in the purification of the marriage relation which, being something of a mystic, she regarded as a communion with God. Her work was censored by Anthony Comstock and she was sentenced to three months at the work house on Blackwell’s Island, where inmates called her a “ministering angel.” Upon being released, she continued her writings. Comstock arrested her again. After bail, she cut the veins of her wrists and turned on the gas in her room, leaving a letter:

  I maintain my right to die as I have lived, a free woman,
  not cowed into silence by any other human being.

Wrote Macdonald in Fifty Years of Freethought,

  Personally Mrs. Craddock was a surprisingly lovely woman. 
  She and Comstock were the Beauty and the Beast.

Craggs, R. S. (20th Century) Craggs, an Ontario humanist, possesses a first Canadian edition of Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason. The work was published in Toronto in 1887 because Canadian law prohibited its importation.

Craig, Edward Thomas (Born 1804) A social reformer, Craig was editor in 1831 of the Lancashire Co-operator. He contributed largely to radical and co-operative literature. At the age of eighty-four, Craig wrote The Science of Prolonging Life. {BDF}

Crain, Esther (20th Century) Crain is an editorial assistant for World, the journal of the Unitarian Universalist Association in Boston.

Cramer, C. H. (20th Century) A freethinker, Cramer wrote Royal Bob (1952), a well-received biography of Robert Green Ingersoll. {FUS}

Cramer, Johan Nicolai (Born 1812) Cramer was a Swedish writer who was ordained a priest in 1842 and who then resigned in 1858. In religion he denied revelation and insisted on the separation of church and state. His Separation from the Church was a freethinker’s annotations on the reading of the Bible. {BDF; RAT}

Cranbrook, James (Born c. 1817) Reverend Cranbrook, born of strict Calvinistic parents, gradually emancipated himself from dogmas, became a teacher, and for sixteen years was minister of an Independent Church at Liscard, Cheshire, England. In 1866 he published Credibilia, an inquiry into the grounds of Christian faith. Cranbrook’s Religious Education of Children was posthumously published in 1908. {BDF; GS}

Cranch, Christopher Pearse (1832—1892) A transcendentalist, Cranch worked on Western Messenger and The Dial, was educated at the Cambridge Divinity School, became a Unitarian minister, left as a minister in 1842, then became a landscape artist. His mildly satirical caricatures of transcendentalism became popular, especially his drawings of Emerson as a “transparent eyeball” and a pumpkin, based on passages from Emerson’s Nature. He shows his freethought sentiments in Satan: A Libretto (1874). {RAT; U&U}

Crane, Caroline Julia Bartlett (1858—1935) Inspired by the Iowa Sisterhood, Crane became a Unitarian minister who encouraged church use for such activities as a kindergarten, a gymnasium, and courses in domestic science and industrial arts for women. She also was active in the new field of urban sanitation and the establishment of standards for meat processing.

Crane, (Harold) Hart (1899—1932) Crane, the Ohio-born poet, published only two books in his lifetime but was recognized as an outstanding poet of his era. White Buildings (1926) contains mystical perceptions, and The Bridge (1930) is a long, mystical work. He used symbols such as Columbus, Pocahontas (the “mythological nature-symbol chosen to represent the physical body of the continent, or the soul,” he explained), Rip Van Winkle, Poe, Whitman (whose influence was major), the subway, and the Brooklyn Bridge (which symbolizes man’s anonymous creative power unifying past and present). An alcoholic and a homosexual, Crane was constantly plagued by money problems and guilt feelings, avoiding religionists who considered his homosexuality sinful. Friends who tried to help him found he was a severe trial. His attraction to virile sailors was well known during his Greenwich Village days, and he once explained, “Let my lusts be my ruin, then, since all else is a fake and a mockery.” In short, he wanted to be humiliated. He resided in 1931 in Mexico with Katherine Anne Porter, when both were Guggenheim Fellows, and she once wrote to him

You must either learn to stand on your own feet as a responsible adult, or expect to be treated as a fool. Your emotional hysteria is not impressive, except possibly to those little hangers-on of literature who feel your tantrums are a mark of genius. To me they do not add the least value to your poetry, and take away my last shadow of a wish to ever see you again.

In plain language to the first Guggenheim Fellow to raise hell and get jailed, she continued to advise that he must stay sober and get to work. This was followed by a letter from Henry Allen Moe, of the Guggenheim Foundation:

There’s no use in getting mad at this letter; protests have been made in several governmental channels and I cannot ignore them, which I have no desire to do anyway. So I put my cards on the table and tell you that you are making yourself liable to deportation; and, if that happens, your support form the Foundation must cease. . . . So that’s that, and that’s flat. The Fourth of July is coming: and that will make a grand occasion for you to go on a final bust or quit making a nuisance and a fool of yourself and the Foundation. Take your choice and go to it.

According to his correspondence, he admitted he could not remember what he did when he was drunk. In a chance meeting with Charlie Chaplin while at a friend’s apartment, he was sober and greatly impressed by being with one of his favorite actors. He harassed Katharine Anne Porter while in Mexico. Miss Porter, however, is described by Crane biographer John Unterecker as saying

His voice at these times was intolerable: a steady, harsh inhuman bellow which stunned the ears and shocked the nerves and caused the heart to contract. In this voice and with words so foul there is no question of repeating them, he cursed separately and by name the moon, and its light: the heliotrope, the heaven-tree, the sweet-by-night, the star jessamine, and their perfumes. He cursed the air we breathed together, the pool of water with its two small ducks huddled at the edge, and the vines on the wall and the house. But those were not the things he hated. He did not even hate us, for we were nothing to him. He hated and feared himself.

Crane’s work was noted for showing his haunted alienation. Other writers marveled at his ability to complete such complex poetry with rich imagery, verbal ingenuity, and meticulous craftsmanship. As he was returning from Mexico, and after having destroyed a David Siqueiros painting with a razor, he unexpectedly went to the side of the ship, called “Goodbye, everybody,” jumped overboard, and drowned. Tennessee Williams was so affected by such a loss of genius that in his will he asked that his body be placed in a sack and dumped overboard in the same area that Crane had drowned. Other writers lamented that, had Crane lived at the time of the Stonewall riots, he would have recognized that his sexual orientation was not a preference, not something to have compounded his major guilt feelings. Peggy Cowley, who expected to marry him, had been told by him, “I’m not going to make it, dear. I’m utterly disgraced.” Crane’s mother, who had been the smothering type, continued to cling after his death. She vainly sought a publisher for his “Posthumous Works,” claiming her son was dictating new poems to her from beyond the grave. {AA; CE; James Fenton, The New York Review of Books, 23 October 1997; OEL}

Crane, Stephen (1871—1900) Sometimes termed the first modern American writer, Crane is known for introducing realism into American fiction. The fourteenth and last child of an itinerant New Jersey family, he was the son of a Methodist minister who died when Crane was eight. By the age of seven Crane had written some poetry and by fourteen had written a story. His maternal godfather, Jesse T. Peck, a Methodist bishop, was the president of Syracuse University, where Crane attended for one semester but confessed he disliked “the cut-and-dried curriculum.” He dropped out of a ministerial seminary and, an orphan by the age of twenty, he moved into the old Art Students’ League building in New York, encouraged as a writer by Hamlin Garland and William Dean Howells to write about Bowery flophouses for the newspaper syndicate Bachellor-Johnson. That he did, but he lived on cheap food, dressed miserably, had matted hair, and smelled of cigarettes and garlic. By the age of twenty-four, he had written Maggie: A Girl of the Street under the pseudonym Johnston Smith, published it privately with money borrowed from his brother, and was dismayed that it was not a commercial success. However, he then wrote a runaway best seller, The Red Badge of Courage (1895), despite having no personal experience of war. In 1896 he was sent by a newspaper syndicate to cover a nationalist uprising in Cuba, but the ship sank after leaving Jacksonville, Florida. After rowing thirty hours he and the ship’s broken-armed captain made it back to Florida, an experience that inspired “The Open Boat” (1898). H. G. Wells described the story as “an imperishable gem.” Crane then shipped off to write about the Greek-Turkish war over Crete, finding the noise of battle “the most beautiful sound of my experience, barring no symphony.” Cora, an English lover who had been the madam of the Hotel de Dream, lived with him in England as his common-law wife, but after nine months he left to write about the Spanish-American War. When he found he had tuberculosis, he returned and with Cora moved into a 14th-century Sussex estate called Brede Place. The run-down place had bats and no electricity or plumbing, but guests included Joseph Conrad and H. G. Wells. Cora nursed him when he had a series of lung hemorrhages and an abscess in the rectum area and, searching for a cure, rushed him to Baden-Baden, where he received morphine to help control the pain but died soon after arrival and before his thirtieth birthday. Although not at all active in his parents’ Methodism, he did have a belief in a finite God. However, he wrote the following poem:

A God in Wrath

A god in wrath Was beating a man; He cuffed him loudly With thunderous blows That rang and rolled over the earth. All the people came running. The man screamed and struggled, And bit madly at the feet of the god. The people cried: “Ah, what a wicked man!” And “Ah, what a redoubtable god!” {Linda H. Davis, Badge of Courage, 1998; OCAL, OEL}

Crane, Walter (1845—1915) Crane was an artist who received the Grand Cross of the Crown of Italy (1903) and the Albert Gold Medal (1904). He collaborated with William Morris. In An Artist’s Reminiscences (1907), Crane said that early in life he cleared his mind of “superstitious shadows and theological bogies” and “decided for Freethought.” {RAT; RE}

[[Cranston, Alan (1914-	)

A former Senator from California (1969-1993), Cranston was Executive Secretary of the Council for American-Italian Affairs 1945-1946; President of the California Democratic Council (1953-1957), and President of the United World Federalists (1949-1952). He served in the United States Armed Forces from 1944 to 1945. Cranston, long a fighter for democratic causes, signed Humanist Manifesto 2000.

Crapsey, Algernon Sidney (1847—1927) With M. M. Mangasarian, Crapsey wrote Did Jesus Really Live? (1908). {GS}

Craven, M. B. (19th Century) Craven, an American, wrote a critical work on the Bible entitled Triumph of Criticism (1869). {BDF}

CRAWLEY, WEST SUSSEX (England) HUMANISTS For information about the Crawley Humanists in West Sussex, England, write Charles Stewart, 50 Boswell Road, Tilgate, Crawley RH 10 5AZ; or telephone 01293 511270.

