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 3 entries for this date: Eden Phillpotts , Kathy Griffin and Maud Ingersoll
Eden Phillpotts

Eden Phillpotts

On this date in 1862, British novelist, poet and dramatist Eden Phillpotts was born in India, where his father was a captain in the military. He attended Mannumead School in Plymouth, and went to London to seek his fame and fortune at age 17. Eden worked at Sun Fire Insurance Company by day for ten years, writing at night. He first caught public attention with Lying Prophets (1896), followed by the successful Children of the Mist (1898). Phillpotts left London because of health problems and settled in Torquay (Devonshire), where he set most of his 18 popular novels and 2 volumes of short stories. His books, while hard to find, still have a following. During his heydey, Phillpotts was compared with Flaubert and other literary stars. He also wrote about gardening, one of his passions. Phillpotts' plays include "Secret Woman" (1912), "The Shadow," "The Angel in the House," "The Farmer's Wife," and "St. George and the Dragons." He contributed poems to the Rationalist Press Association Annual attesting to his rejection of creeds and his agnosticism. D. 1960.

“The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”

—Eden Phillpotts, unattributed internet sources.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin

On this date in 1960, comedian Kathy Griffin was born in Oak Park, Ill. When Griffin was 18 she chose not to attend college, and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in show business, where she launched her career in stand-up and improv comedy. She is best known for her television show, “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” a raunchy reality show that has earned two Emmy Awards. Her autobiography, “Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin” (2010), made it onto The New York Times Bestseller List and several of her comedy albums have received Grammy nominations. She has also had roles in many movies and television shows.

Griffin is an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights, AIDS awareness, and social and political issues. She frequently criticizes organized religion, and although she grew-up Catholic to Irish immigrant parents, she has broken away from the Church. In a June 2007 interview with OutSmart Magazine, she described herself as a “militant atheist.” Christian groups and individuals heavily criticized Griffin for her Emmy acceptance speech in 2007, where she said, “"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. He didn’t help me a bit. . . So all I can say is suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now." Griffin has achieved many firsts as a top female comedian, such as being the first female comedian to have a comedy album debut at number one on the Billboard Top Comedy Album chart.

 

“I can criticize your religion all I want, and you can criticize mine. I don’t like this whole climate of, ‘You can’t ever say anything bad about the group I’m in, cause every group is untouchable.’ We can all criticize each other and engage in debate all we want.”

—— Kathy Griffin in an episode of the syndicated radio show, “Loveline,” Sept. 30, 2002.

Compiled by Sarah Eucalano

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Maud Ingersoll

Maud Ingersoll

On this date in 1864, Maud Ingersoll was born in Peoria, Illinois, second daughter of "the Great Agnostic," Col. Robert G. Ingersoll and Eva Parker Ingersoll. Maud, like her older sister, Eva, was given the middle name "Robert." With Eva, Maud received instruction at home by her parents, with extra tutoring in German, French, Italian, music and art. Both girls read before the age of six, although not pushed into formal education. As teenagers, they sometimes helped their father research the bible and religious writings for his lectures. "Father had read with us and together we have looked up references, localities and proofs," Eva once wrote, adding that the more they came to be acquainted with Christianity, the less they liked it. Maud became Ingersoll's special attendant, accompanying him on lecture tours. Maud once stayed in the courtroom throughout a protracted, 6-week trial her attorney father was hired to handle, involving a charge of forgery over a will, in Butte, Montana. After Ingersoll's death, Maud continued to refute spurious claims, which she was accused of circulating, that her father had recanted: "At the time of his death--in fact, the very morning of his death--he was working on a new lecture on Jesus Christ to be delivered the next winter and in which he intended saying that Christ was a myth," Maud reported. D. 1936.

“I wish to say emphatically that there isn't a word of truth in this statement. Neither my sister nor myself is connected with any church in any way. Although our father has always wished for us to study and think for ourselves, we agree with him heartily in his religious belief.”

—Maud Ingersoll, denying her alleged religious conversion in a slander put forth by Rev. W. W. Landrum, First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia, 1883.

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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