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: Jane Lynch and Ingmar Bergman
Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch

On this date in 1960, actress and comedian Jane Marie Lynch was born in Dolton, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. She is known for playing Sue Sylvester in the hit TV show "Glee" and for recurring roles in "Two and a Half Men" and "The L Word." Lynch earned her undergraduate degree in theater from Illinois State University and her MFA from Cornell University. She then performed for several theaters, including the Steppenwolf Company for 15 years and doing stand-up for Second City in Chicago.

Lynch began appearing in movies in 1988 and has since appeared in over 100 films, TV shows and shorts. She has hosted "Saturday Night Live" and the Emmys and won many awards for her work, including Emmys, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Lynch is known for her social activism. She is vegan, an avid supporter of PETA and helps facilitate the adoption of animals from animal shelters. She advocated for state-church separation in a humorous song performed with Jordan Peele and produced by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Lynch, an out lesbian, is a strong advocate for LGBT rights.

She made a video for the It Gets Better campaign and performed in a play titled "8," which focused on marriage equality and California's Proposition 8. She is active in several organizations that promote equality for people of all sexual orientations. She was married to Lara Embry, a Ph.D. clinical psychologist, from 2010-14.

“Yes. They say you die just a little bit when you sneeze. And I’m kind of an atheist, but yet I will say that just in case.”

—Lynch in response to a TMZ reporter asking her “Is it still necessary to say God bless you when someone sneezes?” (May 28, 2013)

Compiled by Sarah Eucalano; photo by S_Bukley,

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman

On this date in 1918, Ingmar Bergman was born in Uppsala, Sweden, the son of a strict Lutheran minister. He studied art and literature at the University of Stockholm, went into theater, and made his directorial film debut in 1944. His 1955 "Smiles of a Summer Night" attracted international acclaim, followed by "Wild Strawberries (1957) and "The Seventh Seal" (1957), in which a knight portrayed by Max von Sydow challenges Death to a chess match.

He then made "The Virgin Spring" (1960), "Persona" (1966), "Scenes from a Marriage," co-starring one of his favorite actresses, Liv Ullman (1974), and "Fanny and Alexander," which won a Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1983. His 50 feature films often explored existential questions. Bergman once said, "I believe in other worlds, other realities. But my prophets are Bach and Beethoven." (New Yorker Staats-Zeitung July 9, 2005.) 

He was married five times: to Else Fisher, Ellen Lundström, Gun Grut, Käbi Laretei and Ingrid von Rosen, and had nine children. He died in 2007 at age 89.

Bergman in Amsterdam in 1966; Joost Evers/Anefo photo under CC 3.0.

"You were born without purpose, you live without meaning, living is its own meaning. When you die, you are extinguished. From being you will be transformed to non-being. A god does not necessarily dwell among our capricious atoms."

—Bergman, "The Magic Lantern: An Autobiography" (1987)

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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