31 March 2009


        Diane, at Diane's Addled Rambling blog, posted a wonderful heartfelt post about why she doesn't believe in prayer. I had been thinking of writing on this topic myself, but Diane said it all on her post of March 23, 2009.

        She said: "I often say I believe in tolerance over faith because in the end, not a one of us knows for sure."

        So click on the link to her post to read what else Diane had to say about prayer, religion, faith, and tolerance. And enjoy what some others have said about prayer below:

• "Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy."  --- Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary, 1911)

• “Hands that help are nobler than lips that pray.” ---Robert G. Ingersoll

• "Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer." ---Author Unknown

• "Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer." ---Mark Twain

• “It is safe to say that almost every person living in New Orleans at the moment Hurricane Katrina struck shared...belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, and compassionate God. But what was God doing while Katrina laid waste to their city? Surely He heard the prayers of those elderly men and women who fled the rising waters for the safety of their attics, only to be slowly drowned there. These were people of faith. These were good men and women who had prayed throughout their lives. Do you have the courage to admit the obvious? These people died talking to an imaginary friend.” ---Sam Harris, (Letter to a Christian Nation)

• "It may be that ministers really think that their prayers do good, and it may be that frogs imagine that their croaking brings spring." ---Robert G. Ingersoll (Which Way? 1884)

• “Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish.”  ---Author Unknown

• "Praying is begging for an unseen deity to alter the laws of nature for someone admittedly unworthy." — George Carlin

• "When we talk to God, we're praying.  When God talks to us, we're schizophrenic." — Lily Tomlin

• “This doctrine of the material efficacy of prayer reduces the Creator to a cosmic bellhop of a not very bright or reliable kind.”  ---Herbert J. Muller

• "Man is a marvelous curiosity... he thinks he is the Creator's pet... he even believes the Creator loves him; has a passion for him; sits up nights to admire him; yes and watches over him and keeps him out of trouble.  He prays to Him and thinks He listens.  Isn't it a quaint idea?" -—Mark Twain

• "When did I realize I was God?  Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself." —- Peter O’Toole

• “The creator who could put a cancer in a believer's stomach is above being interfered with by prayers.” --- Bret Harte (as quoted by James A Haught, editor, 2000 Years of Disbelief)

• “Most of us spend the first six days of each week sowing wild oats, then we go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure.”  ---Fred Allen

29 March 2009


writer, journalist,
humorist (1969- )

"The only thing more dangerous than an idea is a belief. And by dangerous I don't mean thought provoking. I mean: might get people killed." (opening sentence, The Wordy Shipmates)

•"History repeats itself. The first time as tragedy. The second time as farce. The third time as tourist trap." (paraphrased from Karl Marx)

•"In death, you get upgraded into a saint no matter how much people hated you in life."

•"One thing I find ridiculous is the notion of the good old days and the decline of American morals. This period of American history is called The Gilded Age for a reason. It's all about greed. Our forebears were just as corrupt as our contemporaries."

•"I hated mystery. I think it comes from being religious, being a Fundamentalist, especially, because that's all about certainty." (Vowell is now an atheist.)

•"Presidents and presidential assassins are like Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Even though one city is all about sin and the other is all about salvation, they are identical, one-dimensional company towns built up by the sheer will of true believers. "

•"Was Massachusetts Bay Colony governor John Winthrop a communitarian, a Christ-like Christian, or conformity's tyrannical enforcer? Answer: Yes" (The Wordy Shipmates)

•"Was Rhode Island's architect, Roger Williams, America's founding freak or the father of the First Amendment? Same difference." (The Wordy Shipmates)

•"From New England's Puritans we inherited the idea that America is blessed and ordained by God above all nations, but lost the fear of wrath and retribution." (The Wordy Shipmates)

•"I just feel sorry for him [Roger Williams] that he lived in an age before air quotes; maybe he would have calmed down about the use of the word 'Christendom' if he could make sarcastic hand gestures every time he heard or said it."

