Upcoming and Recent Events

Firebrand American Atheists President Speaking at The Free Library of Philadelphia

Firebrand American Atheists President Speaking at

The Free Library of Philadelphia


 “Religion is a poisonous lie, and needs to be dealt with as such.”
David Silverman, President, American Atheists

The Freethought Society is proud to host David Silverman, the President of American Atheists, who will speak about his book, Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World, in which he asserts that “firebrand/in-your-face atheism is not only more effective at making change and leading progress, but is also more humanistic than the so-called ‘nice guy’ approach.” Silverman’s proud, profound, provocative and passionate presentation starts at 2:00 PM on Saturday, October 24 at The Free Library of Philadelphia1901 Vine Street, in the Montgomery Auditorium.

“Cloaking your bigotry in religion doesn’t make it any less bigoted, and calling you out on your bigotry isn’t persecution, it’s accountability,” says Silverman, who is president of America Atheists, a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending the civil liberties of atheists and advocates for complete separation of religion and government.

Known as “America’s loudest heathen,” a term he embraces proudly, Silverman is passionate about atheism and atheist equality. He has appeared on several TV programs for on-air debates, including The O’Reilly FactorThe Real Story with Gretchen CarlsonRonan Farrow DailyScarborough Country, CNN’s Paula Zahn NOWNick NewsHannity & ColmesFOX and Friends, NPR’s All Things Considered, and many more. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and child. Fighting God is his first book. Silverman makes no bones about his views, and is a very much outed atheist. He can be contacted many ways, including via Twitter, where his handle is @MrAtheistPants.

“David Silverman is the bad boy of atheism and we need people like him. 

There’s a tiresome breed of so-called atheists called the ‘I’m-an-atheist-BUT-heads.’ 

They love to put the emphasis on the ‘but,’ and go out of their way to emphasize 

how deeply they respect all faith although, with mawkish regret, they can’t actually share it. 

David Silverman is not of their number, and how refreshing it is to read a book 

that is not afraid to speak the truth, sans apology.” — Richard Dawkins

Across the Internet and on TV, Silverman has been called rude, uncaring, and fascist (the latter by Bill O’Reilly), but the readers of Fighting God will realize he is none of those things. His methods ruffle feathers, but they work, and they work for the good of all people (except those who make money with religion). As Silverman’s Jewish mother told him on her death bed, he not only helps atheists, but every person in any religious minority, because in the end, he fights only for the equality that is due all of us.

Silverman has been an atheist since he was 6 years old. He became an activist in 1996 and soon became American Atheists New Jersey State Director. He was tapped to be the National Spokesperson in 2004, and then was named Vice President in 2008. The Board of Directors elected Silverman as President in September of 2010.

Silverman was raised Jewish and went through the standard religious education, but never believed. In college, he engaged in many debates with Orthodox Jews, but, since Silverman’s style is fierce but not insulting, he became very good friends with many of his opponents, eventually marrying one of them. Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World is dedicated to his formerly-Orthodox wife of nearly 25 years.

Silverman earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Brandeis University, his MBA in Marketing from Penn State University, and his CAGS in International Business from Seton Hall. Silverman served as a professional inventor at Bell Labs for 8 years (74 issued patents) and a Marketing Director for Natural Microsystems. While employed, he also founded the Alliance of Lucent and AT&T Atheists and Secularists, the first employee club of its kind.

Silverman’s presentation is free and open to the public, and begins at 2 PMSaturdayOctober 24, in the Montgomery Auditorium of The Free Library of Philadelphia1901 Vine StreetPhiladelphia. We guarantee Silverman’s presentation will stoke your interest. His book, Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World, will be published December 1, 2015, just in time for the holidays. Pre-orders are now being taken at:


For more information, contact:

Margaret Downey
Freethought Society President
Phone: 610-793-2737 or 610-357-9432
Email: Margaret@FtSociety.org


Join Freethought Society and David Silverman on October 24th

The Freethought Society is happy to host the president of American Atheists, David Silverman, on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at 2:00 PM. 

The presentation will take place at the Free Library of Philadelphia (meet in the Montgomery Auditorium). The library is located at 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Silverman will speak about his book, Fighting God, in which he asserts that “firebrand/in-your-face atheism is not only more effective at making change and leading progress, but is also more humanistic than the so-called ‘nice guy’ approach.

“Religion is a poisonous lie, and needs to be dealt with as such,” Silverman says.

Silverman’s presentation will include a PowerPoint slide show and is sure to be informative and provocative.

America Atheists is a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending the civil liberties of atheists, and advocates for complete separation of religion and government.

Why Women Need Freedom From Religion — Now More Than Ever

The Freethought Society (FS) is pleased to co-host a speech by Annie Laurie Gaylor with the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia (EHSP). 


