May 29 in freethought history…

goldwaterbadgeMay 29, 1998 – Former US Senator and 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater dies, aged 89. A lifelong Episcopalian, Goldwater was not especially pious, declaring, “If a man acts in a religious way, an ethical way, then he’s really a religious man—and it doesn’t have a lot to do with how often he gets inside a church.” In the 1980s and 90s, Goldwater (an old-school libertarian conservative) was disgusted by the rise of the Religious Right and the political influence of evangelical fundamentalist leaders, grouching that “Every good Christian ought to kick [Jerry] Falwell in the nuts.” Goldwater supported women’s rights—including abortion rights, and favored allowing gays in the military, arguing (to paraphrase), “You don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.”

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