While we are all concerned with how things may change in the coming months in the White House, the Congress, and the US Supreme Court, we remain excited about the future of the CFFC and our work at the local level.  The changes in the national political landscape, while important, should not cause us to lose sight of our work on s tate/church separation and  community-building here at home.

If anything, the changes should embolden us and cause us to redouble our efforts. Our work  makes a difference in the lives of students and families all across Florida.  Very few of our organization's efforts will be affected by the election and we look forward to continuing that work at full throttle. We hope you will stick with us because we can't do it without your help.

Here is a look at some of our 2016 accomplishments by the numbers:
That's a pretty amazing list of accomplishments if we do say so ourselves! Thanks to each of you for doing your part in making CFFC a success.
Upcoming CFFC Events
Mark your calendar and set a reminder!

Sun, Jan 8, 9-10:30 AM - CFFC Adopt-A-Park Cleanup
This is our regular monthly park cleanup event. We bring doughnuts; you bring the family!

Mon, Jan 9, 3:15 PM - Secular Invocation and Coffee
The December invocation was deferred to January. Join us at city hall and for a quick coffee break on Park Avenue afterward.

Sun, Jan 15, 1-3 PM - CFFC Event: Dr. Sharon Woodill
There is more to the intelligent design debate than meets they eye. Dr. Woodill's talk is entitled  Sex Not Science & Other Intelligent Design Phallacies.

Tue, Jan 24, 7 PM - Discussion Group & Book Club
This month's book club is on the last Tuesday of the month.

Sat, Jan 28, 6 PM - Movie Night: Captain Fantastic
This month, a 2016 comedy/drama with a Tomatometer rating of 85%.

Darwin Day (February 12) is our next  CFFC Special Event. It will be a fantastic showcase of science and discovery you don't want to miss. Due to the additional costs to host this special event, a $10 donation is suggested, but not required for admission.

Aron Ra  is our featured speaker. He is President of the Atheist Alliance of America and a famed speaker and evolution debater. 

Dr. Dan Batcheldor returns to speak to the CFFC after blowing the doors off of our January 2016 event. Dan is the Department Head of the Physics and Space Sciences department at FIT. He is an astrophysicist and author of "Astronomy Saves the World."

Valerie First is a "Street Teacher" of paleontology and evolution. She travels all over Central Florida with her amazing fossil collection educating people of all ages. Come put your eyes and hands on the evidence for evolution at CFFC's first Darwin Day Event.

Brandon Haught is a science teacher, Founding Board Member and Spokesperson for Florida Citizens for Science, and author of "Going Ape," the story of how evolution education has been a struggle in Florida for nearly 90 years.
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!

Second Annual STEM Toy Drive a Big Success

Again this year, CFFC members came through and helped BE. Orlando bring more than 70 STEM toys to kids who are in shelters for the holidays this year. Thanks so much for helping make that happen and for coming by our toy and blood donation drive in December. 

We're already talking about how to make this event bigger and better in 2017 so stay tuned!  Y ou can read Tee Rogers' blog post at the BE. Orlando website about the event here.

Holiday Display Destroyed by is Man Miraculously Resurrected

As we mentioned in November, Preston Smith, a teacher in Boca Raton, displayed a permitted holiday display in Sanborn Square during the holidays this year. His display was placed adjacent to the nativity scene which has been displayed in the park annually. 

All displays are allowed to stay until January 6 so it has a few more days to go.  Hear Preston in his interview on FFRF's Freethought Radio last week with Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor.

Here is a timeline of the ongoing saga:

12/6 - FFRF solstice banner & inverted pentagram erected
12/6 - Both banner & pentagram painted in less than 24 hours
12/10 - Pentagram cleaned up & new FFRF banner placed
12/16 - FFRF banner stolen & pentagram damaged 
12/17 - Saturnalia banner placed & pentagram chained to tree
12/20 - Pentagram dragged from tree by truck and knocked down
12/21 - Pentagram displayed horizontally adjacent to banner
12/23 - Banner slashed in half
12/24 - Banner taped back together
12/28 - Pentagram resurrected vertically with hand-made banner
1/2 - Banner knocked down & pentagram damaged

There were numerous news stories, blog posts, and opinion pieces in the local news. Here are the blog posts by Hemant Mehta of the Friendly Atheist Blog: 12/7 , 12/11 , 12/16 , 12/18 , 12/20 , 12/22 12/29And these from the Friendly Atheist about the display, but unrelated to the damage or repair efforts:

Let's hope the city decides not to allow religious displays on public property next December.

Gay Straight Alliance Fights Religious Bigotry in Lake County

After a nearly four-year battle, the effort to charter a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) student organization in Lake County middle schools is a little closer to becoming a reality. The photo here is of Bayli Silberstein who first sought to start a GSA club back in 2013.

CFFC was there to voice our concern with the encroachment of religion into school policy, but the Board decided to fight. ACLU took them to court and may have won. We'll see if the school board wants to spend more time and taxpayer money to fight.

Manatee's Longstanding Tradition [of Trampling Religious Liberty]

The Manatee High School Football team says a prayer after every game . Do you think it is pride or simply the fact that whatever the coach says immediately becomes law? 

Either way, the rights of these students are being infringed whenever the coach brings his own religion to work with him and imposes it on his players.  One third of the team is non-religious and only half are even Christian if we extrapolate  statistics collected by Pew Research . Even if there ONLY Christians 

AHA Attorney Argues in Front of the 4th Circuit [AUDIO]

We anxiously await the court's decision in this case, but this is an amazing window into the work done on behalf of local plaintiffs by a national organization. In this case, the American Humanist Association's attorney, Monica Miller, describes how this 40 foot tall cross [actually in the median of a highway] just outside Washington, D.C. isn't a longstanding memorial to war vet's, but a longstanding violation. 

Citizens drive by it every day and surely assume it is a symbol of religious establishment.  It is time for this display to go away, but this is a tough site to simply give away or sell to a private organization. Check out the location on Google Street View here . It is actually kind of amazing.
"Thanks Obama!" One Last TIme

In December, the President signed into law the Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act which amends the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act to include protections for atheists, humanists, and other non-theists. 

Of course, there is more to it than that or it would have surely been laughed off the floor of Congress.  Among other changes, the law enhances the Act of 1998 to require the ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom at State Department to report to the Secretary of State. It adds an "entity of special concern" category for nongovernmental terrorist groups and it requires international religious freedom training for foreign services officers. 

You can read praise for the bill from state/church separation ally the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty as well as the American Humanist Association .

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 allow the distribution of bibles or religious literature on school property by outside organizations or employees. 
  • Neither direct nor passive distributions are permitted.


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

CFFC is 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.