Upcoming and Recent Events

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.


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


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.


Celebrating the Tree of Knowledge on December 1, 2019

The 2019 Philadelphia Tree of Knowledge (ToK) will be installed and decorated on Sunday, December 1, 2019 in the lobby of the Philadelphia Ethical Society (1906 Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

The installation ceremony begins at 11:00 AM with a presentation by Hugh Taft-Morales, who is the Philadelphia Ethical Society Leader. The title of his presentation is “The Hidden Joy of Serving: Appreciating Their Story.” Taft-Morales will talk about the importance of listening to the stories of the people we volunteer to serve.

Freethought Society (FS) founder and president, Margaret Downey will create ornaments on-site for anyone who brings two color copies of the front cover of their favorite book.

This event is free and open to the public, and attendees are encouraged to bring two color copies of the front cover of their favorite book.

Tree of Knowledge

September, October, November, December 2018 eZine Newsletter

September, October, November, December 2018 eZine Newsletter

Click here  to see the September, October, November, December 2018 Freethought Society (FS) Ezine.

In the Ezine you will find the following articles:

  • A Four-Month Combined Issue to Bring Readers Up-To-Date, by Margaret Downey
  • Photos from the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum
  • More Photos from the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum
  • Skeptics at the 2018 DragonCon Event
    by Margaret Downey
  • More DragonCon 2018 Skeptic Photos
  • The Los Angeles, California Secular Day of the Dead
    by Margaret Downey
  • 2018 Secular Day of the Dead Photos
  • BSA’s Religious Recruitment/Anti-Nontheist Signs: Activist Report
    With submissions by Margaret Downey, Sally Flynn and Thomas Schottmiller
  • The Schwartz Event
  • How Freethinkers Can Save the Truth
    by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky
  • The Freethought Society’s 2018/2019 Activities Calendar
  • Donation and Information Page


Ingersoll Birthplace

Ingersoll Birthplace

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

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A Tree of Books

A Tree of Books

A poem by Margaret Downey

ToK Story in Rhyme

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.