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
NB: The Chester County Commissioners’ Sunshine Meeting where FS planned to discuss the TREE OF KNOWLEDGE 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.
FS is sorry to announce the cancellation of this Jason Torpy event. We will attempt to reschedule asap and let you know!
FS is proud to present Jason Torpy, President of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF). MAAF is a national non-profit that is developing a strong community, providing education about the numbers and needs of nontheists in the military and advocacy for nontheists in the US military services. Torpy will join FS at the October 7 Sunshine Meeting in West Chester to speak for the inclusion of the Tree of Knowledge.
Torpy’s speech, entitled “The Pathway to Equal Rights for Atheists in Foxholes,” will highlight historical precedents and current events related to religious privilege in the military, the humanist community, and the role of the chaplaincy in fostering change. Topics will include humanist alternatives to church at the military academies and at Air Force basic training, humanist religious preference, and the Navy’s humanist chaplain candidate.
MAAF members currently populate more than 20 countries, all 50 states, and over 100 military installations and ships. One can truly say that not only are there atheists in foxholes, they are in foxholes all over the world. Individual members can find support and strength by coming together with local organizations. On-post groups as well as the other communities are listed on the MAAF website and provide ways for members to meet individually or at local atheist, freethought, and humanist gatherings.
RSVP via our Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Freethought-Society-Meetup/events/206804302/ or on the FS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/347831125373712/
The Freethought Society is pleased to host as its next speaker Larry Robin, the former president of the oldest independent bookstore in Philadelphia until it closed in December 2012. Robin’s presentation, Scott Nearing: The Making of a Radical, will take place on Monday, September 29, 2014 at the Ludington Library (5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania). The event starts at 7:00 PM. It is a free and open to the public event.
“I met Scott Nearing in 1961 when I was 18 and he was 78. I knew him for 22 years until he died on August 24, 1983, at the age of 100 years plus 18 days,” says Robin.
Robin went on to say, “Nearing is right after Thomas Paine in my list of heroes. With doctorates in Economics and Sociology, Nearing was fired from the University of Pennsylvania after writing the first book on child labor in the United States. That was in 1914. Nearing was arrested for sedition when he wrote a pamphlet against the draft for the First World War in 1917.
Nearing, according to Robin, “…was a radical economist, educator, writer, political activist, sociologist, socialist, pacifist, homesteader, organic gardener, vegetarian, and seeker of the truth.”
The author of hundreds of books and articles on economics and politics, Nearing and his wife Helen wrote Living the Good Life, about self-sufficient homesteading. It became the handbook for America’s “Back to the Land” and “Simple Living” movements.
Robin is the co-founder of Moonstone Incorporated and the director of the Moonstone Arts Center. He has served on the boards of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the Read Aloud Coalition of Philadelphia and The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. Robin has served on the literature panel of the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts and is a member of the advisory boards of The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy, and the Philadelphia Ink program of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council’s Year of the Pennsylvania Writer and Art Sanctuary. For 18 years, Robin created and directed The Celebration of Black Writing. He also directed The Paul Robeson Festival for eight years. For 18 years, Robin has been credited for Poetry Ink and various other Moonstone programs. He currently produces poetry programs and, since 2009, The Hidden History Project. The Living History Project is a citywide festival celebrating the life and work of social activists, such as John Brown, Frances Harper, Martin Delany, Ida B. Wells, and Charlotte Forten.
For more information, contact:
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:
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:
– Margaret DowneyFounder and PresidentFreethought Society
P.O. Box 242Pocopson, PA 19366
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