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Keepers of the faith

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William B Stoecker: The phone rang. My wife answered it and handed it to me…it was a friend of mine, an interesting individual who reacted to a fundamentalist Christian upbringing by becoming an agnostic verging on atheism, and had become fairly active in a Sacramento skeptics group calling themselves “SORT,” which stands for “Sacramento Organization for Rational Thinking,” which, as I figured out some time ago, means conventional thinking. He had, over the years, become a bit disillusioned with these people and considered them to be a bit narrow minded…he had, in fact, become rather skeptical of the skeptics. SORT and several other groups of freethinkers were having a big meeting, and he invited me to attend in order to provide some balance with my opposing views. For those not familiar with the term “freethinker,” which sounds positively quaint today, understand that “freethinkers” are people who invariably think and believe whatever the government, academia, and the elite media tell them to think and believe. Skeptics are the ultimate true believers, and atheists are people who believe fervently in nothing and detest anyone who does not share their views. Looking forward to the sheer joy of irritating such people, I accepted.

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Sounds like a true religious bigot, trying to project his own negative image onto someone who isn't one of them.

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Stoecker grossly misdefines the term "free thinker". Yes it is quaint, but he misdefines it.

Susan Jacoby wrote a book with that title, and the subtitle "A History of American Secularism"

The term was used 100 years ago to describe anybody who chose to think freely. That is, NOT in accordance with the dogma, theology and superstition associated with organized religion.

Freethinkers were not confined in their thoughts to religious nonsense, nothing more.

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