Cream, Shannon (20th Century) Cream, a California atheist, has written in Freethought Today (March 1996) of his difficulties in fighting religion in public schools. He, in fact, had to remove his son from a school that was trying to inculcate Christianity. “As atheists and freethinkers,” he wrote,

we must resolve to speak up. We must become as involved and active as those that oppose us. If our atheism is to be ethical it demands a commitment from us to identify ourselves; to do so with pride, confidence, and assuredness. It demands that we learn to roar.

CREATION: See entry for Genesis.

CREATIONISM (Soteriology) Creationism is the literal belief that the creation of the world and all its creatures took place in six calendar days, as described in Genesis. Peter A. Bertocci, who taught at Bates College in Lewistown, Maine, has defined creationism as a theory that “God is the immediate creator of every new-born human soul at the moment of conception. The soul is not the product of physical or parental generation or of divine emanation.” Bill Hicks, a Texan comedian, in telling British audiences about one of the absurdities of American culture, has observed, “Ever notice how people who believe in creationism look really un-evolved? Their eyes real close together. Eyebrow ridges. Big, furry hands and feet. ‘I believe God created me in one day.’ ” To which Hicks tacks on, “Looks like he rushed it.” William Silvert of Halifax, Nova Scotia, has reasoned that if in Kansas—where creationism must be taught—the evolutionists win the minds of young Kansans, we all win; if the creationists come out on top, it proves that evolution can proceed backward as well as forward. Derek C. Araujo, a Harvard student, asked E. O. Wilson why in 1997 no one contests such theories as multiple theories, electromagnetic theory, quantum theory, and cell theory but the theory of evolution sparks controversy. Wilson responded:

To put in a kind of parable, the reason is that the jet flights we take do not depend upon the acceptance of Darwinism. Richard Dawkins said recently about postmodernists, who are also relatively unfriendly to the idea of the natural sciences as a source of objective truth, “I’ve never met a postmodernist at 30,000 feet.” Here may be the core truth about the obstinacy of creation thought: Through confidence in one’s immortality, and through the deep satisfaction and benefits that come from tribal affiliation with a group that has clearly defined sets of ideas and dogmas, you receive considerable psychological and economic benefits, and there occur very few losses. On the other hand, understanding the world as materially based and logical, evolutionary self-assembly does not confer such advantages. It is demonstrably true, but it does not give you the same social benefits. It gives in the long term a deeper psychological advantage. And it is certainly a better grasp of the world, and I think increasingly it’s going to be important for global stabilization through development of ethical codes and mutual understanding across cultures. But for day to day living and satisfaction, religious beliefs are far more potent, even as they create considerable disagreement and strife among the different sects. Another view that’s been often discussed with reference to this problem is that the human brain appears to have been programmed by evolution to be easily indoctrinated. There’s an advantage to fitting in quickly with a tribal group, and to go along, to cooperate, and to engage in some amount of self-sacrifice for the group. This gives, over thousands of generations, an advantage in survival and personal reproduction. (See the entry for Soteriology, which in the 1990s is the less commonly used term. Also see entries for Cretinism, Eye, and the National Center for Science Education.) {Derek C. Araujo, Campus Freethought Association Newsletter #1, 17 March 1997; DCL; New Yorker10 Jan 2000}

Creed, Carmen (20th Century) Creed, writing about “The Visible Atheists” at the University of South Florida (Secular Nation, July-September 1998), noted that a group from Atheists of Florida has operated a table since 1994 at a flea market there, sandwiched in between food and clothing vendors and Scientologist, Muslim, and Christian religious booths.

Creede, N. C. (Born 1843) Creede served as a United States scout on the plains of Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and Dakota for seven years. He was in a number of battles with the Sioux and other hostile tribes. A successful prospector and miner, he was a freethinker and a liberal all his life. He had no patience to listen to anything that is superstitious or orthodox, did not believe in life after death, and said there is no God to worship and no devil to fear.

Creel, H. C. (20th Century) Creel was one of the early religious humanists. When The New Humanist first appeared in April 1928 as “a Bulletin of the Humanist Fellowship,” he as president of the fellowship wrote the following:

Humanism, to be worthy of its ideals, neither can be a neo-ecclesiasticism nor a neo-scholasticism. We are interested, primarily, in building a society in which every human being shall have the greatest possible opportunity for the best possible life. Insofar as we are Humanists, every secondary interest must be judged by the prime criterion.


Creeley, Robert (1926— ) Creeley, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, is an author, poet, and editor. Asked by the present author about humanism and belief, he has written,

I don’t finally believe in any fixed identity for “God” or whatever else one might call such a content. I think people, myself included, believe in belief, so to speak, need that communal sharing of a premise. Thus “God” provides and is provided. But the determining means and content, in the context of physical world otherwise, is, for me, literally people, literally human. Fixed foci of that potential, premises that become locked without revision, dogmatic presumptions that will not be considered anew, are all destructive in my own sense of things. I recall William Carlos Williams’s quotation of Hans Morgenthau in a late poem: “Hitherto men have been unable to realize their wishes. Now that they can realize them, they must either change them or perish. . . .” I believe that very deeply. I despair in a world that cannot change its mind or recognize its own confusion. I had been thinking of all this in a poem recently published (Conjunctions: 21):

CREDO Creo que si . . . . I believe it will rain tomorrow. . . . I believe the son of a bitch

is going into the river. . . . I believe All men are created equal—By your leave a leafy

shelter over the exposed person—I’m a believer creature of habit but without out there a void of pattern older older the broken pieces no longer salvageable bits but incommensurate chips yet must get it back together.

In God we trust emptiness privilege will not not perish perish from this earth—

In particular echo of inside pushes at edges all these years collapse in slow motion. As it gets now impossible to say, it’s your hand I hold to, still your hand.

The will to believe, the will to be good, the will to want a way out.

Humanness, like you, man. Us - pun for once beyond reflective mirror of brightening prospect?

I believe what it was was a hope it could be somehow what it was and would so continue. A plan to walk out on, fair enough. Jump! said the pirate. Believe me if all those endearing young charms . . .

Here, as opposed to there, Even in confusions there seems still a comfort, still a faith.

I’d as lief not leave, not go away, not not believe.

I believe in belief . . . All said, whatever I can think of comes from there, goes there.

As it gets now impossible to say, it’s your hand I hold to, still your hand.

The poem has the usual “difficulties” of poetry, perhaps, but it’s nonetheless what I’d think to say.

Creeley is a novelist (The Island, 1963), a storyteller (The Gold Diggers, 1954; 1965), an editor (Selected Writings of Charles Olson, 1967), and writer of numerous works of poetry, a 1971 volume of which was entitled 1234567890. The critic Martin Seymour-Smith has written that Creeley writes “in short, imageless lines, broken, unmusical, rigorously pragmatic, faithful to their moment alone.” Smith adds that Creeley has been greatly influenced by William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, and John Dewey. Black Mountain College, where he taught as did Olson, Paul Goodman, and Allen Ginsberg, was greatly influenced by Dewey, who was a visitor there. Creeley edited The Black Mountain Review (1954—1957), describing the efforts of the college founded by J. A. Rice to provide a heuristic type of creative education. In 1994 his Echoes was published. Creeley currently is the Samuel P. Capen Professor of Poetry and Humanities at the State University of New York in Buffalo. In a painting by R. B. Kitaj, “The Ohio Gang” (1964), Creeley is depicted as a bearded man with a squint. {WAS, 15 January 1994}

Crees, Adrian (20th Century) Crees, an Australian rationalist, is author of Anatomy of Religion. Its preface includes the sentence, “I have set out to make a case against religion,” and he proceeds to evaluate Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, primitive religion, sects, cults, missions, and the psychologists and psychiatrists who seem to be overlooking the sickness of religion.

CREMATION • Surprise me! Fernando Vargas asked by Warren Allen Smith, executor of his estate, if he preferred cremation or having the body-in-the-casket transported from New York for burial in Costa Rica

Some religious groups do not allow cremation, although freethinkers and secular humanists leave the decision entirely up to the individual or the executor of the person’s estate. An entire cremation and urn in New York City is available for under $500., whereas the charge by funeral parlors for services and caskets may cost in the thousands of dollars. One American undertaker has offered a coffin fitted with a mobile telephone, air conditioning, a light, and a computer toy, all in case the corpse revives. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), “The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body.” The Economist (15 April 1995) has reported that the Chinese government estimates that cremation saves 6,700 hectares (about 16,556 acres) of farmland, 3 million cubic metres of timber, and 10 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) a year. The Chinese ban what used to be the tradition of burning paper money as an offering to the dead. People who burn money or buy wreaths “do so to show off,” according to the Chinese People’s Daily. (See entry for Memorial Societies.) {The Economist, 4 January 1997.}

Cremer, William Randal [Sir] (1838—1908) Cremer was a reformer, a British working man who entered politics and worked so zealously for peace and other humanitarian ideals that he won a Nobel Prize. According to his biographer, Howard Evans, Cremer rejected Christianity but remained “religious.” {JM; RAT; RE}

Cremonini, Cesare (1550—1631) An Italian philosopher, Cremonini taught philosophy at Padua from 1591 to 1631. A follower of Aristotle, he excited suspicion by his want of religion and his teaching the mortality of the soul. Both the Jesuits and the Inquisition ordered him to refute some of his views, which he refused. Bayle states the Cremonini did not believe the soul is immortal, and Larousse stated that [[Cremonini was not a Christian. {BDF}

Crescas, Hasdai (14th Century) Crescas, a Spanish Jew, wrote The Refutation of the Christian Principles, which in 1992 was translated into English for the first time by Daniel J. Lasker. His purpose was to encourage his fellow Jews not to convert to Christianity. Crescas believed in Old Testament theism, but he rejected New Testament Christianity. His work is of historical interest in that he used his belief in Judaism to “prove” the falsity of Christianity.

