Robert Ingersoll was WAY ahead of his time on almost any issue you can name. He was not just for a woman's right to vote but for anything, including birth control, which would free women from total dependence on men. He was for the eight hour work day and the forty hour week long before it became a largely accomplished fact, thanks to unions. He was for unions. He was for anything which strengthened the family. He was against beating women and children in an era when most people accepted such ignorance since the Bible spoke in favor of it. All of his words were eloquent, never more so than when he spoke in favor of the separation of church and state. And, of course, he was against capital punishment and passionately against slavery.
He strongly supported the Theory of Evolution in a time when it was still somewhat dangerous to do so.
It was generally conceded, in his lifetime, that he probably could have been elected President of the United States, had he not chosen to speak his conscience, most especially concerning his strong condemnation of religion, even as he defended everyone's right to freedom of and from religion. Much to the consternation of religious leaders, he was a great family man, dearly loving his wife and children. When both Ingersoll and his wife had died their ashes were commingled. I find that to be a truly romantic thought.
Other speakers of Robert Ingersoll's persuasion were often run out of town. They gave their lectures in tents because no one was willing to rent a hall to them. Just the opposite was true of Robert Ingersoll. He was such a dynamic speaker, mixing humor with serious thought, that theater owners, knowing the huge crowds he would draw, were more than glad to reap the financial benefits of renting to him. Most of his audiences didn't agree with much of what he said but they constantly interrupted him with cheers because he said it so well and with such good humor. His style was often to begin talking the moment he set foot upon the stage, which he roamed, speaking largely without benefit of notes.
Robert Ingersoll was a great and eloquent man. It's time for his name to rescued from obscurity. --Dan S.
"I AM AN INFIDEL--an unbeliever--and yet I hope that all the children of men may find peace and joy. No matter how they leave this world, from altar or from scaffold, crowned with virtue or stained with crime, I hope that good may come to all." --Robert Ingersoll
"I WILL NEVER desert the one I love for the promise of any god. It is far more important to love your wife than to love God, and I will tell you why. You cannot help him, but you can help her. You can fill her life with the perfume of perpetual joy. It is far more important that you love your children than that you love Jesus Christ. And why? If he is God you cannot help him, but you can plant a little flower of happiness in every footstep of the child, from the cradle until you die in that child's arms. Let me tell you to-day it is far more important to build a home than to erect a church." --Robert Ingersoll
From: Norma Jeane Young <[address removed]>
To: atheists-36 <[address removed]>
Sent: Fri, Mar 1,[masked]:16 pm
Subject: [atheists-36] WOW! I'm Excited! Great Synchronicity! -- Bill Moyers PBS, "The Great Agnostic"--Robert Ingersoll
WOW! I'm Excited! Great Synchronicity! -- Bill Moyers PBS, "The Great Agnostic"--Robert Ingersoll
I had just posted the response to Mr. Pooky on the OFH website & went into kitchen, turned on TV--& there was Bill Moyers of PBS interviewing Susan Jacoby, author of the new book, The Great Agnostic about free thought pioneer & lecturer of the mid-1800's -- ROBERT INGERSOLL! I had NO IDEA the program was going to be on -- & I was ASTONISHED! as I listened & realized it was SO-o-o-o-o On Point to the email I'd just posted. I caught about half of the hour-long interview that included the origins of the modern separation of church & state movement and footage of the brave woman who started it 65 years ago (Avasti (sp.?) McCollum) risking her life to take her fight all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court.
I "shivered" with the "goose bumps of truth" & "flow" as I felt the "'Synchronicity' of Energy" with my just writing what I did--on the same subject--& then just "happening" to turn on the TV to THAT program. (I thank my fellow OFH member Daniel S. for first mentioning the book to me --& I told him that "happening" to discover a book by Robert Ingersoll in the basement of the Rollins College Library in Winter Park 30 years ago when I'd just moved to Winter Park was an exciting moment for me -- & momentS -- as I "got lost in time" & devoured its philosophical gems, spellbound by the elegance of common sense & logical reasoning that resoundingly resonated with me!
In listening to the interview tonight, I heard the familiar themes from Susan Jacoby of the similarities with feminism's standing up for individuality and free thinking & choice without religious compulsion -- & that of agnostics, free thinkers & atheists--all of which terms she claims for herself. Ms. Jacoby spoke of her 85 yr.-old mother who quit going to church when she was 85--stating that the suffering in the world no longer made "sense" to her as compatible with an intelligent "God."
--Norma J. Young
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