If there is one thing that seems to confuse people, it’s the concept of “freethought”. So many seem to think that it means being free to think whatever the hell you want to think, to believe whatever the hell you want to believe, I’ve seen many a theist claim they were “freethinkers” because they didn’t subscribe to any particular religious authority, they simply made up their own version of Christianity or Buddhism or Islam and thought that made them intelligent.
No, freethought is not just refusing to follow the crowd, it’s evaluating religion and religious claims rationally, with evidence and critical evaluation aforethought. It is not accepting what you’re told in a book, just because it says so in a book, it’s testing the claims made in the book based on evidence and logic, comparing them with what else we know about the world around us and only accepting the position if it passes all of the tests.
I came across this short video that explains things very well, although let’s be honest, most theists will ignore it because it shows how little free thought they actually do with regard to their religious beliefs. Hopefully it will help people to understand what freethought really is.