Crescini, Vincenzo (Born 1857) An Italian philologist, Crescini taught at Genoa and Padua universities. A Cavalliere of the Crown of Italy, was a positivist of the Ardigò school. {RAT}

CRETINISM When a computer’s spellchecker is working, cretinism might be a suggested correction for creationism. When the spellchecker is not working, such an error still implies a degree of wisdom. However, “cretin” is a word from the Vulgar Latin christianus, meaning poor fellow, one whom God allowed to be born with a deficiency of thyroid hormone and therefore is dwarf-like, has dystrophy of the bones, and is mentally retarded. Apologists have struggled to explain God’s actions. Physicians, meanwhile, have no difficulty supplying lucid explanations for dystrophy.

Crèvecoeur, J. Hector St. John (1735—1813) An American author and agriculturist, Crèvecoeur introduced the culture of the American potato into Normandy and of alfalfa into the United States. In Letters From an American Farmer (1782), he wrote, “Persecution, religious pride, the love of contradiction, are the food of what the world commonly calls religion.” {TYD}

Crichton, (John) Michael (1942- ) An author, film director, and a physician, Crichton received a 1996 Emmy Best Dramatic Series Award for “E,” a popular television show about emergency room personnel. He was co-screenwriter of “Jurassic Park” (1993) and “Twister” (1996). As Jeffrey Hudson, he wrote A Case of Need (1968), and as John Lange Odds On (1966). The Andromeda Strain (1969) brought him much notoriety, and interviewers marvel that a writer is also an expert on medicine. In his 1993 autobiography, Travels, Crichton tells of his fascination with Buddhism when, as he was told, it was a religion that doesn’t believe in God. “I found it interesting,” he observed, “that I liked this religion, because for many years I had been vociferously atheistic and anti-religion.” {CA}

Crichton, (John) Michael (23 Oct 1942 - ) A physician, author, and film director, Crichton received a 1996 Emmy Best Dramatic Series Award for E, a popular television show about emergency room personnel. He was co-screenwriter of Jurassic Park (1993) and Twister (1996). As Jeffrey Hudson, he wrote A Case of Need (1968), and as John Lange Odds On (1966). The Andromeda Strain (1969) brought him much notoriety, and interviewers marvel that he, a mere writer, is also an expert on medicine. In his 1993 autobiography, Travels, Crichton tells of his fascination with Buddhism when, as he was told, it was a religion that doesn’t believe in God. “I found it interesting,” he observed, “that I liked this religion, because for many years I had been vociferously atheistic and anti-religion.” {CA}

Crick, Bernard (Rowland) (1919— ) A professor of politics, University of London, Crick was elected as an honorary associate of the British Rationalist Press Association in 1976 and is a Humanist Laureate in the Council for Secular Humanism’s International Academy of Humanism. The 1973 Voltaire Lectures include his Crime, Rape and Gin (1975). In 1980, he signed the Secular Humanist Declaration. A bee-keeper and theatre critic, he has edited Machiavelli: The Discourses (1971) and Political Thoughts and Polemics (1989). “My mother was a thrice yearly Christian: Christmas, Easter, and Armistice Day,” he has written, adding that, “I still like the language and liturgies of the Church of England. . . . But the absurdity of it began to dawn after the closing words of the Bishop of Croydon’s last confirmation class: ‘Remember boys, when the Archbishop’s hands descend on your head you are one with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost—and no hair oil.” Like Koestler, he stated, “I am a ‘pious atheist.’ Our ever-ready anti-God does sometimes seem a little old-fashioned. We get nowhere if we blame the revival of militant religious fundamentalism on religion. It is how we behave to each other that matters more than what we believe. Is this heresy or humanism?” In 1994 an essay by Crick, “A Humanist Perspective for Britain,” was included in Challenges to the Enlightenment, Essays in Defense of Reason and Science. In The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul (1994), Crick makes the case that it is difficult if not impossible to argue any longer that a conscious mind can survive the organic death of the brain. Crick, the literary editor of The Political Quarterly, signed Humanist Manifesto 2000. (See entry for Arthur Koestler.) {SHD}

Crick, Francis Harry Compton [O. M.] (1916— ) A Nobel Prize Laureate in medicine (jointly) in 1962, Dr. Crick has been the J. W. Kieckhefer Distinguished Professor at the Salk Institute since 1977. He signed Humanist Manifesto II and is a Humanist Laureate in the Council for Secular Humanism’s International Academy of Humanism. In 1980, he signed the Secular Humanist Declaration. Crick was elected as an honorary associate of the Rationalist Press Association in 1962, and he is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. He wrote Of Molecules and Men (1967) and co-wrote with J. D. Watson The Double Helix (1968). With Dr. Watson, Dr. Crick discovered the structure of D(eoxyribo) N(ucleic) A(cid) in 1953. His Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul (1993) is an outspoken attack on religious concepts of the soul. For Crick, our minds are nothing more than the behavior of neurons. “You are nothing but a pack of neurons,” he declares. As he puts it, a single nerve cell is actually a dumb thing, but dumb in “subtle ways.” What he finds astonishing is that from these dumb units emerge the powers of the human mind. Viewed as a machine, the brain “handles an immense amount of information all at once, in one perceptual moment. Much of the content of this rich body of coherent information is constantly changing, yet the machine manages to keep various running records of what it has just been doing.” No man-made machine is capable of such, and Crick laments that both religion and philosophy have failed to understand human consciousness. As for any future life after death, the operational understanding of consciousness is that “it will lead to the death of the soul,” he told interviewer Margaret Wertheim. “The view of ourselves as ‘persons’ is just as erroneous as the view that the Sun goes around the Earth” and predicted that “In the fullness of time educated people will believe there is no soul independent of the body, and hence no life after death.” (See entry for Friedrich Miescher regarding DNA. Also, see the interview of Crick by Thomas W. Flynn and Timothy J. Madigan in Free Inquiry, Fall 1994). {CA; CE; E; HM2; SHD; The New York Times, 13 April 2004}

CRIME Lisa Conyers and Philip D. Harvey, in “Religion and Crime: Do They Go Together? (Free Inquiry, Summer 1996), found that, “Surprisingly, recent research suggests that a religious person is more likely to commit a crime than a non-religious person. One can even argue that the more religious the society, the more likely it is to have high crime rates.” They cite numerous studies, including work by Bertrand Russell, also noting that religion does not deter war. Conyers is a writer and researcher based in Mount Vernon, Washington. Harvey is a writer on a wide variety of public policy issues from Washington, D.C. They cited the World Rank Research Team’s Where We Stand, which found that “91% of the population in the United States believes in God. That compares with 48% in the United Kingdom and 47% in Japan. . . . The percent of people who believe in their religious leaders is 43% in the United States. It is only 6% in Japan and 3% in the United Kingdom and Germany. The portion believing in Hell is 76% in the United States. Compare that with 53% in Japan, 38% in Australia, 35% in the United Kingdom, and 16% in Germany.”

CRIMES AGAINST NATURE Religionists refer to homosexual acts as crimes against nature, oblivious to the fact that homosexuality is found in species throughout nature. Freethinkers hold the view that two major crimes against nature are celibacy—which is a perversion of nature—and all environmentally unsound practices—which destroy or pollute the Earth’s natural environment.

Robert X. Cringely, Author and Computer Industry Gadfly media NEW

Cringely is probably best known as the host of the 1996 PBS miniseries "Triumph of the Nerds" which chronicled the strange beginnings and growth of the personal computer. From an autobiographical sketch at http://www.pbs.org/cringely/bobsworld.html, he expounds upon the apparent paradox of multiple 'Cringelys' . . . "Through a cruel twist of fate having to do with federal judges and unscrupulous lawyers there is, for the moment, more than one Robert X. Cringely. You are right now reading the one true Cringely, author, raconteur, TV personality, and pizza delivery specialist. The "other" Cringely writes a column on the back page of InfoWorld, a weekly PC trade rag. That Cringely is really a woman, while I am an agnostic."

Crisp, Quentin (1908—1999) A gay critic and author of The Naked Servant, Crisp told a gathering of Unitarian Universalists in New York City that he was not attracted to any of the organized religions. He was, in general, a rationalist about theology, morals, and ethics. On a trip to Northern Ireland, he bravely informed his audience that he was an atheist, “Yes, but is it the God of the Protestants or the God of the Catholics in whom you don’t believe?” a person called out. As for religion, he has said, “Well, it has done terrifying things. Religious ideas are inflammatory in a way that I find difficult to understand. There are very few wars over the theory of relativity. Very few heated arguments, for that matter.” Asked several years later in 1998 if he is an atheist, he responded,

If God is the universe—which encloses the universe, or if God is the cell inside the cell, or if God is the cause behind the cause—that I can believe—I can not believe in a God susceptible to prayer—that’s a lot of rubbish. This is nonsense. I would never teach a child to pray. I would tell them your fate is sealed.

And is death final?

Well, I hope so. Eternal life is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

What would have been a better life for you? What would be different?

I would be different. I would be a woman. Now I am only manly in that I have no emotion, otherwise I’m feminine. If I had been a woman, I would have been acceptable.

