The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 20, 1997 - 5A
Angle Laurie Gaylor speaks last night at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library.
Author speaks on freethinkers
By Peter Meyers
For The Daily
Atheists. Skeptics. Witches. Agnostics.
eretics. In short - freethinkers.
In her new book, "Women Without
Superstition," Annie Laurie Gaylor
gives voice to these often-silent people.
Last night, Gaylor gave a presenta-
tion on her book as part of a free-
thought exhibit, sponsored by the
Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library's spe-
cial collections department.
The exhibit itself has received a certain
amount of controversy, said Julie
errada, assistant curator of the exhibit.
"Somebody called today to say they
were going to come down here and
prove the existence of God," Herrada
said, adding that the caller never
Gaylor said that freethinking women
intellectuals were responsible for many
of Western society's advances in
women's rights. However, they have
been largely ignored by historians.
These women believed that society
kept women subservient largely
through religion, according to her book.
In order to rise in stature, they first had
to attack religion, the "root of the prob-
lem," Gaylor said.
The audience, who described them-
selves as mostly atheists and agnostics,
said they appreciated the free-thought
John Sikos, a lawyer from Grosse
Pointe Farms, said Gaylor made a good
spokesperson for atheists everywhere.
"She's very polite. She has a sweet
voice," he said.
The media, Sikos said, often con-
demns atheists as extremists. "She's a
good antidote for that," he said.
The term freethought should not be
confused with atheism, Gaylor said. It
is defined as "a rejection of dogma."
"Freethought is an umbrella term.,"
she said. "It encompasses atheism,
Ed Weber, one of the co-curators ofthe
exhibit, said that with Gaylor's founding
of the Freedom From Religion
Foundation, she discovered "her life's
work of feminism and humanism."
Herreda said the exhibit was largely a
reaction to the special collections'
annual Bible exhibit.
"Every year the special collections
library has a Bible exhibit which gets a
lot of media attention and patronage,"
Herreda hoped the free-thought
exhibit would "balance things out."
Peter Werbe interviewed Gaylor ear-
lier this week on WCSX radio. Werbe,
himself a "third-generation atheist,"
was happy to give Gaylor more expo-
sure because the views of atheists don't
often get heard, Werbe said.
"One of the functions of my pro-
gram is to present views not normally
heard on public radio," Werbe said.
"They're so far out on the fringe, you
become a heretic just to listen to
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