The history of our race, and each individual's experience, are
sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is
Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but
the passages that bother me are those I do understand.
The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
A hundred odd years ago, as the 19th century wound down and everybody was getting ready
for another hundred years of Progress and Prosperity, a now-forgotten itinerant artist by
the name of Watson Heston tried to call everyones attention to certain shards of
hypocrisy and superstition in the dominant religion of the United States.
In two books, The Old Testament Comically Illustrated (1890), andThe New Testament
Comically Illustrated (1898), Heston provided a running, freethinkers commentary on
the Bible interspersed, for the semi-literate, with several hundred drawings to amplify
Heston was working in an also-forgotten tradition of American freethinkers (Robert
Ingersoll being the best-known exponent). His visions have now vanished into the remoter
shelves of libraries, but the books are available (cheap) on CD (see below).
Herewith a sample. Look, and weep for American gullibility, lament the false piety of
pulpits and politicians, and shudder as the masses lurch again toward theocracy.
Go to First Picture
1. Watson Heston: Adam's First
2. Watson Heston: Lot and His Daughters.
3. Watson Heston: Moses in the Bulrushes.
4. Watson Heston: Moses at Mount Sinai.
5. Watson Heston: The Ten Commandments.
6. Watson Heston: Paul on Women.
7. Watson Heston: Jesus and Money.
8. Watson Heston: An Errant Teaching.
9. Watson Heston: Jesus the Merciful.
10. Watson Heston: Jesus and His Mother.
11. Watson Heston: The Yoke and the Burden.
12. Watson Heston: Revelations and Raiment.
13. Watson Heston: Revelations and Visions.
A CD (Freethought and the Bible, $24.95) containing both volumes of Heston's writings and
drawings can be had at:
For a bracing read and reminder of the lost legacy of Amercian freethinker, take a look
by Susan Jacoby