Upcoming and Recent Events

Clarence Darrow Statue Dedication, July 14, 2017

The Freethought Society (FS) joins with The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), the American Humanist Association and many others in celebrating the unveiling of an impressive monument to the eminent civil libertarian who fought perhaps the most famous legal battle in U.S. history. The statue of legendary lawyer and rationalist Clarence Darrow is to be dedicated on Friday, July 14, right in front of the site of the historic Scopes evolution trial: the Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee.

A local statue of Darrow’s legal adversary, William Jennings Bryan, given to the county by the William Jennings Bryan College, inspired talented sculptor Zenos Frudakis and others to seek to remedy of the “missing link.” Darrow will soon take his rightful place adjacent to Bryan on the courthouse lawn. Darrow defended John Scopes when he was charged with teaching evolution at the 1925 “trial of the century” (The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes).

Frudakis, based in Glenside, Pennsylvania, is creating the 7-foot bronze statue of the famed attorney, to be installed July 13, 2014 upon a 3-foot high base. Frudakis is a renowned American sculptor who has created an extensive, award-winning collection of more than 100 bronze sculptures in public and private collections. FFRF is contributing the lion’s share of costs: $150,000, made possible through the generosity of its members.

The dedication will begin in front of the courthouse at 10:00 AM on Friday, July 14, 2017 and will include actor John de Lancie, who played Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Andrew Kersten, author of the 2011 biography, Clarence Darrow: American Iconoclast, will speak about Darrow and his “frenemy” relationship with Bryan. Kersten is dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Idaho-Moscow. FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor will also say a few words. Barker, a professional musician, will set the tone prior to the dedication by a rendition of music from the 1920s. The short dedication will end with Frudakis, Barker, Gaylor and de Lancie unveiling the statue. Margaret Downey, FFRF board member and president of FS will emcee.

“I am honored to be the emcee for this historic event and thrilled to see that both attorneys involved in the trial will be represented at the Rhea County Courthouse. The accurate representation of the trial and the talented attorneys involved will surely draw many visitors to the lovely city of Dayton, Tennessee,” says Downey.

The 2017 Scopes Trial and Festival will kick off shortly after with bluegrass music, booths and other festivities.

May – June 2017 Freethought Society Ezine

Click here to see the May/June 2017 Freethought Society (FS) ezine.

 In the ezine you will find the following articles:

  • The March for Science Philadelphia by Margaret Downey
  • Science Marches On by Angela Mattke, MD
  • Walk for Science in Atlantic City by Charlotte Carney
  • The Washington March for Science as Seen by a Skeptic Cartoonist by Celestia Ward
  • Philadelphia’s First March for Science by Patti Butcheck
  • March for Science Los Angeles, California by Lisa Pedersen
  • An Evening With Lawrence Krauss
  • Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Center Staff and Talent Search Begin
  • Freethought Society Merchandise Page
  • 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 ezine 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.

The Freethought Society News Editorial Staff

Barbara Mancini at the Ludington Library, Thursday April 14 at 7pm


Barbara Mancini

Barbara Mancini


On ThursdayApril 142016 The Freethought Society will host Barbara Mancini at the Ludington Library, 5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn MawrPennsylvania 19010.

The presentation entitled “Who gets to decide how you will die?” starts at 7:00 PM.

In 2013 Mancini was arrested and prosecuted in Pennsylvania on the charge of aiding the attempted suicide of her dying 93-year-old father after handing him his prescribed morphine four days before his death. His end-of-life wishes were overridden by a hospice nurse and police authorities. His written advanced directives were also ignored and he was hospitalized and treated. Mancini’s prosecution lasted a year, during which time it garnered national attention, and was roundly criticized throughout the media.

A judge dismissed the case due to “a lack of competent evidence.”

Mancini’s case was featured on National Public Radio and TV’s 60 Minutes. She has traveled the country speaking about her experiences and has become a vocal advocate for end-of-life  choice. Mancini will discuss her case, the broader issues involved, and the impact they have on the end of our lives.

Veterans Day 2015

November 10

In celebration of Veterans Day 2015, FS is excited to host two excellent speakers on Tuesday, November 10, 2015. The subject of atheists in foxholes will be covered at 7:00 PM in the Skyline Room (4th floor) of the Free Library of Philadelphia, located at 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This important topic will be addressed by Jason Torpy (pictured above), President of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF) and Jason Heap (pictured below), the Executive Director of United Coalition of Reason (UnitedCoR). Heap is also a Humanist Chaplain and is currently involved in a lawsuit against the United States Navy and Armed Forces Chaplains Board. The case is Heap et al v. Hagel et al, No. 1:2014cv01490 – Document 79 (E.D. Va. 2015). Heap will talk about his advocacy, goals and much more.

Torpy will discuss the vision, mission and purpose of MAAF and how citizens can be of assistance within and outside the military.

Please note that this November 10 event is a prelude to the Wednesday, November 11, 2015 Veterans Day public celebration.

November 11

Jason Torpy and Jason Heap will conduct the first ever public “Yes, there are atheists in foxholes” Veterans Day event, proudly hosted by the Freethought Society (FS).

Please join us on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, for an open-air rally at the Chester County Historical Courthouse located at 2 North High Street (between Market and Gay Streets), West Chester, Pennsylvania.

The festivities start at 11:00 AM. FS representatives will be at the rally site until 2:00 PM. There will be an “Ask an Atheist” table, open microphone, speeches, an awards ceremony, free snacks and much more. Scheduled presenters are:

Margaret Downey
Founder and President of the Freethought Society

Jason Heap
Executive Director of United Coalition of Reason

Jason Torpy
President of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers

Heap is also a Humanist Chaplain and is currently involved in a lawsuit against the United States Navy and Armed Forces Chaplains Board. The case is Heap et al v. Hagel et al, No. 1:2014cv01490-Document 79 (E.D. Va. 2015). Heap will talk about his advocacy, goals and much more.

Torpy is the President of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF). Torpy will discuss the vision, mission and purpose of MAAF and how citizens can be of assistance within and outside the military.
While this event takes place on a weekday, we hope to attract media and the participation of passersby, business people in the area and anyone who can come to the venue.

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