The Humanist Hour #218: Vickie Stangl on Etta Semple: Kansas Freethinker and “Ideal” Woman

Programming note: The Humanist Hour will be off next week, November 16th! We’ll be back on Wednesday, November 23rd.

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We act sometimes as though we think women are new to the freethought movement, to atheist and humanist leadership. We’re not. We’ve been here all along, and we’ve never gone away. Our history has just sat in boxes, disregarded where it hasn’t been thrown away altogether. Our stories have gone untold.

This week’s guest, Vickie Stangl, did something about that. In her book, Etta Semple: Kansas Freethinker and “Ideal” Woman, she took that history out of the archives and made it live. Etta Semple was the founder of the Kansas Freethought Association and a leader of both that organization and the American Secular Union. She started the Freethought Idea newspaper to challenge the ideas of a nation and managed to do it so successfully that she received death threats and a probable attempt on her life.

Semple is far too interesting to be lost to history. This week, Vickie Stangl joins Peggy Knudtson to talk about the book and about what we need to know to protect Semple’s legacy.

Vickie Stangl’s links: