Here’s a beautiful and inspiring story, told by Secular Coalition for America founder Herb Silverman about his now-deceased friend Bill Upshur:
Knowing in 2007 that he didn’t have long to live, Bill told me he wanted to donate $20,000 to the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry. He devised an unusual plan to make the donation. Typically books at our auction go for no more than $10. Bill and I engaged in a fake bidding war for Richard Dawkins’ book, The God Delusion. It started with incremental bids of a dollar or two, then soared to $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, and ended with Bill’s winning bid of $20,000. I had informed nobody, including my wife Sharon, who became increasingly alarmed by my extravagant bids.
When I told Richard Dawkins, he wrote a wonderful note to Bill, which I read to him in the hospital a week before he died. Richard said, “I hope you will not think me impertinent if I say you are my kind of guy. You now possess the most expensive copy of “The God Delusion” in the known universe. Thank you for all you have done for secular causes.” My last memory of Bill was his broad smile after hearing Dawkins’ words.