Upcoming and Recent Events

Highlights from September 2013 PA Atheist/Humanist Conference – #1

Did you miss the September 2013 Pennsylvania State Atheist/Humanist Conference? No worries. For the next two months (January and February 2014), Freethought Society (FS) monthly meetings will feature speeches delivered during the September 2013 event.

The Monday, January 27, 2014 meeting will take place at 7:00 PM, in the large meeting room of the Bala Cynwyd Library. The library address is 131 Old Lancaster Rd, Bala  Cynwyd, Pennsylvania 19004. The library phone number is (610) 664-1196. More library information can be found at: lmls.org/lib_balacynwyd.html. The library is located on the corner of a nearby bus stop and the Bala Cynwyd SEPTA stop is within a short walk.

The highlighted conference speeches for January are Amanda Knief presenting “The Golden Calf: Why the Faith-Based Initiative Needs to be Sacrificed” and Jerry DeWitt presenting “An Atheist Sunday Morning Sermon.” Each presentation is 30 minutes long.

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

Connect with the Freethought Society on Facebook, Meetup and Yahoo Discussions

RR2012 (111 of 179) (1)Our Meetup and the FS discussion forums are for our supporters to discuss any and all issues that interest them. They include event announcements which keep our members and friends updated and informed about FS events and news as well as discussions.

The conversation/discussion topics differ between the Yahoo and Facebook groups. Sign up for both and don’t miss a thing!

Don’t skip our MEETUP group, which has announcements from the Freethought Society AND announcements from other Philadelphia region (PA, DE, NJ) affiliated groups!

To sign up for discussions and announcements:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FS-Discussion/

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

The FtS meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Freethought-Society-Meetup/

You can also always email us at info@ftsociety.org

Pennsylvania Atheist/Humanist Conference

atheist_humanist_logoOn September 13, 14, and 15, 2013, the Freethought Society (FS) and other co-sponsors will host the 2013 Pennsylvania Atheist/Humanist Conference in Philadelphia at The Embassy Suites (9000 Bartram Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

The weekend events will kick off with the opening of the world’s only Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Center staffed by Friggatriskaidekaphobia doctors and nurses who will seek to cure attendees of their superstitions. The anti-superstition bash will include mirror breaking, dancing under a ladder, a magic show and many more activities. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own umbrellas for dancing inside. An interactive museum of superstition will disclose the origins of common and uncommon superstitions.

There will also be live musical performances, games, souvenirs, caricature artists and desserts.

superstition-poster-2013-K-3The activities continue with a different focus on Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15. Local and national nontheist speakers will highlight the subjects of freedom of thought, maintaining separation of religion and government, building community and the promotion of a unified effort to attract supporters.

The program also includes a comedy show and two concerts.

To purchase tickets and to get more information, please see the following website:   http://atheistpa.org



The list of speakers and entertainers so far include:

American Humanist Association Officers and Board Members

Herb Silverman

Becky Hale

Debbie Allen

Seth Andrews, Author, Blogger, Podcaster and Video Producer

Jamila Bey, Washington, DC Journalist and Podcaster

Rob Boston, Author and Senior Policy Analyst at Americans United for Separation of Church and State

James Croft, Representing the Harvard Humanist Community

Dave DeLuca, A rising atheist star debuting his Common Sense Comedy act

Jerry DeWitt, Former minister and author

JT Eberhard, Blogger, Debater and Co-Founder of SkeptiConatheists_agnostics_block

Sean Faircloth, Author and Director of Strategy and Policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation

Fred Edwords, Activist and Executive Director of UnitedCOR

Steve Hill, Atheist Comedian

George Hrab, Popular Atheist Musician, Comedian, Podcaster and Gadfly

 AJ Johnson, Writer, Promoter, Vice-President and Co-Founder of BeSecular

Amanda Knief, Author and Executive Director of American Atheists

Lauri Lebo,  Journalist, Writer and Author of “The Devil in Dover: An Insider’s Story of Dogma vs. Darwin in Small-town America

Tracy Lockwood,  Former religious cult member

Teresa MacBain, Former pastor and Executive Director of Humanists of Florida

Joe Nickell, Author and Skeptical Investigator of the paranormal

Edwina Rogers, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America

Shelley Segal, Popular Australian Singer/Songwriter at the Top of the Charts!

