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Upcoming and Recent Events

Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Center

Nowhere in the entire world has there been a Friday the Thirteenth online anti-superstition bash until now! Please join the Freethought Society and the Center for Inquiry (CFI) as we cure people of their superstitions during the virtual opening of the famous Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Center on Friday, August 13, 2021 at 3:45 PM PDT/6:45 PM EDT. During the Pre-Event Social, singer Rich DeSimone will perform a mini-concert of Frank Sinatra songs, including “Luck be a Lady” and “Witchcraft.”

Friggatriskaidekaphobia doctors and nurses will provide long-distance treatments that will involve humorous and fun-loving interaction as superstitions are dispelled and cured. A “Clean Bill of Mental Health” will be awarded to participants who participate and follow the “doctor’s orders.” Don’t miss your chance to take an anti-horoscope consulting pledge and participate in trashing your Zodiac sign. Join us by sitting under a ladder or umbrella. Prizes for the best Zoom box will be awarded.

The 2021 Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Center will be offering a continuing education session with famous Skeptic and “Anti-Superstition Professor of Rational Thinking” Benjamin Radford. His presentation is entitled “The Curse of Magical Thinking.”


Though magical thinking can seem wonderful, imbuing the world with meaning and magic, there is a darker side to it. From lucky rabbit’s feet (not so lucky for the rabbit!) to gambler’s fallacies, Radford will examine psychological, cultural, and folkloric aspects of superstition, curses, luck, and much more. Though some magical beliefs are harmless, others can have unexpectedly harmful and even deadly consequences. Learn about the history of these beliefs as well as how to replace magical beliefs with science and reason.

Radford has degrees in psychology and education, and is a Research Fellow with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is the author of a dozen books on critical thinking, science education, and media literacy. Radford is Deputy Editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and co-host of the podcast “Squaring the Strange.”

To poke fun at fortunetelling, Christina Magallanes-Jones will be attending as the Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Center’s Miss Fortune Teller. She will be using her special deck of “Tarot-Bull” cards to predict your future.

We will also have a mirror breaking ceremony so have goggles, a hammer, a mirror and a trash can close by.

To see past party photos visit:

http://www.friggatriskaidekaphobia.com

RSVP at: https://bit.ly/3y1OjNz

2021 Thomas Paine Day Event

Please join the Freethought Society (FS), the Thomas Paine National Historical Association (TPNHA), the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), the Center for Inquiry (CFI), and the American Humanist Association (AHA) as we celebrate the 2021 Thomas Paine Day via Zoom on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

Register at the below link
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OAX2WWk3S0CpEVO_i4n5yw

The program begins at 3:45 PM PST/6:45 PM EST with a 15-minute Thomas Paine-themed concert by songwriter and recording artist James Klueh. BYOB to participate in toasts throughout the event. Melissa Myers (representing CFI) and Margaret Downey (representing FS) are the event co-hosts.

After an introductory statement from Congressman Jamie Raskin, co-sponsor organizations will welcome everyone to the event (Annie Laurie Gaylor, Robyn Blumner, Mandisa Thomas, Gary Berton and Margaret Downey). A summary of the life and work of Thomas Paine will be presented in sections by co-sponsor representatives:

Mandisa Thomas (AHA)
Tom Flynn (CFI)
Andrew Seidel (FFRF)
Margaret Downey (FS)
Gary Berton (TPNHA)

Sculptor Zenos Frudakis will show the progress of the Thomas Paine statue project and Dan Barker, co-president of FFRF, will perform his original song The World is My Country. After a short break a question-and-answer portion of the event will begin. Toasts and favorite Paine quotations are welcome

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

The Revolutionary War and the Great Patriot Thomas Paine

The Freethought Society has arranged for a special tour of the Museum of the American Revolution at a discounted rate on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The group rate tickets can only be purchased in advance through the Eventbrite link below.

The price for the tour is only $14 and includes a one-hour guided tour of the museum highlights. The tour starts promptly at 10:00 AM. The museum is located at: 101 South 3rd Street, Philadelphia pa

A parking garage is conveniently located on 2nd Street between Market and Chestnut Streets.

Participants can add more fun to their day by enjoying lunch at The City Tavern (138 South 2nd Street) designed to appeal to Thomas Paine enthusiasts.

The pre-ticketed luncheon starts at Noon and will include speakers Gary Berton (Thomas Paine historian) and sculptor, Zenos Frudakis. Thomas Paine (portrayed by Julien Musolino) and Madame Marguerite de Bonneville (portrayed by Margaret Downey) will welcome everyone to a private dining room at The City Tavern, which was the site of the George Washington pre-inaugural ball.

The price of the luncheon is only $40 and includes tax and gratuities. Choose between Salmon or Turkey Pot Pie for the first course and soup or salad for the second course. Meals includes fresh baked breads, dessert, coffee and/or hot tea. Vegetarian options are available.

After lunch, the party atmosphere will continue with a mini-walking tour, where participants will see many sites and items related to Thomas Paine.

Please visit the Eventbrite link below to make a reservation and to pre-pay for your tour and/or luncheon tickets. Tour reservations and seating for the luncheon are limited. Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/museum-of-american-revolution-tour-and-lunch-with-freethought-society-tickets-55928245889

Complimentary gifts for all participants include a Thomas Paine hand fan and a stress ball embossed with a Thomas Paine quotation.

Guest Speaker: Professor Marci Hamilton

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Freethought Society is pleased to host University of Pennsylvania Professor Marci Hamilton as the Thursday, April 11, 2019 speaker. Her speech, “The War Against Child Sex Abuse: Where We Are and What We Must Do,” takes place 7:00 PM at the Ludington Library located at 5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Free and open to the public

Hamilton is the nation’s foremost expert on clergy sex abuse against children and child sex abuse statutes of limitation. She has been invited to testify and advise legislators in every state in the country where significant statutes of limitation reform have occurred. Her presentation will recount her battles in Pennsylvania and elsewhere with powerful forces against child safety, and she will lay out the battle plan for the future, presenting the five necessary legal reforms to prevent child sex abuse: statute of limitations reform, preservation of children’s rape kits, family court reform, public training on child sex abuse, and the invalidation of nondisclosure agreements.

Hamilton is the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a Fox Family Pavilion Resident Senior Fellow in the Program for Research on Religion at the University of Pennsylvania. Hamilton is also the Founder, CEO, and Academic Director of CHILD USA, which is an academic think tank at the University of Pennsylvania dedicated to interdisciplinary, legal and evidence-based research to improve laws and public policy to end child abuse and neglect. Before moving to the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Hamilton held the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.

Hamilton is the author of Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge University Press). She is also the author of God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law and God vs. the Gavel: The Perils of Extreme Religious Liberty, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Additionally, she is the co-author of Children and the Law. Hamilton clerked for United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Judge Edward R. Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.       

Hamilton is a graduate of Vanderbilt University summa cum laude, having earned a bachelor’s degree. She graduated with high honors from Pennsylvania State University, where she earned a master’s degree in English, fiction writing, and philosophy. Hamilton earned her Jurisprudence Degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. She graduated magna cum laude. At the University of Pennsylvania, Marci served as Editor-in-Chief of The University of Pennsylvania Law Review.