Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
July 11, 2014
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!

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October 19, 2011
October 19: Sir Thomas Browne

Sir Thomas Browne (1605) It was on this date, October 19, 1605, that British writer Sir Thomas Browne was born in London, the son of a prosperous silk merchant who died when Thomas was eight. Browne nevertheless studied at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he took his B.A. in 1626 and his M.A. three years later. […]

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September 27, 2011
September 27: Paul III Fails to Reform the Church

Pope Paul III Approves the Jesuits (1540) On this date, September 27, in 1540, Pope Paul III officially approved the Society of Jesus – the Jesuits – through his encyclical, Regimini militantis ecclesiae. Born Alessandro Farnese on 29 February 1468 in Rome, Paul III was pope for 15 years, from 12 October 1534 until his […]

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August 21, 2011
August 21: Jules Michelet

Jules Michelet (1798) It was on this date, August 21, 1798, that French historian Jules Michelet was born in Paris, into a family with a Huguenot past. Of his youth, under the post-revolutionary, reactionary French government, Michelet recalled, I remember that in the dire misfortunes of daily deprivation and fears for the future... unsure of […]

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August 12, 2011
August 12: The Last Temptation of Christ

The Last Temptation of Christ Released (1988) It was on this date, August 12, 1988, that Martin Scorsese's film, The Last Temptation of Christ, was released in the United States. Even before it opened in nine theaters across the US (initially), the film had inspired controversy – not only from the usual, narrow-minded fundamentalists, who […]

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May 10, 2011
May 10: Religion and Censorship

"The fatwa by Imam Khomeini in regards to the apostate Salman Rushdie will be in effect forever."

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April 9, 2011
April 9: François Rabelais

Even the “Catholic Encyclopedia” can claim only that "his religion is scarcely more than that of a spiritually-minded pagan."

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February 19, 2011
February 19: Nicolaus Copernicus

For sure, it was "just a theory," as creationists like to dismiss the theory of evolution, even though this Copernican theory was as unassailable as science as heliocentricity was dangerous to theology.

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February 15, 2011
February 15: Galileo

"It vexes me when they [clerics] would constrain science by the authority of the Scriptures," wrote Galileo, "and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason and experiment."

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November 21, 2010
November 21: Voltaire

"Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world," he wrote in a letter to Frederick the Great of Prussia.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer




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