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