A Moment to Savor: Norman B. LeClair

By Norman B. LeClair

Just a short communique from Northwest Florida’s favorite agitator.

Because I have all the copies of Freethought Today, starting with the first issue, I often spend time going over and rereading the various articles and essays and enjoying the many cartoons from yesteryear. I must say that the more I go through all these issues, the more impressed I am with the total body of work you have produced. You should be very, very proud of what you’ve accomplished since FFRF first got started.

On one such excursion through the back issues, I was struck by just how powerful and troubling the many, many pages of Black Collar Crimes are. There was such an abundance of facts, information and detail presented that I had to do something with all that data. I just couldn’t let it lie fallow.

So, with a sinister and ulterior motive in mind, I made copies of all the pages going back to 1995. The end product was a very impressive bundle about two inches thick. I carry them with me in my automobile, and when an opportunity presents itself, a sudden showing of this litany of crimes and offenses can really do a number on the smug and sanctimonious true believer.

Just such an opportunity came to pass when my “World Gone Mad” essay (see below) appeared in the local paper. I had a phone call or two from those who took exception to the statements made in the letter. One young man wanted to get together and “debate” the assertions made against organized religion. I replied that I’d be happy to discuss any and all topics with him, but there was nothing to “debate” because all statements made were self-evident to anyone conversant with the bloody, 2,000-year history of the Middle East and the three insane religions that originated there.

So we met at McDonald’s and, after introducing myself to the small group (why do they always show up in numbers?), I told them that I had a present for ’em. Without fanfare I dropped the bundle of Black Collar Crimes on the table and spread them out so everyone was immediately confronted and inundated with the abhorrent behavior of their leaders.

They were struck dumb–and while their jaws were still hanging slack, I impressed upon them that because less than 10% of the crimes committed by clergy are ever reported, the pile of clippings should actually be 10 to 12 inches in height rather than the two-inch pile now before them. Only by picturing this bundle as being a foot tall could they really begin to appreciate the magnitude of the problem.

They were mesmerized by page after page of cold hard facts. Their discomfort was painfully apparent, and after a few furtive glances at one another they got up en masse and, without so much as a single word being uttered, made a hasty withdrawal from the premises.

It was a moment to savor. I couldn’t resist the temptation to call after them with the offer that I’d be more than happy to make copies of all these crimes and violations just so they could become better acquainted with what’s really going on in the faith and fraud business. Can you believe not one of those ingrates took me up on my offer?

The incident was one of the more amusing and memorable moments of my life, and I have you good folks at Freethought Today to thank for providing me with that most effective pile of ammunition.

What would those of us in the hinterland do without all the talented and gifted people at Freethought Today and FFRF?

Norman B. LeClair is a Life Member who lives in Florida. An artist, he is retired from the military.

World Gone Mad

We are living in a world that has been driven mad by the insane teachings of organized religion. Of all the problems confronting suffering humanity, 99.99 % of them have been generated and orchestrated by that insidious, hydra-headed monster of faith, force and fanaticism.

Our refusal to acknowledge that fact and our mania for keeping these lethal lies alive, generation after generation, guarantee that all sides in these interminable sectarian conflicts will have an endless supply of holy warriors, suicide bombers and zealots of every stripe imaginable.

If the sad and pathetic history of the Middle East teaches us anything, it is that contrary to what our leaders tell us, religion is not the solution to the problem. Religion is the problem and will continue to be the problem until humankind matures enough to extricate itself from the primeval slime of superstition, credulity and self-deception.

The evil we do to one another in the name of God gives us the dubious distinction of being the most disturbed and bloodthirsty predator on the face of the earth.

Or, as one astute observer recently put it: “There will always be good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things, but for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

Norman LeClair

Originally published in the Daily News, June 13, 2005.

Freedom From Religion Foundation