Excerpt from Back to Bethel by J. Vernon McGee, quoted in "Thru the Bible Radio" (Pasadena, June 1996).
Joseph Lewis Preston, of the Free Thinkers of America, told an Associated Press reporter, "Organized interest in atheism has lagged because the opposition isn't as strong as it used to be. There has been considerable liberalizing of religion and the lines of conflict aren't nearly as strong." Charles Smith, president of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism, reported that the lack of opposition was the cause of the decline of atheism. "We don't have the old repressive religion that stimulates atheism, and they don't preach hell-fire and Jonah in the whale anymore. They go in for this cheer-them-up religion. That's not the old-time religion. It may be that this new sort is not so bad but they don't let it interfere with their lives. They spent more time in the old days pleasing God. Now they try to please their fellow men."