September 30 in freethought history…

ulyssesgrantSeptember 30, 1875 – In Des Moines, Iowa, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant, in a speech to a convention of the Society of the Army of Tennessee, says, “Let us all labor to add all needful guarantees for the more perfect security of free thought, free speech, and free press, pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and of equal rights and privileges to all men, irrespective of nationality, color, or religion. Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar of money shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian school. Resolve that neither the state nor nation, or both combined, shall support institutions of learning other than those sufficient to afford every child growing up in the land the opportunity of a good common school education, unmixed with sectarian, Pagan, or Atheistical tenets. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private schools, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the Church and the State forever Separate.”

September 30, 2005 - Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten publishes “The Face of Muhammad,” an article exploring the limits of Islamic criticism and free speech, which featured twelve cartoons of the Prophet. Muslims around the world expressed outrage in riots that killed at least 200 people.

September 30, 2009 – The Center for Inquiry organizes the first annual Blasphemy Day, “to promote the rights to freedom of belief and expression and stand up in a show of solidarity for the liberty to challenge reigning religious beliefs without fear of murder, litigation, or reprisal.” CFI selected September 30 because of its association with the Jyllands-Posten “Muhammad cartoons” controversy of 2005.

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