Sign Up Now for 31st FFRF Convention!

The 31st national convention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation gathers on the weekend of Oct. 10–12, 2008, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on the Magnificent Mile, between the Chicago River and Lake Shore Drive, renowned for museums, theater, shopping, restaurants and Millennial Park.

Reserve rooms directly at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Dr., 1-888-421-1442. Mention “Freedom From Religion Foundation” to receive the single and double room rate of $169 plus tax. Triple occupancy is $194 and quadruple is $219. Although the official cutoff date is Sept. 11, rooms are going fast. Please reserve now to avoid disappointment.

Joining the lineup as a student activist award recipient will be Webster Cook, 19, a junior at the University of Central Florida, who is under impeachment by his student body for (believe it or not) failure to eat a communion wafer at a mass open to all students. The diocese and the Catholic League accused him of a “hate crime.” The League has demanded his expulsion from the public university.

Convention speakers include:

  • Dan Barker, Foundation co-president, who will speak briefly and have a booksigning for his upcoming new book, Godless: How An Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists, with a foreword by Richard Dawkins.
  • Journalist Eleanor Clift, Newsweek’s contributing editor, will speak on “Two Weeks of Life—Reflections on Religion and Politics.” Her new book, Two Weeks of Life, contrasts the two weeks her husband, journalist and Foundation member Tom Brazaitis, was dying of cancer, with the Terri Schiavo debate raging at the same time.
  • Tufts University Prof. Daniel Dennett, author of Breaking the Spell, Freedom Evolves and Darwin’s Dangerous Idea will receive the coveted Emperor Has No Clothes Award reserved for public figures who make known their dissent from religion.
  • Scott Dikkers, comedy author, filmmaker and editor-in-chief of The Onion, the nation’s premiere news parody, will speak and show classic irreverent spoof headlines and stories about religion.
  • Jeremy Hall, who will receive the Foundation’s second Atheist in a Foxhole Award, as co-plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging military discrimination against freethinkers in Iraq. Jeremy, 23, is a Foundation member. He was removed from Iraq to protect his life after the lawsuit was launched.
  • Jim McCollum will receive an award to commemorate the 60th anniversary of McCollum v. Board of Education, the landmark challenge of religious instruction in public schools brought by his mother, Vashti McCollum, on his behalf. Jim, an attorney, is a Foundation member living in Arkansas.
  • Journalist Jeff Sharlet will talk about his investigative reporting in The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. The contributing editor to Harper’s and Rolling Stone will speak on: “The ‘F’ Word: Fascism, The Family, and the Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Civil Religion.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation