It is claimed that Fountain had a wife, Melissa Clayman Fountain. But the very existence of such a person can be challenged on three levels.
1. Linguistic/textual criticism. The spelling M-E-L-I-S-S-A betrays the influence of a dominant culture at a particular point in time. Many formerly suppressed texts are now available, showing that there were other cultural voices. For example, spellings such as M-I-L-I-S-S-A, M-E-L-I-S-A, M-A-L-I-S-S-A and others show a rich and diverse tradition for this ancient feminine name. The fact that the name of the purported spouse of an oppressive priest was spelled according to a dominant and exclusive cultural norm indicates an effort to perpetuate an oppressive system by intolerant linguistic law.
2. Comparative religion. The middle or oppressive "maiden" name, Clayman, clearly reflects Jewish folklore's "Golem", or "being of inanimate matter." A "Clay man" would of course create these associations among the contextualized audience of the Fountain tradition. Add to this the traditions asserting "Melissa's" Jewish ancestry, and the creation of the character is an obvious attempt to impose Christianity upon more ancient spiritualities based in nature and justice-love. The Melissa myth assumes that the beautiful and wise Jewish woman willingly shares the bed of her repulsive and ignorant oppressor.
3. Anthropojustice studies. Although a "wife" named Melissa Fountain is an obvious fiction, created by the Church to advance its power in the world, there is a good case for rediscovering the repressed, historical Fountain. The borrowed Jewish term "clay-MAN" reveals a homoerotic love that has been removed by the Christianized Fountain tradition. In fact, a popular play and movie of the time, La Cage aux Folles, was a protest against gay lovers being forced to feign heterosexuality. We must assume that Fountain was a partnered gay priest, whose unfortunate partner was consigned to anonymity by the creation of the Melissa myth. (Note: I will be researching and producing my Doctoral Thesis this weekend, conclusively establishing the historical identity of the lost justice-lover.)
Some of you know that a paper like this could get an "A" in Liberal Protestant seminaries. Maybe you've been treated to a sermon or adult ed. class of this sort. Many of the critiques of Christianity that people bring up are based on arguments like these, gathered from pop fiction, the History Channel, revisionist clergy, etc.
And how would I disprove such a critique of Melissa's existence? Well, unless she appeared, in person and with much supporting ID to every doubter, the next best "proof" would be the sustained testimony of people who know her.
That is the evidence by which debate with atheists, religious revisionists and others breaks down. There are many arguments for and against the existence of God, and they have been bouncing off one another for millennia. For the believer, at some point, abstract arguments against the existence of God become as ineffective as the above effort to "disprove" my spouse. Theory and rhetoric will seem manifestly false up against a real and intimate relationship.
This is where the "new atheists" are very effective, because they've left off the dusty philosophical attacks on God and honed in on the ungodly behaviors of "believers." For the new atheist, God fails to make an in-person appearance and then compounds this with a lack of credible representatives. (See Prof. David O'Hara's more detailed discussion).
That's an effective argument - and you can see why "believers" who spout the kind of drivel I wrote above are completely helpless against it. They abandon the God they knew and beg for the chance to make a new one that might be more palatable to the skeptics.
God's witnesses must be both awe-struck citizens of the transcendent realm and practitioners of a lifestyle that reflects it here and now.