This episode takes a look at the history of the Free Thought movement in the U-S, from its roots in the time of independence to its resurgence during the post-Civil War years. The struggle between freethinkers and conservative religious forces played out on several fronts, including efforts to restrict what publications could be sent through the U-S mail. Among the historical figures examined in the program are the Free Thought publisher D.M. Bennett and the ‘anti-vice crusader’ and postal inspector Anthony Comstock, who lobbied for laws banning the mailing of ‘obscene’ materials. Bennett was sentenced to prison for mailing a pamphlet called “Cupid’s Yokes.”
The guests are Roderick Bradford, author and filmmaker, and Tom Flynn, editor of Free Inquiry magazine. The program includes excerpts from the documentary film, “American Freethought,” produced by Bradford and Flynn.
Note: This is an edited rebroadcast of the July 4, 2014 Project Censored show.