Browsing through S. T. Joshi’s book Atheism: A Reader (Prometheus Books, 2000) I came across an excerpt from H. L. Mencken’s writing from the Scopes’ trial. It contained the following quote:
Once more, alas, I find myself unable to follow the best Liberal thought. What the World‘s contention amounts to, at bottom, is simply the doctrine that a man engaged in combat with superstition should be very polite to superstition. This, I fear, is nonsense. The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who should no better? Then their folly should be brought out into the light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they flee from it, hiding their heads in shame.
That, mind you, was written in 1925. Sound familiar? Guess there really is nothing new under the Sun.
And as for Mencken, well said! Mencken had his blind spots on a number of political issues, but no one ever accused him of being a bad writer.