Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
2013-11-16
November 16: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993)

It was on this date, November 16, 1993, that the U.S. Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Pub. L. No. 103-141, 107 Stat. 1488). RFRA, as it is called, was introduced in March 1993 and was aimed at preventing laws that substantially burden a person's free exercise of their religion. Although invalidated at the […]

Read More
2013-10-24
October 24: Sir James Mackintosh (1765)

It was on this date, October 24, 1765, that Scottish political philosopher and politician James Mackintosh was born in Aldourie, near Inverness-shire, Scotland. Because his mother died while he was a child, and his father was frequently abroad, Mackintosh was reared by grandparents. He studied at King's College, University of Aberdeen and, in 1787, took […]

Read More
2013-06-28
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. […]

Read More
2013-06-17
June 17: Creating the “Sherbert Test” (1963): Burdens on Religious Practice

It was on this date, June 17, 1963, that the U.S. Supreme Court decided 7-2 in Sherbert v. Verner (374 U.S. 398 (1963)), creating the “Sherbert Test,” and saying that adherents of minority faiths cannot be disadvantaged by government without a compelling interest in limiting free exercise of religion. When a textile mill worker was […]

Read More
2012-07-04
Guest Opinion: A Message for Independence Day

A Message for Independence Day By Joel Price Published 7/1/2012* Reprinted by permission of the author As we approach the Fourth of July and we anticipate the ubiquitous flag waving, the parades, politicians' patriotic prattle, and sky-filled fireworks, I am reminded that: It is often proclaimed, "America is the greatest nation ever!" I actually recoil […]

Read More
2012-03-15
March 15: Cesare Beccaria

Cesare Beccaria (1738) It was on this date, March 15, 1738, the famous Italian legal reformer Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria-Bonesana, was born in Milan. He opposed the death penalty and believed education would reduce crime – a belief borne out in practice so frequently to this day that only a Christian Dominionist would dispute it. […]

Read More
2011-10-30
October 30: John Adams

John Adams (1735) It was on this date, October 30, 1735, that the second president of the United States, John Adams, was born in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard, where he first intended to study for the orthodox ministry, but the reality of orthodoxy sobered him and he turned to the law. […]

Read More
2011-10-26
October 26: Georges Danton

Georges Danton (1759) It was on this date, October 26, 1759, that French revolutionist Georges Jacques Danton was born in Arcis-sur-Aube. Though not from a wealthy family, he got a good education and became a lawyer before deciding the legal structure of France was inimical to freedom. He abandoned the law for revolutionary activities and, […]

Read More
2011-09-19
September 19: Religious Persuasion by Torture

Giles Corey Pressed to Death (1692): Churches and Torture It was on this date, September 19, 1692, during the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts colony, that sentence was carried out on Giles Corey (or Choree or Cory) that he be pressed to death for witchcraft. Corey was a prosperous farmer and 80 years old – […]

Read More
2011-09-01
September 1: Alan M. Dershowitz

Alan M. Dershowitz (1938) It was on this date, September 1, 1938, that Harvard law professor and civil liberties lawyer Alan Morton Dershowitz was born in Brooklyn, New York. First in his class at Yale Law, he was appointed to the Harvard Law faculty at age 25 and became the youngest full professor in the […]

Read More

Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


Daily Almanac

May 8: Edward Gibbon

“The establishment of a new religion, whose ministers superceded the exercise of reason,” Gibbon wrote, supplanted Athenian wisdom and, “resolved every question by an article of faith, and condemned the infidel or skeptic to eternal flames."



Daily Almanac

Coming soon!

Follow me on twitter

Error!
No 'WP_Widget_Recent_Comments' widget registered in this installation.

@ 2020 Free Thought Almanac