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: Ira Cardiff , Amanda Donohoe and Summer Solstice
Ira Cardiff

Ira Cardiff

On this date in 1873, botanist and humanist author Ira Detrich Cardiff was born. He directed the agriculture experimental station from 1914-17 at Washington State University, where he also headed the botany and plant physiology department. He later founded the Washington Dehydrated Foods Company in Yakima. In addition to academic publications, Cardiff wrote freethought articles, pamphlets and books, including The Deification of Lincoln (1943), What Great Men Think of Religion (1945), which focused on skeptics, and, as editor, The Wisdom of George SantayanaD. 1964.

“What would Christ do about syphilis? Well, what should he do? Christ, being possessed of miraculous powers, why does he not obliterate syphilis from the face of the earth? Does Spirochaeta pallida, the organism causing syphilis, perform any useful function in the economy of nature? If not, why not obliterate it? Who is better equipped to do this than Jesus Christ?”

—Cardiff, "If Christ Came to New York," (undated pamphlet published in The Truth Seeker, c. 1930s)

Compiled by Eleanor Wroblewski

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Amanda Donohoe

Amanda Donohoe

On this date in 1962, Amanda Donohoe was born in London. She attended the Francis Holland School before leaving home at 16, and she later graduated from Central School of Speech and Drama in 1984. Donohoe began her career in 1981 by starring in music videos. In 1986, she played a major role in the drama Castaway, and has since appeared in numerous films including "Paper Mask" (1990) and "Liar Liar" (1997).

She is known for her role as bisexual lawyer C.J. Lamb on “L.A. Law” from 1990 to 1992, which earned her a Golden Globe Award in 1992 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. She has also appeared in “Frasier,” “Bad Girls,” and in the British soap opera “Emmerdale.” Donohoe was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award in 1995 for her performance in Broadway play “Uncle Vanya.”

In 1995, Donohoe played a pagan character in the horror film "Lair of the White Worm," which involved a scene in which she spit venom onto a crucifix. “I'm an atheist, so it was actually a joy,” Donohoe told Interview magazine. “Spitting on Christ was a great deal of fun.”

Donohoe arriving in Manchester for the 2013 British Soap Awards. Photo via Shutterstock by Featureflash Photo Agency.

“I can’t embrace a male god who has persecuted female sexuality throughout the ages, and that persecution still goes on today all over the world.”

—Donohoe in Interview magazine (

Compiled by Sabrina Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere)! Depending on the shift of the calendar, the solstice occurs between June 20-22 in the Northern Hemisphere and between Dec. 20-23 in the Southern Hemisphere. June 22 and Dec. 23 solstices are rare. The last June 22 solstice was in 1975 and there won't be another until 2203.

"Stonehenge, like many other stone circles and standing stones throughout Europe, is aligned to catch the first rays of the summer sun. These moments are part of a universal acknowledgement of the sun as a source of life, fertility, and good fortune. We may know a great deal more today about the physical nature of our native star, but our ancestors knew full well, as do we, that without its light and warmth, there would be no life."

—John Matthews, "The Summer Solstice: Celebrating the Journey of the Sun from May Day to Harvest" (2002)

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

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