What is freethought?

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Main Stream
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“Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic and reason and should not be influenced by authority, tradition or any other dogma.”

Cal, I don’t believe you fully grasp the definition of freethought, or what a freethinker is. Freethought does NOT necessarily mean atheism. A person can be a freethinker and still believe in god and we have many members who believe this way. They would be classified as deists, a belief system held by many of our founding fathers. We also have agnostics in our group, secular humanists, a few neo-pagans/pantheists and, yes, some atheists.

The Fayette Freethought Society was founded in 2009 for those in the rural areas of Georgia who hold a secular worldview and who would like to meet socially with other freethinking people. Myself, along with two other individuals (not Mr. Stefanelli), founded the group and it has grown steadily over the past 2 years. We are parents, grandparents, teachers, nurses, students, and families who also live here and we volunteer in our community, in our schools, some of us give blood, or walk dogs for the Humane Society, we pick up trash along the highway, we meet socially for dinner and lunch, host holiday parties and movie nights, play trivia at Mellow Mushroom, and even prepared chili at the Civitan Chili Cookoff this year and rowed a Dragon Boat in the 2010 race on Lake Peachtree. In all honesty, we don’t see how this can be perceived as being “militant.” Cal, is it possible that you are just feeling uncomfortable about non-Christians in our community, now that the secular population has decided to come out of the closet? We are proud to be part of this community. And it is appalling that the Editor of our only local newspaper would stoop so low as to incite hate and fear towards one of our members, Leonard Presberg, and our group as a whole. Should there be a religious, or political, litmus test given to future school board members and local politicians? Are you the one to administer that test and print the results in your paper? It seems as though this is what you have done to Leonard Presberg.

In a 2010 article, Gallup noted the increasing number of Americans with no religious affiliation (16%). It is very possible that 16% of our community is also non-religious, or non-Christian. And some of them will eventually end up on the school board or as an elected official, or maybe even as our mayor. We all want the same things, Cal, to preserve the beauty of our community, our excellent school system and our quality of life here. That is our only agenda.
(A great book to read, that offers an insightful history of freethought is, “Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism”, by Susan Jacoby)

Julie Williams, Founder
Denise Roddy Martin, Co-founder

S. Lindsey
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Mainstream is Al Stefanelli a part of the FFS?

Does he speak for your group?

Main Stream
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S.Lindsey...

He is a member. However, I speak for my group, Fayette Freethought Society. I am the spokesperson.

He speaks for his own group, American Atheists, as he is the GA State Director.

S. Lindsey
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OK Mainstream but I can see where Cal got the Militant part from

Mr. Stefanelli has called for the eradication of Fundamental Christianity. Now I know he said he meant the belief and not the people but his article which can be found here: http://atheists.org/blog/2011/09/14/taking-the-gloves-off does not speak well of an organization that claims it harbors no ill will and is mostly just a social group.

FFS if it truly stands for what you have espoused should consider the radical beliefs of those that say they represent you guys.. Just my opinion.

Main Stream
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Then Cal needs to address...

Mr. Stefanelli, and NOT Fayette Freethought Society in his paper. Cal is misguided and I'll restate this.. Cal is printing falsehoods and lies about FFS.

Mr. Stefanelli has a blog. This blog is NOT associated with FFS. Al Stefanelli writes on his own accord. Period.

S. Lindsey
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I understand Main Stream

Just saying that he places your FFS group on his, well I will just call them "rants" and he freely states he is a member so if my group that I am a member of The Teaparty had as member who said he wanted to eradicate, oh let's say, Liberals then you would be right to criticize that group.

We are who we associate with Mainstream.

btw- His blog is called the FTB the "Free Thought Blog" and it is posted on your website. It sounds more than just someone who happens to live on the same street.

Main Stream
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Lindsey...last post for now.
S. Lindsey wrote:

btw- His blog is called the FTB the "Free Thought Blog" and it is posted on your website.

No, his blog is not posted on our website. Mr. Stefanelli represents the atheist viewpoint. And FFS, my group, represents freethought. Am I not making this clear in my original post?

S. Lindsey
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So Main

Are you saying the FTB and no links to it where on your website as of 9/16/2011?

btw- From his bio... "Al Stefanelli is the Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., and the author of "A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth." He has been a writer and journalist since 1993, starting out with a McClatchy newspaper writing a weekly column...... He holds membership in the Fayette Freethought Society, a local and very active freethought group where he lives.

Falcon66
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Website Changed

The website has been dramatically changed since Mr. Presberg was linked to it. All family oriented now with nice group picture, etc...No man smoking, whatever he was smoking....

Main Stream
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website not "dramatically changed", falcon

.. I change out the home page picture quite often. You must have seen it last week when I posted a quote by Christoper Hitchens (yes, he was a cigarette smoker).
http://maxdunbar.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/hitchensdeath.jpg?w=450&h=337

by the way, I use that current group picture alot on our website... what's your point?

Main Stream
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Lindsey... is this so hard to understand?

My group is an affiliate of American Atheists, just like we are an affilate of the Council for Secular Humanism and a local partner of the Foundation Beyond Belief and Volunteers Beyond Belief. Their logos are on our Meetup site.

We do NOT, however, have a link, that I know of, on our site linked to Al Stefanelli's BLOG.

Again, YES, he is a member of our group. I hope ALL secular people in our community join our group! By the way, we've added 6 new members in the past 24 hrs, thanks to Cal.

S. Lindsey
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Main I understand and don't have any issues

with your group. As long as any one point of view is not forcibly expressed via fiat or courts I'm good.

If Mr.Presberg uses his new found and IMO undeserved power to promote an agenda then I will have a problem.

Main understand this one simple fact. I don't have any Children in the Fayette system but I do pay taxes here and live here as well.

If Mr. Presberg or the FFS decides to promote his or any other personal views via Text books, literature or any other forum IN THE SCHOOLS then I will be on the front lines to fight him and you.

btw- I added the caveat of Sept, 2011. FFS did have a link to the FTB and he to yours at that time, but you removed it after his Eradication of Christians article. No big deal just wanted you to be honest with us all on your views and opinions.

Like I said Main I don't care what you believe or don't believe. I won't force my views on you...I simply expect the same courtesy.

Ninja Guy
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Dang Editor Cal, Main Whupped Up On Your

sloppy 'opinion' journalism with this retort. If you are going to join us in the blogging slime pit, you should sign up for an incognito account like the rest of us! Then you can really have some fun!