Belief and Disbelief

Atheist since childhood—lucky man—John Figdor ’06 should not be “hoping to shift the conversation away from what atheists disbelieve and onto their positive beliefs and values …” [Spring/Summer 2015] This concedes too much. We atheists are no more negative than the various God Squads.

The true believers tell us, and each other—especially when they are feeling ecumenical—that they have a largely common thread, and most of the time they love each other, also us. This is so whether we are hearing from the fans of Zeus; Yahweh; Jesus and his Dad; Allah as brought to us by His Prophet; the One whose name I forget (and so does Google) brought to us by the Head Druid at Stonehenge; the Spirit of the Third Volcano from the Left, as brought to us by the priests who tell us to propitiate it by throwing virgins into the magma chamber; etc. etc. There is, however, a hidden subtext to all their threads: it reads, “… but I would not want my daughter to marry one.”

We atheists have doubts about these threads, but the crucial point is that the 57 varieties of God Squad each have the Indisputable Truth and have doubts only about the other 56. Feeling the same way about all 57 does not seem to me to make a crucial difference. We also may sometimes have reservations about our sisters’ marriage choices, but we would never kill them, never drive them out of the family, shunning them and even sitting Shiva over them.

All in all, I really do not think we are any nastier than the true believers, nor any more in need of a shift in the conversation.

Brian Jones S ’59; P ’88

Brooklyn, NY

Iconic Comics

The article on Peter Antelyes’s comics course [Spring/Summer 2015] was especially interesting to me and my family, as Percy Crosby, the celebrity creator of the “Skippy” character, was my father.

A number of family members were Vassar graduates, from 1901, 1904, 1925, 1953, 1954, 1981, 1983, and now class of 2019. So there is a Vassar family history behind the Skippy comic.

Perhaps Professor Antelyes has already read about the history of Skippy (www.Skippy.com). During the Great Depression the charac-ter became a national icon, and a classic. Currently, the Skippy comic strips, with the bio of Percy Crosby, have been republished as Volumes 1 through 3 in the Skippy series by popular demand. Volume 4 will shortly be released.

Joan Crosby Tibbetts ’54

Altamonte Springs, Florida


Thanks to Elizabeth C. Dooling ’59, also a graduate of the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), for pointing out that June Jackson Christmas ’45-4 (interviewed in Spring/Summer 2015) attended BUSM, not Boston College. In addition, Christmas is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, not the Larrakin Psychiatric Association.

In the Spring/Summer 2015 issue, we mistakenly listed the novel Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel ’99 in the nonfiction section of Mixed Media.