•"What was the Puritans' pet name for the Pope? The Great Whore of Babylon." (The Wordy Shipmates)

•"I really can't fault [Al] Gore for saying that what happened at Abu Ghraib is sickening, not only because it's just plain sickening, but because America is supposed to be better than that. No: best. I hate to admit it, but I still believe that, too. Because even though my head tells me that the idea that America was chosen by God as His righteous city on a hill is ridiculous, my heart still buys into it. And I don't even believe in God!" (The Wordy Shipmates)

•"I was exposed, from infancy on, to so much wretch-like-me, original-sin talk that I spent my entire childhood believing I was as depraved as Charles Manson when in reality I might have been the best-behaved nine-year-old of the twentieth century." (The Wordy Shipmates)

•"How jarring it must have been to be an adult Narraganett [Native American] and this strange white man shows up out of the blue and shatters his lifelong peace of mind with what the stranger calls the 'good news' that the native is in fact a wicked, worthless evildoer and so was his mother. So said native dies terrified by his big, naughty un-christian heart of stone instead of, say, as the Shawnee Tecumseh would later advise, 'Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.'" (The Wordy Shipmates)

A few words about The Wordy Shipmates:
I highly recommend this book. It tells, in depth, much of the history of the Puritans and Pilgrims in early America ---many things I had never learned or had forgotten ---from the point of view of an admitted geek and history buff who spices her writing with amusing asides. It approaches the subject seriously, yet is amazingly witty. Even though Vowell frequently points out the ridiculous actions and beliefs of these early settlers, she also admires them. I liked that the author relates the actions or writings of these people to recent history, making history meaningful to us today. This would make a great history text book, except for the fact that it would never be approved by school boards because Vowell is an avowed liberal and atheist.
A review in The Seattle Times said: "Quirky observation and droll insights, a dish Vowell consistently serves... These commentaries are the thoughtful and thought-provoking musings of a genuine patriot ---one who loves her country even if its politics disappoint her."

Read more reviews of Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates:

Also on YouTube:

Sarah Vowell on writing. 
Sarah Vowell on "The Wordy Shipmates." 
Sarah Vowell on Letterman "The Wordy Shipmates."
Sarah Vowell on Letterman "Unfamiliar Fishes."
Sarah Vowell on "Unfamiliar Fishes."
Sarah Vowell (audio only) on Thanksgiving, Part 1.
Sarah Vowell (audio only) on Thanksgiving, Part 2.

27 March 2009


Below you will find a few of the questions you can find on a Bible quiz on the Freedom From Religion Foundation website.

What Do You Really Know
About The Bible?

1. What is the last of the Ten Commandments?
     a. Don't steal.
     b. Don't covet your neighbor's wife and property.
     c. Don't boil a young goat in the milk of its mother.
     d. Love your neighbor as yourself.

2. What is the penalty for working on the Sabbath?
     a. You will be stoned to death.
     b. Neither you nor your offspring to the 5th generation can
          enter the tabernacle.
     c. You should sacrifice two unblemished she goats.
     d. You will be disinherited from the kingdom.

3. What is God's name?
     a. Jealous.
     b. Righteous.
     c. Holy.
     d. Jehovah.

HINT: If you don't know the answer, choose the one that sounds incredibly ridiculous.  You won't get them all right, but you're sure to earn a higher score than by blind guessing.

See the answers to these three questions below.
For the full 50 question quiz, click HERE.

*  *  *  *  *  
When you need a good laugh,
find more Bible Quizzes at the
parody web site for the
Landover Baptist Church

More information on the Bible can be found
on the FFRF site by clicking
  HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.

Quiz Answers: 

1. c      2. a      3. a

25 March 2009


In my previous post, I told the story of an 80-pound, nine-year-old Brazilian girl who had been impregnated by her step-father. Because of her tiny size, doctors agreed she would be unable to carry one child, let alone the twins she was expecting, thus it was likely the girl would not survive her pregnancy. In Brazil, abortion is legal for rape or to save the life of the mother, so in this case an abortion was legal on both counts. The local archbishop excommunicated the girl's mother and the medical team who performed the procedure, but not the pedophile rapist, holding antiquated dogma in higher esteem than the life of an innocent 9-year-old.

