Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
February 28, 2011
February 28: Michel de Montaigne

Montaigne was a Deist, but refrained from candor about his beliefs due to the mutual slaughter between Catholics and French Huguenots of the time. "It is setting a high value upon our opinions," he wrote, "to roast men and women alive on account of them."

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February 27, 2011
February 27: Ernest Renan

Ernest Renan, who did not believe in a future life, once said, "I know that when I am dead nothing of me will remain." He remained a Pantheist throughout his life.

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February 27, 2011
February 27: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807) It was on this date, February 27, 1807, that the first American professional poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, was born in coastal Portland, Maine. Although his father steered him toward a legal career, Henry was too in love with language to turn down the newly founded chair in modern languages at Bowdoin […]

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February 26, 2011
February 26: Victor Hugo

To a census-taker, who asked him in 1872 if he was a Catholic, Hugo replied, "No. A Freethinker." Hugo predicted that Christianity would soon disappear, but men would still believe in God.

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February 25, 2011
Deficit of Honesty

The American people are not clamoring for tax cuts for rich people. They’re clamoring for jobs. And to keep their homes. And to keep their pensions, gambled away by Wall Street.

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February 25, 2011
February 25: The Passion of the Christ Released

"The Passion of the Christ" really amounts to sadomasochism and homeroticism, sending a political message that Mel Gibson’s true passion is anti-Semitism and Catholic fundamentalism.

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February 24, 2011
February 24: George Moore

Although he was agnostic, the Catholic-born Moore he preferred to be regarded as a Protestant – even though Protestants, too, found his ideas about Jesus troublesome.

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February 24, 2011
February 24: Arrigo Boito

Boito’s only completed opera, “Mefistofele,” based on Goethe's “Faust,” infuriated the Italian clergy by his frivolous treatment of religion.

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February 23, 2011
February 23: Religion and Persecution

The truths about the Diocletian Persecution are that a tiny number believed so strongly that they died for their faith, but that the vast majority either went into hiding or abjured the faith.

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February 23, 2011
February 23: W. E. B. Du Bois

"The theology of the average colored church is basing itself far too much upon 'hell and damnation,'" wrote DuBois. Anti-rational dogma repelled him, and he ceased participating in organized worship as a young adult.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

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