Stan spoke to us today about an early advocate of agnosticism: Robert Ingersoll (1833-1899) His father, John Ingersoll, was an abolitionist-leaningCongregationalist preacher, who believed in the equality of the races… not a popular position to take in America either before or after the Civil War. Young Robert was only 9 when he saw his father put on trial for Heresy in New York. The experience made Robert an enemy of Calvinism in particular, but also the Christian Church in general. Not long after, they moved to Illinois.
He started off as a school teacher but then he apprenticed himself to a lawyer and eventually became a lawyer full time. Eventually he settled in Peoria, Illinois.
He took on a case where the client was accused of blasphemy. Although the man was found guilty, Ingersoll’s defense discredited the blasphemy laws and few other people were ever prosecuted after that.
A couple of quotes to let you know who this man is:
“There is no slavery but ignorance”
“Nobility does not belong to any race.”