The Naked Servant, a shocker when first published in 1968, described his having received a government stipend while working at illustrating books and modeling nude in art schools. The work not only revealed that he had taken money for sex but also described his unique style of clothing. By 1968, he has noted, “The symbols which I had adopted forty years earlier to express my sexual type had become the uniform of all young people.” Reviewing “The Godfather” in Christopher Street (Issue #153), Crisp advised moviegoers: “This picture stops just short of being blasphemous, but viewers should be warned that it denounces Catholicism at least as vigorously as it attacks the Mafia. In one early scene, we are shown a Vatican official offering Mr. Pacino the control of a vast conglomerate enterprise in exchange for sufficient money to cover its own ill-advised investments. The narrative also manages to drag in Pope John Paul I who, in real life, died so suspiciously soon after his enthronement and who was rumored to have been poisoned with lethal cups of tea.” In 1993, octogenarian Crisp played the role of Queen Elizabeth I in a Sally Potter movie, “Orlando,” based on the novel by Virginia Woolf. Movie critic George Brown remarked, “Although Crisp looks more like Victoria than Elizabeth I, he’s every inch a devouring queen.” His effeminancy was such that he never attempted to hide his sexual orientation. Asked at the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square if he was a practicing homosexual, Crisp responded, “I didn’t practice. I was already perfect.” Crisp, who termed computers “demon machines,” found absurd any idea that a god would be susceptible to prayer, and he does not believe in a hereafter, telling Advocate columnist Lance Loud (10 August 1993),

I’m ready, I’ve made my will, my hands are folded, my eyelids lowered. And I don’t expect to be back. Not like Shirley MacLaine, who never seems to express fatigue when it comes to reincarnation. Doesn’t she ever think, “No! Not any more!’ ”

As for funerals, Crisp told New York’s Patricia Falvo, they “are rather horrid. All that standing in the pouring rain in the churchyard while people say how wonderful you were. They can just put me in a plastic bag and shovel me into a Dumpster. I don’t care.” Crisp died just before opening his one-man show, “An Evening With Quentin Crisp,” in London. His last great exit, he would have regretted, was not onstage. {E; GL; The New York Times, 22 November 1999; WAS, numerous discussions, 1995—1997}

Critias (c. 460—403 B.C.E.) Critias, an Athenian political leader and writer, was an aristocrat who studied philosophy with Socrates. He wrote poems and tragedies but is best remembered as one of the Thirty Tyrants imposed on Athens by the Spartans. He became known for his rapacity and bloodthirstiness. When Thrasybulus led his forces against the Thirty, Critias was killed in battle. As for his outlook, Critias declared, “It was man who first made men believe in gods.” {“The Archive,” Journal of the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation, Spring 1998; CE; TYD}

CRITICISM • Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes. —Anonymous

Those in the majority usually hold that criticism involves adverse judgments. Those in the minority think of criticism as the art of evaluating, of making discriminating judgments about creative works, of investigating origins of documents (including the so-called sacred bibles).

Crittenden, Henry William (1881—1970?) Crittenden was an Australian rationalist, maverick, agitator, and noted public lecturer in the early days of Australia’s rationalist movement. He was associated with the formation of the Rationalist Association of South Australia in 1919. Crittenden wrote Behind the Black Curtain, which he sub-titled “a book of unholy revelations.” {SWW}

CROATIAN FREETHINKERS: See entry for Radovan Vukadinovic, who signed Humanist Manifesto 2000.

Croce, Benedetto (1866—1952) Croce’s philosophic outlook, related to idealism, was that reality consists of spirit that is monistic in manifestation. A staunch opponent of Fascism, he was a leader of Italy’s Liberal Party. In 1934, the Vatican prohibited the reading of all of his works. His views on idealism have many negative critics among naturalistic and secular humanists, who find valuable his views on aesthetics. One philosopher and his chief English follower, Wildson Carr, said Croce’s philosophy is neo-Hegelian but “the religious activity has no place in it. To him religion is mythology.” {CE; HNS2; ILP; JM; RAT}

Croffut, William Augustus (1835—1915) Croffut wrote The Vanderbilts and the Story of Their Fortune (c. 1886), Religion in Our Colonies (c. 1898) and Was Jesus Christ a Myth? (c. 1900). {GS}

Croly, David (1829—1889) Croly, an American positivist, was a journalist on the New York Herald and editor of the New York World until 1872. He wrote a Primer of Positivism (1876). {BDF; RAT}

Cromie, Peter (20th Century) Cromie was on the board of directors of the American Humanist Association in the 1950s.

Crommelin, Peter (20th Century) A freethinker, Crommelin wrote in England for The Freethinker.

Crompton, Arnold (20th Century) Crompton is author of Unitarianism on the Pacific Coast: The First Sixty Years (1957) and Memoirs of a Freethinker (1964). {GS}

Crompton, Henry (1836—1904) A lawyer, Crompton was an active positivist after 1859, succeeding Congreve in London in 1899. His chief work is Letters on Social and Political Subjects (1870). {RAT}

Cromwell, Arthur G. (20th Century) Cromwell wrote Why I Do Not Believe in God (1956). {GS}

Cromwell, David (20th Century) Cromwell works in remote sensing oceanography. For New Humanist (March 1998), he has written about physicists’ concerns with Theories of Everything (TOEs), the search for a theory which binds together our understanding of all the forces in the universe. Einstein, he noted, searched for a TOE for almost three decades, then commented, “We have to admire in humility the beautiful harmony of the structure of this world as far as we can grasp it. That is all.”

Cronenberg, David (1943— ) The Canadian-born Cronenberg has been praised for directing such films as “Stereo” (1969); “Crimes of the Future” (1970; “They Came From Within” (1976): “Rabid” (1977); “The Brood” (1979); “Fast Company” (1979); “Scanners” (1981); “Videodrome” (1983), “The Dead Zone” (1983); “The Fly” (1986); and “Dead Ringers” (1988). In Esquire (February 1992), he described himself as not just an atheist but a total nonbeliever.” “My parents were both atheists,” he told an interviewer in Film Threat (February 1997), “so it was never a big issue, and if I wanted to become an Orthodox Jew, it was never, ‘You must not do that.’ And I certainly went through all those things as a kid wondering about the existence of God or not, but at a very early age, I decided we made it up because we were afraid and it was one way to make things palatable.” {CA; E}

Cronenberg, David (15 Mar 1943 - ) The Canadian-born Cronenberg has been praised for directing such films as Stereo (1969); Crimes of the Future (1970; They Came From Within (1976): Rabid (1977); The Brood (1979); Fast Company (1979); Scanners (1981); Videodrome (1983), The Dead Zone (1983); The Fly (1986); and Dead Ringers (1988). In Esquire (February 1992), he described himself as not just an atheist but a total nonbeliever. “My parents were both atheists,” he told an interviewer in Film Threat (February 1997), “so it was never a big issue, and if I wanted to become an Orthodox Jew, it was never, ‘You must not do that.’ And I certainly went through all those things as a kid wondering about the existence of God or not, but at a very early age, I decided we made it up because we were afraid and it was one way to make things palatable.” {CA; E}

Cronin, Helena (20th Century) Cronin, a senior research associate in the Zoology Department at Oxford University, wrote The Ant and the Peacock. In Birmingham, England, at the centenary conference of the Rationalist Press Association in 1999, she spoke on “Natural Born Co-operators: Darwinism for Policy-makers.” In 2001 she became an Honorary Associate of the Rationalist Press Association.

CRONUS: See entry for God.

Crook, Margaret Brackenbury (1886—1972) The first female minister to have sole charge of a large church in England, Crook wrote Women and Religion (1964), which is said to be probably the first book of feminist theology and biblical criticism published in the latter half of the 20th century.

Crosbie-Goold, Nathaniel (1921— ) “Nat” Crosbie-Goold is an Australian humanist, rationalist, and dentist. He has been active with the Rationalist Society and was honorary secretary of the Rationalist Association of Australia Ltd. {SWW}

Crosby, F. W. (19th Century) A freethinker, Crosby wrote Real and Ideal Christianity (c. 1898). {GS}

CROSS: The Christian cross is a sex symbol, according to B. Z. Goldberg. See the entry for Sex Symbols.

Cross, Carolyn (20th Century) Cross in 1972 was on the advisory board of the Humanist society of Greater New York.

Cross, David (20th Century) A comedian, Cross on the televised “Politically Incorrect” said, “I was born Jewish, but I am an atheist. I don’t believe in God.” In January 1999 he told viewers on his website, “Again, thanks for watching and although there is no God, have an enjoyable holiday gift time. Yours in Christ, David.” {CA}

Cross, Mary Ann: See entry for George Eliot.

Cross, William (19th Century) Cross, a freethinker, wrote Random Thoughts on Religion and the Bible. He also wrote The Devil, A Myth (1872). {GS}

CROSS-DRESSING, TRANSVESTISM To cross-dress is to wear clothing characteristic of the opposite sex. Cross-dressing is found even in preliterate and peasant groups in mainland Asia and Africa, according to The Encyclopedia of Religion (1995). Agathon (c. 450—400 B.C.E.), the tragic poet, greeted literary friends dressed like a woman in long robe, saffron-colored tunic and cape, with a bust-bodice, a hair net, and tight-fitting buskins. Boy prostitutes who did the same in public, however, were regarded as shameful and an Athenian proverb said of them that it was “easier to hide five elephants in one’s armpit” than to hide one of these boys. Jonathan Ned Katz, in Gay American History (1976) details female as well as male cross-dressing. The practice was common among American Indians, who allowed a person, usually a male, to assume the sexual identity and was granted the social status of the opposite sex. “Manlike women” often had the reputation of having supernatural powers, and they made prophecies. Further, they were not treated negatively but, on the contrary and both in the Americas and in Asia, were valued for their being so different. When a priest puts on his robes for the Sacrifice, he is likely unaware that he is partaking in institutionalized cross-dressing. “The flowing gown,” wrote B. Z. Goldberg in The Sacred Fire (1958), “the stole he wears around his neck, and the vestment, are all suggestive of similar symbolism in ancient pagan faiths, in which the priests attired themselves appropriately for the worship of their goddesses. The vestment, itself a symbol, bears upon it still others; there is the cross both in back and in front, and from beneath the crosses extend the golden rays of the sun in themselves suggestive of the great life-giving force in nature,” the cross itself a sexual symbol. In General Custer’s Seventh Cavalry, a corporal by the name of Nash was accompanied by his wife, who was a laundress. Upon Mrs. Nash’s death in 1878, when garrison ladies went to lay her out, they found that “Mrs.” Nash was actually a man, Don Rickey Jr. The finding so scandalized the corporal that he committed suicide with his revolver. Katz details many other instances of transvestism, dressing in the manner usually associated with the opposite sex, including examples in Polynesia. The theatre and the cinema provide many examples of cross-dressing: Holly Woodlawn (a Puerto Rican man performing as a woman); Rollerarena (the Greenwich Villager on rollerskates who dresses in flowing chiffon gown with gaudy sunglasses and a magic wand in one white-gloved hand); Pope Paul II (nicknamed “Maria Pietissima” by his predecessor, Pius I); Charles Pierce (well-known showbusiness “drag queen”); Gertrude Stein (who often was mistaken as to her gender); St. Joan of Arc (who preferred men’s clothing); Charles Ludlam (actor / director / playwright / star of the Ridiculous Theatre); Ethyl Eichelberge (prominent “drag queen”); Divine (rotund man in several movies, in one of which he attacks and gulps down all the food in a refrigerator); Dottie of Bloolips (prominent “drag queen”); Marlene Dietrich (an eminently beautiful male whether in sailor’s uniform or tuxedo); John Lithgow (who was the football player turned transsexual in “The World According to Garp”); Billy Tipton (the American jazz pianist and saxophonist, married and father of three adopted children, who was found in 1989 to be a woman); Barbra Streisand (who dressed as a yeshiva boy in “Yentl”); Julie Andrews (who dressed as a man in “Victor/Victoria” and was photographed with New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, dressed as a woman, in 1997); Julia Roberts (with fake mustache and a baseball cap in “Sleeping With the Enemy”); Robin Williams (who as Mrs. Doubtfire became a cinematically classic figure); and Jack Lemmon, Milton Berle, and any number of other Hollywood stars. Examples of female cross-dressing are found in Julie Wheelwright’s Amazons and Military Maids, and include enlistees on both the Union and Confederate sides during the American Civil War. In a British republican magazine, Republic, editor Edgar Wilson has described cross-dressing in the House of Lords. Even in the mid-1990s when the Bishop of Chester attempted to enter the Upper House in civilian clothes, he was turned away and told to put on his skirt. One of the arguments for keeping the monarchy and the House of Lords, some argue, is that the royalty enjoy dressing differently from the common people. New York’s Francis Cardinal Spellman looked so “spiffy” in his clerical dress that many gays called him “Franny.” “The closest I can get by with that,” gays have been known to add, “is during Halloween, when all us girls can come out without fear of being bashed by the religious zealots!” And on one occasion as Cardinal Spellman turned to the side during a St. Patrick’s Cathedral mass, a voice with an African timbre peeled out, “Girl, twirl that skirt!” (See entry for Rosa Bonheur.)