Austin Cline, in his article “Vatican: Raping Child Not as Bad as Abortion to Save Child's Life”, asks: "Who still believes that the Catholic position here is to "protect" children rather than to protect male control of female bodies?"

I read several blogs supporting the decision by the Catholic Church. I can believe that a few religious zealots would allow their 9-year-old daughter to die during the pregnancy of her rapist's twins (there are parents who allow their children to die because of religious opposition to medical care or other religious beliefs) but I have to presume that most parents, religious or not, pro-life or pro-choice, would not hold their own daughter's life in such low esteem.
People have been arguing endlessly over when life begins and if abortion should or should not be legal. I understand that some people honestly oppose abortion because they believe it is a form of killing. I personally would be glad if there were never another abortion, but that isn't likely to happen, Thus, my question to those who want to make abortion illegal again is how would one enforce that law, especially 26 years after Roe vs. Wade?
I was out of college 6 years before abortion was legal. I personally know of 4 people who had illegal abortions while I was in high school, college, or into my early working life, before abortion was legal. In my Senior year of college, I was contemplating abortion when I had a miscarriage (Whew!) My miscarriage was natural, but there was a girl in my dorm who let everyone know she had “miscarriage pills” if anyone needed them. (I have no idea if there really was such a thing then or not, and if so, if they were effective or even dangerous.) Since abortion was such a taboo subject at that time, I would guess that there were many more abortions among my acquaintances than I knew nothing about.
I know that criminalizing abortions would not stop abortions, only drive them underground.
A few years before the 1973 Supreme Court decision, birth control pills were developed. We certainly have become more open about sex and therefore we talk more about means of preventing pregnancies than we had previously. As the years have passed, it has become more acceptable to be single and pregnant. (In 4 of the last 5 weddings I have attended, the bride already had a child or was visibly pregnant at the wedding.) One would think that unwanted pregnancies wouldn't happen much anymore, but they do. Yet there are some who hold onto the mistaken belief that "abstinence only" sex education will keep their children safe.
A study authorized by Congress and reported in a 2007 Washington Post article concluded: "A long-awaited national study has concluded that abstinence-only sex education, a cornerstone of the Bush administration's social agenda, does not keep teenagers from having sex. Neither does it increase or decrease the likelihood that if they do have sex, they will use a condom."
Martha Kempner, an official at the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States said, "Comprehensive education means teaching about abstinence and a myriad of other topics." Among them, she said: "contraception, critical thinking, one's own values and the values of your family... Abstinence-only was an experiment and it failed."
Since people had abortions before they were legal, I can assume that women will continue having abortions even if abortion would become illegal again. Unfortunately, they will be performed by unqualified people, as I would presume few doctors would risk losing their licenses to practice medicine. Abortions would become part of the black market, performed with coat hangers or in “back alleys” by unqualified practitioners —risking many women’s lives.
Instead, I would like to see both anti-abortion and pro-choice supporters join together to reduce unwanted pregnancies. Unfortunately, those most opposed to abortion are also the most opposed to the means of preventing them —sex education and birth control —and they are the most likely to be highly religious.
In the article sited above, Austin Cline says: "If we assume that Brazil's political leadership opposes abortion because they sincerely believe it causes harm, and not because they want women to be controlled, then they should look seriously at more liberal abortion laws. The lowest abortion rates are in countries like Belgium, where abortion is readily available, where sex education is comprehensive, where contraception is widely used, and where there is a strong social safety net for young, unwed mothers. Those countries have far fewer abortions than restrictive countries like Brazil and, of course, fewer complications."
Cline doesn't think the Catholic church is sincere in its claim that its opposition to abortion is, in part, to prevent harm.
Cline continues: "When it comes to the Catholic leadership, though, I can't bring myself to credit them with simply and sincerely believing that abortion should be criminalized because of harm it causes. The policy positions they adopt are far more consistent with the goal of controlling and subordinating women to male control, not with even just reducing abortions, never mind eliminating them. When people decide that raping children is less heinous than saving children from a pregnancy that will likely kill them, then all vestiges of human decency, morality, and reasonableness have been ravaged beyond recognition."

I couldn't agree more.

