Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

As always, FFRF’s convention will be great

Vol. 36 No. 04 May 2019
Sarah Vowell                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

If you’ve never attended one of FFRF’s national conventions, you’ve really been missing out. Just ask anyone who has been to one (or more). But we offer you another chance this year when the 42nd annual gathering starts Friday, Oct. 18, and runs through, Sunday, Oct. 20, at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, 1 John Nolen Drive, in Madison, Wis.

FFRF will be hosting an open house at Freethought Hall, FFRF’s national office, to kick off the convention on the morning of Oct. 18. The official starting time of the convention, at the convention center, is 1 p.m. on Oct. 18, continuing through Saturday night. FFRF’s membership and state representative meetings take place Sunday morning, ending by noon.

Overall, you can expect a weekend of great speakers, awesome people, good food, irreverent music and wonderful conversation. For full convention information, go to ffrf.org/convention2019.

Confirmed speakers for this year include:

Jeremiah Camara

During the 2-hour lunch break on Saturday, FFRF will be airing Jeremiah Camara’s movie, “Holy Hierarchy: The Religious Roots of Racism in America.” FFRF is offering grab-and-go box lunches for purchase (ahead of time) that can be picked up right outside the main ballroom where the movie will be shown. “Holy Hierarchy” explains how the belief in a supreme being in colonial Virginia led to notions of supreme human beings and how these notions morphed their way into the legal system.

Sarah Vowell

She is the New York Times best-selling author of seven nonfictions books on American history and culture. Her more recent books include Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, Unfamiliar Fishes, The Wordy Shipmates and Assassination Vacation. An atheist, she has been a columnist for Salon.com, Time, San Francisco Weekly, and is a contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times.

Rachel Laser

She will be accepting the $10,000 Henry Zumach Freedom From Religious Fundamentalism Award on behalf of Americans United for the Separation of Church & State (AU). Laser is president and CEO at AU. She is a lawyer, advocate and strategist who has dedicated her career to making our country more inclusive.

Hemant Mehta

Mehta, editor of FriendlyAtheist.com blog website, will be speaking on the topic of, “Is atheism still a taboo in politics?” He also appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the Friendly Atheist Podcast. He will also be receiving one of FFRF’s “Nothing Fails Like Prayer” awards and delivering his winning invocation prior to his talk.

Trae Crowder

He has recently earned national attention for his “Liberal Redneck” series of viral videos. Crowder has been performing his particular brand of Southern-fried intellectual comedy in the Southeast and beyond for the past six years.

Frederick Clarkson

Clarkson is a senior research analyst at Political Research Associates, a progressive think tank in Somerville, Mass. He is the author, co-author or editor of several books, including Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy and Dispatches from the Religious Left: The Future of Faith and Politics in America.

Anthony B. Pinn

Pinn, who will be receiving FFRF’s Emperor Has No Clothes Award, is the Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and professor of religion at Rice University. He is the founding director of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning also at Rice University.

Andrew L. Seidel

Seidel, an attorney and author, is the director of strategic response at FFRF, where he uses his law degree to challenge religious bullies. Seidel’s first book The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American features a foreword by author Susan Jacoby and a preface by FFRF Co-President Dan Barker.

Mandisa Thomas

Thomas, who will be named FFRF’s 2019 Freethought Heroine, is the founder and president of Black Nonbelievers. She has a number of media appearances to her credit, including “CBS Sunday Morning,” CNN, and Playboy, The Humanist and JET magazines. Thomas currently serves on the Boards for American Atheists and the Reason Rally Coalition, and previously for Foundation Beyond Belief and the Secular Coalition for America.

Finally, if you need a place to stay, please reserve your rooms now to avoid disappointment!

Hilton Madison Monona Terrace, 9 E. Wilson St., Madison, WI 53703, the primary hotel. Call 1-877-510-7465 or 414-935-5941, or visit bit.ly/2SPTPlz and mention “Freedom From Religion Foundation.”

Sheraton Madison Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI 53713. Call 866-716-8134 or 608-251-2300 or visit: reservations.com/hotel/sheraton-madison-hotel, mentioning “Freedom From Religion Foundation.” Shuttle available.

Park Hotel Madison, 22 S. Carroll St., Madison, WI 53703 (3 blocks from Monona Terrace). Call 800-279-8811 or 608-285-8000 or visit parkhotelmadison.com, mentioning “Freedom From Religion Foundation.”

To sign up for the convention, return the handy registration form below or go to ffrf.org/convention2019.