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Monday, June 15, 2015
TITLE: “The Theocracy War: Dispatches from the Front”
SPEAKER: Rabbi Merrill Shapiro, President, National Board of Trustees, Americans United for Separation of Church and State
DESCRIPTION: Religious nationalism, an American Taliban, has now become part of American political theater! When Fundamentalists elsewhere in the world insist on tolerance for the oppression of women, for instance, we recognize the injustice of their demands. When Fundamentalists talk about basing their laws on their sacred scriptures or making our community a Theocracy, we have no trouble seeing that their ideas are deeply incompatible with modern Democracy. Yet when Northeast Florida's Theocrats demonize gay men and lesbians and declare their intention to govern our community in the name of Christ, we imagine that, because this is 21st century America, it is somehow different! It isn't.
LOCATION: 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.
Welcome to the First Coast Freethought Society. Now in our seventeenth 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, 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).
Ongoing NPR Corporate Sponsorship Fund Drive
Contributions all year are invited, encouraged, and gratefully appreciated.
The First Coast Freethought Society is an educational 501(c)(3) organization. We find that announcements on WJCT 98.9 FM, member station of National Public Radio, are a great way to inform the community of our special events and regular monthly meeting speakers and topics. The full complement of monthly announcements costs $6,600 per year. Membership dues alone are not sufficient to finance this expense, so we depend on contributions from YOU. We hope that encouraging contributions all year, as well as providing for contributions on a monthly basis, will make contributing more convenient for FCFS supporters.
To Donate on a Monthly Basis
You can now set up automatic monthly donations which you may find very convenient and easy on the budget. You can do this in two different ways.
- Use the PayPal button, above, to schedule automatic monthly donations to our NPR fund. Automatic monthly donations via PayPal require you to have a PayPal account.
- Set up automatic payments through your online banking system.
To Donate on a One-Time Basis
Should you prefer to donate on a one-time basis, here are the ways.
- Use one of the PayPal buttons, above. You do not need a PayPal account to use a major credit card.
- Send a check payable to the FCFS to P.O. Box 550591, Jacksonville, FL 32255.
- Bring your contribution to a meeting or another FCFS event and give it to a board member.
Whichever method you select, you will receive a letter from the treasurer, suitable for your IRS records, acknowledging your tax-deductible contribution.
Thank you for your support!
- 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: 3:00 - 4:30 p.m., the FIRST SUNDAY of every month.
- Where: Books-A-Million, 9400 Atlantic Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32225.
- What: Follow the link above to see current book selection, past book selections, and contact information.
- 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: Follow the link above for current book selection, past book selections, 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.
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
- When: 9:00 a.m. - noon, the THIRD SATURDAY of every month (except June).
- Where: The Dignity U Wear air-conditioned warehouse, 136 North Myrtle Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32204
- What: A community outreach VOLUNTEERING opportunity
- 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!