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The winter holidays are right around the corner! That means it is almost time for our  STEM Toy Drive! H elp us make a difference in the lives of children and families staying in local shelters for the holidays.

Each year toy drives are held by all sorts of charitable organizations, but so often people donate stuffed animals, action figures, dolls, or religious storybooks. These are great.

However, we want our supporters to do nate new, unopened gifts that can help a child discover an interest in Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM).  Click on the image above to see all the cool toys our supporters donated last year. The photo is on Meetup. If you aren't a CFFC Meetup member, please join. It's easy!

Bring your new, unopened toys to any CFFC event before the conclusion of our Blood Drive on December 10th.  Email us to schedule for a later date (but before December 16th).

We have two big events coming up that you really don't want to miss:

First, don't forget to RSVP for the Orlando Pride Parade! We're marching in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community allies on November 12th!

Second, our Winter Solstice Party (and Flying Spaghetti Monster gift exchange) will be on Friday, December 23rd. You must RSVP on Meetup or reply to this email to get the location information since this is at a private residence.
Upcoming CFFC Events
Mark your calendar and set a reminder!

Mon, Nov 7 at 5:45 PM - Secular Invocation and Dinner
Join us for a secular invocation and then dinner at Carmela's.

Tue, Nov 8 at 7 PM - Discussion Group & Book Club
This month's book:  Good Without God by Greg Epstein

Sat, Nov 12 at 3 PM - March with CFFC in the Orlando Pride Parade!
We need everyone to join us and march in the biggest Orlando Pride parade ever! How amazing will it be to have a hundred freethinkers showing their support for the LGBTQ+ community? Join us!

Sun, Nov 13 at 9 AM - CFFC Adopt-A-Park Cleanup
Join us at our monthly cleanup. We bring doughnuts; you bring the family!

Sat, Nov 19, 6:30 PM - Outdoor Movie Night - The Invention of Lying 
Ricky Gervais writes, directs, and stars in this atheistic, romantic, comedy set in an alternate modern day reality where no one has invented religion...until someone tells the very first lie.

Sun, Nov 20, 1 to 3 PM - CFFC Event: Afternoon Shorts
This month we hear from three members of our very own community in 20-minute segments. We hope you'll join us!

Find all our CFFC events on  Facebook  or  Meetup .
Orlando Coalition of Reason Events
Check out all the local community events in one place
News You Can Use
Local or regional news that matters to you!

Last Call to March in Orlando Pride Parade

Pride was postponed from October due to Hurricane Matthew and we're gearing up for a huge turnout on Saturday, November 12th. It is really important that you RSVP just in case any final plans change and we need to be in touch to let you know.

As of the time of this writing, we plan to meet at Panera near Lake Eola. Then we will walk to the parade route.  Anyone who wants to march with us is welcome.  The banner we will carry is in the image above.  Find out more on the  Meetup event page  and on the Facebook event.

Do You Have a Plan to Vote?

Hopefully you are registered to vote since the deadline has passed. If you are registered (or if you think you are), be sure you have a plan to vote? Here is a great resource you can use to make a plan if needed

If you don't vote by mail or early voting, try to cast a "regular" ballot at the polling place. That's what happens when everything goes as planned. If you must cast a provisional ballot, know that it will be counted if you follow the instructions given to you. Contact us if you have questions.
Are We Going to the Polls or Going to Church?

Many polling places are at houses of worship. Is this a problem? Absolutely! However, it rarely seems like one to most people until something other than a Christian church is used. Here's a blog post from FFRF about a case in Palm Beach County where an Islamic center was removed from a list of polling locations. Guess all religions aren't created equal.

Here at the FFRF website  you can read about what to look for if you are voting in church (or a mosque LOL). There are rules that must be followed and you should be alert for such things as  signs, brochures, or posters which would influence voters on issues such as gay rights or abortion. You should also be able to vote without going into the sanctuary; and ch urc hes should not be giving out promotional materials to voters. 

If you see something, say something to the clerk running the polling location, the independent poll watcher if present, and to us of course! Remember, you cannot take photos inside the polling location, so take good notes.

CFFC's First Legal Brief

If you've been reading Freethought News for a while, you remember we covered this story last January when the event in question occurred and when a lawsuit was filed in September. A Christian school is upset that a state-supported organization didn't permit them to use the public address system to broadcast a Christian prayer to the audience at a state championship football game. No one stopped them from praying, however.

The case is now proceeding through the courts and FFRF has written a brief on behalf of CFFC and you, our members, in support of the FHSAA. That is the agency that facilitates state championships for many different high school sports. Private schools also participate, but they do not have the same rights that they enjoy when they are on private property in their stadiums back home. Direct link to the amicus brief.

Our Day in Court
We don't have any news to share yet, but our outstanding attorneys from Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the attorney for Brevard County made oral arguments early last month. It was quite interesting to watch and we really appreciate everyone who came out to observe the trial.  There is no way to tell how the case will go, but you can bet we will let you know as soon as we have more information.

The Great Stamp Out

Our allies at the Original Motto Project need our help raising awareness about the continuing violation of our First Amendment right to freedom from religion (a.k.a. the Establishment Clause). Here is a way you can share your disdain for our official, unconstitutional, Christian, national motto, "In God We Trust."  Just send in a short video of you or your friends crossing out In God We Trust on US currency. They  plan to create a video montage of those who participate.

If you aren't following our  Facebook and Twitter pages, you're missing most of the news that we make happen. Be sure to find us there!
Florida's Dirty Dozen

Schools may not display religious iconography such as the Ten Commandments, religious messages, or pictures of Jesus.

Watch your local public schools for this and the rest of Florida's Dirty Dozen. And if you see something, say something! 

Giving thanks to real people

We need to give a shout out to our first holiday display host in Florida this year. Preston Smith in Boca Raton will hang a Winter Solstice banner from the Freedom From Religion Foundation between December 1st and January 6th in Sanborn Square. Way to go, Preston!

Is there a religious holiday display on government property in your home town? Read FFRF's opinion on those here and let us know. We want to help to confirm whether a violation has occurred, help you fight to keep public property secular, and help you hang a solstice banner or another secular display.  Here's the FFRF banner.

PO Box 621123,  Oviedo, FL 32762
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on the separation of state and church
and building a thriving secular community in the Greater Orlando area.