Freethinkers Gather for 26th National Conference in DC

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has an engaging line-up for its 26th annual national convention in Washington, D.C., taking place Oct. 10-12. Convention awardees include: reporter/columnist Helen Thomas; provocative attorney Alan M. Dershowitz; New York Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Natalie Angier ("Confessions of a Lonely Atheist"), and Alton Lemon. He is the Supreme Court litigant whose victory resulted in the famous "Lemon Test" safeguarding the Establishment Clause.

Speaking on the status of physician-assisted suicide will be noted author and TV journalist Betty Rollin ("First You Cry," "Last Wish"). Michael Newdow, M.D., famous challenger of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, will provide an update on his legal cases. Also speaking: Sacha Pfeiffer, part of the Boston Globe's Spotlight Team of investigative reporters which won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service for coverage of the crisis over the institutional cover-up of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

Closing the convention on an entertaining note will be Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Steve Benson, teaming up with Foundation musician Dan Barker, for their irreverent "Tunes 'n 'Toons," a satiric look at religion and freethought in the news. The convention includes music, a "NON-Prayer breakfast" and a drawing for "clean" (pre-"In God We Trust") currency.

The FFRF conference opens at the Washington Court Hotel-Capitol Hill, 525 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. with registration at the hotel at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10, and continues all day Saturday.

Registration at the door is $50 per Foundation member, $75 per non-member, and $25 per student registration. The Foundation is a national association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics) working to keep church and state separate. The nonprofit, educational organization is based in Madison, Wis.

More details are posted online at: http://www.ffrf.org/convention/

Phone the Foundation office 9-5 CST weekdays at 608/256-8900, or go to www.ffrf.org.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

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