The 2014 Philadelphia Tree of Knowledge event 12/7/2014

The 2014 Philadelphia Tree of Knowledge

Book This Event for a Secular Holiday Season

tree2Please plan to celebrate the 2014 winter season in a festive freethought fashion by attending a Tree of Knowledge decorating special event! The Tree of Knowledge will be placed in the lobby of the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia (EHSP) at 11:00 AM on Sunday, December 7, 2014. The Freethought Society (FS) is proud to join with EHSP for this celebration of openness, education, and freedom of conscience. EHSP is located at 1906 South Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. The event is free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome!

The Tree of Knowledge will be decorated around noon following an EHSP program featuring an address by Hugh Taft-Morales entitled, “Great Awakenings.”

Taft-Morales will explore the First Great Awakening that brought an angry god to America at the beginning of the 18th century, the Second Great Awakening fueling public social reform early in the 19th century, and the 20th century wave of progressivism that woke government up to its responsibility for ordinary citizens. Taft-Morales will conclude by advocating for a contemporary “great awakening” of secular government and a culture of humanism and freethought.

The Tree of Knowledge became a winter symbol for the nontheist community in 2007, originally placed on the lawn of the Chester County Courthouse in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Despite appeals for openness and acceptance, Chester County Commissioners have prevented the nontheist community’s symbol from being included in any the traditional winter holiday display since 2010. EHSP welcomed The Tree of Knowledge display with excitement and full support for the diversity it represents.

Margaret Downey, President of FS said, “This is the fourth year that we’ve celebrated the winter season with a Tree of Knowledge at the Ethical Humanist Society. It started as a symbol of inclusion and sharing in this region but The Tree of Knowledge has since become a tradition, not just in Southeastern Pennsylvania, but throughout the world.”

Visitors are encouraged to bring two color copies of the front of a favorite book to the December 7th event. A laminator and other craft materials will be available for those color copies to be made into an ornament. The ornament can be placed on the Ethical Society’s Tree of Knowledge or used for a home display.

Downey and FS board members Jennifer Taylor and Patti Butcheck will be making the ornaments at 1:00 PM in the upstairs meeting room.

Enjoy the Taft-Morales EHSP presentation on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 11:00 AM, and stay for The Tree of Knowledge decorating party and noon! Both events are free and open to the public.

 

To view photos of previous Tree of Knowledge displays, see:       https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xaadwcswcszxvij/AAA2JyLkjtUEpQJq6lV72DZta?dl=0

For more information, contact:

Margaret Downey, FS President

Phone: 610.793.2737

Email: Margaret@FtSociety.org                                              

Hugh Taft-Morales, EHSP Leader

Phone: 215.735.3456

Email: LeaderHugh@phillyethics.org

Ron Lindsay on the Necessity of Secularism Dec. 8, 2014

The Necessity of Secularism; Especially During the Winter Holiday Season

ronLindseyRon Lindsay, noted author, President and CEO of the Center for Inquiry (CFI), will be hosted by the Freethought Society (FS) and the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia (EHSP) at 7 PM on Monday, December 8, 2014. Lindsay’s presentation on The Necessity of Secularism: Why God Can’t Tell Us What To Do is based on his book of the same name. This event takes place at the EHSP building, located at 1906 South Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is a free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome!

Lindsay’s presentation is based on his recently published second book, which has garnered extreme praise by many notable reviewers.

“For some,” Lindsay states in his book, “secularism has become the ultimate scare word. …What’s interesting and ironic about this hysteria over secularism is that secularism, properly understood, is the best protection religious believers have, particularly in a society they no longer control. Secularism protects freedom of conscience, including freedom of religion; it doesn’t threaten it. One reason some may have such dread of secularism is that they mistakenly equate secularism with atheism… But secularism and atheism are distinct views and don’t even belong in the same category.

“The fact that I have been both a believer and a nonbeliever also gives me a heightened awareness of the novel, challenging situation in which the United States and many other countries now find themselves. For the first time in human history, we have substantial numbers of nonbelievers living side-by-side with believers. Moreover, this is a situation that is likely to persist for some time. The number of nonbelievers is going to increase in developed countries, but religion is not going to disappear in a few years, if ever.”

Lindsay is by training and experience the quixotic combination of lawyer and philosopher. He has a PhD in philosophy from Georgetown University specializing in bioethics, and a JD from the University of Virginia. He is the author of the essay “Euthanasia” in the International Encyclopedia of Ethics, as well as articles in many other prestigious publications, and of the book Future Bioethics: Overcoming Taboos, Myths, and Dogmas.

FS President Margaret Downey stated, “We are honored to have Dr. Lindsay give his presentation here in Philadelphia because this is the city where an unprecedented secular government began.  The Constitution includes a very important statement. Article VI explicitly states that ‘no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.’”

Hugh Taft-Morales, the EHSP Leader added, “The ‘no religious test’ Constitutional tenet was affirmed many times in court cases, including the United States Supreme Court in 1961 in its unanimous decision in Torcaso v Watkins.”

After the presentation, at 8:30 PM, visitors are invited to attend a birthday party for Dr. Lindsay in the upstairs EHSP community room. Birthday cake and beverages (wine, coffee, tea, and water) will be served. Donations for the party are appreciated.

For more information, contact the following event organizers:

Margaret Downey, Freethought Society President

Phone: 610.793.2737

Email: Margaret@FtSociety.org   

                                           

Hugh Taft-Morales, EHSP Leader

Phone: 215.735.3456

Email: LeaderHugh@phillyethics.org

The November-December 2014 FS Newsletter

Read the November-December-2014-Newsletter.

 In the newsletter you will find the following articles:   Continue reading: The November-December 2014 FS Newsletter

West Coast Friggatriskaidekaphobia Party Feb. 13, 2015

The Backyard Skeptics, the Freethought Alliance and the Freethought Society have joined together to bring the Friggatriskaidekaphobia Party (Fear of Friday the 13th) on Friday the 13th of February, 2015.  It will be held at the Howard Johnson Inn Fullerton Hotel and Conference Center, 22 W. Houston Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832  (714) 922-1700. (Discounted Rooms available while they last- mention “Friday the 13th Party)

Cost is $13.13 for Early Registration, $15 at the door.  

RSVP and Pay $13.13 now by clicking here:  www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=FJKB5XERPY5YG  (Payment collected by the Freethought Alliance via PayPal.)

See the flyer below for full information, entertainment, guest lists and more. For more information, please visit or contact us via www.Friggatriskaidekaphobia.comFtSociety.org or the FreethoughtAlliance.org.

2015-Cal-Party11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The September-October 2014 Freethought Newsletter

Click here to read the September-October-2014-FS-News

In the September/October 2014 newsletter you will find the following articles: Continue reading: The September-October 2014 Freethought Newsletter