Category Archives: religious rights

January 7 in freethought history…

January 7, 1697 – Thomas Aitkenhead, a 20-year-old Scottish medical student, becomes the last person executed for blasphemy in Britain. Convicted of calling religion a “rhapsody of ill-invented nonsense,” labeling Christ a magician and an impostor, and accusing the Holy Scriptures of … Continue reading

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January 6 in freethought history…

January 6, 1893 – US Congress grants a charter for the establishment, in the District of Columbia, of what would become Washington National Cathedral. This impressive structure hosts worship services in the Episcopal tradition, and despite the Constitution’s explicit prohibition … Continue reading

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January 4 in freethought history…

January 4, 1643 (December 25, 1642, per the antiquated Julian calendar) – Physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton is born in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England. Widely considered one of the (if not the) greatest scientists of all time, Newton is celebrated both for … Continue reading

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January 1 in freethought history…

January 1, 1417 – In January 1417 (exact date uncertain), Italian scholar Poggio Bracciolini discovers, in a German monastery, the only surviving manuscript of De rerum natura (“On the Nature of Things”), an instructional poem written by the Roman philosopher Lucretius, explaining … Continue reading

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Podcast #240 – GOP in Crisis

The Reverend Franklin Graham (prominent Protestant fundamentalist and son of legendary evangelist Billy Graham) says he’s quitting the Republican Party. Why? He says it’s because Republicans aren’t standing on principle. He cites as an example the Republican-dominated US Congress passing a … Continue reading

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December 28 in freethought history…

December 28, 1976 – The People’s Assembly of Albania adopts a constitution that effectively declares the country an atheist state that “recognizes no religion whatever and supports atheist propaganda for the purpose of inculcating the scientific materialist world outlook in people.” Religious freedom was … Continue reading

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December 25 in freethought history…

December 25, 336 – The first documented evidence of Western Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, although there was no (and never has been any) evidence that such a person was born on that date. Although there is some … Continue reading

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December 20 in freethought history…

December 20, 1837 – Freethought publisher Charles Chilton Moore is born near Lexington, Kentucky. Moore was a pastor when, as Moore himself told it, he invited a distant cousin to read and discuss with him a selection of books both for … Continue reading

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November 26 in freethought history…

November 26, 1933 - Indian politician and rationalist Govind Pansare is born in Kolhar village, Maharashtra, India. He was involved in left-wing politics, but also opposed the taboo against inter-caste marriages, Hindu superstitions regarding the conception of male children, and the … Continue reading

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November 25 in freethought history…

November 25, 1835 – Capitalist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie is born in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. He came to the United States with his family in 1848, and eventually became one of the most wealthy men in history (making his money in the … Continue reading

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