28th Edition                                                                                      February 2017

These past several weeks have shown us the passion with which people are responding to threats of their civil rights. This response is nothing novel. It is what free people have done throughout human history.  The major difference now is the speed with which we can organize and respond to mere threats of injustice.

More and more of us realize every day that entire demographic groups across the society are being marginalized by the Trump administra tion's policies.  While we must necessarily pay attention to what happens in our nation's capital, the work of the Central Florida Freethought Community is done right here in Central Florida. This will remain our priority as we continue to work with allies here and across the region. 

See several of the events we have been involved over the month of January are highlighted in the news section below. I f you want to be alerted to events we think you should know about, the best ways to to that (other than on this email list) are to subscribe to our events page on Facebook and join our Meetup group.

Upcoming CFFC Events
Mark your calendar and set a reminder!

Sun, Feb 5, 9-10:30 AM - CFFC Adopt-A-Park Cleanup
This is our regular monthly park cleanup event. We bring doughnuts; you bring the family!

Sun, Feb 12, 1-4 PM - CFFC Event:
Darwin Day Celebration
This event features  Aron Ra,  evolution and science educator, and host of the Ra-Men Podcast;  Dr. Daniel Batcheldor,  astrophysicist and author of "Astronomy Saves the World";  Brandon Haught,  biology teacher, Founding Board Member of Florida Citizens for Science and author of "Going Ape;" and  Valerie First,  evolution educator and "Street Teacher."

Tue, Feb 28, 7 PM - Discussion Group & Book Club
This month's topic - Animal Rights
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!

CFFC Rallies with Women in Orlando

What an amazing turnout in support of women's rights! The rally was a sister event for the one held in Washington, D.C. the day after the Inauguration. 

Thousands of people from all walks of life came to Lake Eola on January 21st. Many stopped by our table and picked up every pair of free sunglasses, every button, sticker, and fan! Many also picked up literature on secularism, Humanism, and the separation of state and church.  

The best part is that 176 of these folks joined our email list before they marched in solidarity. Welcome! We look forward to seeing many of you at Darwin Day next weekend.

CFFC Protests Trump's Travel (aka Muslim) Ban

Just one week after the Women's Rally, CFFC members and supporters came out to Orlando International Airport to march and protest with more than a thousand Central Floridians opposed to discrimination by our government.

It is not necessary for atheists and Muslims to agree on matters of faith or even immigration policy. We can unite to fight religious bigotry and discrimination by the government. 

The way to a free and just society is for those who are unaffected to stand with those in harm's way.

CFFC Collaborates at Community Town Hall with LGBTQ Alliance
O n Thursday, CFFC participated alongside dozens of LGBTQ and Latinx organization leaders and hundreds of interested community members and allies in a discussion about meeting the needs of the LGBTQ and Latinx communities. The Alliance formed after the Pulse tragedy and it continues to seek opportunities to provide resources, support, and advocacy.

Since twice as many LGBTQ people in the US are non-religious and twice as many are atheists, there is a need for welcoming and affirming communities that don't start the conversation with, "So where do you go to church?" CFFC is just one of those communities.

CFFC Rejects Religious Freedom as Defined by Religious Conservatives

Recently,  First Baptist Orlando in conjunction with the Interfaith Partnership of Central Florida (not to be confused with CFFC ally, the Interfaith Council of Central Florida)  hosted a  Summit on Religious Freedom as well as a Faith Leader and Government Representative Dinner and Dialogue with the Experts. 

The speakers were well-versed in law and theology, but seemed uninterested in the rights of religious minorities and atheists in particular.  While there was a Rabbi and an Imam  on the panel, each seemed to play to the bias of the audience of mostly Christians and discount the idea that dis-establishment is as fundamental to religious liberty as free exercise.

Fortunately, the audience also had members of religious minorities including atheists, Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims, and Jews, some of whom where were disappointed by the tone panel set.

Here are the three other   speakers from the panel . If you are wondering why that last one is an accountant, he wants to do away with the Johnson Amendment...but just for houses of worship.

On a more positive note, no government officials were announced nor were any recognized in the audience. We can call that a victory at least.
Stay tuned to the CFFC's Facebook event page for opportunities to stand up for secular values and fight against religion in government.
Book Recommendations
These are the books of our speakers at this month's Darwin Day.
Pick up yours at the University Club on the 12th!

Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism
Aron Ra

Astronomy Saves the World:
Securing our Future Through Exploration and Education
Dr. Dan Batcheldor

Going Ape:
Florida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom
Brandon Haught

Secular Quotable

"It is proper to take  alarm
at  the first  experiment
our liberties ."

James Madison
4th President of the United States

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.