Did We Love Her Out Of Hell, Guys?

“Atheist Leader Quits in Dallas,” the heading on this news item said:

DALLAS (UPI)—Madalyn Murray O’Hair has quit as the unofficial leader of American atheists. She said attacks by the Christian community and the lack of support of other atheists proved too much.
“I quit,” she said. “Anyone who desires to take over leadership of the American atheist community can have it.
“For thirteen years the Christian community in the U.S. has abused and brutalized me.”

Congratulations, guys. We did it. We took on that compact little Irishperson and beat her. We forced her into a corner and made her quit. We grabbed that woman who took our prayers out of the public schools … that woman who almost made the astronauts stop reading Genesis … that woman who tried to take our religious programs off the air … and we thrashed her good. Nice going, men.

And we did it our way. Verbal abuse. Hate mail. Vitriolic prayers. Pressure. Pressure. Pressure.

We did it.

We divided the atheistic community and wiped their noses in the dirt. Once more, because of us, the forces of good triumphed over evil. The Father must be proud of us today. Jesus rejoices. The Holy Spirit’s happy. We did her in.

And I’m sure she’s convinced now that Christ is really the answer. That love does make the world go round. That Christians do have it together and are faithful to their leader. After all, didn’t Jesus abuse and brutalize the people he overcame?

Nice going, guys. The world’s a better place because of us.


• Soon after that press conference Ms. O’Hair repudiated her statement. Eutychus says that proves all atheists are indecisive—ED.

High Marks

The illustrations by Joe DeVelasco are super plus (Jan. 30 and Feb. 27 issues). Chicago Tribune


Chicago, Ill.

Roof Relief

It was with real interest that I read your news story in the February 27 issue, “Tragedy in Guatemala,” and the March 12 story on relief activities after the tragic earthquake there. I know that in an operation of this kind it is very easy to overlook the work of some organizations. Seventh-day Adventist World Service was there. In addition to the nearly $500,000 worth of relief which we have already expended in Guatemala, we have now ordered another $250,000 worth of aluminum roofing which will be sent on eleven tractor trailers to San Francisco, where it will be loaded on ship. This is important, as the 1.5 million homeless people need to be placed under roofs; the rainy season is about to begin. Seventh-day Adventist World Service has set as a goal 5,000 houses which we will rebuild in this devastated country.

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We are happy to report that of 14,000 members we have in the country, only six were killed, and only 300 families were made homeless. We do, however, feel that our obligation is to everyone, which of course is the type of relief we give throughout the world.


Executive Secretary

Seventh-day Adventist World Service Inc.

Washington, D. C.

• In fast-breaking articles of this type it is often not possible to list every group that is involved. Our stories were intended to portray the types of relief being provided.—ED.

Help That Refreshes

The more I read your magazine, the more refreshing help I derive from its articles. I am especially grateful for the article “Christianity Faces the Eighties” (Feb. 27). As much as we’d like to stick our haloed heads in the sands and wait till all the bad weather passes, it just isn’t practical.… The article on euthanasia in the same issue is one of which I hope to see many more.


Lumphanan, Aberdeenshire


Thank you for publishing Gary Hardaway’s [article]. We Christian futurists rejoice at the appearance of such articles in your journal. Perhaps instead of developing a “last days” mentality, we should develop a “first days” mentality. From this perspective we can define a more forceful and creative ethic for the 1980s. Hardaway’s article would have been much stronger had he expanded the thoughts in the last eight lines of his second point. This is the heart of the matter.


Stone United Presbyterian Church

Wheeling, W. Va.

The Rent Free Myth

In your editorial “Where Do Retired Pastors Live?” (March 12) you made an excellent point, but at the expense of disseminating some false information. You referred to the “pastor’s rent-free housing,” and this just isn’t so. Instead of a minister earning X number of dollars he earns X minus $3,000 (give or take $500) and he lives in the parsonage. He is, in effect, renting from the church. His situation differs from other renters because most churches do not adequately maintain their parsonages. The minister keeps it up; he improves their property while its value appreciates with the rising cost of real estate. Having renovated three parsonages with my own time and money, and having spent the first nineteen years of my ministry without a nickel of equity built up, I appreciate the sentiment of your article, but wish to demythologize the ancient superstition that the minister lives rent-free.

