Ruth Hurmence Green

Photo by Paul Gaylor Photo by Paul Gaylor

On this date in 1915, Ruth Hurmence Green was born. The Iowa native received a journalism degree from Texas Tech in 1935, married, had three children, and settled in Missouri. Ruth, a "half-hearted Methodist," first plodded through the bible when convalescing from cancer in her early sixties, calling the shock she suffered from reading the book worse than the trauma caused by her illness. "There wasn't a page of the bible that didn't offend me in some way. There is no other book between whose covers life is so cheap," Ruth discovered, prompting her to write the enduring modern freethought classic, The Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible (1979). In the book's Preface, Ruth wrote: "I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion. . . . If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society's admiration, what types of human behavior can be presented to them as reprehensible?” When terminal cancer developed in 1981, Ruth, who always insisted "There are atheists in foxholes," took her own life, swallowing painkillers. In her last letter to Anne Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation on July 4, 1981, Ruth wrote: "Freedom depends upon freethinkers." D. 1981.

“There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages.”

—Ruth Hurmence Green, 1980

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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