David Silverman, President of American Atheists

Jamy Ian Swiss, Magician and Senior Fellow of the James Randi Foundation

David Tamayo, Podcaster and Founder of Hispanic American Freethinkers

Joe Wenke,  Lawyer and Author


The conference fee is $113. The price includes the Friday night Friday the 13th party ticket, Saturday buffet lunch and dinner, plenary passes for Saturday and Sunday. A VIP package is available, as well as student pricing, day passes, and other options.

Please do not miss this great event on par with national conferences.   The discount hotel room rate has expired, but provided below are overflow hotel options:

 Extended Stay America

9000 Bartram Ave.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19153

Website: http://bit.ly/169ROTE

Phone: (215) 365-4360

Fax: (215) 365-4398

Email: PLA@extendedstay.com


Fairfield Inn

8800 Bartram Avenue

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19153

Website: http://bit.ly/54yq0

Phone: (215) 365-2254


Hampton Inn

8600 Bartram Avenue

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19153

Website: http://bit.ly/12YCrsC

Phone: 215-966-1300


Courtyard Marriott

8900 Bartram Avenue

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19153

Website: http://bit.ly/9lCtjl

Phone: 888-236-2427


Conference contact persons are:

Margaret Downey                                         

Freethought Society President

Phone: 610-357-9432

Email: Margaret@FtSociety.org

Brian Fields

PA Nonbelievers Inc. President

Phone: 717-386-1541

Email: BFields@PANonbelievers.org


Help celebrate Margaret Downey's 63rd birthday!

Margaret-portrait-2011-1_ppIt’s hard to believe, but on August 16, 2013, Freethought Society (FS) founder and president Margaret Downey will be turning 63!

We, the officers of FS, can think of no better way to honor Margaret on her birthday than by helping to provide much-needed funds to keep FS going strong. We are asking you, our wonderful supporters, to contribute towards this birthday gift from our community. Any amount, large or small, will be very much appreciated. If each person reading this donated just $2, together we would reach our goal of collecting $6,300.

Improving the financial condition of FS will be a wonderful gift for a person who has done so much to promote freethought! Remember, your donation to FS is tax-deductible (EIN #23-2738574).

You can donate here:  https://www.ftsociety.org/donate/

Why are we so proud of Margaret? She has been an activist in promoting equal rights for all, and especially the separation of religion and government, for almost 30 years. She has been a plaintiff in two legal cases: Margaret Downey-Schottmiller v. The Chester County Council of the Boy Scouts of America and Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia v. Chester County. Despite receiving hate mail, a campaign that tried to force her to leave town, and death threats for her outspokenness, Margaret has tirelessly worked to advance the ideals of freethought. She has established national committees such as The Anti-Discrimination Support Network, The Thomas Paine Memorial Committee, Helping Hands, The Tree of Knowledge, and so much more.

Margaret is also a good-will ambassador within the nontheist community, sharing ideas and projects, and serving on the boards (past and present) of the American Humanist Association, the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation. She has spoken at many conferences and has worked on projects with the Center for Inquiry, The James Randi Educational Foundation, and many other skeptic, atheist, humanist and freethought groups. She is the editor of and frequent contributor to the FS newsletter, The Freethought Society News, and she is a contributing author in the books Parenting Beyond Belief and 50 Voices of Disbelief.

Join with us to show Margaret how much we all appreciate her efforts. Your donation will enable FS to continue her presidential work as an advocate on our behalf, including media appearances, educational presentations and many other duties.

Please help us meet or exceed our goal!   Thank you very much for your support.

Freethought Society Officers:
Carol Everhart Roper, Vice-President
Glen Loev, Secretary
Dan Hoffman, Treasurer