The Culte de la Raison or Cult of Reason was the first established state sponsored atheistic religion in France. It came about during the French Revolution when so many of the average people wanted to end the control Catholicism had gained over the country. It was partially due to the Church not paying taxes, land grabbing and keeping the poor poor that the French Revolution happened.
As many of my readers know, I am an Atheist, and I fully support governments that want to end all organized religions. This is due to religions keeping women down as second class citizens, inspiring hatred for people different than themselves, interpretations of “sacred writings” that fit their own selfish needs and spreading lies about people, prophets and gods who never have existed. I was raised Lutheran, and my mother was very religious. I believe the world she grew up in, a horrible bastard of a father drove her to religion to hope for something better either in life and/or in death. I myself started questioning religion in my teens when I realized that God was just Santa Claus for adults. I don’t understand how so many people, Americans mostly, can be fooled into donating their money to these mega churches where the priest has their own private jet, and a house larger than any homeless shelter in the world.
Back in France, 10 November 1793 was the first ever Fete de la Raison. Churches across the country were converted to temples of reason, alters were replaced with women dress as Liberty. It was a holiday to celebrate the end of the Roman Catholic Church’s power in France. No more would the French citizens be duped by the church. This time of reason unfortunately fell to the men who would seek power over others. Robespierre(a self serving bastard, against the death penalty, but all for the use of the guillotine) started a new religion, the Culte de l’Être Suprême (Cult of the Supreme Being). So by 1974 the cult of reason has been gutted by Robespierre, as he needed people to fear something to keep them in line. As soon as Robespierre had his head chopped off however, his cult too was ended. I am sorry that the Cult of Reason did not last longer, of course with Napoleon about to take the stage, much more grief was to come.
I like to celebrate the 10th of November as a reminder that no matter how indoctrinated some may be to their fantasy religions, that reason will always find a way through. I hope that one day the world will be free of all religions, and then we can focus on real issues as a species and move forward.