Edward Crossman - was an AHA member for 40 years and died in 2004

Crossman, Richard (1907-1974): See entry for George Orwell.

Crothers, Samuel McChord (1857—1927) Starting as a Presbyterian, Crothers achieved national prominence as a lecturer and essayist. A Unitarian minister, he is best known as author of Gentle Reader (1903), in which he expressed the view that reading simply for pleasure, rather than for the express purpose of becoming intelligent, is most comforting. {U&U}

Crousse, David Goodman (19th Century) Crousse was a French pantheistic philosophy and author of Principles, or First Philosophy (1829) and Thoughts (1845). {BDF}

Crowded House (20th Century) Crowded House, a group of American recording artists, has gone on record as being non-theistic. {E}

Crowe, Deloris (20th Century) A retired English and social studies teacher, Crowe wrote “An Atheist, Oh Dear!” for Freethought Today (August 1998).

Crowe, W. S. (19th Century?) Crowe wrote The Solemn and the Serious—A Difference. {GS}

Crowl, F. M. (20th Century) Crowl was author of Thoughts and Inspirations (1906). {GS}

Croy, Homer (20th Century) Croy in 1927 wrote about Charles Smith in World’s Work. {GS}

Crozier, John Beattie (Born 1849) Crozier was an English writer of Scottish border parentage. He favored a Constitution of the World and wrote The Religion of the Future (1880) and Civilisation and Progress (1885). {BDF; RAT}

CRUCIFICTION • Some scientists question whether the nailing of an individual’s hands to a cross would allow the weight of the body to be held. Despite the omnipresent pictures of Jesus’s being so nailed by the Romans, a question arises as to whether the body’s weight would be too much to be held in place, that the Romans might have used a different approach than the one sculptors and artists have depicted so often.

• The Easter parish magazine for Highclere, Caux Easton and Ashmansworth, Berkshire, England, contained the following declaration by the Rev. Timothy F. Horsington: “I believe in the reality of our Lord’s Crucifiction, the Empty Tomb, and His Risen Presence with us each day as passionately as I did when I offered for the Ministry 32 years ago.”

{The Freethinker, May 1994}

CRUCIFIX Bavarians for years have required that a crucifix be hung in each of the state’s 40,000 classrooms. When in 1995 the Constitutional Court ruled 5-3 that the practice be banned. “How would a practicing Christian in a class with something like 80 percent Muslims feel if the majority suddenly decided to hang a verse from the Koran on the wall?” Judge Johann Friedrich Henschel asked. Disagreeing, Friedrich Cardinal Wetter of Munich said parents alone should have the power to decide. The decision was on a case brought by Ernst Seler, a Bavarian artist, composer, and follower of the philosopher Rudolf Steiner, who did not want to send his three children to schools where the “image of a bleeding, half-naked male corpse” was displayed. In 1996, a Rhode Island exorcist who pushed a crucifix into his mother’s mouth to rid her of evil spirits was charged with “assault with a dangerous weapon.”

CRUCIFIXION Crucifixion, a mode of execution adopted by Rome from Carthage, was a torture that racked every part of the body and protracted the pain over many hours or days. Saint Augustine had the following interpretation of the crucifixion of Jesus:

Like a bridegroom Christ went forth from his chamber, he went out with a presage of the nuptials. . . . He came to the marriage bed of the cross, and there, in mounting it, consummated his marriage, . . . He lovingly gave himself up to the torment in place of his bride, and he joined himself to the woman for ever.

Wrote Ackerman, “At its most soulful and mystical, religious love sounds much like erotic love.” (See “ ’Sblood” in entry for Hamlet and “gadzooks” in entry for God- ; alsosee entry for Kersey Graves.) {ACK}

Crucius, Thomas Theodor (17th Century) Crucius wrote The Origine of Atheism in the Popish and Protestant Churches (1684).

Crumb, George (1929— ) Crumb, a composer who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania, responded (4 July 1992) to the present author as follows concerning his seven categories of humanism:

I feel that humanism pure and simple (your first category) most nearly describes my own mode of thinking.


Between the 11th and 13th centuries, European Christians undertook “holy wars” with papal sanction for the purpose of recovering the “Holy Land” from the Muslims. Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont (1095) encouraged these religious battles, and the Crusaders were called such because they were given crosses to carry. The bloodshed which followed was not entirely for the glory of insuring that one religion would become dominant over another religion, however. Nobles soon found that land and loot were available, and Italian cities found new trade possibilities with the Near East.

• The First Crusade (1095—1099) resulted in the conquest of Jerusalem, which later fell. • The Second Crusade (1147—1149) was a dismal failure. • The Third Crusade (1189—1192), led by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I, Philip II of France, and Richard I of England, failed to recapture Jerusalem. • The Fourth Crusade (1202—1204) resulted in a side trip to Constantinople, which was seized. • The Children’s Crusade (1212) may have removed unruly children from the streets (homeless children, often because their parents had been killed in other crusades), but it also ended with thousands of them being sold as slaves or pathetically dying of disease and hunger. • The Fifth Crusade (1217—1221) failed in its attempt to conquer Egypt. • The Sixth Crusade (1228—1229) was short-lived when a truce was arranged with the Muslims by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. • Three other crusades in the 13th century were unsuccessful, and in 1291 Akko (Acre), the last Christian stronghold, fell.

Steven Runciman, a British scholar and diplomat, in A History of the Crusades, wrote, “Unlike Christianity, which preached a peace it never achieved, Islam unashamedly came with a sword.” Bernard Lewis, in The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years (1996), differs from the prevailing academic view in his assessment of the Crusades. Although Europeans have made much of the crusades, these holy wars were in his estimation entirely trivial. (See entry for Herbert J. Muller.) {CE}

Cruse, Howard (1944- ) Cruse, creator of the syndicated cartoon “Wendel,” has written about his outlook:

Exiting from Christianity came at about age fourteen for me. The final crisis was prompted by reading Mark Twain’s The Mysterious Stranger. That was my first full-scale realization that art can change lives. I don’t subscribe to the belief systems of any organized religion I’ve encountered; don’t believe there are any Higher Powers who worry about whether I masturbate or not; definitely don’t believe in the concept of cosmically-ordained sin or post-life punishment; and will be quite surprised if my individual consciousness survives death, though I allow myself fantasies of playing around in the “tunnel of light” for a few minutes before disbanding my psychic molecules to go where they will. I think they call people like me agnostics, since I make no pretenses to certainty about any of this. But agnostic is such a dry, unpoetic term. The very idea of agnostic cartoons sounds like a real yawner! {WAS, 19 April 1999}

CRYING • Q. What do you do when a woman cries?

 A. I usually cry with her.

—Frank Sinatra, Singer, a nominal Catholic

• I cried all the way to the bank. —Wlaziu Liberace, singer, after hearing some hostile criticism of his work

CRYPTOMNESIA A kind of secret amnesia, cryptomnesia to authors is the condition in which one is not sure where ideas originated. Was Hamlet entirely original or was Shakespeare’s original play written by someone else? Was the Ur-Hamlet written by Thomas Kyd, for example. An author could “borrow” a work from some other language, then write it up as if it is entirely original, not something plagiarized. One could hear a tune when a child, then as an adult write a composition with the same melody, thinking it was entirely original.

CSER: See entry for the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion.

Cserski, Johannes (Died 1894) Cserski began his career as a Catholic priest in Prussia. In 1844 he and some friends left the church and established Free Religious communities. The following year, a mob of Christian peasants, directed by fanatical priests, made an attack upon him, and the hussars had to be called in to subdue the demonstration and escort Cserski into Posen. He then traveled from city to city, lecturing and speaking. For many years he lived in poverty at Schneidemuhl, a wreck of his former self. According to Putnam, Cserski was a freethinker for over fifty years. {PUT}


The Council for Secular Humanism, no longer called CODESH, is at 3965 Rensch Road, Amherst, NY 14226. In 1999 Robert Price became the Executive Director. On the Web: <www.secularhumanism.org>.

CSHAFT CSHAFT is an abbreviation of the Coalition for Secular Humanism, Atheism, and Freethought. The group in 1994 had its conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

CSICOP CSICOP is an abbreviation for the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. The group of skeptics publishes a quarterly journal, Skeptical Inquirer (Box 703, Buffalo, NY 14226).

