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Herb Silverman: Candidate Without a Prayer

The AOF Speaker Series is honored to host the great and (in)famous Herb Silverman, founder and President Emeritus of the Secular Coalition for America. He will visit us and regale us. His topic: the Candidate Without a Prayer. It's free, and it's open to all.

Born in Philadelphia, Herb received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Syracuse University, and was Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the College of Charleston. During his tenure he published over 100 research papers in mathematics journals, a couple of books on Complex Variables, and received the Distinguished Research Award.

Herb is a tenacious fellow. In 1990, a colleague pointed out that South Carolina did not permit atheists to hold public office. Grabbing the gauntlet, Herb took a run as the first openly atheist write-in candidate for South Carolina governor. He didn't win (insert frowny-face); but eight years later the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled unanimously in his favor (read about it here), striking down the unconstitutional religious test requirement.

Herb went on to found the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry in Charleston, SC, and is founder & former faculty advisor to the College of Charleston student Atheist/Humanist Alliance. He is a board member of the American Humanist Association, advisory board member of the Secular Student Alliance, member of the Advisory Council of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and "On Faith" blogger for the Washington Post Online.

He has appeared in many debates, including one at the Oxford Union in Oxford, England, on the topic: Does American Religion Undermine American Values? He has spoken at numerous freethought conferences and given sermons at Unitarian churches. He was GoH (Guest of Honor) at the 2009 Sacramento Freethought Day. He has had uncounted articles in freethought publications, writes for Secular World, has a book chapter called "Inerrancy Turned Political" in The Fundamentals of Extremism. Herb's book is Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt. Read about it here. (Copies will be available for purchase & signing.)

The question is, when does he sleep?

Browse Herb's many public speeches and debates here, or visit his personal website, Best of all, attend this meeting, and hear his story!

[Please bring something for the snack table if you could: finger foods, fruit juice or soda pop -- nothing needing utensils, please!]

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  • Becky M.

    Herb had such great stories and I was thrilled that he signed and notarized copies of his books!

    September 28, 2013

  • David D.

    What a fun evening!

    September 27, 2013

  • Kenneth E. N.

    Herb was intelligent and funny, kind-hearted and uplifting, and he built bridges rather than tearing them down. I wish attendance had been better. But if you missed his talk, please check out his YouTube videos, they are almost as good!

    1 · September 27, 2013

  • MrLambda

    Herb was an inspiring and entertaining speaker

    1 · September 27, 2013

  • P.Walker

    I just might be able to make it but it will cutting things kind of close.

    September 26, 2013

  • Freedom

    I'm not going to be able to go. :-(
    I hope everyone has fun! I saw on video, he's awesome.

    September 25, 2013

  • Freedom


    August 15, 2013

  • Kenneth E. N.

    A wonderful opportunity for Sac-area freethinkers! How can I support the AOF Speaker Series?

    1 · July 23, 2013

    • Kenneth E. N.

      Why Ken my man, I'm glad you asked! Donations at the door are cheerfully accepted, but the best way to support is to join AOF (see http://www.aofonline....­), a mere $20 a year. You will also be helping achieve AOF's other long-range goal: a meeting hall for the entire Sac-area community of reason!

      4 · July 23, 2013

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