23 March 2009

CHRISTIANS BEHAVING BADLY #8 power over victims

In my attempt to show that being
religious is not a guarantee of moral
behavior, this post is a part of my
series of reports featuring the bad
behavior of religious people, past
or present....

Look for other posts showing the
bad behavior perpetrated by members
of other religious groups.


A 9-year-old Brazilian girl was raped by her step-father when she was six. The abuse continued for three years while her rapist also abused her mentally disabled 14-year-old sister.
When the 9-year-old girl became pregnant with twins, medical authorities decided that the life of the 80-pound girl was at risk. Thus the pregnancy was terminated at 15 weeks. In Brazil abortion is legal in cases of rape or to save the life of the mother, so the girl was eligible for a legal abortion on both counts.
"She’s very small. Her uterus does not have the capacity to hold one baby, let alone two," said Fatima Maia, director of the teaching hospital where the therapeutic abortion was performed.
Nonetheless, the Catholic Church excommunicated the mother and the members of the medical team who carried out the abortion. Archbishop Sobrinho defended the action and when asked why the 23-year-old stepfather was not excommunicated, said: “He committed an extremely serious crime. But that crime, according to canon law, is not punished with automatic excommunication. Human law has no value...”
Carla Batista, with a Recife women's group said, "This case is extremely important, because it... brings to the forefront the debate on the importance of having a state that acts in a truly secular fashion... The Church’s attitude was to be expected, because it does not pay the slightest attention to women, never considers the underlying drama behind each case... It defends ‘life’ as a matter of dogma, but does not take into account the real lives of people."
The government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva introduced its first bill on abortion in 2005, but failed to win strong support. Positive stances have been taken by Lula, a Catholic, and by Health Minister José Gomes Temporão, both of whom... condemned the position taken by the Church in the case of the girl who was raped by her stepfather. The president said, “As a Christian and a Catholic, I deeply regret that a bishop has had such conservative behavior… In this case, medicine is more right than the Church.” Will his statements result in his excommunication, too?
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, head of the Catholic church's Congregation for Bishops, stated that the twins the girl had been carrying had a right to live. The Pope supported Archbishop Sobrinho’s excommunications decision.
Austin Cline* asks: "Who still believes that the Catholic position here is to 'protect' children rather than to protect male control of female bodies?"
It seems the church is more interested in power than in the well being of a 9-year-old girl.

I first learned of this story from a report on Hen Buddhism

Find more information:

21 March 2009

JEWS BEHAVING BADLY #2 protecting abusers

In my attempt to show that being
religious is not a guarantee of moral
behavior, this post is a part of my series
of reports featuring the bad behavior
of religious people, past or present....

Look for other posts showing the
bad behavior perpetrated by members
of other religious groups.


Joe Diangelo, 28, says that when he was seven he was taken by his father to a mikvah (bath house) to find the place packed with naked men and boys. “I was in the tub, and I had my back turned, and somebody raped me while I was in the water … I didn’t know what happened. I couldn’t make sense of it...” Diangelo never saw the man who abused him. Today, monitors are posted by the bath to prevent sexual activity, but as a child, Joe was on his own.

Joel Engelman, 24, says his abuse came at the United Talmudical Academy. He was eight when he was called to the principal’s office. When he arrived, he says, Rabbi Avrohom Reichman told him to close the door. “He motioned for me to get on his lap, and as soon as I got on the chair, he would swivel the chair from right to left, continuously. Then he would start touching me while talking to me. He would start at my shoulders and work his way down to my genitals.”

This happened frequently over two months. He told no one for more than a decade. Four years ago, he told his parents. And a year ago, when he heard that Reichman had allegedly abused several other boys, they confronted Reichman.
When the school heard about it, they gave the rabbi a lie-detector test. He failed miserably. So they told Joel, ‘This guy has to go.” But a few weeks later, a religious leader from the school approached Engelman’s mother to ask, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad was the molestation?... We found out there was no skin-to-skin contact, that it was through clothing....On a scale of 1 to 10, this was maybe a 2 or a 3, so what’s the big fuss?” The school reinstated Reichman.

