Secular Sundays: "Freethinkers - A History of American Secularism" (1 of 3)

  • January 5, 2014 · 10:00 AM
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Are you curious about the United States' secular roots? They go far deeper and wider than you may realize. Join us for coffee and goodies as we read and discuss Susan Jacoby's landmark book, Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. We will read three chapters at a time and for the first meeting we will meet at my home, and then get a group consensus on where we'd like to meet in the future. This is a different book club than the one Chris Webster hosts and will focus more on Freethought, Critical Thinking and Reason rather than science-related books.

At a time when the separation of church and state is under attack as never before, Freethinkers offers a powerful defense of the secularist heritage that gave Americans the first government in the world founded not on the authority of religion but on the bedrock of human reason. In impassioned, elegant prose, celebrated author Susan Jacoby traces more than two hundred years of secularist activism, beginning with the fierce debate over the omission of God from the Constitution. Moving from nineteenth-century abolitionism and suffragism through the twentieth century's civil liberties, civil rights, and feminist movements, Freethinkers illuminates the neglected achievements of secularists who, allied with tolerant believers, have led the battle for reform in the past and today.

Rich with such iconic figures as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Paine, and the once-famous Robert Green Ingersoll, Freethinkers restores to history the passionate humanists who struggled against those who would undermine the combination of secular government and religious liberty that is the glory of the American system.

Reading Schedule:

Sunday, January 5 - Chapters 1 - 3
Sunday, January 19 - Chapters 4-6
Sunday, February 2 - Chapters 7-12

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  • Diana

    I was so late I missed half; but very enjoyable.

    January 6, 2014

  • Deborah B.

    I'm not going to make the first one. I'm still fighting a cold or something. See you next time!

    January 4, 2014

    • Carissa S.

      Sorry to hear that! I was looking forward to seeing you again.

      1 · January 5, 2014

  • sandi w.

    So sorry. Can't make this first one either. Something came up and I'll be out of town.

    January 5, 2014

  • Gail T.

    Sorry I can't make it. Susan Jacoby is definitely worth reading. Her Ingersoll biography was a little disappointing however - a bit light weight.

    January 4, 2014

  • sandi w.

    Love to come if I can get the book in time and read the chapters. I'll bring some deviled eggs if I come, ok?

    December 30, 2013

    • Carissa S.

      Sounds wonderful! Even if you can't read the chapters, show up anyway!

      December 30, 2013

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