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Tree of Knowledge 2020 Event

Hugh Taft-Morales and Margaret Downey
Tree of Knowledge Winter Holiday Celebration

On Saturday, December 12, 2020 The Freethought Society (FS) and the Philadelphia Ethical Society (PES) will co-host a Winter Holiday Zoom event during which a Tree of Knowledge will be decorated in the FS office located in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The event starts at 11:45 AM (PST)/2:45 PM (EST) with a 15-minute Pre-Event Social piano concert featuring Rollin Wilber. Wilber’s musical presentation was filmed at the PES building located at 1906 Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Authors of books that are always included on our Tree of Knowledge will be in attendance. Margaret Downey, president of FS, and Hugh Taft-Morales, leader of PES, will introduce special guests with technical assistance from Michael Steven Martin. Invited authors and titles of their book that each chose to discuss include:

Dan Barker
God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction

Rob Boston
Why the Religious Right Is Wrong 
About Separation of Church & State

Christopher Cameron
Black Freethinkers

Tom Flynn
The Trouble with Christmas

Annie Laurie Gaylor
Women Without Superstition

Karen Garst
Women Beyond Belief

Abby Hafer
The Not-So-Intelligent Designer

Bailey Harris
My Name is Stardust

Elle Harris
Elle the Humanist

Hemant Mehta
I Sold My Soul on eBay

Julien Musolino
The Soul Fallacy: 
What Science Shows We Gain 
From Letting Go of Our Soul Beliefs

David Orenstein
Darwin’s Apostles: The Men Who Fought to Have Evolution Accepted, Their Times, and How the Battle Continues

Ben Radford
The Martians Have Landed!

Herb Silverman
Candidate Without a Prayer

Katherine Stewart
The Good News Club: 
The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children

Tom Krattenmaker
Onward Christian Athletes

Marlene Winell
Leaving the Fold

As each author speaks (5-10 minutes each), a laminated copy of the book cover they are discussing will be placed on the Tree of Knowledge at the FS Chester County office. 

After the formal presentations conclude there will be a 10-minute break with entertainment from Abraham Steve Mackey and Taft-Morales. Get yourself a holiday drink and rejoin us for a Post-Event Social. Attendees can help select additional laminated book cover ornaments that will adorn the 2020 Tree of Knowledge during this time. The list of available book cover ornaments can be found at this link:

FS Recommended Reading List Tree of Knowledge Ornaments and Scan List

As each book cover ornament is placed on the Tree of Knowledge, the person who made the selection will be invited to talk for 3-5 minutes about why the book is of significance and should be included.

Tree-of-Knowledge-Ornaments-Scan-Project-and-Ordering-Information

Please sign up at the Freethought Society Meetup page to learn how to participate in this event:

2020 Virtual Tree of Knowledge Winter Holiday Event

Saturday, Dec 12, 2020, 2:45 PM

Online event
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21 Freethinkers Attending

On Saturday, December 12, 2020 The Freethought Society (FS) and the Philadelphia Ethical Society (PES) will co-host a Winter Holiday Zoom event during which a Tree of Knowledge will be decorated in the FS office located in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Here is the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89298159428 The event starts at 11:45 AM (PST)/2…

Check out this Meetup →

This meeting will implement the latest available security features to help keep our conversation secure and will be recorded for replay on social media. By joining the meeting, you consent to be recorded and agree to abide by the Freethought Society’s Anti-Harassment and Code of Conduct Policy.

 

 

Secular Day of the Dead

Sunday November 1, 2020 Noon (PDT) / 3:00 PM (EDT)

A Secular Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Secular event is a celebration of life. Nontheist Hispanics and others view the Secular Day of the Dead as a perfect way to remember the legacy of dead loved ones that does not require prayer, church, or religious dogma. To nontheists, our legacies are our afterlife.

The Secular Day of the Dead event will include many redesigned and religion-free Hispanic traditions and rituals that celebrate our one and only life, legacies and cultural heritage.

More and more people are abandoning their religious upbringing but still want to celebrate the beauty of the Hispanic culture. This is why a Secular Day of the Dead was created. The 2020 Secular Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Secular will be presented as a Zoom event on Sunday, November 1, 2020 with special attention to Spanish speaking participants. The 2020 Secular Day of the Dead is co-sponsored by The Freethought Society, Hispanic American Freethinkers, American Atheists, Center for Inquiry, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Register at:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYoduGsqz8sEtdDY5T3-q64A_EvVQYz5jS7

11:45 AM (PST)/2:45 PM (EST) Pre-Event Social

Entertainment and chatting opportunities with like-minded individuals will take place during this 15-minute time slot, featuring musical presentations by Gary Stockdale, Christina Jones, and Juan Carlos.

Noon (PST)/3:00 PM (EST) Welcome

Bilingual welcome by actor Jon Huertas, organizers, and co-sponsors Robyn Blumner, Victoria de la Torre, Margaret Downey, Nick Fish, Annie Laurie Gaylor, and David Tamayo. Co-sponsors and organizers will each light a candle to honor a “Secular Saint” of historic significance. A Spanish Speakers Zoom Room and an English Speakers Zoom Room will be offered to participants at this time. Music at this time will be provided by Gary Stockdale and Abraham Steve Mackey.