Both Engleman and Diangelo were raised as strict Hasidic Jews, and both fled their upbringing for the same reason.

Four ultra-Orthodox rabbis in Brooklyn have been sued or arrested for abusing boys in the past three years. That’s a tiny fraction of the actual abuse, says Hella Winston, author of Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels. She says that in researching her book, she met dozens of alleged victims who told her sexual abuse is an open secret in the Hasidic community. But the community is so insulated and the rabbis are so powerful that few dare to come forward.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes says he has 10 active sexual abuse cases involving Orthodox Jews. He says the Jewish leaders — like Catholic bishops — try to handle these affairs internally, through a rabbinical court. "You have no business taking these cases to religious tribunals," Hynes says. "They are either civil or criminal in nature. Or both. Your obligation is to bring these allegations to us and let us conduct the investigation."

One of the problems with such abuse is that in isolated religious communities, instead of reporting the abuse to the police, it is reported to religious authorities, as was also done in the Catholic church. When it is handled by the religious community that wants to avoid bad publicity, it is usually covered up and never resolved.

For more information:

Abuse Scandal Plagues Hasdic Jews in Brooklyn
Hasidic Jews join the kiddy-fiddlers’ hall of shame
Sexual Abuse of Kids in Hasidic Jewish Community

19 March 2009


In my attempt to show that being religious
is not a guarantee of moral behavior,
this post is a part of my series of reports featuring the
bad behavior of religious people, past or present....

Look for other posts about the bad behavior
perpetrated by members of other religious groups.

Rabbi Morris Talansky of Long Island, NY, was charged with assaulting his dentist in an argument over fees. After the case was thrown out, the rabbi, carrying a Bible, wept and said, "I'm grateful to the Almighty and my attorney and the judge." Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced his resignation after Rabbi Talansky testified last year that he paid the politician $150,000 in cash over 15 years while Olmert was minister of trade and mayor of Jerusalem. Talansky, who was a victim of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, is currently being investigated by federal authorities, who are considering indicting him for allegedly bribing Olmert in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

David Silverman, 23, of Rockland County, NY, is accused of luring three girls, ages 14 and 15 who he met on My Space, to a porn set in a warehouse, giving them alcohol, photographing and filming the resulting orgy with two friends who are now both fugitives in Israel. By the time he was arrested, he had dismantled the porn set and erased his hard drive, but officials were able to recover his files. Silverman says he has returned to his Hasidic Jewish lifestyle and is refusing to even look at the evidence, claiming it is too offensive. Psychologists aren’t buying his claim that he cannot assist in his defense on charges of statuatory rape and child pornography because of his religious devotion. His lawyer admitted that a plea may be the best course. “A lawyer I am. A magician I am not,” he said.

Two teenaged boys claim they endured years of sexual abuse at the hand of Emanual Yegutkin, a principal of a private Jewish school in Brooklyn, NY. The boys were abused between the ages of 7 and 17. Neither boy attended Yegutkin’s school. Yegutkin also worked as a lifeguard at a summer camp and was a ‘rising star’ in the Jewish community. His arrest is the fourth in the Orthodox Brooklyn community in the past three years.

You will find more abuse in the New York Hasidic community in a future post: Jews Behaving Badly #2

Initially, I learned of all of the above stories from reports in the March 2009 issue of Freethought Today, published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

For more information on these reports:

‘Graft’ rabbi off hook in doc assault
Olmert foe listed as Madoff victim

‘Perv’ Twist, ‘Occasional’ Hasid
Hasidic Jew Charged With Rape and Child Pornography Remains in Jail
Hasid ‘rapist’ fit for trial

Teen sex rap for principal of Bensonhurst private school

16 March 2009


has been added to

You can see the blogroll in my sidebar above my own long list of Freethought Resources. The Atheist Blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information.

