May 8 in freethought history…

heinleinMay 8, 1988 – Robert A. Heinlein dies in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, aged 80. One of the most influential science fiction writers of the 20th century, his books explored philosophy, religion, sexuality and taboos. He is best known for his novels Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. Heinlein on religion: “The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H. Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history.”

May 8, 2012 – Author/illustrator Maurice Sendak, best known for his classic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are, dies in Danbury, Connecticut, aged 83. In an 2011 interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, Sendak, an atheist facing the inevitability of decline and death, embraced both the sadness and the joys of living, and encouraged others to do the same. “I’m a happy old man, but I will cry my way all the way to the grave… I wish you all good things. Live your life. Live your life. Live your life.”

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