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.


There are 3 entries for this date: Julian Bond , Steven Soderbergh and Andy Rooney
Julian Bond

Julian Bond

On this date in 1940, Julian Bond was born in Nashville to Julia Washington and Horace Mann Bond. Bond became a lifelong champion of civil rights, chairing the NAACP, opposing the Vietnam War, and helping to found both the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Poverty Law Center. His great-grandmother Jane Bond was slave mistress to a Kentucky farmer. One of her sons, Bond's grandfather, attended Oberlin College. Julian's family moved to Philadelphia, where he enrolled at age 12 in a Quaker school in Philadelphia, experiencing racism when he began dating a white girl. The family moved to Atlanta when Bond was 17, and his father became dean of education at Atlanta University. Bond attended Morehouse College, where his teachers included the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He dropped out in 1961 to devote all time protesting segregation and segregated public facilities. He was arrested once for leading an early sit-in at the City Hall cafeteria in Atlanta. As communications director of SNCC for five years, he was credited by The New York Times for "deftly guid[ing] the national news media toward stories of violence and discrimination as the committee challenged legal segregation in the South's public facilities." He returned to Morehouse College in the 1970s to finish his English degree.

Bond served for 20 years in the Georgia General Assembly, which had once escorted Bond and other black students out of the white-only visitors' section. When he was first elected in 1965, white members of the House refused to seat him. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in a unanimous decision in 1966 ordered the State Assembly to seat him. He also served in the state Senate. Bond was an advocate, sponsoring bills such as establishing a sickle cell anemia program. In 1986, Bond ran for the U.S. House, but lost to John Lewis, also a co-founder of SNCC. Bond was president of the Southern Poverty Law Center from 1971 to 1979. As a journalist, he hosted "America's Black Forum," a syndicated black-owned TV program, for many years. A cultural icon, he once hosted an episode of "Saturday Night Live." He later taught at Harvard and other universities, and as a professor of history at the University of Virginia, co-directed the oral history project, Explorations in Black Leadership. His book of essays, "A Time to Speak, a Time to Act," was published in 1972. He became chair of the NACCP in 1998 and was active in Democratic Party politics. He was married twice, and was survived by his second wife, Pamela Sue Horowitz, three sons, two daughters and eight grandchildren."The mainstream churches often seem to be absent without leaves. Where are they? Why don't we hear their voices?" Bond asked in a 2015 PBS interview. D. 2015.

Q. Are you a believer?
A. No.

—Interview on American Forum (PBS), with Doug Blackmon, March 2015

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Steven Soderbergh

Steven Soderbergh

On this date in 1963, filmmaker Steven Soderbergh was born in Atlanta. He grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, among other residences that are "not places you'd expect to find someone growing up to be a left-winger, let alone an atheist," as The [London] Observer put it in a profile ("What a lucky Soderbergh," Jan. 7, 2001). Although his father was a professor at Louisiana State University, Soderbergh skipped college and got into directing early. He won a Grammy nomination for producing the music video, "Yes: 9012 Live" (1986). His short subject film, "Winston" (1987), was the precursor to his breakthrough "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" (1989). Soderbergh's "Erin Brockovich" and "Traffic" (both released in 2000) wowed at the 2001 Oscars, where he was nominated as "best director" of both, and won for "Traffic." Soderbergh often casts fellow freethinker George Clooney, who has appeared in such Soderbergh films as "Out of Sight" (1998), "Ocean's Eleven" (2003), "Solaris" (2002), and "Ocean's Twelve" (2004).

“[Do you believe in God?] No.”

—Steven Soderbergh, in answer to a question posed by the "A.V. Club" section of The Onion newspaper, Sept. 7-13, 2000.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney

On this date in 1919, commentator Andy Rooney was born. Rooney attended Colgate University until drafted into the Army in 1941. He was one of six correspondents who flew with the Eighth Air Force making the first U.S. bombing raid over Germany. He first joined CBS in 1949, and helped write for the popular "Garry Moore Show" (1956-1965), while also writing for CBS News public affairs. He collaborated with the late CBS News correspondent Harry Reasoner on a series of CBS TV news specials from 1962-1968. Rooney won the first of his three Emmy Awards for his special, "Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed" (1968). Since 1979, he has written a regular column for Tribune Media Services. "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney" debuted on the TV news program "60 Minutes" in September 1978. Since then, Rooney delivered 800 on-air essays for "60 Minutes." The latest of his 13 books was Years of Minutes. In his 1999 book Sincerely, Andy Rooney, he included a final section called "Faith in Reason," in which he reprinted a letter to his children about his agnosticism and freethought views. In 2001, Rooney was a recipient of FFRF's Emperor Has No Clothes Award in 2001. He referred to himself as "a writer who appears on television," and was also awarded a Lifetime Achievement Emmy and the Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award. Rooney appeared regularly on "60 Minutes" until Oct. 2, 2011, less than five weeks before his death on Nov. 4. D. 2011.

“We all ought to understand we're on our own. Believing in Santa Claus doesn't do kids any harm for a few years but it isn't smart for them to continue waiting all their lives for him to come down the chimney with something wonderful. Santa Claus and God are cousins.

Christians talk as though goodness was their idea but good behavior doesn't have any religious origin. Our prisons are filled with the devout.

I'd be more willing to accept religion, even if I didn't believe it, if I thought it made people nicer to each other but I don't think it does.”

—Andy Rooney, Sincerely, Andy Rooney, 1999.

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.


FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

FFRF has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator

 

FFRF privacy statement

AAI-LOGO

FFRF is a member of Atheist Alliance International.