Posts Tagged ‘Earl Lee’

PM Press just published my latest book, Godless: 150 Years of Disbelief, which I compiled/edited. Here’s their description of the book:
Godless is a compilation of wide-ranging texts, both hilarious and horrifying, on atheism, belief, and religion. The selections in the book appeared in various formats from the late nineteenth century through the early twenty-first, and their authors were often active in the anarchist, Marxist, or radical leftist movements of their day. Derived from printed pamphlets, books by small publishers, and essays that appeared in widely distributed newspapers, these texts serve as freethinking propaganda in a media war against morbid authoritarian doctrines.
With both a sophisticated analysis of inconsistencies in deistic beliefs and a biting satirical edge, Godless gives ammunition to those fighting fundamentalist bigotry—and more than a few reasons to abandon Christianity.
Readers previously familiar with the authors’ political polemics will be rewarded in contemplating another side of their remarkable literary output. Contributors include Emma Goldman, Ambrose Bierce, Chaz Bufe, E. Haldeman-Julius, Earl Lee, Johann Most, Joseph McCabe, Matilda Gage, Pamela Sutter, S.C. Hitchcock, and Sébastien Faure.

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PM is offering a 50% discount on Godless (with the coupon code JULY) until July 31.

And speaking of 50% discounts, See Sharp Press’s 50% off sale on all books (and even greater discounts on our anarchist and atheist pamphlet collections) continues, but will end this coming Sunday, July 31.

My good friend Earl Lee died on February 19. He was smart, funny, kind, and generous.  The world is a much poorer place for his loss. I’m re-posting pieces by him this week; this is the third in the series, and shows a light but biting side of Earl’s writing.

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A new book recently came across my desk, called Dogspell: The Gospel According to Dog.  At first I thought maybe Dogspell was a new version of the musical Godspell, but using barking dogs — kind of like the Christmas music CDs put out by “Jingle Dogs” or the even more annoying “Jingle Cats” music CDs, where a group of cats meow out Christmas classics like “Here Comes Santa Claws” or “Meowy Christmas.”

As it turns out Dogspell is a book that wants to guide Christians to a better understanding of their relationship with God. According to the publisher, the author “uses [the] metaphor of [a] dog’s unconditional devotion to its human and the joy it finds in [this] relationship….”

This idea is disturbing in so many ways:

Can this be the spiritual goal of most Christians — to view the universe on all fours while sniffing the crotch of God?  And think of all the theological questions it raises.  Is it appropriate to hump God’s leg only on Sundays? Or Saturdays? Or should this be a daily ritual?

And then there is the question of Evil. How can we address the fact that I have fleas? Why doesn’t God do something about this? Get me a flea-collar!  Buy some flea powder!  Please, God, do something to clean up all these horrible problems in the world.

I love my neighbor. So can I ask God to send the city’s Mobile Spaying Unit to my neighbor’s house and “fix” them all? (Just my idea for cleaning up the local gene pool.)

What if it turns out that my God is violent and brutal, and he beats the hell out of me with a 2×4 and sells me out to dogfights, like Michael Vick? Am I still expected to lick his hand?

Why is it that people look up to the sky, searching for some invisible master, and abase themselves like dumb animals?

What is it about this idea that makes me want to lie down and lick my own ass, just to get the taste of this out of my mouth? Oops, I can’t reach. A little help here!

The religious never cease to amaze. Sometimes their weird ideas are pretty funny. Other times their violence and senseless bigotry are downright shocking. From female circumcision to abortion clinic bombings, these people are seriously disturbed. Maybe they’re trying to work out overwhelming feelings of worthlessness? At least that would explain the self-identification with dogs.

And their ideas and practices are truly crazy. Ritual cannibalism on Sundays. Confessing one’s “sins” to a pedophile in a dress. Not using birth control. Praying in front of candles and statues. Wishing for miracles. Denying dying children medical care. Then they accept whatever crazy shit the preacher tells them, and reject the evidence of their own eyes.

I know of a Baptist preacher in our town (pop. 18,000) who has a congregation of only 25 people.  Every Sunday (and Wednesday and Friday) he subjects them to 2 hours of yelling and personal abuse (I am not exaggerating).  Why do they put up with this jerk!  And worse yet, a few months ago he emptied the church bank account and left town. And some church members still want him to come back!  How sick is that?

I guess it does all comes back to the self-identification with dogs: Here boy! Good boy! Kill that unbeliever! Roll over for your heavenly daddy!

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This post originally appeared in Earl’s blog Libraries in the Age of Mediocrity.

My good friend Earl Lee died on February 19. He was smart, funny, kind, and generous.  The world is a much poorer place for his loss. I’ll re-post pieces by him over the coming week; this is the second in the series, and shows a much lighter side of Earl’s writing.

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A few years ago, we were driving east along Highway 44, near Joplin, Missouri, a week after the F5 tornado tore through the south side of the city, cutting a mile wide swath through houses and businesses. The tornado destroyed several schools, churches, apartment buildings, and basically gutted St. Johns Hospital.

As we drove along Highway 44, my wife noticed that almost every exit had a porn shop, or sometimes two. She said, “Why would God destroy a hospital and leave behind all these porn shops?”

I explained, “God has no problem with porn shops. But hospitals actively defy His will. God makes people sick, but hospitals make them well–thus defeating God’s plan. It only makes sense that He’d destroy hospitals. Similarly, schools teach about science, and those ideas tend to weaken the faith of the masses (I almost said “ignorant masses” but that seemed redundant). Similarly, churches preach about salvation, and God is all about punishment– after all He did create Original Sin.”

Update: I later found out that God destroyed Christie’s Toy Box, which is just north of the IHOP, which he also destroyed, on Rangeline Road in Joplin. I guess God hates pancakes so much that he was willing to destroy the sex toy shop, too. I’m still trying to imagine the facial expression of the guy, living just east of Joplin, who found a large, pink dildo stuck in the crotch of his elm tree.

(This post originally appeared on Earl’s blog, Kiss My Left Behind,)

Earl Lee (1954-2015) RIP

Posted: February 22, 2015 in Livin' in the USA

My good friend Earl Lee died yesterday. He was smart, funny, kind, and generous. And he was honest–an atheist to the end.

The world is a much poorer place for his loss.

I’ll re-post pieces by him over the coming week.

leadby Earl Lee, author of Libraries in the Age of Mediocrity and Raptured; Earl also wrote the scholarly foreword to The Jungle: The Uncensored Original Edition and co-authored the original story on which Kathy De Grave based The Hour of Lead


People who do not believe that man evolved from apes should be forced to spend several hours in the food court at the mall in Joplin, Missouri.

Just sit there and watch the crowds. At the end of that hour, you will believe one of two things:

Either men are descended from apes, or it’s the other way around.

When Star Trek VI opened in the mall at Joplin, I saw a number of people arrive for the opening, all dressed as Klingons. The problem was that it was difficult to tell where the make-up left off and the naturally sloping foreheads began.

A few years later the film Gods & Monsters played in the same Joplin theater. In this movie, the main character, played by Brendan Fraser, says he is from Joplin. That characterization is key to understanding the film.

(This post originally appeared on Earl’s blog, Libraries in the Age of Mediocrity,)

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