2024 National Convention

Freedom from Religion Foundation 2024 National Convention | Denver | September 26-29

September 26-29, 2024

The Sheraton Denver Downtown
1550 Court Place
Denver CO 80202

Katherine Stewart joins FFRF convention

black and white headshot of Katherine StewartFFRF is excited to announce that author and investigative reporter Katherine Stewart will speak at FFRF’s national convention in September in Denver. She will receive the “Freethought Heroine” award.

The two-day event on Friday, Sept. 27, and Saturday, Sept. 28, will include an impressive list of expert commentators on religion, politics and Christian nationalism.

Stewart has covered religious liberty, politics, policy and education in her various professional roles. Her latest book, The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, is a rare look inside the machinery of the movement that brought Donald Trump to power. The recent documentary feature movie “God and Country,” co-produced by Rob Reiner and Stewart, is based on The Power Worshippers. Stewart’s journalism appears in the New York Times op ed, NBC, the New Republic, and the New York Review of Books. She last spoke at FFRF’s convention in 2021 in Boston.

Also apearing at the convention will be the evening keynote speakers Bonnie Garmus and Jon Huertas.

Garmus will accept FFRF’s Emperor Has No Clothes Award. Her charming and thought-provoking novel, Lessons in Chemistry, has sold in the multimillions. The award-winning global phenomenon has been on the bestseller list for more than a year and was recently turned into a TV series on Apple TV starring Brie Larson. The novel, part romantic comedy and part satiric commentary, is about a determined chemist who encounters so much sexism in the 1950s that she turns to hosting a highly scientific TV cooking show. While the book’s feminism has been much-remarked upon, almost every main character in it is a pronounced atheist.

Actor Jon Huertas is best-known for starring as Miguel Rivas for six seasons on NBC’s popular “This Is Us.” Audiences know him as Detective Javier Esposito from ABC’s hit dramedy “Castle,” as well as for a stand-out performance as Sgt. Tony “Poke” Espera in HBO’s limited docudrama series, “Generation Kill.” He is one of the few Latinx actors who has broken the ceiling in mainstream TV, portraying characters telling diverse but universal stories. He’s an open atheist and will be speaking on “True Freedom: Breaking the Shackles of Religious Indoctrination.”

FFRF is also excited for the return of “unabashed atheist” Ron Reagan, who recorded FFRF’s long-playing TV commercial, and last spoke at a conference in 2015. Reagan, a political commentator and broadcaster, is the freethinking son of President Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

Another crowd-pleaser returning to speak about religion and politics will be New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg, whose book Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in 2006 was an early warning call. Goldberg, who is also an online contributor to MSNBC, will receive FFRF’s Clarence Darrow Award and statuette.

Also addressing Christian nationalism is Bradley Onishi, who is on the faculty of the University of San Francisco and co-host of the top-ranked religion and politics podcast, “Straight White American Jesus.” He is author of the timely book, Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism — And What Comes Next.

FFRF, which held the first-ever panel of nonreligious state legislators at its conference last year, is assembling for the upcoming convention a panel of secular Colorado state legislators. Confirmed are: Rep. Judy Amabile, a businesswoman and progressive advocate, who represents the 49th district, and Rep. Brianna Titone, a geologist who represents the 27th district and was the state’s first openly transgender state legislator.

“The Consequences of Religious Decline in the U.S.” will be the topic for University of Tampa sociology Professor Ryan T. Cragun. Cragun, who served as a Mormon missionary before leaving religion, is an expert on the rise of the “Nones” (religiously unaffiliated) and author or co-author of a host of books including Beyond Doubt: The Secularization of Society, What You Don’t Know About Religion (But Should), How to Defeat Religion in 10 Easy Steps and From One Missionary to Another. Last, but not least, FFRF Co-President Dan Barker will be speaking about his forthcoming new book, Contraduction: The Hidden Fallacy that Inverts Reality. After 140 debates for FFRF, Dan proposes a new way of looking at assumptions behind “fine-tuning” arguments for the existence of a god.

The convention will feature its usual reports by the co-presidents, the legal staff and legislative/lobbying team, plus a chance to peruse FFRF book and product tables and mingle with other freethinkers. The annual meetings of the state representatives and membership take place on Sunday morning, Sept. 29.

Other speakers will be announced in future issues of Freethought Today.

Turn to the back page to register and find complete information or check online at ffrf.org/convention2024.

Freedom From Religion Foundation