15 March 2009


        According to a 2008 survey just released by American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) and reported in a story in USA Today, people who call themselves Christians in the U.S. has dropped 11% in the last 18 years. The Bible Belt is not as Baptist as it was, the Rust Belt is less Catholic, and throughout the country people are exploring fringe religions or dropping religion completely. 
        Survey co-author Barry Kosmin says, "More than ever before, people are just making up their own stories of who they are. They say, 'I'm everything. I'm nothing. I believe in myself.'"
        In  the 1990 ARIS survey Kosmin concluded that many saw God as a "personal hobby." Today, he says, "Religion has become more like a fashion statement, not a deep personal commitment for many."
        USA Today writer Cathy Lynn Grossman says that we have become a nation of freelancers when it comes to religion.

ARIS 2008 Survey findings include:
        • Americans claiming no religion is 15%, up from 8%
          in 1990
        • This non-religious category outranks every other
          major religious group except Catholics and Baptists.
        • Baptists stand at 15.8%, down from 19.3% in 1990
        • Mainstream Protestsants are in sharp decline.
          Methodists dropped from 8% to 5%
        • Jewish numbers declined from 1.8% to 1.2%
          (some surveys show higher numbers, but those 
          include "cultural" Jews who don't necessarily 
          practice their religion)
        • Muslims have doubled from 0.3% to 0.6%
        • Challenges to Christianity don't come from other
          religions but from rejection of all forms of religion
        • Nearly 2.8 million people identify with new
          movements such as Wiccan paganism.
        • While Oregon previously led the nation in those who 
          responded NONE when asked to identify a religious
          affiliation, Vermont now leads the country with 34%

        A 48 year old woman from Rutland, VT says she is upfront about being an atheist because "It's important for us to be counted. I'm a taxpayer and a law-abiding citizen and an ethical person, and I don't think people assume this about atheists."

Factors which played some role in declining numbers among the religious include:
        • News stories about sexual abuse by clergy
        • Young people affiliating with coworkers and online 
          friendships more than in churches.
        • People moving from strongly-religious older
        • The "piety gap" between those who support gay
          marriage, abortion rights, and stem cell research and
          those who don't

        "Rise of the Godless," a report in National Journal, widely read by members of Congress, stated:
        "In the past, politicians in Washington and elsewhere could largely ignore the Godless. But those days are over. With their numbers growing, nonbelievers are intent on pushing a political and legislative agenda governed more by cool reason than by faith."

The USA Today story includes much more information.
Click HERE for interactive graphs and videos.
See also: Rise of the Godless from National Journal (in pdf format)
and The End of Christian America from Newsweek.
(Thanks to FRED from NV for alerting
me to the Newsweek article.)

13 March 2009


April 10-12 , 2009

The theme of the 2009 blogswarm, as always, is support of  Separation of Church and State. Variations on the theme are many.  This is not meant to be a bashing of religion ---one can believe what they choose, however they choose —-but it is a reminder that the Government should keep out of religion, and Religion should keep out of the government.

I have created several logos (read restrictions below) which you are welcome to copy and paste on your own "Blog Against Theocracy" post. 

Or you can create a logo of your own or use one created by others that can be found HERE.

To participate in the blogswarm.

1. Write a post in support of our United States Constitution, specifically regarding the Separation of Church and State. You can write your post anytime, but the blogswarm takes place Easter Weekend, April 10-12.

2. Send the URL of your post via this online form, and add any comments you would like to appear with your link. Make sure you provide the permalink to your post and not just your blog.

3. Sit back and enjoy the hits.

For more information go directly to the Blog Against Theocracy site.

Feel free to chose one of these logos (below) to add to your blog for the purpose of supporting Church/State Separation for the 2009 Blog Against Theocracy event. I only request that, close to the logo,  you add "Used with permission from My Thoughts Are Free" with a link to this URL: http://tirelesswing.blogspot.com

These logos may not be used for any other purpose without permission from this blog owner.

11 March 2009


Today, Wednesday March 11th, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union will urge federal appeals court to uphold the right of taxpayers to challenge public funding of a Baptist childcare agency that proselytizes children and discriminates against employees who do not hold the belief that homosexuality is sinful.

The suit claims that Kentucky Baptist Homes has no right to accept state and federal funding while imposing religious dogma on children and employees.

George W. Bush supported such government programs. President Obama has been criticised for failing to revise Bush’s program to include civil rights safegaurds.

