November 8 in freethought history…

November 8, 1614 – Japanese ruler Tokugawa Ieyasu expells 300 Japanese Christians as part of the Christian Expulsion Edict, which banned foreigners and the practice of Christianity.

November 8, 1960 – John F. Kennedy defeats Richard M. Nixon, becoming America’s first Roman Catholic president. During the campaign, Kennedy was forced to confront deep-seated anti-Catholic sentiments that went back to colonial times. As part of his campaign, he gave a now-famous speech to a group of Southern ministers to assure them he supported separation of church and state, and would not be beholden to the Vatican with respect to American public policy.

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