Upcoming & Recent Events

Celebrate the Tree of Knowledge on December 4, 2016

The Freethought Society (FS) and the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia (EHSP) invite you to the installation of the 2016 Philadelphia Tree of Knowledge.Tree of Knowledge

The Tree of Knowledge will be decorated as a group effort immediately following the EHSP platform and a Rollin Wilber piano mini-concert on Sunday, December 4, 2016. Hugh Taft-Morales will be the platform speaker.

The 11:00 AM free and open-to-the-public platform takes place in the Ethical Society Building, located at 1906 Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Attendees are encouraged to bring two color copies of the front cover of their favorite book so that an ornament can be made for either use on the 2016 tree or for a home display.

Margaret Downey will be making the ornaments at 1:00 PM in the upstairs meeting room at the EHSP building. Volunteers are needed to assist in creating new ornaments which will help FS improve the diversity of The Tree of Knowledge ornament selection. Ornaments will be available for purchase. These weatherproof ornaments sell for $1-$5, depending on the size.

2016 Tree of Knowledge

Each year since 2010, representatives of the Freethought Society (FS) and leaders from many secular organizations have spoken at the Chester County Commissioners Sunshine Meeting advocating for the inclusion of the secular community symbol, The Tree of Knowledge, in the Winter Holiday public display that is placed on the grounds of the Chester County Courthouse located at Market and High Streets. The Tree of Knowledge was banned from public display when the Commissioners adopted Resolution 58-10 deeming that they, and they alone, would determine which symbols would represent the secular community.Tree of Knowledge

Since then, the Commissioners have determined that the secular community is sufficiently represented by the following items: A Santa Claus figure, candy canes, reindeer, and/or a wire train with white lights. FS contends that these items are not representative of secularists. Year after year, FS conducts an effort to convince the Commissioners that only The Tree of Knowledge symbol is acceptable as a secular winter symbol.

Another attempt to reason with the Commissioners will take place on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 10:00 AM.

  • The location of the Sunshine Meeting is: 313 West Market Street, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19380.
  • Please go to the sixth floor Commissioners Board Room.
  • Please be prepared to speak in support of displaying and including the Tree of Knowledge during the 2016 Winter Holiday public display.
  • If you do not want to speak, please make a hand-held sign stating “I support The Tree of Knowledge” to hold up so that the Commissioners know your position in the matter.

Scheduled to address the Commissioners are Hugh Taft-Morales (Ethical Humanist Society Leader), and Glen Loev (vice-president of FS and a representative from the secular Jewish community).

Author Fernando Alcántar at Ludington Library, on September 26, 2016

The Freethought Society (FS) is pleased to host presenter and author Fernando Alcántar on Monday, September 26, 2016. His free and open-to-the-public presentation is entitled “To the Cross and Back” and is based upon his book.

The program starts at 7:00 PM, in the community room at the Ludington Library located at 5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. A SEPTA stop is located across the street from the library.

In his presentation, Alcántar will take the audience on a journey of discovery, analyzing the cultural barriers and psychological consequences of organized religion which lead to bigotry, prejudice, and harm. Through his personal story ascending up the ranks of Christian leadership in North America, Alcántar will flesh out the systematic institutionalization of a religious system that promotes the withering of critical thinking, homogenization of cultural values, and the promotion of attacks on minority communities, such as the LGBT and ethnic populations.

Alcántar is a former denominational state leader for the Foursquare Church in Mexico, the United Methodist Church in the United States, and missionary leader for Azusa Pacific University, the second largest evangelical college in the nation.

Barbara Mancini at the Ludington Library, Thursday April 14 at 7pm


Barbara Mancini

Barbara Mancini


On ThursdayApril 142016 The Freethought Society will host Barbara Mancini at the Ludington Library, 5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn MawrPennsylvania 19010.

The presentation entitled “Who gets to decide how you will die?” starts at 7:00 PM.

In 2013 Mancini was arrested and prosecuted in Pennsylvania on the charge of aiding the attempted suicide of her dying 93-year-old father after handing him his prescribed morphine four days before his death. His end-of-life wishes were overridden by a hospice nurse and police authorities. His written advanced directives were also ignored and he was hospitalized and treated. Mancini’s prosecution lasted a year, during which time it garnered national attention, and was roundly criticized throughout the media.

A judge dismissed the case due to “a lack of competent evidence.”

Mancini’s case was featured on National Public Radio and TV’s 60 Minutes. She has traveled the country speaking about her experiences and has become a vocal advocate for end-of-life  choice. Mancini will discuss her case, the broader issues involved, and the impact they have on the end of our lives.

Meet Lyz Liddell, the Exec Director of the 2016 Reason Rally

Are you planning or considering to attend the 2016 Reason Rally being held on June 4, 2016 in Washington, D.C.? Do you seek more information and help in planning your trip? If so, you are invited to attend the Thursday, March 31, 2016 meeting to get answers to all your questions.

Join us at the Ludington Library, 5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010 on 3/31/16, at 7:00 PM.

Bring your questions and ideas, whether you plan to spend the entire weekend in the Washington, D.C. area or are just attending the Reason Rally one-day event. We will be discussing food, volunteers needed to represent The Freethought Society, activities, and addressing all concerns. We will also connect to Lyz Liddell, the Executive Director of the 2016 Reason Rally, via Skype. She will take questions from the audience and give us an update on who will be speaking and performing. She will also provide an overview of all the related Reason Rally activities being planned before, during and after the event.Lyz-Liddell-3

Please visit the Reason Rally 2016 website at ReasonRally.org.