Atheists are heading to Connecticut for a national conference, and an apparent shared love of Mark Twain.
That’s why you might have seen billboards in Hartford of Mark Twain next to the quote, "Faith is believing what you know ain't so" and Katharine Hepburn saying "I'm an atheist, and that's it."
The Freedom From Religion Foundation chose the two Connecticut icons for billboards off Interstate 91, south of Weston Street, and Interstate 84, near Olive Street in advance of the national convention in Hartford on the weekend of Oct. 7-9.
"We chose Hartford as the site for our 34th national convention not only because it's a convenient location for many Northeasterners, but literally because we've always wanted to tour Twain's home," Dan Barker, of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, said.
“Just as we welcome the Christian Women of Faith and the Islamic Circle’s annual conferences in Hartford, we stand ready to welcome the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s visit to The Mark Twain House & Museum," Jacques Lamarre, of the Mark Twain House said in an e-mail. "Mark Twain wrote volumes about religion and his willingness to question his own beliefs makes his home a destination for the believer and non-believer alike.”
Hepburn, whose family cottage was in Old Saybrook, came from a progressive family and the quote is from an interview she did for Ladies Home Journal in October 1991.
Twain’s quote is from his book “Following the Equator,” according to the Mark Twain House. Each chapter begins with a quotation from “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar.”
The full quote is: “There are those who scoff at the schoolboy, calling him frivolous and shallow. Yet it was the schoolboy who said: ‘Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.’”