Yesterday was Robert G. Ingersoll’s birthday! Ingersoll was a New Atheist before we all started pretending as though being a fiery non-believing orator was something novel.
I visited the Ingersoll Museum last month in Dresden, NY and was really impressed with the artifacts on display, as well as with the hardiness of the poor woman staffing the front desk in 90F+ heat with no air conditioning. (Hey Ingersoll Museum, get some air conditioning! Those 100-year old documents aren’t going to preserve themselves!)
At the museum, I realized Ingersoll wasn’t just a non-believer – he campaigned for racial equality and women’s rights. Check out what he had to say about birth control:
“All children should be children of love. All that are born should be sincerely welcomed.”
Which I know for this crowd is pretty obvious, but hell, many American Conservatives subscribe to the exact opposite thinking: “Every embryo should be fiercely protected until it develops into a child, at which point the little asshole should fend for himself.”
So yeah, Ingersoll was an atheist, a humanist, and a champion of rational thinking. Go read his essays and get to know an awesome man.
In honor of Ingersoll’s 187th birthday, the Center for Inquiry is giving away a well-designed and most importantly free poster with Ingersoll’s words on them. All you have to do is give them your address and they’ll send you one. Go get yours!