Freethought of the Day

Would you like to start your day on a freethought note? "Freethought of the Day" is a daily freethought calendar brought to you courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, highlighting birthdates, quotes, and other historic tidbits.

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There are 2 entries for this date: Gustave Flaubert and Jay Gorney
Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert

On this date in 1821, novelist Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen, France. Destined by his family for medicine, Flaubert preferred the world of literature. He traveled widely for nearly two years, and ascended to the top of the Great Pyramid in Egypt. After trying his hand at poetry, Flaubert became a novelist. His classic, Madame Bovary, which took him five years to write, was published in 1857. Its realistic portrayal of adultery offended religious sensibilities. Flaubert was criminally prosecuted, but escaped conviction. Flaubert's friends and correspondents included many leading skeptical literati of his day, including Zola, George Sand and Turgenev. Flaubert also wrote four other novels, including Salammbo (1862) and The Temptation of Saint Antoine (1874), which reveals some of his skepticism, a book of short stories and a play. Flaubert is widely quoted as saying, "It is necessary to sleep upon the pillow of doubt." D. 1880.

“And I can't admit of an old boy God who takes walks in his garden with a cane in his hand, who lodges his friends in the belly of whales, dies uttering a cry, and rises again after three days; things absurd in themselves, and completely opposed, moreover, to all physical laws, which proves to us, by the way, that priests have always wallowed in squalid ignorance, and tried to drag whole nations down after them.”

—Pharmacist in Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert. (Source: Warren Allen Smith, Who's Who in Hell)

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Jay Gorney

Jay Gorney

On this date in 1896, songwriter Jay Gorney was born, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants who came to the United States when he was a young child. The composer of "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" was, like the lyricist Yip Harburg, a nonbeliever who ended up being blacklisted for his liberal views. Jay Gorney is the man who discovered Shirley Temple and for whom he wrote her first movie song "Baby, Take a Bow" (in Stand Up and Cheer). He wrote such standards as "You're My Thrill" and "What Wouldn't I Do for That Man?" plus hundreds of popular songs for theater, film, and television. "We were not a religious family," his widow Sondra Gorney said in a telephone interview. They were not married in a church or synagogue. His memorial was held at the New York Public Shakespeare Theater, not in a religious setting. D. 1990

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Freethought of the Day

Would you like to start your day on a freethought note? "Freethought of the Day" is a daily freethought calendar brought to you courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, highlighting birthdates, quotes, and other historic tidbits.

If you would like to be placed on the "Daily Freethought" e-mail list to automatically receive the calendar notice, log in and edit your email settings (My Membership). Or, email  and include your first and last name with your request for verification purposes. This email service is limited to members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation or subscribers to Freethought Today. To become an FFRF member, click here.


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