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Happy Freethought Day!
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Published Saturday, October 11, 2014 @ 9:18 PM EDT
Oct 11 2014


(photo from threfreethinker)

Freethought Day is October 12th, the annual observance by freethinkers and secularists of the anniversary of the effective end of the Salem Witch Trials.

The seminal event connected to Freethought Day is a letter written by then Massachusetts Governor William Phips in which he wrote to the Privy Council of the British monarchs, William and Mary, on this day in 1692. He outlined the quagmire into which the trials had degenerated, in part by a reliance on "evidence" of a non-objective nature and especially "spectral evidence" in which the accusers claimed to see devils and other phantasms consorting with the accused. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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Every man- in the development of his own personality- has the right to form his own beliefs and opinions. Hence, suppression of belief, opinion and expression is an affront to the dignity of man, a negation of man’s essential nature.
-Thomas Emerson

First Amendment freedoms are most in danger when the government seeks to control thought or to justify its laws for that impermissible end. The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought.
-Anthony Kennedy

For the First Amendment rests upon the premise that both religion and government can best work to achieve their lofty aims if each is left free from the other within its respective sphere.
-Hugo Black

Freedom of expression must be considered sacred and thought can only be corrected by counter thought.
-Mahfouz Naguib

Freedom of thought and the right of private judgment, in matters of conscience, driven from every other corner of the earth, direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum.
-Samuel Adams

Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.
-Chief Justice Robert Jackson

Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought.
-Graham Greene

I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations; but, on a candid examination of history, we shall find that turbulence, violence, and abuse of power, by the majority trampling on the rights of the minority, have produced factions and commotions, which, in republics, have, more frequently than any other cause, produced despotism. If we go over the whole history of ancient and modern republics, we shall find their destruction to have generally resulted from those causes.
-James Madison

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.
-Noam Chomsky

It is true that many Americans find the (Ten) Commandments in accord with their personal beliefs. But we do not count heads before enforcing the First Amendment.
-Sandra Day O'Connor

No people in history have ever survived who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies.
-Dean Acheson

The freedom of thought is a sacred right of every individual man, and diversity will continue to increase with the progress, refinement, and differentiation of the human intellect.
-Felix Adler

The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.
-John Adams

They (the Pilgrim Fathers) believed in freedom of thought for themselves and for all other people who believed exactly as they did.
-Will Cuppy

Unreason and anti-intellectualism abominate thought. Thinking implies disagreement; and disagreement implies nonconformity; and nonconformity implies heresy; and heresy implies disloyalty- so, obviously, thinking must be stopped. But shouting is not a substitute for thinking and reason is not the subversion but the salvation of freedom.
-Adlai E. Stevenson II

We are so proud of our guarantees of freedom in thought and speech and worship, that, unconsciously, we are guilty of one of the greatest errors that ignorance can make- we assume our standard of values is shared by all other humans in the world.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.
-John Adams

You simply disobey. Peaceably, yes. Respectfully, of course. Nonviolently, absolutely. But when told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don't. We disobey the social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom.
-Charlton Heston


Categories: Atheism, Church and State, First Amendment, Freethought, Religion


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Photo of the day
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Published Saturday, October 11, 2014 @ 8:39 PM EDT
Oct 11 2014

Border Collie on acid.


Categories: Animals, Dogs, Photo of the day


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