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: Maria Deraismes and Alex Honnold
Maria Deraismes

Maria Deraismes

On this date in 1828 or 1835 *, Maria Deraismes was born in France. Educated in Paris, Maria was given more educational opportunities than most young women of her era. She wrote a collection of dramatic sketches that were published in 1861, and turned her hand to comedies. She became one of the founding members of the feminist movement in France. Deraismes welcomed participants to the first French Women's Congress, held in 1878, and was president of the Society for the Improvement of the Condition of Women. She made a famous rebuttal to the misogynist labeling of women intellectuals as "bluestockings." A rationalist, she was the first woman Freemason in France, and directed several freethought societies. She was a co-presider of the Anti-Clerical Congress in Paris in 1881. The town square of St. Nazaire is reputedly named for her. D. 1894.

 

* Several sources disagree.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Alex Honnold

Alex Honnold

 On this date in 1985, rock climber Alex Honnold was born in Sacramento, California. Honnold is one of the top free-solo climbers in the world. In free solo, the climber does not use any ropes or protective gear but relies only on physical and mental strength. He also does big-wall climbing, which is defined as a route that takes more than a day to climb. A self-described "atheist rock climber," Honnold was taken to church as a child, but instead of finding meaning in bible readings, he daydreamed about climbing the church's rafters. Honnold began rock climbing at age 11. He attended the University of California-Berkeley to study engineering but dropped out to pursue his climbing passion and lives out of his van, traveling to different climbing spots. In a video by filmmaker Chris Johnson, Honnold described why he's an atheist: " I love rock climbing, I love being outside and I love traveling. I find meaning in all those things. By not believing in an afterlife, it forces you to make the most out of this life to get the most out of the time you have."

Honnold, along with climber Hans Florine, holds the world record for the fastest ascent of "The Nose" of El Capitan, a nearly 3,000-foot granite wall, in California's Yosemite Valley. It's is the most popular route to ascend the mountain. Honnold and Florine climbed it in the record time of 2:23:51. On June 3, 2017, he became the first person to scale El Capitan without using ropes or other safety gear, in 3 hours and 56 minutes. According to National Geographic, the ascent "may be the greatest feat of pure rock climbing in the history of the sport."

Photo of Alex Honnold al Trento Film Festival by Niccolo Caranti by CC 3.0

“I was taken to church for maybe five or six years as a kid and at no point did I ever think there was ever anything going on with church. I always saw it as a bunch of old people eating stale wafers, and that’s totally weird to me.”

—Alex Honnold in a YouTube video uploaded by Chris Johnson entitled “A Better Life in Yosemite with Alex Honnold,” uploaded October 11, 2012.

Compiled by Sarah Eucalano

© 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" email info@ ffrf.org. To become an FFRF member, click here.


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