12:30 PM (PST)/3:30 PM (EST) Guest Speaker

Dan Barker: “Adios a Dios” (a journey story presentation)

1:00 PM (PST)/4:00 PM (EST) Honoring Ceremony

Reservations are being taken for speakers who want to celebrate the life of a dead loved one. Reserve a 3-5-minute time slot through the following email address: SecularDayoftheDead@FtSociety.org

The Honoring Ceremony will open with dedications from actor Jon Huertas, writer Sasha Sagan, sculptor Zenos Frudakis, author Fernando Alcántar, and John Davidson – a Hollywood legend and musical stage star.

After the reserved speaking spots conclude, the Zoom spotlighting function will be available for anyone who would like to participate. The screen share function will be enabled so that speakers can display photos of the person or pet being honored.

Zoom logon information is only available to those who pre-register. Register for the Zoom link here:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYoduGsqz8sEtdDY5T3-q64A_EvVQYz5jS7

Prizes will be awarded and mailed to participants whom the co-sponsors determine to have the best Secular Day of the Dead themed clothing, Zoom setting, face painting, face mask, and hair adornment. See photos of the prizes and find additional information at:

https://www.facebook.com/events/683335612257926/?active_tab=discussion

The end time of this event is unknown. Anyone who would like to honor a dead loved one will have an opportunity before we conclude with a mini concert by John Davidson and closing song by Abraham Steve Mackey.

October Meeting Announcement

FS is pleased to host author and attorney Andrew L. Seidel on Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 3:00 PM (EDT)/Noon (PDT) for an online Zoom meeting. Seidel’s presentation, “The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American,” is based on his book by the same name. 

Andrew L. Seidel

Please note the information under the headline of this page to learn how you can obtain the Zoom link by registering as a member of the FS Meetup.

Seidel is the Director of Strategic Response at the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). When not fighting for the First Amendment with FFRF, Andrew writes for SlateThinkProgressReligion News ServiceRewire News and many other publications.

Renowned constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky described The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American as “a beautifully written book” that “explodes a frequently expressed myth: that the United States was created as a Christian nation.”

Seidel’s book illustrates that not only is the United States not a Christian nation, but Judeo-Christian principles are fundamentally opposed to the values on which America was founded. Religion, law, and history will collide in this presentation. Seidel will discuss his book and field questions. 

Professor Christopher Cameron

The Freethought Society (FS) is pleased to host Professor Christopher Cameron on SaturdayAugust 12020 at 3:00 PM (EDT)/Noon (PDT) for an online Zoom presentation  entitled “Black Freethought from Slavery to Civil Rights.” His talk is based on his book,  Black Freethinkers: A History of African American Secularism.

Learn how you can obtain the Zoom link by registering as a member of the FS Meetup.

Cameron’s talk will explore the origins of black freethought among 19th century slaves, many of whom could not reconcile notions of a loving God with their condition on Earth. The talk will then examine freethought in the 20th  century as well as cultural and political movements such as the Harlem Renaissance, radical leftist politics, and the Black Power movement. Cameron argues that religious skepticism was prevalent among some of the most prominent voices in African American history, including Frederick DouglassRichard WrightJames BaldwinLorraine HansberryHuey Newton, and Alice Walker

Cameron is a history professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with research and teaching interests in African American and early American history, including slavery, the antislavery movement, religious and intellectual history. His first book, To Plead Our Own Cause: African Americans in Massachusetts and the Making of the Antislavery Movement, explored the relationship between Puritan theology and the rise of black abolitionism, arguing throughout the work that African Americans were central to the development of the antislavery movement in America.

Mandia Thomas presentation 7/11/2020

Women of Color Beyond Belief: Where Do We Go From Here?

The Freethought Society (FS) is pleased to host Mandisa Thomas on Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 3:00 PM (EST)/Noon (PST) for an online Zoom presentation entitled “Women of Color Beyond Belief: Where Do We Go From Here?”

Please join the Freethought Society Meetup group to learn how you can obtain the Zoom link. The link is:

www.meetup.com/Freethought-Society-Meetup/

In 2019, Black Nonbelievers, Black Skeptics, and the Women’s Leadership Project hosted the first-ever conference that featured nontheist women of color. With the constant call to action in addressing diversity and inclusion, how can the secular community better work with and support the organizations who serve this need?

Thomas will discuss the conference goals and the work that women of color offer in the secular movement. She will also advise on improving communication with people of color and subject matters pertaining to race, reproductive justice, and other issues that affect marginalized demographics.

Thomas currently serves on the boards of the American Humanist Association and American Atheists. She was the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association’s 2018 “Person of the Year,” the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s “Freethought Heroine” for 2019, and the Secular Student Alliance’s 2019 Backbone Award winner.

As President of Black Nonbelievers, Thomas works to encourage more people of color to come out and stand strong with their nonbelief in the face of such strong religious overtones.