“Cutting,” “abrasive,” “sarcastic,” offensive” … These are just some of the words used to describe the Freethinker magazine, which was launched in Britain in 1881 and has continued publishing without a break ever since. But it was the word “blasphemous,” dropped from the lips of a hostile judge, that that got its founder and first editor G. W. Foote into serious trouble. As a result mainly of irreligious cartoons published in the Christmas, 1882, edition, the judge declared the issue “blasphemous” and Foote was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment with hard labour. […] The Freethinker has had that attitude since 1881. Founder George William Foote set out the purpose of the magazine in the very first issue: “The Freethinker is an anti-Christian organ, and must therefore be chiefly aggressive. It will wage relentless war against superstition in general, and against Christian superstition in particular. It will do its best to employ the resources of Science, Scholarship, Philosophy and Ethics against the claims of the Bible as a Divine Revelation; and it will not scruple to employ for the same purpose any weapons of ridicule or sarcasm that may be borrowed from the armoury of Common Sense.”
It is with great pride that I announce I have an article in the August 2012 issue of the Freethinker, on the history and abuse of tax exemption by religious organizations in the United States. This is my second essay in the Freethinker (here’s the first) and I hope there will be many more. I am also a frequent commenter at the Freethinker website.