Katherine Mangu-Ward on Robert Ingersoll, The Great Agnostic, in The Weekly Standard

e3derobert ingersoll Katherine Mangu Ward on Robert Ingersoll, The Great Agnostic, in The Weekly Standard

Robert Ingersoll was fat. The Great
Agnostic, as he was known in his day, was so portly that critics
sighed over the “spectacular auto da fé” he would have made if set
alight for heresy—as he surely would have been in an earlier
era.Speaking to sold-out crowds around the nation at the turn of the
19th century, Ingersoll argued against belief in God, poked fun at
religious authority, and gently introduced a skeptical American
public to the idea that humans might be related to apes. Along the
way, the jurist and Republican party kingmaker revived the
reputation of another great doubter, Thomas Paine, restoring him to
his rightful place in the Founders’ pantheon.Reason Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward reviews
Susan Jacoby’s new biography, which attempts to restore Ingresoll
to his rightful seat in the freethought pantheon.View this article.

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Katherine Mangu-Ward on Robert Ingersoll, The Great Agnostic, in The Weekly Standard


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