Read more HERE


Below, you will find just a part of my lengthy list of freethinkers, which include agnostics, atheists, brights, deists, humanists, materialists, milesians, pantheists, rationalists, skeptics and other champions of church and state separation.

There are obviously many more names I could add, but in order to keep the list manageable, I listed the names I thought the average educated person might recognize.

See also:

Abigail Adams (2nd First Lady)
Douglas Adams (writer)
John Adams (2nd U.S. President)
John Quincy Adams (6th U.S. President)
Edward Albee (playwright)
Alan Alda (actor)
Ethan Allen (American revolutionary)
Steve Allen (songwriter, TV personality, writer)
Woody Allen (writer, actor, director)
Robert Altman (director)
Jorge Amado (Brazilian writer)
Sir Kingsley Amis (writer)
Eric Ambler (writer)
Susan B. Anthony (civil rights leader)
Aristotle (Greek philosopher)
Lance Armstrong (athelete)
Isaac Asimov (writer/scientist)
Sir David Attenborough (naturalist)
Margaret Atwood (writer)
Francis Bacon (philosopher)
Kevin Bacon (actor)
Clara Barton (nurse, humanitarian)
Russell Baker (writer)
Antonio Banderas (actor)
Dan Barker (freethought activist, former evangelical minister)
Dave Barry (writer, humorist)
Simone de Beauvoir (writer, philosopher)
Ludwig van Beethoven (composer)
Ingmar Bergman (director)
Irving Berlin (wrote “White Christmas”, “Easter Parade” and “God Bless America”)
Sarah Bernhardt (French actress)
Ambrose Bierce (writer)
Georges Bizet (composer)
William Blake (writer)
Bill Blass (fashion designer)
Dirk Bogarde (actor)
Simon Bolivar (South American revolutionary leader)
Rosa Bonheur (painter)
Margaret Bourke-White (photographer)
David Bowie (musician)
Johannes Brahams (composer)
Marlon Brando (actor)
Richard Branson (entrepreneur)
Robert Browning (writer)
Pearl Buck (writer)
Warren Buffet (businessman, philanthopist)
Luther Burbank (botanist)
Sir Richard F Burton (explorer)
Lord Byron (writer)
Albert Camus (writer)
George Carlin (comedian)
Andrew Carnegie (industrialist)
Johnny Carson (TV host)
Fidel Castro (revolutionary, Cuban leader)
Catherine the Great (Russian ruler)
Dick Cavett (TV host)
Charlie Chaplin (actor)
Noam Chomsky (philosopher)
Winston Churchill (British prime minister)
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Roman philosopher, statesman)
Sir Arthur C. Clarke (writer)
Georges Clemenceau (French Prime Minister)
George Clooney (actor)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (writer)
Billy Connolly (comedian, actor)
Aaron Copland (composer)
Noel Coward (actor, playwright, composer)
Quentin Crisp (writer)
David Cronenberg (filmmaker)
E. E. Cummings (writer)
Marie Curie (physicist, chemist)
Clarence Darrow (lawyer)
Charles Darwin (naturalist)
Richard Dawkins (biologist, writer)
Eugene Debs (labor leader, reformer)
Claude Debussy (composer)
Eugene Delacroix (artist)
Daniel Dennett (philosopher)
John Dewey (philosopher)
Phyllis Diller (comedian)
Isak Dineson (writer)
Charles Dickens (writer)
Emily Dickenson (writer)
Marlena Dietrich (actor)
Phil Donahue (TV host)
Frederick Douglass (abolitionist)
Arthur Conan Doyle (writer)
Richard Dreyfus (actor)
David Duchovny (actor)
Patrick Duffy (actor)
Isodora Duncan (dancer)
Roger Ebert (film critic)
Thomas Edison (inventor)
Bart Ehrman (New Testament scholar)
Albert Einstein (physicist)
George Eliot (writer)
Ralph Waldo Emerson (writer, philosopher)
Friedrich Engles (economist, writer)
Epicurus (Greek philosopher)

I welcome additions to this list.
Please leave additional names in comments.
I will be updating it frequently.

See also:
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