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Monday, February 15, 2016
TITLE: "The Religious Freedom Restoration Act and its Dangers to Secular Society and Government"
SPEAKER: Toni Van Pelt, President, Institute for Science and Human Values
DESCRIPTION: With increasing frequency, we are seeing individuals, businesses, organizations and institutions claiming a right to discriminate—by refusing to provide services to women and LGBT people and (those who will be next)—based on religious objections. These are the same arguments that were used in the 1960s to oppose laws requiring integration in restaurants because of sincerely held beliefs that God wanted the races to be separate. We saw religiously-affiliated universities refuse to admit students who engaged in interracial dating. Now the radical right is working to expand allowance of this discrimination for "moral" reasons. Imposing beliefs on others who do not share them goes against the very fiber and core of not just secular humanist values and principles, but American family values as well. Van Pelt will illuminate the history of RFRA and outline the damage it has done to date.
MEETINGS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC • NO TICKETS REQUIRED • FREE PARKING
Welcome to the First Coast Freethought Society. Now in our eighteenth year!
Founded in 1998, we are a group of freethinkers dedicated to promoting science and reason over dogma, faith, and belief in the supernatural. Our purpose is to serve the needs of the nonreligious population of Northeast Florida, promoting secular humanism, and a non-theistic outlook and approach to everyday life.
We provide a place where agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, and secular humanists can gather to hear speakers, discuss philosophy, science, and other topics of interest. We offer support to those who have rejected or are questioning their religious beliefs.
At our meetings, you will find a forum for individuals interested in learning more about humanism and freethought. Through lectures and informal discussions, we explore topics of interest and enjoy fellowship with like-minded people. Meetings are free and open to the public. In addition to monthly meetings, we offer a variety of other activities. See below. We hope to see you at a meeting or another activity that appeals to you!
The First Coast Freethought Society is a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization under IRS Chapter 501(c)(3).
- When: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., the THIRD MONDAY of every month
- Where: Buckman Bridge Unitarian Universalist Church, 8447 Manresa Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32244. From the I-295 Roosevelt exit, go north to the first traffic light, Collins Rd. Turn right. Go 400 ft. The church driveway will be on your right.
- What: A formal program, usually a guest speaker, followed by questions and answers.
- When: The FIRST SUNDAY of every month. Times vary.
- Where: Locations vary, usually a Jacksonville restaurant.
- What: Click "Jacksonville" above for current book, complete reading list, meeting details, and link to join.
- When: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m., the SECOND THURSDAY of every month.
- Where: Clubhouse at a private condominium in St. Augustine (Anastasia Island).
- What: Click "St. Augustine" above for current book selection, complete reading list, and contact information.
Monthly Olive Garden Social
- When: Drinks at 6:00 p.m., dinner at 7:00, the FOURTH TUESDAY of every month
- Where: Olive Garden Restaurant, 10144 Philips Highway, Jacksonville, FL 32256, across from The Avenues Mall Order from the menu.
- What: An opportunity to learn about the FCFS, meet like-minded people, make new friends. You need not be a member to attend.
Secular Sunday in the Park
- When: 10:00 a.m., the FOURTH SUNDAY of every month
- Where: Losco Regional Park, under the pavilion, 10851 Hood Road South, Jacksonville, FL 32257
What: Conversation and coffee in the fresh air
Dignity U Wear
- This activity has been discontinued for the time being.
- Everyone can receive The First Coast FreeThinker via e-mail, view it in your browser, or download it from our website. Members are entitled to receive the U.S. Mail hard-copy version.
- A trial subscription of the hard-copy version is available for three months at no charge, following which, you need to join to continue to receive it.
- Join the FCFS Yahoo! Group, Jaxfreethought, to exchange e-mail with other freethinkers. You need not be a member of the FCFS to participate.
- To subscribe, send a blank email to jaxfreethought.
Dinners for Doubters
- Dinners for Doubters is a convenient, easy way to create an instant dinner party, get to know other freethinkers, and make new friends in intimate surroundings. It works like this: Someone decides to host a Dinner for Doubters. The host or hostess picks a date and decides how many people he or she would like to invite. A party totaling eight seems to work well, but this is entirely up to you. You may want only four! We then put a sign-up sheet at the back table at our monthly meetings, and guests sign up to attend. When the guest list is filled, the host or hostess contacts each guest to arrange the menu and who will bring what. Often, the host or hostess provides the entrée, and the guests provide a salad, beverage, vegetable, dessert, etc. But again, who brings what is entirely up to the participants. In fact, if a person whose house is very small wanted to host a dinner, they could pick a restaurant and all go Dutch. The goal of Dinners for Doubters is to allow mixing and mingling, getting to know new and different people, and to allow freethinker friendships to flourish. Consider hosting a dinner. Be watching for a Dinners for Doubters sign-in sheet at the back table!