May 07

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May 7: Robert Browning

Robert Browning (1812)

Robert Browning

It was on this date, May 7, 1812, that the English poet Robert Browning was born in London. As he was born into a wealthy family and well educated, he was able to emancipate himself from Christian belief by the time he was 18, although he remained a Theist. “Who knows most,” said Browning, “doubts most.” And, 34 years later, in a poem called “Gold Hair,” he wrote,

The candid incline to surmise of late

that the Christian faith may be false, I find.”

His narrative poem “Christmas Eve” portrays divine truth as unreachable through denominational religion, making worship a personal choice; “Easter Day,” the second part of this 1850 poem, is a dialogue which argues that doubt is essential to faith. He speaks much of God, but Browning admits, “I am no Christian.”

Originally published May 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

About the author

Ronald Bruce Meyer

Freethought Almanac was created by Ronald Bruce Meyer, in collaboration with freethoughtradio.com, in March 2003. What started with a brief notice on the birthday of Albert Einstein, grew into almost 250,000 words on not only biography but history, philosophy, theology and politics — one day at a time. Freethought Almanac looks at these daily subjects from a godless point of view, that is, a point of view that is based not on fantasies, delusions or wishful thinking, but a view that is evidence-based.

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