Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
November 29, 2010
November 29: Religious Toleration

"On no account should the church allow infidels to have power over the faithful or to be set above them in any way. ... The church is above the state ... kings must be subject to priests." (Thomas Aquinas)

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November 28, 2010
November 28: Sir Leslie Stephen

Stephen said he never lost his faith because he never had any and helped to bring Thomas Henry Huxley's newly coined word, "agnostic," into vogue.

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November 28, 2010
November 28: Randy Newman

And the Lord said: I burn down your cities — how blind you must be I take from you your children and you say how blessed are we You all must be crazy to put your faith in me That's why I love mankind... —"God's Song"

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November 27, 2010
November 27: The First Crusade

Rude-but-obvious questions are not encouraged, such as: Why did God allow the Muslim Turks to take control of Palestine in the first place? And: Why couldn't the Pope ask God, rather than soldiers, to liberate the holy lands?

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November 27, 2010
Jeremy’s Opinionated Introduction to Freethought part 2

Does being an atheist make you a Freethinker? Does believing in a God keep you from being a freethinker?

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November 26, 2010
November 26: The First Thanksgiving

The three days of feasting, dancing, singing and game-playing at the first Thanksgiving would not have fit the decorum dictated by Pilgrim piety.

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November 26, 2010
Spanish Orgasm

I’m not sure what the demeaning part was. The fact that women have orgasms, too? Or would the ad have been more effective if the main character was a man getting excited?

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November 25, 2010
November 25: Andrew Carnegie

"[O]nly in popular education can man erect the structure of an enduring civilization."

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November 24, 2010
November 24: Baruch Spinoza

Benedict (Baruch) Spinoza (1632) It was on this date, November 24, 1632, that Portuguese-Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza was born in Amsterdam to a family settled in Holland. The family were Portuguese crypto-Jews — that is, Jews forcibly converted to Christianity while secretly remaining Jewish. Spinoza was a bright student in the Talmud Torah school and […]

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November 23, 2010
November 23: Blaise Pascal's Conversion

The evening of his "definite conversion" (November 23)... was the occasion of what Pascal remembered as a two-hour mystical vision, but what might just have been a misinterpretation of the aura and shimmering lights that occasionally precede a migraine headache. Some of the common triggers for migraines are being tired, stressed or depressed and the let-down after a stressful event — like nearly falling off a bridge.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

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