G.W. Foote

On this date in 1850, British atheist activist G.W. Foote was born in England. In 1876, George William Foote began co-editing a weekly newspaper, the Secularist, with Jacob Holyoake, then became the premiere editor of the National Secular Society's Freethinker. Foote edited the Freethinker, which is still published today by the NSS, for 35 years. He was prosecuted for blasphemy in 1882, and was jailed for a year. Foote's plight brought reform, making future criticism of Christianity lawful in Great Britain. Foote launched several other freethought journals, publishing companies and presses, devoting his life and career to the advancement of secularism. His books include Flowers of Freethought, and, with W.P. Ball, The Bible Handbook. D. 1915.

“Who burnt heretics? Who roasted or drowned millions of 'witches'? Who built dungeons and filled them? Who brought forth cries of agony from honest men and women that rang to the tingling stars? Who burnt Bruno? Who spat filth over the graves of Paine and Voltaire? The answer is one word--CHRISTIANS.”

—G.W. Foote. "Are Atheists Wicked?," chapter from Flowers of Freethought (1894)

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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