At FFRF’s 2015 convention: Hewett to receive ‘Atheist in Foxhole’ honor

Steven Hewett, an FFRF Lifetime Member, will receive the 2015 “Atheist in Foxhole” Award at FFRF’s national annual convention in Madison, Wis., the weekend of Oct. 9-11 at Monona Terrace Convention Center.

In January, the city council in King, N.C., settled Steven Hewett vs. City of King in Hewett’s favor, agreeing to stop flying a Christian flag and to remove a cross from a kneeling soldier statue at a veterans memorial.

Hewett is a former police officer and Afghanistan war veteran with a Combat Action Badge and Bronze Star. He returned home from the service to find a Christian flag flying at the King Veterans Memorial.

The city in December agreed to repeal a policy under which a flag flown on one of several poles was selected for each week of the year by lottery. The policy, inaugurated after Hewett’s first complaint, let people choose a preapproved flag representing their religion of choice or to fly no flag at all.

After the suit was filed on Hewett’s behalf by Americans United by Separation of Church and State, a sculpture of a kneeling soldier with a cross was added.

Hewett, under a gag order earlier, is now free to talk about the controversy, which made him the focus of intense attack. North Carolina Lifetime Member Scott Burdick produced the documentary “In God We Trust?” about the state/church battle. (It can be viewed for free online.)

Locals rallied on behalf of the Christian symbols, waving a multitude of Christian flags and cheering speakers who “encouraged” non-Christians to move elsewhere. Hewett found himself battling the “Christian nation” myth as much as the state/church violations. He’s had to take security precautions.

Early-bird registration

The convention formally opens Friday, Oct. 9, with an after-dinner program, but preconvention tours of the “reborn” Freethought Hall/addition in downtown Madison will take place Friday, followed by afternoon legal workshops and appetizers at Monona Terrace Convention Center, 1 John Nolen Drive. The program continues all day Saturday, followed by the Sunday membership and state representatives’ meetings, adjourning by noon.

Hotel accommodations adjoin the convention center at the Hilton Madison Monona Terrace, 9 E. Wilson St. Convention room rate is $169 (king and double/double), plus tax; $189 king corner room and king/doubles lake view; $199 deluxe doubles; $219 king deluxe. Phone 1-866-403-8838 or 414-935-5941 (local number is 608-255-5100) and please be sure to mention “Freedom From Religion Foundation.”

The cut-off is Sept. 7 while rooms last. The Hilton has also created a secure and private reservation website personalized for FFRF. Find link at:
Additional rooms are being held at the Sheraton Madison Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive (several miles away, close to the Madison Beltline.) at $139 (king and double/double), especially convenient for those who are driving. Phone 1-888-267-7077. Future issues will update the schedule and speakers and include the registration form.

Plan ahead not to be disappointed!

Listen to an interview with Steven Hewett on Freethought Radio (scroll to Jan. 24, 2015 show at

Freedom From Religion Foundation