Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
December 31, 2010
December 31: Andreas Vesalius

Andreas Vesalius died at age 49 in Zakinthos, Greece. He had reached Jerusalem, but never made it back home. You could say Vesalius died for the church that persecuted him.

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December 30, 2010
December 30: The Vatican Recognizes Israel

It came about 50 years too late for the Holocaust. So... if God is right today, and Jews are not "reviled of God," was he wrong in the Dark Age, when faith was stronger?

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December 29, 2010
December 29: The Murder of Thomas Becket

Had Becket but served his king with half the zeal that he served his God, he would not have been left naked to his enemies.

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December 28, 2010
December 28: Apostates at Westminster Abbey

There is a curious collection of the impious residing eternally in and around Westminster: Ralph Vaughan Williams, Geoffrey Chaucer, Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, John Dryden – and the admittedly agnostic Charles Darwin!

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December 25, 2010
December 25: Clara Barton

The Dictionary of American Biography admits of Barton that "she ... was never a Church member."

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December 25, 2010
December 25: Quentin Crisp

Crisp once quipped, "a woman in the audience stood up and said, 'Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?'"

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December 24, 2010
December 24: Matthew Arnold and his “Sea of Faith”

Arnold was a leading literary critic and wrote many essays, which displayed a seriously Rationalist streak. He denied belief in immortality and a personal God.

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December 23, 2010
December 23: Jean-François Champollion

Like most public figures during the post-Revolutionary Royalist reaction, Champollion was compelled to keep his religious opinions discreet.

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December 22, 2010
December 22: What Is a Jubilee?

30,000 pilgrims arrived daily, and one of them says, "day and night two clerics stood at the altar of St. Peter with rakes and drew off the infinite sums of money."

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December 21, 2010
December 21: Frank Zappa

"My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can."

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

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