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (20th Century) A research psychologist, Csikszentmihalyi has written about finding meaning in daily existence. His Flow: The Psychology of Everyday Experience (1991) and Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life (1997) explain that by flow he refers to how people find happiness”

People who seem to feel most positive about their lives possess a set of common characteristics,” he has said, “such as knowing clearly what they have to do, getting feedback on what they are doing, and being able to match their abilities with the opportunities for action so that skills and challenges are in balance. When those characteristics are present, people begin to concentrate very highly. As a result they forget the problems of everyday life, and they seem to step into a kind of alternative reality. That consolidation of characteristics is what I call the “flow experience.”

The author (whose name is pronounced chick-sent-me-high-ee, a Hungarian name that means “of St. Michael of Csik,” a Transylvanian province) is professor of education and psychology at the University of Chicago. {Tim Madigan, “An Interview with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,” Free Inquiry, Summer 1998}

Csongvay, Attila (1941—1993) Csongvay was born in a small village near Szentgerice, Romania, where his father had served for over thirty years as a Unitarian minister. At a time when many Unitarian ministers were in Romanian prisons, he chose to study theology despite much harassment his family endured during the long Ceausecu regime. In 1991 when he preached at the Fairfax Unitarian Church in Oakton, Virginia, he arranged for a partner-church relationship between their congregation and his church. (World, May/June 1994)

CUBAN FREETHINKERS, HUMANISTS: See entries for Félix Varela and José Luz y Caballero.

Cuffeler, Abraham Johann (17th Century) A Dutch philosopher and doctor of law, Cuffeler was one of the first partisans of Spinoza. He wrote Specimen Artis Ratiocinandi (1684), a work on logic which did not name him as author but contained his portrait. {BDF}

Culhane, Claire (1919—1996) Culhane was an advocate of prisoners’ rights in Canada. She opposed the Vietnam War and Canada’s role in it, fasting on Parliament Hill. Just prior to her death in 1996, she accepted being the Humanist Association of Canada’s 1996 Humanist of the Year. {Humanist in Canada, Summer 1996}

Cullen, Countee (1903—1946)

Cullen, the African American poet of the Harlem Renaissance, wrote an epic poem about lynching, “The Black Christ” (1929). The 900-line piece exemplified Cullen’s brilliant poetic layering of racial and gay themes. Alden Reimonenq, of St. Mary’s College of California, has noted that Jim, its main character, can be viewed “not only as the persecuted black who is falsely accused of rape, but also as the victim of heterosexism.” Jim is associated with Lycidas, Patroclus, and Jonathan, “all characters who have had long-standing associations with gay readings of their respective texts,” leading Reimonenq to declare that Cullen’s poetry “in the context of the gay closet in which it was written is the cornerstone on which to rebuild Cullen’s reputation as a gay poet laureate and as the inaugurator of a black gay male poetic tradition.” Although married early in life to W. E. B. DuBois’s daughter Yolande and to Ida Roberson only six years before his death, Cullen had “a steady string of male lovers in the United States and France.” {GL}

CULT • A cult is a religion with no political power.

		—Thomas Wolfe

Freethinkers generally consider all organized religions to be exclusive groups of persons sharing an esoteric interest, and the sects which they have generated are cults dedicated to the pursuit of doctrines to which they are devoted and which they preach. A cult might inculcate the view that there is a supernatural, that Something That Arose From Nothing is a Super God, that there is life after death, that one can communicate with the supernatural through prayer, that one can live after death, et cetera.

CULTURE SECULAR SOCIETY The Culture Secular Society is at Rada Krajowa, UL. Koszykowa 24, 00-553 Warsaw, Poland. It is an associate member of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.

CULTURES: See entry for Civilization.

Cumming, Alan (27 Jan 1965 - ) Cumming was born in Perthshire, Scotland, to Mary, a secretary, and Alexander, a forester. He spent his childhood on their country estate, graduated from schoool a year early, and began working for an entertainment magazine, Tops. When he was accepted to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, he met his future professional partner (Forbes Masson) and his future wife (Hilary Lyons—they were divorced after eight years of marriage). His feature film debut was in Passing Glory, made when he was in his final year at the Academy. With Masson he formed the comedy duo of Victor Barry and later wrote and starred in a BBC sitcom, The High Life. Cumming’s West End debut at the Royal Court was in The Conquest of the South Pole (1989), for which he was nominated Most Promising Newcomer in that year’s Olivier Awards. He went on to win an Olivier Award for Accidental Death of an Anarchist and was awarded another nomination for his his work in the London production of Cabaret. In 1998 he moved with Cabaret to Broadway, winning a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for his performance as the Emcee. He has been in such films as Golden Eye, Emma, Circle of Friends, and Eyes Wide Shut(in which he played the flirtatious hotel desk clerk opposite Tom Cruise). Interviewed by fellow actor Jennifer Jason Leigh for Interview (October 1998), he was asked about his religious outlook:

Leigh: Did you grow up religious? Cumming: I was made to go to church, but no, it wasn't a very religious thing. And I'm completely atheist. I don't hold any beliefs about God and stuff. And I can't do the church thing. Last year, I was here in New York, at a Christmas party, and everyone went to midnight Mass except me. I just listened to music while they were all out, supposedly communing with God, but they were just doing it because it's habit. Leigh: Maybe they like it, though. Cumming: They don't like it. And I do like it. But I have the sort of conscience that says if you go you are supporting the myth. And it makes me angry, all that.

Cummins, Maria (1826-1866) Cummins was a Unitarian and an author whose works were not widely known.

Cummins, Robert (1897—1982) Acting as the general superintendent of the Universalist Church of America (1938—1953), Cummins failed to gain admission of his church into the Federal Council of Churches. That Council’s view was that Universalists were “insufficiently Christian.” {U&U}

Cummings, Edward Estlin (1894—1962) An American poet with unorthodox punctuation, one influenced by Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein, Cummings once wrote, “Not for philosophy does this rose give a damn.” He is the author of The Enormous Room (1922), an autobiographical narrative describing his work with the American ambulance corps in France during World War I and his imprisonment by the French for about six months in a concentration camp. Despite the filthy surroundings and inhumane treatment by officials and jailers, Cummings maintained his sense of humor, exalting a person’s human values in the face of what he considered to be sheer ignorance. At one time, Cummings was the associate minister of the South Congregational Church (Unitarian) in Boston. James D. Hart has described Cummings’s work as showing “his transcendental faith in a world where the self-reliant, joyful, loving individual is beautifully alive but in which mass man, or the man who lives by mind alone, without heart and soul, is dead. The true individual Cummings praised, often reverently and with freshness of spirit and idiom, but the ‘unman’ was satirized as Cummings presented witty, bitter parodies of and attacks on the patriotic or cultural platitudes and shibboleths of the ‘unworld.’ This poetry was marked by experimentalism in word coining, the shifting of grammar, the blending of established stanzaic forms and free verse, flamboyant punning, typographic distortion, unusual punctuation, and idiosyncratic division of words, all of which became integral to the ideas and rhythms of his relatively brief lyrics.” After being asked several times by the present author as to his philosophic outlook, he wrote:

since you insist:I rather imagine that “the approach to philosophy” of any artist worth his salt is neither “naturalistic” nor “supernaturalistic”; but aesthetic.

Years after the poet Marianne Moore gave The Dial Award to Cummings, she thanked him for a book: “Blasphemous, inexorable, disrespectful, sinful author though you are—you received a cordial welcome at my door today.” (Capital letters, however, did apply when Cummings wrote his name. When the composer David Diamond caught one editor who typed the name “e. e. cummings,” Diamond expostulated, “E. E. Cummings would come from Patchin Place with a whip had he known you lowercased his name! His daughter is furious if anyone does today. All his books, as was his signature, are in capital letters. Only his poetry does the Mallarmer (sic) letters, small type (Mr Jacobs).” Columbia Encyclopedia is one such sourcebook which mistakenly has not capitalized his name.] (See entry for Robert Frost.) {CE; The Selected Letters of Marianne Moore, 1957; U; UU; WAS, 1960}

Cummings, F. D. (19th Century) Cummings, a freethinker, wrote Religion and the Bible (1894). {GS}

Cummings, G. Duncan (20th Century) A freethinker, Cummings wrote When You Go To Heaven (1921). {GS}

Cumont, Franz Valery Marie (1868—1947) Cumont was a Belgian archaeologist who studied Mithraism, a subject which had hitherto been much neglected. He wrote Mysteries of Mithra (1903), which described Christianity’s greatest rival. Cumont’s rationalism—as professor at the University of Ghent he had to be discreet—is better seen in his Afterlife in Roman Paganism (1922). His works on ancient Rome did much to correct libels of the pagans. {RAT; RE}

Cunard, Nancy (1896-1965): See entry for George Orwell.

Cunningham, Norma (20th Century) Cunningham is vice-president Central of the Executive Council of the Freedom For Religion Foundation.