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Philippus United Church of Christ

Cincinnati, Ohio

Marred Interview

Your welcome and timely interview with Charles Colson (March 12) was sadly marred by the egregious picture on the cover.… I know he became famous for saying that he’d walk over his grandmother if it would help Nixon get reelected, but that unfortunate statement belongs to his pre-conversion past which he has repudiated. Why rake it up again when he is trying hard to make a new life for himself?


Ohiowa, Neb.

Unique Thumbnail

Sincere, hearty thanks are due to you once again for providing a splendid thumbnail review of the latest Christian books (March 12). No one else does this sort of thing.


Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Livermore, Calif.

Where ‘Obey’?

My friend Harold Lindsell seems to have read something into the New Testament when he refers to the biblical injunction for wives to “obey” their husbands (Current Religious Thought, “Egalitarianism and Scriptural Infallibility,” March 26). Nowhere in the New Testament are wives commanded to “obey” their husbands or husbands encouraged to exercise authority over their wives. However, the New Testament requires all Christians to be subject to each other. This includes wives submitting to their husbands as well as husbands to their wives.


Associate Professor of Biblical Studies

Wheaton College

Wheaton, Ill

Harold Lindsell’s article has prompted this support of egalitarian marriage and biblical infallibility. The two are not incompatible as he has implied. The crux of his argument seems to be that egalitarian marriage and wifely submission are mutually exclusive concepts, and since wifely submission has biblical support that therefore egalitarian marriage cannot. They need not be mutually exclusive concepts as long as wifely submission is not considered the whole picture. A marriage of mutual submission of wife to husband and husband to wife certainly qualifies as an egalitarian marriage. Moreover, it does not contradict Scripture. Since mutual submission is the pattern set up for all Christians, then surely this pattern must exist in the Christian marriage as well. Nowhere in the Bible is the husband commanded to “lord it over” his wife. That kind of language is reserved for the curse of sin as a result of the Fall. Egalitarian marriage is the pattern present in Genesis before the Fall, and there is no indication that the “new heaven and the new earth” will have anything to do with the order established by that curse. In the meantime, husbands are told by Paul to love their wives. Our understanding of what it means to love as we have learned through the whole messsage of the New Testament is intimately bound up in the idea of service and submission. If Paul’s language on the subject (submission for wives and love from husbands) in the Ephesians 5 passage seems to indicate different requirements for the different sexes it is only because we … are blinded by the order that sin has created—and have even gone so far as to absolutize that order and claim that God’s infallible Word promotes it.

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Iowa City, Iowa

I would like to ask Dr. Lindsell how he interprets the following passages in terms of twentieth-century church practice: First Corinthians 11:2–16 (veiling of women, length of hair); First Corinthians 14:33–35 (women speaking in church); First Timothy 2:8–15 (women’s apparel, women not allowed to teach or have authority over men).… If he is going to call Drs. Jewett and Mollenkott, Ms. Hardesty and Ms. Scanzoni heretics, then let him come right out and say so. These are very serious accusations [he] is raising.


Associate Pastor

Newport Covenant Church

Bellevue, Wash.

To Think And Act

Let me thank you for the outstanding issue of January 16. As I turned through the pages before reading, I found it hard to know where to begin.… “The Passivity of American Christians” is one of the finest pieces I have seen in a very long time. Indeed it does give us much to think upon and some things to act upon, which is always helpful. Just one little question about what I feel sure was an error: surely in the twelfth line down on the last column the word protest should have been protect! This would make a difference in the meaning, and it might not be as readily recognizable as wisdom in the final paragraph, which any reader would know should be wisdom.


New Orleans, La.

• Thanks for the corrections—ED.


In the February 27 news story “The Rise and Fall of Billy James,” it was stated that the board of American Christian College agreed to give Mr. Hargis an annual stipend of $24,000. Instead, the funds were to come from the David Livingstone Missionary Foundation

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