H.L. Mencken on Religion

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Prometheus Books, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 330 pages
7 Reviews
No one ever argued more forcefully or with such acerbic wit against the foolish aspects of religion as H. L. Mencken (1880-1956). As a journalist, he gained national prominence through his newspaper columns describing the now-famous 1925 Scopes trial, which pitted Fundamentalists against a public school teacher who dared to teach evolution. But both before and after the Scopes trial, Mencken spent much of his career as a columnist and book reviewer lampooning the ignorant piety of gullible Americans.

S. T. Joshi has brought together and organized many of Menckenís writings on religion in this provocative and entertaining collection. The articles here presented demonstrate that Mencken canvassed the entire range of religious phenomena of his time, from evangelists Billy Sunday and Aime Semple McPherson, to Christian Scientists, and theosophists and spiritualists. On a more serious note are his discussions of the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and the scientific worldview as a rival to religious belief. Also included are poignant autobiographical accounts of Menckenís own upbringing and his core beliefs on religion, ethics, and politics.

If anything was sacred to Mencken, it was the right to speak oneís mind freely, and many of his attacks are directed against those true believers who he felt tried to foist their beliefs on others to stifle independent thinking. For everyone who values freethought and sharp intelligence, this collection of articles by Americaís premier iconoclast is a must.

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Review: HL Mencken on Religion

User Review  - Eric Sexton - Goodreads

Put simply, Mencken is the foremost American badass. His wit, clear prose, and damning critiques make all of his writings a national treasure. This compilation is particularly great. Mencken shits on ... Read full review

Review: HL Mencken on Religion

User Review  - Anners - Goodreads

Best quote so far: "The meaning of religious freedom, I fear, is sometimes greatly misapprehended. It is taken to be a sort of immunity, not merely from governmental control but also from public ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
11
THE BELIEFS of an ICONOCLAST
25
SOME OVERVIEWS
51
Copyright

12 other sections not shown

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About the author (2002)

S. T. Joshi is a freelance writer, scholar, and editor. His books include The Unbelievers: The Evolution of Modern Atheism; Documents of American Prejudice; In Her Place: A Documentary History of Prejudice against Women; God's Defenders: What They Believe and Why They Are Wrong; Atheism: A Reader; H. L. Mencken on Religion; The Agnostic Reader; What Is Man? and Other Irreverent Essays by Mark Twain and The Angry Right: Why Conservatives Keep Getting It Wrong.

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