October Newsletter of the Lake Superior Freethinkers
Courtesy of Mark Woodcock, who is filling in for Gail Matthews
Register now for FFRF’s 39th national convention in Pittsburgh
You aren't going to want to miss the 2016 FFRF national convention in Pittsburgh held the weekend of Oct. 7-9!
The national convention, hosted at the Wyndham Grand hotel in downtown Pittsburgh, will include such notable speakers as cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett, award-winning author Susan Jacoby, biology professor Jerry Coyne and theoretical physicist and author Lawrence Krauss.
After eight years as a closeted atheist in the Bible Belt, a former conservative pastor will be coming out publicly at the convention. "Adam Mann" is co-founder of The Clergy Project, a group for current and former religious professionals without supernatural beliefs. Media outlets are interested in covering Mann's announcement.
Another co-founder of the Clergy Project who will speak at the convention is Linda LaScola. She is co-author, with Dennett, of Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind and Preachers Who Are Not Believers. She is also editor of the Patheos blog, "Rational Doubt: With voices from the Clergy Project." Linda is a clinical social worker with years of professional experience as a qualitative researcher and psychotherapist.
The Clergy Project was also founded by FFRF's Dan Barker and Dennett, who will be one of the convention's keynote speakers. His Saturday night speech is titled, "Has the dam broken? Omens and worries."
Friday night's keynote speaker will be Krauss, the internationally known theoretical physicist. He will receive the Emperor Has No Clothes award from FFRF.
Jacoby is the author of 11 books, most recently, Strange Gods: A Secular History of Conversion. Jacoby is a previous recipient of FFRF's Freethought Heroine award. Coyne is professor emeritus in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. He has written 119 scientific papers and 150 popular articles, book reviews and a trade book about the evidence for evolution — Why Evolution is True.
Humanist activist Rafida Bonya Ahmed, who survived a machete attack in Bangladesh, will receive FFRF's new "Forward" award. Author Lauri Lebo, who covered the Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial, will be named 2016 Freethought Heroine. Marie Schaubwill speak after being honored as an "atheist in a foxhole" by FFRF for her work as plaintiff in a case against a school district for having a granite Ten Commandments monument in front of a high school. FFRF College essay contest winner Nadia Duncan will also speak.
And, of course, FFRF's Barker will take to the podium to discuss his lawsuit against Congress and his new book, God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction.
And before you get to see and listen to all these great speakers, don't forget about the tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water on Friday. It's a great way to kick off convention weekend!
For more information on convention specifics, click on these links.