Cunningham, William (20th Century) Cunningham, a freethinker, wrote What Atheism Means to Me (1926). {GS}

CUNT According to Inga Muscio’s Cunt: A Declaration of Independence (1999), cunt “was once a term of respect that evolved from Chinese, Egyptian, Indian, Irish, and Latin titles reserved for priestesses and derived from the names of goddesses.” Ackerman holds that the Hindu goddess Kali, personifying the life-giving vulva, or cunt, energy of the world, was called Cunti or Kunda. Kunta was the Old Norse word for the female genitals, and prehistoric German was kunton. However, she argues, there is a hidden prejudice about the baseness of women when we use cock and cunt. “A man’s pleasure,” she reasons, “is his penis, and a woman’s pleasure organ is her clitoris, not her vagina. Even if we’re talking about procreation, it’s not accurate: a man’s penis delivers sperm and can impregnate, and a woman’s womb contains eggs, which can become fertile. Equating the man’s penis with the woman’s vagina says, in effect, that the natural order of things is for a man to have pleasure during sex, and for a woman to have a sleeve for man’s pleasure. In classical Latin vagina means ‘sheath for a sword.’ Aeneas, for example, put his sword into his vagina. It perpetuates the notion that women aren’t supposed to enjoy sex, that they’re bucking the natural and social order if they do.” The British media consistently has banned the word cunt, an illustration as to the perpetuation of the notion. {ACK}

Cuper, Frans (17th Century) Cuper was a Dutch author who, under the pretense of refuting Spinoza, sustained his arguments by feeble opposition. The work, Arcana Atheismi Revelato (1676), was denounced as written in bad faith. Cuper, however, maintained that the existence of God could not be proved by the light of reason. {BDF}

CUPID • Cupid, n. The so-called god of love. This bastard creation of a barbarous fancy was no doubt inflicted upon mythology for the sins of its deities. Of all unbeautiful and inappropriate conceptions this is the most reasonless and offensive. The notion of symbolizing sexual love by a semisexless babe, and comparing the pains of passion to the wounds of an arrow—of introducing this pudgy homunculus into art grossly to materialize the subtle spirit and suggestion of the work—this is eminently worthy of the age that, giving it birth, laid it on the doorstep of posterity. —Ambrose Bierce The Devil’s Dictionary

CURAÇAO HUMANISTS In Curaçao, the Netherlands Antilles, the humanist group is known as Association “Humanist Conscience,” Vesuviusstraat 2, Willemstad, Curaçao. {FD}

Curie, Marie (Manya) [Sklodowska] (1867—1934) A codiscoverer of radium, Marie Curie was the daughter of a Polish freethinker but was reared by a Catholic mother. She abandoned the Church before she was twenty, and her marriage with Pierre Curie was a purely civil ceremony because, she says in her memoir of him, “Pierre belonged to no religion and I did not practice any.” The two were co-winners in 1903 of the Nobel Prize in Physics, and when in 1911 she won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry she became the first person to have won two such prizes. Some in the Swedish Academy allegedly tried to persuade her not to accept the second Nobel Prize that they had just awarded her, but she accepted it just the same. Einstein described her thusly:

Madame Curie is very intelligent, but has the soul of a herring [Häringseele in the German original], meaning that she is lacking in all feelings of joy and sorrow. Almost the only way in which she expresses her feeling is to rail at things she doesn’t like. And she has a daughter [Irène] who is even worse—like a Grenadier [an infantryman]. The daughter is also very gifted.

But, as pointed out in Susan Quinn’s Marie Curie: A Life, what Einstein did not know was that a few years before Einstein met her, Mme. Curie, then a widow, had a love affair with Paul Langevin, a French physicist who was married and had four children. The tabloid press printed the story, and at least five duels were provoked by the scandal, one of which involved Langevin himself. When she died on the Fourth of July, 1934, Einstein remarked that she was, “of all celebrated beings, the only one whom fame has not corrupted.” Her funeral, arranged by her two daughters, Irène and Eve, was purely secular. Eve wrote a biography of her mother, relating that all members of the gifted family were freethinkers. Their two daughters were Irène (Mme. Joliot) and Eve. Mme. Curie (1937), by her younger daughter, repeated that all the members of the family were rationalists. The elder daughter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics jointly with Fréderic Joliot-Curie, her husband, in 1935. In 1995, Marie Curie and her husband Pierre were enshrined in France’s Pantheon, the 70th and 71st people who are buried there. Sophie Bertholet is also buried there alongside her husband, the renowned chemist Marcellin Bertholet, but Marie Curie, according to President Mitterand, is “the first lady in our history honored for her own merits.” {CE; CL; JM; RE; TRI}

Curie, Pierre (1859—1906) 

A codiscoverer of radium, Pierre Curie was an atheist. The feminist agitation following his death led to such glorification of his wife that the fact that he had had an equal share in the research was generally pushed out of sight. He had been, however, a professor at Paris University. He remained a skeptic all his life and had a civil funeral. {CE; CL; RE; TRI}

Curran, Pete (19th Century) Curran gave an 1893 lecture in London’s Hall of Science on “The Relation of Freethought to Socialism.” In the late 1880s and 1890s, socialist ideas infiltrated many secularist societies in England. {RSR}

Currie, Justin (20th Century) Currie is lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for the Scottish pop-rock band Del Amitri. In Village View (9-15 October 1992), Currie explained that he is “fiercely atheist,” that “I wasn’t raised in a religious family, so I’ve never really had to reject anything. There is, however, a lot to be said for Christian morality. There are some strong altruistic ideals that run through Christianity; but believing in something you can’t see, touch, feel, or hear in any way . . . the whole idea of blind faith, following orders—that’s where fascism comes from.” {CA}

Currie, Nicholas [Momus] Currie is a writer and recording artist who goes by the name of Momus, the Greek deity of mockery, faultfinding, scoff, and unfair criticism as well as patron of writers and poets. According to an article in The New York Times (10 Nov 2000), he has been a fixture on the alternative-music scene since the 1980s and “is prone to striking cranky poses (he’s sort of famous for dissing babies).” At a charge of $1,000 each, he completed thirty “portrait songs” for individuals who reached him through his Web site, www.demon.co.uk/momus, calling the album Stars Forever. The Times reviewer found his show in New York City’s Chelsea, “Folktronia,” good clean, guileless fun “cast in an infantile fairy-tale mode, with paper cutout trees on the wall, bales of hay and computers to play with. Mr. Currie, who refers to himself as ‘a tender pervert’ and has a love-hate relationship with fame, is on hand every day from noon to 5 p.m, encouraging visitors to participate in one project or another.”

	When celebrities on an online show (6 Sep 2000), The Onion A.V. Club, were asked if they believe in God, Currie succinctly replied, “Umm. . . uh, I’m an atheist.” (On the Web: http://avclub.theonion.com/avclub3631/avfeature_3631.html) {CA}

Currier, Nathaniel (1813—1888) Currier, a lithographer of prints typically picturing race horses, trains, and steamships, was a member of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City. {U; UU}

Curros, Enriquez (19th Century) Curros, a Spanish poet, was prosecuted by the Bishop of Santiago, of Galicia, for his collection of poems entitled Airs of My Country. However, Curros was acquitted by a jury. {BDF}

Curry, Glenn (1951- ) Curry, who is president of Freethought Society of Wisconsin, has been involved in various church-state actions, including fighting local public institutions (such as city libraries that close on religious holidays), religion-biased intrusions in public schools (such as allowing Christian but not pagan sayings), and proselytizing of students by teachers. A single father of four, Curry runs T.E.A.M. Work, his technology-based company that specializes in computer networking and internet consulting. E-mail: <glenn@teamworkweb.com>. {WASM, 24 February 1999}

Curry, John (1950—1994) Curry was an Olympic and World Champion ice skater, winner of a gold medal in 1976. At his request and upon his death from an AIDS-related illness, Curry was cremated and given a non-religious, humanist funeral at which David Turner of the British Humanist Association officiated. {The Freethinker, May 1994}

Curry, Rob (20th Century) Curry is secretary of Humanist Association: St. Petersburg, Florida. E-mail: <rob.curry@usa.net>.

Curtin, John Joseph (1885—1945) Curtin was a rationalist and a prime minister in Australia. Although he did not publicly proclaim his unbelief, he was influenced and inspired by rationalists Tom Mann and Frank Anstey. Active in the anti-conscription campaign, Curtin was convicted and fined for remarks about revolution. The Scullin Ministry did not offer a portfolio to Curtin, allegedly because Scullin was a devout Catholic and disliked Curtin’s having left the faith. When Scullin retired in 1935, Curtin was then elected leader of the Labor Party. Shortly before he died, he was visited by Scullin who said, “I know you don’t believe much in God, Jack, but don’t you think it’s time you made peace with your Maker?” Replied Curtin, “I’ve seen it through like this so far, and I am not going to change now.” {SWW}

Curtis, S. E. (Died 1847) An English freethinker, Curtis wrote Theology Displayed (1842) and is credited with The Protestant’s Progress to Infidelity. {BDF}

Curtis, Thomas (19th Century) A San Francisco poet, Curtis was materialistic and scientific but saw the real beauty of life does not need to be expressed in terms of “God” or of “immortality.” Life is glorious as it actually is, he held. Curtis also felt no need to believe in angels or an afterlife, and he spent his life in Philadelphia and San Francisco speaking out as a reformer. {PUT}

Cusack, Nora (20th Century) Cusack, a volunteer Secretary of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has said she comes from a family of Unitarian freethinkers and that she values “the importance of First Amendment issues, including the separation of church and state.” {Freethought Today, January-February 1999}

Cusanus, Nicholas (15th Century) Cusanus, a profound thinker, was a non-theist, according to William Edelen, a contributor to Truthseeker (#1, 1995).

Cushing, Max Pearson (Born 1896) Cushing wrote A Study of Eighteenth-Century Radicalism in France and Baron D’Holbach (1914). {GS}

Cushman, Charlotte (Saunders) (1816—1876) Cushman was a Boston-born actress who started as an opera singer, then became famous for her ability to play both male and female parts in legitimate drama. Known for her Shakespearean roles, Cushman also gained a reputation for playing the part of Meg Merrilies in an operatic dramatization of Guy Mannering. As a Unitarian youngster, Charlotte had sung in the choir at the Unitarian church which the family attended, one in which Ralph Waldo Emerson was minister. As an actress, she performed throughout the United States and in England. For a time, she lived in England as well as in Italy. {CE; EG; U}

Cushman, Charlotte (Saunders) (23 Jul 1816 - 18 Feb 1876) Cushman was a Boston-born actress who started as an opera singer, then became famous for her ability to play both male and female parts in legitimate drama. Known for her Shakespearean roles, Cushman also gained a reputation for playing the part of Meg Merrilies in an operatic dramatization of Guy Mannering. As a Unitarian youngster, Charlotte had sung in the choir at the Unitarian church which the family attended, one in which Ralph Waldo Emerson was minister. As an actress, she performed throughout the United States and in England. For a time, she lived in England as well as in Italy. {CE; EG; U}

Cutner, Herbert (Born 1881) Cutner is author of A Short History of Sex Worship (1940), Jesus: God, Man, or Myth (1950), and G. W. Foote: His Life and Times (1955). In Freethinker (1952), he wrote, “I cannot say that I am particularly enamoured of this word Humanism which now appears to be co-opted by anybody and everybody.” {FUK}

Cuypers, K. (20th Century) Cuypers, a Belgian, was on the first Board of Directors in 1952 of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (1952). At the 1962 Congress of the IHEU, held in Oslo (1962), at the Congress held in Paris (1966), at the Second European Conference (1968) held in Hannover, at the Sixth World Congress held in Amsterdam (1974), and at the Seventh World Congress held in London (1978), he addressed the group.

