Category Archives: religious rights

March 8 in freethought history…

March 8, 1948 – The Supreme Court of the United States rules, in McCullom v Board of Education, that religious instruction in public schools is unconstitutional. The plaintiff–Vashti McCullom, whose son was the student at the center of the case–recounted … Continue reading

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March 3 in freethought history…

March 3, 1959 – In an interview published in LOOK magazine, Senator John F. Kennedy says, “Whatever one’s religion in his private life may be, for the officeholder, nothing takes precedence over his oath to uphold the Constitution and all … Continue reading

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March 1 in freethought history…

March 1, 1781 – The Second Continental Congress ratifies the Articles of Confederation, thus officially creating, from thirteen former British colonies, the United States of America. It may surprise pious 21st century historical revisionists to learn that our “godly” forefathers made no … Continue reading

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February 21 in freethought history…

February 21, 1677 - Philosopher Baruch Spinoza dies in The Hague, Netherlands, aged 44. A lens-grinder by trade, he is best known for his magnum opus Ethics. In 1656, he was excommunicated by the Jewish elders of Amsterdam for “abominable heresies” (which included … Continue reading

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February 10 in freethought history…

February 10, 1843 - Publisher and social reformer Richard Carlile dies in London, aged 52. He crusaded for universal suffrage, for equal rights for men and women, and against child labor. A Deist-turned-atheist, he published and distributed the works of Thomas … Continue reading

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February 3 in freethought history…

February 3, 1983 – At the National Prayer Breakfast, President Ronald Reagan issued Proclamation 5018, declaring 1983 the Year of the Bible. Among other things, the Proclamation stated, “The Bible and its teachings helped form the basis for the Founding … Continue reading

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January 28 in freethought history…

January 28, 1573 – Noblemen of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth sign the Warsaw Confederation, formalizing a longstanding tradition of religious tolerance for nobility and free persons. It was the first European document to codify religious toleration. The Commonwealth, which existed for … Continue reading

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January 26 in freethought history…

January 26, 2004 – The new Constitution of Afghanistan is signed by President Hamid Karzai. It declares the country an Islamic Republic, with Islam as the official state religion. Although the free exercise of other religions is ostensibly guaranteed, the … Continue reading

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January 16 in freethought history…

January 16, 1786 - The Act for Establishing Religious Freedom (a.k.a.the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom) is passed by the Virginia General Assembly. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson in 1777, the Act sought to disestablish the Church of England in Virginia, and guaranteed … Continue reading

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Podcast #241 – Murdered for Being an Atheist?

We look at three recent cases in which violent perpetrators of excuse their crimes by pointing to their victims atheism. Earlier this month, a woman in Louisville, Kentucky was arrested for savagely beating a disabled man with his own cane, … Continue reading

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