June 11 in freethought history…

josephlewisJune 11, 1889 – Joseph L. Lewis, prominent 20th century American freethought activist, is born of Jewish parents in Montgomery, Alabama. Largely self-educated, Lewis moved to NYC in 1920 and became active in the freethought community. Lewis became president of The Freethinkers of America in 1928. He founded the Freethought Press Association and wrote numerous books, including The Bible Unmasked, Atheism and An Atheist Manifesto. Unfortunately, Lewis (like many of his time) promoted and published books about eugenics. Also, his dominant presence over The Freethinkers of America led many to resign, and the organization folded shortly after his death in 1968.

June 11, 1994 – The Union of American Hebrew Congregations (now the Union for Reform Judaism) overwhelmingly rejects the membership application of a Cincinnati synagogue that removed all references to God from its liturgy.

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