August 3 in freethought history…

August 3, 1900 – John T. Scopes is born in Paducah, Kentucky. Scopes was at the center of the 1925 “Scopes Monkey Trial,” in which he was ultimately convicted of teaching evolution in violation of Tennessee law. Scopes died in 1970.

barneyfrankAugust 3, 2013 – Former Congressman Barney Frank (who represented Massachusetts’ 4th District from 1981-2012) comes out as a “pot-smoking atheist” on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Frank had already been the subject of some controversy after coming out as gay in 1987 while still in office: he was, nonetheless, re-elected numerous times until his retirement. Not long before his appearance with Maher, Frank had been considered for temporary appointment to Senator John Kerry’s seat when Kerry was appointed as Secretary of State (the appointment ultimately went to Mo Cowan). Frank expressed the desire, had he been selected, of having his husband Jim Ready (whom he married in 2012) “hold the Constitution–not the Bible–and affirm, not swear, that I was gonna be a wonderful Senator.”

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