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38th Annual FFRF Convention 2015

  • Oct 9, 2015 · 8:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

PLEASE NOTE: The tour of the new Freethought Hall will be on FRIDAY MORNING. The "reborn" hall is six blocks from the convention center. An informal open house will be held from 9–11:30 AM. Please indicate if you plan to attend on the registration form, to help ensure FFRF orders enough refreshments. Enjoy rolls, juice, coffee and tea and socializing in the Charlie Brooks Auditorium, top floor, where a short video presentation on the building and FFRF will play. Staff members will be posted throughout the building to greet, answer questions and make sure you don’t get lost! If you ordered a paving stone, look for it in the Rose Zerwick Memorial Garden & Courtyard, or your vestibule tile in the entry. Major donors’ names will be found in the Wall of Honor and Donor Wall in the Anne Nicol Gaylor Lobby. Every donor will be listed in a book on the reception desk. Due to time and staff constraints, this will be the only time to tour during the convention. 

Book your hotel HERE! The discounted rate is $169 a night. FFRF is the booking code, and the name is under Freedom From Religion Foundation. You can also call the hotel directly. The discounted rate is available until September 7. 

There are also rooms available away from downtown at the Sheraton Madison Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive. The rate is $139/night and they offer shuttles to/from the convention center. Please call the hotel at[masked] and let the hotel know you are with Freedom From Religion Foundation. 

Speakers include: 

Ron Reagan, former President Ronald Reagan's son and "unabashed" atheist, will keynote the conference

Kevin Kruse, the Princeton University professor of history whose new book, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America, is creating a lot of excitement. He recently appeared on NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, and has authored or co-edited four other books. His White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism(2005), won several prizes.

Anita Weier will be honored as Freethought Heroine. She spearheaded making atheism a protected class in Madison, WI.

Staff attorneys will highlight 2015 notable cases, victories, losses and what's coming up

Dan Barker will talk about his latest book, "Life-driven Purpose"

Steven Hewett will be honored with the Atheists in Foxholes award. The former police officer and Afghanistan war veteran returned home with a Combat Action Badge and Bronze Star, only to find a Christian flag flying at the Veterans Memorial in King, N.C. In December, following a long court battle taken on his behalf by Americans United, the city agreed to stop flying the Christian flag and to remove a cross from a kneeling soldier statue. Steven is a Lifetime FFRF Member.

The executive board meeting and chapter updates will be held the morning of October 11.

For those interested, if you persuade your local governmental body to let you to give a secular invocation, you can enter FFRF’s Nothing Fails Like Prayer contest. The award includes opening a session of the conference with your secular words and a $500 award, plaque, transportation and accommodations at the convention. 

FFRF will honor major donors who made possible the expansion of Freethought Hall at Saturday’s dinner, which will also include the annual drawing for “clean money” (pre-“In God We Trust”).


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  • Roni & Elliott B.

    FFRF convention was great. Today's NYT had article about faith healing in Africa, and, based on what we heard at the convention, it moved me to write this letter - maybe it'll actually get in, and maybe we could write similar letters to Plain Dealer, especially if the article about African faith healing is printed there:

    While I’m sorry about prayer camps and makeshift psychiatric wards in Africa, where prayer is the only intervention, I am more upset about children and adults in this country dying because their faith prohibits anything other than prayer. In most of our states a parent who lets his child die is exempt from prosecution. Attempts to change these laws have been unsuccessful, apparently because lawmakers don’t want to offend any religious people. It also seems unbelievable that the fee one pays to a “minister” who prays to heal you is covered by Medicare, a clear violation of church-state separation. We need to wake up and change this.
    Roni Berenson

    4 · October 12, 2015

    • Loren M.

      Totally smokin', Roni! And let's not forget the poor kids being disowned if not KILLED for being "witches!!!"

      1 · October 12, 2015

    • Sam S.

      Love it.

      1 · October 12, 2015

  • Marni H.

    Fabulous conference, as always. I've come away with great ideas and renewed confidence that we as a group are definitely doing the right things and we are a really active group! I was actually getting told to stop talking at the executive meeting bed

    1 · October 12, 2015

    • Marni H.

      ...because I had so much to say! What a great feeling :)

      October 12, 2015

  • Loren M.

    Just. Plain. EXCELLENT. Dan and Annie Laurie and company did themselves and FFRF PROUD!

    2 · October 11, 2015

  • Loren M.


    1 · October 4, 2015

    • Loren M.

      Driving up Friday morning, bright and ugly. Anyone who may need a ride, I got three more seats and a limited amount of trunk space. Just let me know.

      1 · October 5, 2015

    • Marni H.

      We'll be getting to the hotel probably around 11pm tonight. We'll be in touch :) I think everyone else who's going already is set for travel.

      2 · October 8, 2015

  • Sam S.

    Cant wait to see everyone there.

    1 · October 4, 2015

  • Roni & Elliott B.

    Lynne Macleod and I are going to the ffrf convention, leaving Friday morning, coming back Sunday night. We have room in the car if anyone wants to go then. Hope to see you, who are going, when we get there.

    2 · October 3, 2015

  • Loren M.

    Would love to go, but I don't think it's in the cards. My very best to Dan and Annie Laurie.

    1 · October 3, 2015

  • ron t.

    Am driving up Thursday and returning Sunday, if someone wants a ride

    2 · September 8, 2015

9 went

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