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Infidels, Freethinkers, Humanists, and Unbelievers
Haldeman-Julius, Emanuel (1889-1951)
"Theism tells men that they are the slaves of a God. Atheism assures men that they are the investigators and users of nature."

"Religion glorifies the dogma of a despotic, mythical God. Atheism ennobles the interests of free and progressive Man. Religion is superstition. Atheism is sanity. Religion is medieval. Atheism is modern."

-- Emanuel Haldeman-Julius


E. Haldeman-Julius, né Emanuel Julius (1889 - 1951) was a socialist reformer and publisher, most noted as the editor of Appeal to Reason newspaper (a socialist newspaper with a large national circulation that was mentioned, among other places, in the Jack London novel The Iron Heel), and later for publishing the Little Blue Books.

Along with his wife, Marcet (whose last name he adopted in hyphenate), Julius was an activist who published muckraking newspapers until he came upon the idea of publishing cheaply-printed classic literature for the masses. He opened a printing house in Girard, Kansas and printed these books on cheap pulp paper (similar to that used in pulp magazines), stapled and bound with a plain (usually) yellow paper cover.

They were first sold in 1919 for as little as 5 cents. Many titles of classic literature were given lurid titles in order to increase sales. Eventually, many thousands of copies per year were sold and were popular with the so-called "drifters" of the 1920s to the 1950s. Haldeman-Julius and his wife became wealthy from the venture but later divorced.

E. Haldeman-Julius drowned in his swimming pool in 1951. The books continued to be sold from existing stock until the printing house burned down in 1978.

Quotations

"We are well aware that religion is not as bad an influence as it was a short time ago, as history is counted. But it is a sufficiently bad influence even in modern times, and its reduced viciousness (in practice) is due plainly enough to its reduced power."

"Fortunately, there are old terrors and powers that religion no longer can exercise so effectively as it did only a few score years ago. But the atmosphere and the attitude of bigotry remain. If religion cannot ordinarily invoke the armed force of law to punish heretics, it still plays upon the psychology of fear and predominantly its influence is to frighten men and distort their views and poison every process of their reasoning."

"The church has contributed nothing to civilization. It has progressed somewhat, and it has become a little more decent, in reflection of the movements of civilization that have taken place outside of the church and usually in the face of the strong opposition of the church. But the church has always resisted the process of civilization. It has struggled to the last ditch, by fair means and foul, to preserve as long as it could the vestiges of ancient and medieval theology, with all the puerile moralities and harsh customs and medieval styles of belief."

"To proclaim himself an agnostic, while to some it might appear more respectable and cautious, would be to say in effect that he hadn't decided what to believe."

 
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