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CFI Inaugural Event — Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism

September 12, 2007
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The Sweet House
254 E. Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States

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Organized by:
Jennifer Beahan
Phone: 616-698-2342 x801
Email: jbeahan@centerforinquiry.org


Join us as we officially become the Center for Inquiry — Michigan. Our inaugural event features Susan Jacoby presenting on her most recent book Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. At a time when the separation of church and state is under attack as never before from the religious and political right, Freethinkers celebrates the noble and essential secular heritage that gave Americans the first government in the world founded not on the authority of God but on the bedrock of human reason. There could be no more important book in an era when an American president invokes sanction from a “Higher Father” as justification for going to war, when fundamentalists attempt to sabotage the teaching of evolution in public school science classes, and when far-right judges attempt to obliterate the distinction between religious beliefs and secular law. In impassioned, elegant prose, Susan Jacoby offers a powerful defense of more than two hundred years of secularist activism, beginning with the fierce debate over the omission of God from the Constitution. Moving from nineteenth-century abolitionism and suffragism through the twentieth century’s civil liberties, civil rights, and feminist movements, Freethinkers illuminates and honors the neglected accomplishments of secularists who, allied with tolerant and liberal religious believers, have stood at the forefront of the battle for social reforms opposed by reactionaries in in the past and today. Join us for this momentous event as we join the CFI Community.

Meetings are open to the Public

After the meeting, join us at Vitale’s Restaurant, 834 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI to socialize. View Map

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About Susan Jacoby


Susan Jacoby is the author of ten books, including New York Times bestsellers: The Age of American Unreason (2008) and Alger Hiss and The Battle for History (2009). Her most recent book is entitled The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought (2012). Jacoby is an independent scholar whose work focuses on American intellectual history. She has been a contributor for more than 25 years, on topics including law, religion, medicine, aging, women’s rights, political dissent in the Soviet Union, and Russian literature. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Washington Post Book World, Los Angeles Times Book Review, Newsday, Harper’s, The Nation, Vogue, The American Prospect, Mother Jones, and the AARP Magazine, among others. Susan has also been the recipient of many grants and awards, from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Ford Foundations, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2001-2002, she was named a fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.