The Freethought Society (FS) and the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia (EHSP) are honored in hosting a presentation by the noted and acclaimed co-founder and co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation,Annie Laurie Gaylor. Gaylor’s presentation — “Why Women Need Freedom From Religion” — is based on her books Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So and Women Without Superstition: “No Gods, No Masters”. This event takes place on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 7:00 PM. Please join us in the beautiful auditorium of the EHSP building located at 1906 South Rittenhouse SquarePhiladelphia.

Annie Laurie Gaylor

Annie Laurie Gaylor


“The Freethought Society is happy to offer an alternative activity during the Pope’s visit,” said Margaret Downey, founder and president of The Freethought Society. “We are asking that people attend to learn more and think about the tough questions on how religion affects women. With Pope Francis being in Philadelphia at the same time, Annie Laurie’s presentation couldn’t be more appropriate.”

Gaylor has traveled the world and the United States to give her many presentations at highly-respected gatherings, including one event with over 4,000 attendees. Her Philadelphia presentation takes place the night before the city goes into lock-down due to the weekend activities of Pope Francis, who is attending the World Meeting of Families 2015 forum and whose excursions around the city will cause much disruption and many restrictions in transportation for residents and businesses throughout the city and suburbs. However, this will not affect Gaylor’s Thursday night presentation as the lock-down does not take effect until after Gaylor leaves, so those wanting to attend her presentation do not have to worry about any transportation restrictions.

Annie Laurie Gaylor is a co-founder and co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which is a national 501(c)3 educational, legal and activist organization based in Madison, Wisconsin and is the largest association of atheists and agnostics in North America, as well as a state/church separation watchdog. She co-founded FFRF in 1976 as a college student with her mother, Anne Nicol Gaylor, who was asked to go national with FFRF in 1978. A 1980 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Journalism School, she was an award-winning student reporter. After graduation, she founded, edited and published the Feminist Connection, a monthly advocacy newspaper, from 1980-1985. She joined the FFRF staff in 1985. She was editor of FFRF’s newspaper, Freethought Today, from 1984 to 2009. The paper is published 10 times a year. Her book Woe To The Women: The Bible Tells Me So, first published by FFRF in 1981, is now in its 4th printing. In 1988, FFRF published her book Betrayal of Trust: Clergy Abuse of Children, the first book documenting widespread sexual molestation of minors by clergy. Her 1997 anthology Women Without Superstition: “No Gods, No Masters” — The Collected Writings of Women Freethinkers of the 19th and 20th Centuries, is the first collection of writings by historic and contemporary women freethinkers. 

In 1976, Gaylor’s complaints ended prayers at graduations at UW-Madison, an abuse of more than 130 years. She has been a plaintiff in many successful FFRF lawsuits, starting in 1984 when she stopped the University of Wisconsin from recruiting for churches on its registration forms; the 1997 federal lawsuit ending Good Friday as a state holiday in Wisconsin; and, currently, FFRF’s litigation to overturn the parish exclusion, a federal law favoring clergy and churches that permits them to be paid with a housing allowance which is excluded from taxable income. She is married to Dan Barker, who became co-president of FFRF with her in 2004, and they have a daughter, who is college age.

Annie Laurie Gaylor’s presentation is free and open to the public, and begins at 7 PMThursdaySeptember 24, in the auditorium of the EHSP Building at 1906 South Rittenhouse SquarePhiladelphia. It is sure to be one not to be missed.

For more information, contact Margaret Downey, Freethought Society President, at 610-793-2737, or email her at Margaret@FtSociety.org.


July-August 2015 Newsletter


Click here to read the July-August 2015 Newsletter

In the newsletter you will find the following articles:

  • Octorara School Board and Residents Defend BSA Public School Assemblies by Margaret Downey
  • Atheism at Work by Elizabeth Bujan
  • The Reverend Barry Lynn’s Visit to Pennsylvania and Delaware by Margaret Downey
  • A Quarter-Century of Fighting to Keep God Out of Government by Tom Melchiorre
  • The Tree of Knowledge Ornament Scan Project by Margaret Downey
  • The Freethought Society’s 2015 Multi-Month Calendar
  • September 11-13, 2015 Pennsylvania State Atheists/Humanist Conference Flyer
  • October 2-4 Washington Area Secular Humanist Conference Flyer
  • Donation, Information, and Volunteer Page

Click here to read the July-August 2015 Newsletter

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, email address, 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.

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The Freethought Society News Editorial Staff

Barry Lynn on Church-State Separation at Ludington Library

Barry LynnThe Freethought Society (FS) is very pleased to host Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) on Monday, May 18, 2015.

In his presentation Separation Anxiety: The First Amendment at Risk Lynn will provide updates about the newest events in church-state separation. Some of the topics he will discuss are same-gender marriage license refusals, upcoming Supreme Court cases, memorials on public grounds, and his interactions with the Religious Right.

Please plan to attend this informative presentation on Monday, May 18, 2015 at the Ludington Library, 5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA. The event begins promptly at 7:00 pm. A SEPTA stop is located across the street from the library.