Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
May 25, 2014
May 25: W.P. Kinsella (1935)

W.P. Kinsella (1935) It was on this date, May 25, 1935, that Canadian novelist W.P. Kinsella was born William Patrick Kinsella in Edmonton, Alberta. A writer of baseball fiction, Kinsella's bestselling 1982 novel, Shoeless Joe, was made into the very successful 1989 motion picture Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones. Kinsella […]

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May 24, 2014
May 24: Samuel F.B. Morse Thanks God for What Man Hath Wrought (1844)

It was on this date, May 24, 1844, that Samuel F.B. Morse sent the message “What hath God wrought,” which inaugurated long-distance coded communication over the first telegraph line strung from Baltimore, Maryland, to his colleague Alfred Vail and an astonished Congress at the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capitol in Washington, […]

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May 22, 2014
May 22: Richard Wagner (1813)

Having “little taste for the otherworldly speculations of dogmatic theology,” Wagner wrote his most powerful music in his “Ring” years, when he was an Atheist.

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May 21, 2014
May 21: Alexander Pope

In an earlier age, a Deist of Pope's beliefs would have been tried and either burned or hanged for impiety. Today, no longer having the power to do that, they embrace him as a "Catholic poet."

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May 20, 2014
May 20: John Stuart Mill

Mill said he believed in a "probable God," or a "limited liability God," but disbelieved in miracles and immortality.

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May 16, 2014
May 16: Studs Terkel

"I think of myself as an agnostic, but an agnostic is really a cowardly atheist," said Terkel.

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May 12, 2014
May 12: Katherine Hepburn

"I'm an atheist, and that's it," said Hepburn. "Our Constitution was not intended to be used by ... any group to foist its personal religious beliefs on the rest of us."

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May 12, 2014
May 12: Florence Nightingale

"I am so glad that my God is not the God of the High Church or of the Low," said Nightingale. She despised the churches and was an advanced Rationalist.

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May 11, 2014
May 11: Richard P. Feynman

“God was invented to explain mystery,” says Feynman. “Now, when you finally discover how something works, you don't need him anymore.”

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May 10, 2014
May 10: Cecelia Payne (1900)

It was on this date, May 10, 1900, that British-American astronomer and astrophysicist Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin was born Cecilia Helena Payne in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, England. Losing her father when she was four years old, Cecelia’s mother portioned the family resources to educating her brothers instead of her, but she nevertheless won a scholarship to Newnham College, […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

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