by Edd Doerr
John Rafferty is the long time president of the Secular Humanist Society of New York and editor and writer for its excellent newsletter, PIQUE.
If you have not already read his 2013 book, A Fit of Pique: Dispatches from the Culture Wars, let me suggest that you order a copy while they last.
Here’s what I said about the book in a plug on page 2:
“John Rafferty’s refreshing, wide-ranging writings for Pique are comparable to those of Mark Twain or Ambrose Bierce. A Fit of Pique is a delightful garden of gems, a garden richly fertilized by the droppings – er, mindless utterances and deeds of the Religious Right.”
If you like Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert or George Carlin, you’ll like Rafferty’s 224-page opus. See also an online youtube interview.
John's Self Reported Background:
a philosophical humanist all my life, and became an active one when I joined the Secular Humanist Society of New York in 1997. Over the next several years I became a regular contributor to the SHSNY newsletter, PIQUE, and joined the SHSNY Board of Directors in 2003. I became the
Editor of PIQUE in 2004, and in 2007 was elected President of the Society, positions I still hold.
In 2012 I will assume the Chairmanship of Reasonable New York, a consortium of eleven New York-area freethought organizations (including New York Society for Ethical Culture, Center For Inquiry-NYC, and New York City Skeptics, as well as SHSNY) that work together to advance the cause of reason and science both here and nationally.
I am a professional writer, and have been all my life. The hours are generally good, most people can’t do what I do, and the work involves no heavy lifting.
After college, the army and jobs as a social worker, bartender, junior-high-school teacher and free-lance “true-adventure” writer for pulp men’s magazines, I became a copywriter in the advertising department of Esquire Magazine. I left to be associate creative director of a small advertising agency, then director, and in 1972 started my own firm, an agency specializing in magazine advertising and public relation
Since dissolving that business in 1988 (the desktop revolution, which I celebrate personally, was doing me in professionally), I have made my living as a copywriter and free-lance creative director, while editing newsletters on scientific equipment, archaeology, and (pro bono, of course) secular humanism.
I am a graduate of Queens College, SUNY (B.A., Philosophy, 1959), and was a New York State Regents Graduate Fellow at The New School for Social Research (1959-61) studying under distinguished humanist Horace Kallen (Secularism is the Will of God), but left (marriage, a child, only one income) before earning my M.A. Currently I am in a three-year graduate-level program in Humanist Leadership conducted by the Humanist Institute.
I am an active member of The Players, America’s oldest theatrical club.
I am four times a father (best job I ever had), eight a grandfather, and live happily in midtown Manhattan with my wife, the nonpareil painter and environ-artist Donna Marxer.
You can get a copy of the book, while they last, for $15 directly from John Rafferty, 141 E. 56th St., NY, NY 10022-7715.
A collection of a decade's worth of his essays, amusements, and outraged rants in the pages of PIQUE, the newsletter of the Secular Humanist Society of New York. From "An Atheist's Christmas" to Ronald McDonald & 'Touchdown Jesus'", it's all, in the opinion of philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, "...highly opinionated, incisive, always straight-shooting writing, and you won't regret spending some thoughtful- and enjoyable- hours with it."
"Simply wonderful," says NY Society for Ethical Culture Leader Anne Klaeysen, "I was hooked from the first great story."