Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
2014-10-27
October 27: Desiderius Erasmus

Desiderius Erasmus (1466) It was on this date, October 27, 1466, that the Dutch author, and the greatest humanist scholar of the northern Renaissance, Desiderius Erasmus was born Gerrit Gerritszoon in Rotterdam, in what is now the Netherlands. He was the product of a liaison between a housekeeper-niece and a Dutch priest. Ordained a priest […]

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2011-10-24
October 24: Religious War for 30 Years

Peace of Westphalia (1648) Religion and the Thirty Years War It was on this date, October 24, 1648, that the Holy Roman Emperor, the French, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Swiss, the Swedes, the Portuguese and representatives of the Pope signed the Treaty of Westphalia, calling for "a Christian and Universal Peace," thus ending the […]

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2011-10-11
October 11: Fidei Defensor

Henry VIII (1521): Defender of the Faith It was on this date, October 11, 1521,* that Pope Leo X conferred the title Fidei Defensor, which is Latin for "Defender of the Faith," on England's King Henry VIII. That Medici pope, whose profligate spending and perverse pleasures were the outrage of Rome, was a staunch opponent […]

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2011-09-09
September 9: The “Red Eminence” and Religion

Cardinal Richelieu (1585) It was on this date, September 9, 1585, that Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu et de Fronsac, who achieved prominence during the reign of French King Louis XIII as Cardinal Richelieu, was born in Paris, the son of Maria de' Medici. Originally trained for a military career, his brother's resignation […]

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2011-08-11
August 11: Pope Alexander VI

Alexander VI (1492) It was on this date, August 11, 1492, that Rodrigo Borgia was elected Pope Alexander VI. That he lived lavishly, showered gifts and offices on his relatives, kept mistresses and fathered children while occupying the chair of Peter, and was indifferent to his church duties – all documented in detail by contemporary […]

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2010-12-31
December 31: Andreas Vesalius

Andreas Vesalius died at age 49 in Zakinthos, Greece. He had reached Jerusalem, but never made it back home. You could say Vesalius died for the church that persecuted him.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.


Daily Almanac

January 15: Jean Meslier (1678)

It was on this date, January 15, 1678, that the French priest who is remembered as a lifelong atheist, Jean Meslier, was born. Meslier has been described as the first person in the West to write an entire text in support of atheism – discovered, redacted (to make him a Deist) and promoted by Voltaire. […]



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