CYBERNETICS AND CYBERSPACE Cybernetics, a theoretical study made popular in the 1940s by Harvard’s Norbert Wiener, involves the comparative study of control and communcation in humans and machines. With the advent of computers, modems, the World Wide Web, and online facilities, cyberspace became a distinct revolutionary aspect of life by the end of the 20th century. “Humanism and the Infomedia Revolution” by Paul Kurtz appeared in Free Inquiry (Winter 1996-1997) as well as New Humanist (December 1996). Individuals anywhere in the world were now able to use the search facilities to find, for example, information about atheism, agnosticism, freethought, secular humanism, and philosophy in general. Sitting in his underwear in Manhattan, a netizen could consult the cataloguing system of university libraries around the world in order to find bibliographical details. Individuals anywhere else in the world could, by finding the Manhattan scholar’s home page, see photographs of the individual as well as could e-mail electronic letters to the person. Universities and industries took advantage of the new revolutionary facility, arranging for conferences as to how technology was changing the rest of culture. In the present work, cyberspatial addresses are shown within the symbols < and >:

[[Council for Secular Humanism <http://www.secularhumanism.org> International Humanist and Ethical Union <http://www.secularhumanism/org/iheu/> Association of Iberoamerican Ethical Humanists <http://idt.net/~wasm/asibehu >

CYNICISM • Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth. — Lillian Hellman

• The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. —George Bernard Shaw

• Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the custom among the Scythians of plucking out a cynic’s eyes to improve his vision. _ Ambrose Bierce _ The Devil’s Dictionary

• A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past. He is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future. —Sidney Harris

• A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. —H. L. Mencken

CYNICISM, IN PRAISE OF Tim Madigan’s “In Praise of Cynicism” cites Antisthenes as the founder of Cynicism and Diogenes of Sinope as the most noted of the Cynics. “The basic message of the Cynics,” wrote Madigan, “was that one should live according to nature. Civilization is artificial, and the more one gets caught up in its clutches, the less one is true to oneself.” Happiness, the Cynics felt, is achievable during one’s lifetime. Contemporary humanism, Madigan holds, would do well to familiarize itself with the Cynics:

Today’s world is still in the grips of Platonic idealism. A healthy dose of old-fashioned Cynicism wouldn’t do it any harm. And for those who find this life an interesting one, and would prefer to postpone any possible visit to an afterlife for as long as they can, it is good to remember that Diogenes, for all his cheekiness, is reported to have lived to the ripe old age of ninety. Cynicism, it seems, can be good for one’s health.

As for Diogenes, he lived in a wine barrel, tried to eat his meat raw, advocated public masturbation, and reportedly urinated on individuals he disliked. Another cynic, Hipparchia, “travelled around with her husband, had intercourse publicly, and went out to dinners,” according to one of her biographers. Other cynics were Menippus, Varro, and Lucian. Origen, by pointing to the example of Diogenes’s life, did so to defend the poverty of Jesus, and other church fathers cited him in their defenses of monasticism. St. Augustine found nothing good to say about him, but Erasmus valued Diogenes as highly as he did Socrates. {R. Brancht Branham and Marie-Odile Goulet-Cazé, The Cynics, 1997; Free Inquiry, Fall 1991}

Cyprianus, Thasius Caecilius [Saint Cyprian] (c. 200—258) St. Cyprian was father of the Church, bishop of Carthage (c. 248), and was perhaps a disciple of Tertullian. In his middle age, he converted and became the most powerful bishop in Africa. He championed Pope St. Cornelius against the attacks of Novatian, helping avert a schism. During the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Decius, many apostatized. Cyprian called for strictness but ultimate forgiveness for the truly contrite, and he argued for the authority of the bishop as ground for the church’s unity. When he fell into a dispute with Pope Stephen I on the validity of baptism, Cyprian believed persons so baptized had to be rebaptized upon entering the church. The question was settled in favor of the Roman teaching, and Cyprian was martyred in the persecution of Valerian. As such, he was the first Christian priest to suffer death in Africa, having been condemned for inciting and ordering his fanatical followers to desecrate, vandalize, and destroy the pagan altars, temples, and statues. He was held responsible for cutting the noses, ears, arms, legs, and heads of many pagan statues that one currently sees in European museums. His biographer, Pontius, wrote that Cyprian was “the officer of Christ . . . who commanded the idols to be destroyed.” Just before he was beheaded on 14 September 258, Cyprian said, “God be thanked.” As pointed out by Bolder Landry (Truth Seeker, #1, 1995), the savaged statues we now can observe “are evidence of the hatred of the ‘saintly man.’ “ {CE}

Cyrano de Bergerac, Savinien (1619—1655) A French freethinker and novelist later romanticized by Edmond Rostand’s 1897 verse drama, Cyrano according to countryman Lachèvre “was the initiator of the rationalistic philosophical spirit, having as its object the destruction of Christianity.” His work attacked priest, pope, the supernatural, and immortality. His Chanticler was a biting satire of the clergy, for he depicted them as the birds and beasts of the night. When his tragedy “Agrippine” was performed, La Monnoye relates that from the pit came shouts of “Oh, the wretch! The Atheist! How he mocks at holy things!” Cyrano’s posthumously published Voyages to the Moon and Sun (1656) had him, like Copernicus, looking at the earth as it moved around the sun, and he found ours to be only one of an infinite number of worlds in a universe that is infinite. Busson said Cyrano “took the most irreligious stand for his time.” Observes Robertson, “At times Cyrano writes like a deist; but in so many other passages does he hold the language of a convinced materialist, and of a scoffer at that, that he can hardly be taken seriously on the former head. In short, he was one of the first of the hardy freethinkers who, under the tolerant rule of Richelieu and Mazarin, gave clear voice to the newer spirit. Under any other government, he would have been in danger of his life: as it was, he was menaced with prosecutions; his Agrippine (1654) was forbidden; the first edition of his Pédant joué (1654) was confiscated; during his last illness there was an attempt to seize his manuscripts; and down till the time of the Revolution the editions of his works were eagerly bought up and destroyed by zealots.” Cyrano knew personally Campanella, Gassendi, Lamothe Le Vayer, Linière, and Rohault. {BDF; CE; JMR; JMRH; Free Inquiry, Fall 1991; RE}

CZECH-AMERICAN FREETHINKERS AND RATIONALISTS For Czech American freethinkers, see Freethought in the United States (1978) by Gordon Stein. A Freethinker orphanage was once built in the Nusle district of Prague with the support of American freethinkers. The last chairman of the Union of Citizens Without Religion from 1946—1952 was the Czech-American Emanuel Voska, according to Josef Haubelt at Svotsovická 10/2834, 14100 Prague 4—Sporilov II, Czech Republic.

CZECH REPUBLIC FREETHINKERS, HUMANISTS A major Czech humanistic group is the Prometheus Society (IHEU), Palkovicova 14, 821 08 in Bratislava. Postmark Praha (Orego, Box 30, 251 01 Ricany, Czechia) is edited by Ken Biggs. At a 1995 Berlin conference arranged by the International Humanist and Ethical Union, Josef Haubelt said the churches in the Czech Republic are influential beyond their numerical support. Although 56% of the population is non-denominational, Catholics run a crusade to increase their influence in culture, education, and health matters. According to Haubelt, the freethought movement before the First World War fought for the national interest. The first Czech Republic was partly freethinking. Churches claimed “retrieval” of buildings, but also freethinkers aimed at retaining their name and restoring their property. A major interest of the Czech humanists is campaigning for human rights.

CZECH REPUBLIC UNITARIANS Dr. Norbert Capek was introduced to Unitarianism when he was in the United States and, following World War I, he returned to Prague and with the help of American friends started a free Unitarian church which grew in size and popularity. A writer, lecturer, composer of Unitarian hymns, Capek also is known as the one who created the Flower Communion in 1923, a service that is carried out in Unitarian churches around the world. The Unitarian “flaming chalice” is an emblem of Czech origin. In 1942, Capek died as a martyr in a Nazi concentration camp. Capek was instrumental in 1922 of the founding of a Religious Liberal Fellowship and in 1930 of the founding of the Czech Unitarian Association. In the 1930s Prague had one of the largest Unitarian congregations in the world. In 1997, a delegation of American Unitarian Universalists led by the Rev. John Buehrens met with the Czech Republic’s deputy minister of culture to ask him to rescind his government’s recognition of the Prague Unitarian congregation led by the Rev. Vladimir Strejcek. The Czech Republic officials, however, concluded that the dispute was internal and refused to repudiate Strejcek despite the appeals by the UUA and the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU). The exiled Prague congregation president is Ivana Kocmanova. Under the leadership of Miloslav Starosta Sternova (18,158 00, Praha 5, Czech Republic), an estimated six hundred members were members in 1996 of congregations in Prague, Brno, Pilsen, and Litvinov. Contact: Miloslav Starosta. The chairperson of the Czech Unitarian Association is Miroslav Starosta, Sternova 18,158 00 Praha 5, Czech Republic. {World, September-October 1997}

Czerski, Johannes (Born 1813) Czerski was a German reformer. At first a Catholic priest, he broke with the church in 1844 and associated himself with Ronge, married, and was excommunicated. Czerski wrote several works against Roman Catholicism. {BDF}

Cziepl, Scott (20th Century) Cziepl is on the board of directors of Society Against Religion.

Cziko, Gary (20th Century) An educational psychologist, Cziko is author of Without Miracles: Universal Selection Theory and the Second Darwinian Revolution (1995). According to H. James Birx, an expert on Darwin and evolution, Cziko “rejects outright miracles, innatism, teleology, and natural theology,” and his book is “a strictly Darwinian presentation that balances the current attack on evolution.”

Czolbe, Heinrich (1819—1873) A German materialist, Czolbe published New Exposition of Sensationalism (1855), in which everything is resolved into matter and motion. Lange says Czolbe’s life “was marked by a deep and genuine morality.” {BDF; RAT}