BY MARGARET DOWNEY:
• The Freethought Society (FS) has decided that FS must make another appeal to the Chester County Commissioners to allow the display and inclusion of the nontheist symbol – The Tree of Knowledge.
Please see the FS website (www.FtSociety.org/menu/tree-of-knowledge) for complete details and history of The Tree of Knowledge efforts. We must not give way to the bigotry and prejudices that the Commissioners have against the nontheist community. FS board members will attempt to convince the Commissioner that nontheists are indeed an integral part of the community and that our symbol must be included in the 2014 Winter Holiday Display. We need your help. The more voices we get, the more convincing we can be.
The Commissioner ignored a petition with over 350 signatures in 2010. A Chester County attorney figured out a free speech loop hole and rendered the ACLU efforts on our behalf useless in 2011. They dismissed us again in 2013. Get this folks, the Chester County Commissioner take ownership of the Free speech zone for two full months in the winter — displaying things that theydeem Important — nothing more!
The Commissioners did not listen when representatives from the Secular Jewish, Hispanic Freethinkers and Nontheist Indian community spoke on our behalf in 2012.
Now we want to try again, but this time, we want a crowd of speakers to overwhelm the Chester County Commissioners’ Sunshine Meeting.
Meeting details are printed below. If you plan to attend –PLEASE DO NOT REMAIN SILENT. Every voice is precious in this fight. Speak for one minute or five. Just please show that you are there for a reason and the reason is to support The Tree of Knowledge.
Here is a brief outline of what you need to say, should you attend:
My name is…
I am a resident of… (county and state)
The Tree of Knowledge is important to me because …
I will visit West Chester to see it (bring family/friends, shop and eat in West
Chester, celebrate the season, etc.)
Make a personal appeal if possible.
Say thanks for listening/considering, etc.
Have at least six copies of what you say (one for each Commissioner, one for FS, one for reporters)
It’s easy and can be very quick. You do not need to be eloquent or forceful. Just add your voice to the subject matter. If you would like assistance in formulating your statement, contact me ASAP. Your attendance is vital.
Location, date and time is as follows:
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
10:00 AM 6th Floor
313 West Market Street
West Chester, PA. 19380
– Margaret DowneyFounder and PresidentFreethought Society
P.O. Box 242Pocopson, PA 19366
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The Freethought Society (FS) is pleased to host Maggie Ardiente, who is the Director of Development and Communications for the American Humanist Association (AHA), as a speaker on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 7:00 PM. This free and open-to-the-public event will take place at the Ludington Library in the large meeting room located on the main level. The library address is 5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. A SEPTA stop is located across the street from the library.
Ardiente’s presentation, “Nontheist Discrimination: How Atheists and Humanists Are Mistreated in the United States and Around the World,” will highlight stories of individuals, both in the United States and globally, whose lives were affected by discrimination for identifying themselves living “without god.” She will provide an update about what AHA is doing at the national level to end negative stereotyping against nontheists.
Ardiente’s presentation has been getting rave reviews across the nation and includes a PowerPoint slide show. She will also be available to answer questions from the audience regarding the AHA annual conference that will be taking place in Philadelphia June 5-8, 2014.
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On June 8, 1994, Philadelphia Mayor Edward Rendell signed the City Proclamation declaring that date as the first “Thomas Paine Day.” Read more about Thomas Paine on the Freethought Society’s Thomas Paine Memorial Committee page.
Join us after the American Humanist Association conference for a special 20th Anniversary tour of Philadelphia honoring Thomas Paine. The conference ends at noon on Sunday, June 8, and the tour begins at 1:30 PM. Tour bus tickets are $35 per person and must be purchased by June 5th at: http://conference.americanhumanist.org/
Board a private double-decker tour bus to see twenty-one world-famous Philadelphia sites, including the Betsy Ross House, Love Park, the “Rocky Steps,” and much more, all narrated by an expert city guide. At one stop in Society Hill, Thomas Paine, portrayed by actor Stephen Gulick, will join the tour near the Common Sense historical marker.
There will be a 5:00 PM gathering near the statue of Robert Morris located at the site of the 4th and Walnut Streets amphitheater. Enjoy songs, speeches and entertainment commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Thomas Paine Day. Musician James Kloeh will perform followed by speakers Gary Berton (Thomas Paine Expert and FS presenter), Stephen Gulick (Actor), State Representative Mark Cohen, and more surprise guests.
Afterward, visit the City Tavern (6:30 PM) for a Dutch Treat Happy Hour and Dinner. The City Tavern is located at 138 South 2nd Street (at 2nd and Walnut Streets), Philadelphia, PA 19106. Contact event organizer Margaret Downey to make a dinner reservation by June 1, 2014. Email: Margaret@FtSociety.org Phone: 610-793-2737.
- Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel (1:00 PM); 201 North 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
A double-decker tour bus departs from the front of the hotel at 1:30 PM.
- Bus stops at the Sheraton at Dock Street and 2nd (3:00 PM)
Walking tour begins, to Thomas Paine Historical Common Sense Marker and Thomas Paine Place Philadelphia with photo opportunities with a Thomas Paine actor (Stephen Gulick). At 3:30 bus departs Sheraton to take some people to the next stop or back to the hotel.
- Franklin Print Shop and Square (3:45 PM) 320 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
A behind the scenes tour of the print shop by Park Ranger and Thomas Paine expert, Joe Chauncy.
- At 4:45 PM the bus returns to the Franklin Print Shop and Square to pick up people needing transportation to the next stop.
- Amphitheater at 4th and Walnut (5:00 PM)
In front of Robert Morris statue Philadelphia attendees will be entertained by folk singer James Klueh after which speeches will be delivered by State Representative Mark Cohen and Thomas Paine Educator Gary Berton.
- City Tavern (6:30 PM) 138 South 2nd Street at Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
Dutch Treat Dinner– Contact event organizer Margaret Downey to make a dinner reservation by June 1, 2014. Email: Margaret@FtSociety.org Phone: 610-793-2737.
A poster is available for your convenience and sharing:
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ROY ZIMMERMAN RETURNS!
The Freethought Society and the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia are proud to co-host satirical songwriter Roy Zimmerman on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 7:30 PM. The performance takes place at the Ethical Society Building, located at 1906 South Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. General admission is $18. Students and seniors pay only $15. Don’t miss Zimmerman’s “Blue Dot Tour” and an opportunity to purchase his wonderful CDs.
Zimmerman tours almost constantly, taking his funny songs about fracking, creationism, guns, marijuana laws, government shut-downs, same-sex marriage, taxes, and abstinence across the country, often playing in some of the least progressive places in America for the most progressive people there. Zimmerman calls them the “Blue Dots.”
The “Blue Dot Tour” show is 90 minutes of funny songs such as, The Faucet’s on Fire! and I Want a Marriage Like They Had In the Bible. His songs have been heard on HBO and Showtime. Zimmerman has recorded for Warner/Reprise Records and has been profiled on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Zimmerman’s YouTube videos have amassed over seven million views, and he is a featured blogger for The Huffington Post.
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