Gerald A. Larue dies at 98; former minister debunked biblical stories
By Elaine Woo of the Los Angeles Times 09.22.14
Gerald A. Larue — an ordained minister who became an agnostic, archeologist, religious scholar and debunker of claims such as Lazarus rising from the dead and the discovery of Noah’s ark — has died. He was 98.
The longtime USC professor of religion and gerontology died Wednesday in Newport Beach after a stroke, said his son, David.
“He was an inspirational thinker, and that’s an oxymoron, especially in religion,” said USC professor of gerontology Vern Bengtson. “You find people who are an inspiration and people who are thinkers; they often do not go together. But Gerry was able to do that.”
During an academic career spanning five decades, Larue became a widely cited expert on topics including Satanism, visions of Mary, and death and dying. He wrote or co-wrote a dozen books, including the provocatively titled “Sex and the Bible” (1983) and “Playing God: Fifty Religions’ Views on Your Right to Die” (1996).
In 1980 he became founding president of the Hemlock Society, conceived by “Final Exit” author and right-to-die movement pioneer Derek Humphry to provide information to the terminally ill and legalize physician-assisted suicide.
“He stepped up to the plate when others were afraid,” Humphry Continue Reading »