One of our flea-market gnomes came into the shop a few days ago with an incredible find -- an 1898 edition of The Freethinkers' Pictorial Text-Book. Freethought is a philosophy that rejects authority and dogma -- most notably that of organized religion -- in favor of conclusions reached by rationality and science.
We love this collection of prints and explanatory texts not because we believe the Church should go the way of the dinosaur, but because it is a 110-year-old artifact calling for separation of Church and State using artwork and terms that still read so thoroughly modern. The line drawings bring to mind the work of 1960s cartoonist Robert Crumb, and the arguments are just as fresh as any you'd find on today's op-ed pages.
A botanical note: The symbol of the Freethought movement is the pansy, whose name is a derivation of the French word pensée, or "thought." Pansies are thought to resemble the human face, and in the summertime they nod their heads forward as if they were thinking deep thoughts!