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

The 2014 Philadelphia Tree of Knowledge

Book This Event for a Secular Holiday Season

ToK2014Please 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

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

Chester County Sunshine Meeting re Tree of Knowledge 10/7/2014

NB: The Chester County Commissioners’ Sunshine Meeting has been cancelled by the borough. We announced via this discussion group, Meet Up and the newsletter that we wanted readers to deliver testimony in support of The Tree of Knowledge that day at 10:00 AM.

Since the Sunshine Meeting has been cancelled, FS is trying to notify everyone who had planned to attend — not to arrive in West Chester on Tuesday, October 7, 2014. Please spread the word.

We instead encourage supporters of The Tree of Knowledge to send an email, make a telephone call, or write a letter to the Commissioners. You can use the information in the announcement article below to help prepare your letter or call.  All contact information is listed below:

Commissioner Ryan Costello
rcostello@chesco.org

Commissioner Kathi Cozzone
kcozzone@chesco.org

Commissioner Terence Farrell
tfarrell@chesco.org

All letters and phone calls go to the same address and phone:

313 West Market Street
Suite 6202
West Chester, PA  19380
610.344.6100
610.344.5995 (fax)

We apologize for any inconvenience. We did not anticipate any changes in the schedule of the Commissioner’s Meeting.

Call or email the Freethought Society if you have any questions.

610 793-2737
Margaret@FtSociety.org

 


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.

tree2The 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

Phones:610-793-2737

Office610-793-2569

Fax610-357-9432

Email: Margaret@FtSociety.org

Websites: http://www.FtSociety.org

http://www.Friggatriskaidekaphobia.com

http://www.Secular-Celebrations.com

January/February 2014 Freethought Society newsletter

Click here for the Newsletter:  January February 2014 FS Newsletter-web

In the newsletter you will find the following articles:

The 2013 Tree of Knowledge Report

The Tree of Knowledge: Celebrating the Roots of Humanism, by Hugh Taft-Morales

 Freethought Society Endorses “Why Marriage Matters PA” and Why it Really Does Matter, by Glen Loev

The Freethought Society’s 2013 Four-Month Calendar

Last Call for Nominations to the Freethought Society Board of Directors and Freethought Society Board of Directors Nomination Form
Donation and Information Page

We hope that you will remain or become an active supporter of the great work FS is doing. Please donate to the general fund or select a project you want to help sponsor. All donations to FS are tax-deductible!

If the newsletter inspires you to become more actively involved with FS, please provide us with your contact information, including your phone number and mailing address.

Special events are being planned in your area so don’t miss an opportunity to participate further. All personal information is confidential and will not be shared with other organizations.

We want supporters to stay informed at all times. To keep updated about events, meetings and issues, please sign up to participate in the FS Discussion List:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FS-Discussion/

Check for upcoming events at the FS Meet Up page: http://www.meetup.com/Freethought-Society-Meetup/

Like FS on Facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Freethought-Society/147128532024347

Follow us on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/FreethoughtScty

The Freethought Society News Editorial Staff

Human Tree of Knowledge, December 1, 2012

2010 Human Tree of Knowledge, West Chester Courthouse
2010 Human Tree of Knowledge, West Chester Courthouse

The Freethought Society (FS) continues to demand the right to display a Tree of Knowledge on the grounds of the Chester County Courthouse.

A 2012 display request will likely be denied, there­fore supporters must be prepared to conduct a “Human Tree of Knowledge” event/protest rally. The event/protest rally schedule will include the distribution of ornaments and participants will be invited to say a few words about how much certain books mean to them. Please plan to participate on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at the Chester County Courthouse located at the corner of High and Market Streets (2 North High Street, West Chester, Pennsylvania). The event will start at 3:00 PM and will include speeches, singing, photo opportunities and a press conference.

Please email FS to volunteer (volunteers@FtSociety.org) for one of many jobs that need to be done ahead of time (new ornaments, press releases, media training, etc.).

Should the FS petition to include The Tree of Knowledge in the 2012 display be approved, an actual tree will be decorated. FS supporters will be notified by email, and/or a notice will be posted on the Freethought Society listserv and website.

At 5:30 PM, a post-event dinner (Dutch Treat) will take place at Kildare’s Irish Pub, located at 18 West Gay Street, West Chester, Pennsylvania, 19380. The restaurant is located just one block from the Chester County Courthouse. For directions to the restaurant call, (610) 431-0770.

To reserve dinner seats, please call the FS office at (610) 793-2737 by November 28, 2012.

PLEASE RSVP via our Meetup or Facebook pages!

NOTE that this event is the first of a Tree of Knowledge Weekend, with the second event, decorating the tree, taking place at the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia. More details here: http://www.ftsociety.org/?p=2409