Dear Sir, — Of the many letters published in this column during the past fortnight treating of the “Truthseeker” and blasphemy, none have. I think, made a candid examination of that paper. “The Truthseeker,” though has “fought good fight” against the ancient blasphemy laws, is largely boycotted by tolerant Rationalists: the “Literary Guide” speaks of “Gott and his wild associates”; the “Freethinker” practically ignores them. Anyone refusing to accept the anti-Christian-plus-Malthusian cordial of the “Truthseeker” is denounced in language which is neither decent, courteous, nor manly. For instance, I have now before me a copy containing an article signed “Malfew Seklew.” This unknown scribe refers to large-hearted Bruce Glasier as “a watery-blooded weak imitation of the weeping Nazarene.” Christian Evidence men the paper refers to as those “whose brains are surely fit to be boiled down to billstickers’ paste.” The same issue includes a letter ending thus: “Socialism will never have the ghost of a chance until the fat-headed followers of creeping Jesus have got the rhinoceros-like scales scraped out of their blubbering eyes. Send me two of your bedding parcels, for which I enclose cheque.”
This in a paper professedly devoted to mental freedom and social progress! I have quoted sufficient. I hold no brief for Bruce Glasier; I am no admirer of Christian Evidence lecturers; I hold unorthodox opinions concerning Jesus of Nazareth; I smile at allegations of blasphemy, at pedants who burn literature because it disagrees with them; I like occasionally words that bite, that irritate – such are often needed; but neither I nor any other Rationalist can defend such scurrilous and miserable attacks of the type I have quoted: attacks not on principle but on individuals. I am sure that all earnest students – religious or secular, reformists or revolutionists – must depreciate such passages; they are a blight on Freethought, and a blur on our press.