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: Alfred Naquet , Emily Cape and Matthew Sweet

Alfred Naquet

On this date in 1834, physician and politician Alfred Naquet was born in France. After obtaining a medical degree, he studied chemistry and was professor of chemistry at Palermo from 1863 to 1866. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison upon his return to Paris when he propounded radical Garibaldian views. After Dr. Naquet's book, Religion, Propriete, Famille, was published in 1869, he was returned to prison for 4 months, was fined 500 francs and lost his civil rights for life. Naquet sought refuge in Spain but after the Revolution of 1870, returned to France. He served in the Chambre from 1871-1882, championing the cause of divorce reform (divorce had been abolished in France in 1816). Naquet ultimately saw passage of his bill for a rational divorce law as a senator, the achievement for which he is largely remembered. D. 1915.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Emily Cape

On this date in 1865, sociologist Emily Cape (née Palmer) was born. She apparently was the first woman student admitted to Columbian University (now George Washington University), and also attended Barnard College and the University of Wisconsin. She studied sociology with Prof. Lester Ward, who is sometimes called the father of American sociology. Cape became his assistant while he worked on his multi-volume Glimpses of the Cosmos (first volume published 1913). "Like Professor Ward, she is an Agnostic and an ardent humanitarian," freethought historian McCabe wrote in 1920 (Biographical Dictionary of Modern Rationalists). Cape founded a School of Sociology in New York. Her own books include Oriental Aphorisms (1906) and Fairy Surprises for Little Folks (1908). As a 60-year-old, Cape undertook a cruise around the world in 1926-1927. In her 278-page journal describing tours in Japan (Yokohama, Tokyo, Kobe, Kyoto, Nara), Thailand, India and Egypt, she commented upon some "ignorant" priests on board.

“No wonder their 'flocks' are 'low in education.'”
"

—Emily Palmer Cape, writing about priests she met on a cruise, January 15, 1927, Emily P. Cape Journal, William L. Clements Library (The University of Michigan)

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Matthew Sweet

Matthew Sweet

On this date in 1964, Sidney Matthew Sweet was born in Lincoln, Neb. He briefly attended the University of Georgia, beginning in 1983, before dropping out to focus on his music. Sweet is a singer, guitarist, bassist and keyboardist who has been writing and recording music since he was a teenager. He has since produced 15 power-pop albums, including Girlfriend (1991), Altered Beast (1993), 100% Fun (1995) and Sunshine Lies (2008). In 2010, playwright Todd Almond made Girlfriend into a rock musical. Sweet also makes and sells pottery and owns the Lolina Green Pottery Studio.

When asked by The Onion if he believed in a god, Sweet replied, “No. I don’t think there’s a God like the God everybody’s taught about” (Feb. 2, 2000). In 1991, Sweet recorded “Divine Intervention,” which the Sept. 3, 2004 issue of Slant Magazine called “the most melodic paean to agnosticism ever written.” The song mentions the hypocrisy of god, with the speaker stating, “Does he love us? Does he love us? / I look around and all I see is destruction.”

“I believe in nature instead of God.”

—Matthew Sweet, The Onion, Feb. 2, 2000.

Compiled by Sabrina 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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