Category Archives: superstitions

May 19 in freethought history…

May 19, 1487 – The Faculty of Theology of the University of Cologne issues a unanimous approbation of the recently published book Malleus maleficarum (“Hammer of the Witches”), which insisted on the reality of witchcraft, described its supposed practices, and offered guidance … Continue reading

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February 29 in freethought history…

February 29, 1692 – Arrest warrants are issued in Salem, Massachussetts for Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and the slave woman Tituba on accusations of witchcraft, thus launching the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Ultimately, twenty innocent citizens would be executed, and … Continue reading

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February 20 in freethought history…

February 20, 2015 - Indian politician and rationalist Govind Pansare and his wife are assassinated by gunmen (presumably right-wing Hindus) near their home in Mumbai, India. He was 81. Pansare was involved in left-wing politics, but also opposed the taboo against inter-caste marriages, … Continue reading

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January 24 in freethought history…

January 24, 2003 – The documentary program Penn & Teller: Bullshit! begins its run on cable TV channel Showtime. Over eight years and 89 episodes, professional magicians and skeptics Penn Jillette and his ever-mute partner Teller debunked (using lots of profanity) a … Continue reading

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December 18 in freethought history…

December 18, 1997 – The Seinfeld TV show airs the episode “The Strike,” which introduces the world to Festivus, a cheaper, nonreligious, idiosyncratic alternative to mainstream celebrations like Christmas and Hanukkah. Festivus, which has become a pop cultural phenomenon, is actually … 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 1 in freethought history…

November 1, 1942 – Pornographer and free speech activist Larry Flynt is born in Lakeville, Kentucky. The founder of Hustler magazine, Flynt has been at the center of a number of First Amendment controversies (famously dramatized in the 1996 film The … Continue reading

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October 2 in freethought history…

October 2, 1832 – British anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor is born in London. He was the first to propose prehistoric animism as the root of all religion. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, became a professor at Oxford (despite … Continue reading

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September 27 in freethought history…

September 27, 1877 – Biologist Oscar Riddle is born in Cincinnati, Indiana (yes, Indiana). He was best known professionally for his research into the pituitary gland, but he came to national attention in 1936 when, as a vice president of the … Continue reading

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Podcast #232 – Rev. Barry Lynn (Author, God and Government)

We interview the Reverend Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the author of the new book God and Government: Twenty-Five Years of Fighting for Equality, Secularism, and Freedom of Conscience (available in … Continue reading

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