Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
June 29, 2013
This Week in Freethought History (June 23-29)

Read about Joss Whedon, religion and celibacy, Ricky Gervais, Pearl S. Buck, Lafcadio Hearn, the “Lemon Test” and Alton Lemon, forging the Papacy and more …

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June 28, 2013
June 28: The “Lemon Test” (1971) and Church-State Separation

It was on this date, June 28, 1971, that the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the most significant ruling to date on the issue of church-state separation, limiting with the “Lemon Test” just how far the states and the United States can go in forcing religious support on citizens. In Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. […]

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June 25, 2013
June 25: Dan Barker (1949)

It was on this date, June 25, 1949, that American ex-preacher and atheist activist Dan Barker was born. A successful musician, Barker has composed over 200 songs and at least two Christian musicals for children, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” (1977), and “His Fleece Was White as Snow” (1978). He was ordained a minister in […]

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June 24, 2013
June 24: “Sacerdotalis cælibatus” (1967): Religion and Celibacy

It was on this date, June 24, 1967, that Pope Paul VI promulgated the encyclical Sacerdotalis Cælibatus, The Celibacy of the Priest, reaffirming the that the “brilliant jewel” of priestly celibacy must remain a Roman Catholic command. To be celibate, as the term was originally understood, means to be unmarried, as distinguished from being chaste, […]

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June 24, 2013
June 24: Ambrose Bierce (1842)

It was on this date, June 24, 1842, that journalist, satirist and social critic Ambrose Gwinett Bierce was born in Meigs County, Ohio, the tenth of thirteen children, but he grew up on an Indiana farm. He had little formal education, but loved reading in his father's library, and at 15 became a printer's apprentice. […]

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June 23, 2013
June 23: Joss Whedon (1964)

It was on this date, June 23, 1964, that third-generation TV writer and Buffy the Vampire Slayer series creator Joss Whedon was born. He grew up in Manhattan, attended film school, and got his break as a writer for the “Roseanne” TV series. But in 1997 he hit big with the popular TV series, “Buffy […]

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June 23, 2013
June 23: Edgardo Mortara “spared” from Judaism (1858)

It was on this date, June 23, 1858, that 6-year-old Edgardo Mortara was kidnapped from his Jewish parents in Bologna, Italy, by agents of the Inquisition, under the Dominican Father (Pier Gaetano) Feletti. The parents, Momolo and Marianna Mortara, later learned that their Christian maid, Anna Morsi, had secretly baptized the boy when he was […]

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June 22, 2013
June 22: Galileo Recants (1633)

It was on this date, June 22, 1633, that Florentine-Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei (15 February 1564 to 8 January 1642) was compelled by the Roman Catholic Inquisition to recant the theory he held that the earth travels around the sun. What seems obvious to us today was unscriptural, and therefore by definition untrue, in Galileo's […]

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June 22, 2013
June 22: Bill Blass (1922)

It was on this date, June 22, 1922, that fashion designer Bill Blass was born William Ralph Blass in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He studied fashion design at Parsons School of Design, then worked in counter-intelligence during World War Two. After the war, in 1945 Blass returned to New York and signed on with Anne Klein. […]

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June 22, 2013
This Week in Freethought History (June 16-22)

Read about churches and animal cruelty, religious discrimination and the “Sherbert Test,” Alphonse Laveran, José Rizal, Salman Rushdie, Catholic “toleration” in Maryland, Jean-Paul Sartre, Galileo recanting before the Inquisition and more …

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Ronald Bruce Meyer




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