Lighting a candle in toxic air.
August 8: Eating God
Quam singulari (1910): Christian Communion It was on this date, August 8, 1910, that "Quam singulari," a decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Sacraments, specified the age at which children are to be admitted to first Communion in the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic Encyclopedia, the authority on the subject, says that conditions for […]
August 3: Étienne Dolet
Étienne Dolet (1509) It was on this date, August 3, 1546, that the French scholar and printer of books critical of religion, Étienne Dolet, was burned alive for his opinions. Dolet was born in Orléans in 1509, possibly also on 3 August, and possibly into a family of wealth and rank. Dolet studied in Paris […]
July 22: Gregor Mendel
Abbot Gregor Mendel was a freethinker who entered a monastery to study science.
July 14: Bastille Day (1789)
Bastille Day (1789) It was on this date, July 14, 1789, in the morning, that French citizens stormed and destroyed the hated Bastille prison in Paris, ending a symbol of the human rights abuses by King Louis XVI—who had in fact supported the American colonists in their quest for independence from Great Britain—and beginning the […]
July 12: Government-sponsored Prayer
Public School Prayer (1995) It was on this date, July 12, 1995, that President Bill Clinton, in a talk to students at James Madison High School in Vienna, VA, advocated school-prayer guidelines. He said in part, “nothing in the First Amendment converts our public schools to religion-free zones or requires all religious expression to be […]
July 11: Excommunication
The Papacy abused excommunication freely and frequently for political advantage – so much so that a bishop would excommunicate a thief who stole his property!
July 5: Samuel Bailey (1791)
It was on this date, July 5, 1791, that English philosopher and philanthropist Samuel Bailey was born in Dunstable, England. He acquired a fortune as an industrialist and prominent citizen of Sheffield, where he was widely known as “Bailey of Sheffield,” and acquired some repute in the philosophical world through his publications, many of which […]
June 19: Torcaso v. Watkins (1961): No Religious Test for Public Office
It was on this date, June 19, 1961, that the U.S. Supreme Court reminded the State of Maryland, and the rest of the nation, that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution applies equally to the states in its Torcaso v. Watkins decision (367 U.S. 488 (1961); 81 S.Ct. 1680, 6 L.Ed.2d 982). Maryland is […]
June 19: Salman Rushdie (1947)
It was on this date, June 19, 1947, that novelist Salman Rushdie was born Ahmed Salman Rushdie in Bombay, India. Rushdie was born into a Muslim family of Kashmiri descent and the family name was chosen by Salman’s father as a tribute to Islamic scholar Averroes or Ibn Rushd. He was educated in Mumbai and […]
June 14: Pledges and Loyalty Oaths
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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