ATHEIST MILESTONES FOR FEBRUARY An Atheist Calendar Compiled by Gipson Arnold, President,

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ATHEIST MILESTONES FOR FEBRUARY An Atheist Calendar Compiled by Gipson Arnold, President, Atheist Network. Feb. 2, 1859 - H. Havelock Ellis was born - Ellis was a pioneer psychologist and sex researcher. He was also a non believer who saw religion as having both positive and negative effects on people. "A religion can no more afford to degrade its Devil than to degrade its God", "And it is in his own image, let us remember, that Man creates God." (Impressions and Comments). Feb. 2, 1970 - Bertrand Russell died - Russell was an atheist writer, philosopher, and mathematician. "I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the primary enemy of moral progress in the world." (Why I Am Not a Christian, 1957). Feb. 7, 1906 - Charles Chilton Moore died. Feb. 10, 1843 - Richard Carlile died - Carlile was a prolific English writer and one of the most influential freethinkers of the early 19th century. He published the Deist, the Republican, and The Lion anti-Christian periodicals and was imprisoned for blasphemy in 1819. "The whole of religion has been one uniform curse to the human race . . ." (As to God). Feb. 11, 1847 - Thomas Edison was born - Edison was a famous American inventor and industrialist. He was a non believer and critic of religion in his private life. He attracted a lot of angry response when he expressed his views publicly, and later granted interviews on the subject of religion and immortality that were clearly more apologetic. "So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake. Religion is all bunk. My mind is incapable of conceiving such a thing as a soul. I may be in error, and a man may have a soul; but I simply do not believe it." (Do We Live Again?, a published essay). Feb. 12, 1809 - Charles Darwin was born - Darwin was an English naturalist who proposed a theory of evolution based on mutation and natural selection. "I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation . . . Disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct." Feb. 12, 1828 - George Meredith was born. Meredith was an English poet, novelist, and literary critic who befriended G.W. Foote after his prison term for blasphemy. "The man or the country that fights priestcraft and priests is to my mind striking deeper for freedom than can be struck anywhere." (from a letter written Sept. 3, 1874). Feb. 14, 1564 - Galileo Galilei was born - Galileo was an Italian physicist and astronomer who was brought before the Inquisition and forced to renounce his view that the earth circled the sun. Feb. 16, 1834 - Ernst Haekel was born - Haekel was a German biologist, freethinker, and proponent of evolution. Among his most noted works were Natural History of Genesis (1868), and The Riddle of the Universe (1899). Feb. 20, 1850 - Charles Knowleton died - Knowleton was an American freethought writer and pioneer of birth control rights. He was author of Elements of Materialism (1829), and Fruits of Philosophy (1832). Feb. 22, 1840 - August Bebel was born - Bebel was a German atheist and socialist politician. He was a leader of German workers, but received several prison sentences for his political opinions. "Christ came, and Christianity arose ... But originating in Judaism, which knew women only as a being bereft of all rights, and biased by the biblical conception which saw in her the source of all evil, Christianity preached contempt for women." (Women and Socialism, 1893) Feb. 23, 1868 - W.E.B. DuBois was born - DuBois was a scholarly black historian, poet, and propagandist recognized as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. He was raised in a religious environment, but grew towards agnosticism. Despite his unbelief, much of his writings contained religious metaphor until the later years of his life. Feb. 26, 1899 - Charles Chilton Moore goes to prison for distributing "obscene" [atheist] literature through the mail. Feb. 26-27, 1957 - Atheist Charles Smith participated in hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation of Supreme Court nominee William J. Brennan, who was a Catholic. He brought his lawyer and two Catholic books that clearly stated how Catholics in positions of political power are supposed to follow church teachings whenever they differ with secular laws. Feb. 28, 1857 - Alfred F. Loisy was born - Loisy was a French Catholic priest who openly expressed disbelief in church teachings, and advocated separation between church and state. He was excommunicated from the church in 1908. "It seems to me that the notion of God has never been anything but a kind of ideal projection, a reflection upward of the human personality, and that theology never has been and never can be anything but a more and more purified mythology." (My Duel with the Vatican, 1924).


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