Freedom From Religion comes to the Bible Belt in Raleigh May 2-3

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“Freedom From Religion in the bible belt” is the theme of FFRF’s May 2-3 conference in downtown Raleigh, N.C., at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel, 421 South Salisbury St. In conjunction with the Triangle Freethought Society, FFRF’s active Raleigh-area chapter, the gathering will “win hearts and minds for reason and secularism.”

Speakers include:

• Agnostic bible scholar Bart Ehrman, author of “Did Jesus Exist”?, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who will talk on “Writing about Religion: Some Agnostic Reflections” and receive FFRF’s Emperor Has No Clothes Award, a bronze statuette reserved for public figures who make known their dissent from religion.

• Founder of Atheist Ireland Michael Nugent, flying in from Dublin, who will speak on the timely topic: “You Have Rights, Your Beliefs Do Not.”

• Freethought activist Todd Stiefel (the man behind the Reason Rally) and head of Stiefel Freethought Foundation.

• Recovery from Religion Executive Director Sarah Morehead, who will unveil a new program from Recovery From Religion.

• Black Nonbelievers President Mandisa Thomas speaking on “Black Nonbelivers: Past, Present & Future.”

• Stuart Watson, NBC investigative TV reporter exposing megachurch abuses, who will receive a “Freethought in the Media” Award.

• FFRF Co-President Dan Barker will emcee a panel of local former ministers including Randy Bender, Candace Gorham, and Matt Killingsworth). FFRF Co-President and co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor will greet and help emcee, along with Triangle Freethought Society President Harry Shaughnessy and Board Member Sue Kocher.

Southern freethinking student activists include:

• Sophia Winkler (star of Scott Burdick’s film, “Sophia Goes to the Good News Club” which will air, followed by a student activist award presentation and remarks by the filmmaker)

• High school activists Ben and Kalei Wilson

• FFRF student plaintiff Max Nielson challenging graduation and school board prayers Students will all receive $1,000 student activist awards from FFRF.

Entertainment will include a Friday night complimentary dessert reception, The Village Idiots, a meet and greet, a Saturday morning non-prayer breakfast, drawing for “clean” (pre-“In God We Trust” godless) currency, and a few songs by “Singing Atheist” Dan Barker.

CNN is scheduled to cover some of the event for an upcoming documentary on atheism.

The conference opens with complimentary hearty appetizers for registrants and early registration at 4:30 at the Sheraton. The formal conference begins Friday at 7 p.m. and concludes Saturday night, May 3.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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