An Episcopal bishop seems an unlikely candidate to serve as the champion of the American atheists in 1961 - but that is the exact roll Bishop John Pike chose. For the same reason that the ACLU would choose to defend the basic constitutional rights of the National Socialist Party of America when they marched in Skokie, Illinois - Bishop Pike recognized that if the government is allowed to ostracize any one of us for our beliefs, they can ostracize all of us. Although Episcopalians in 1961 were not the largest of the Protestant denominations, it had long been seen as the most powerful church in our Nation's Capital. When a public office seeker wished to seem more "establishment", this is the church he would attend. For this reason the Bishop's column had some weight. His article anticipated an opinion that Justice Anthony Kennedy would write in 1992 when he scribbled that the definition of liberty included "the right to define one's own concept of existence."
The colorful additions that we've contributed to the pages are to indicate what atheists think of him.
Another article about an outstanding Episcopal bishop can be read here...
Click here to read about the chaplaincy within the American military during World War II.