Hello Again. This newsletter is for current or former members of the Freethinkers and Atheists of Virginia (FAVA), our YahooGroup, our friends over at the Tidewater Atheists and others. If you do not wish to this Newsletter, reply and let me know and I'll update my email list. If you have already responded to notices through the YahooGroup you don't need to respond to this email.


Best Quote from last Gathering: Jeremy (an electrician) said he converted a theist to Atheism at his job. Gustav: “How many volts did that take?”

Events – Milestones – Announcements

Text Box: Friday (10/14) – 6pm til 8:30pm –WE HAVE A SPEAKER. And it’s a good one: Ellery Schempp. Working through the Separation of Church and State Meetup Group (HRSepCnS), we’ve arranged for Mr. Schempp to visit our area and speak about the Importance of Church-State Separation. He was the successful plaintiff in a Supreme Court case way back in 1963 known as Abington School District vs. Schempp. It’s at the Unitarian Church in Norfolk (beside the Chrysler Museum). Ellery begins speaking at 7pm. Q&A will follow. Read more below.

Folks, we need your support on this one! Please attend. It’s FREE! (Contributions encouraged). There will be light munchies. And you get to rub shoulders with a freethinker who speaks regularly on the subject of separation, but whose life is interesting aside from all that.

We’re crossing another threshold. Our groups have steadily grown more numerous and diverse. Now the ticklish task of arranging for speakers is finally coming to pass. Together we can make it a rousing success.



Saturday (10/15)5pm FAVA’s September 2005 Gathering is taking place at Cinema Café, Greenbrier Mall, Chesapeake. Enjoy a good movie and lively conversation before and after the show. Meet at the ticket booth at 5pm sharp to vote on the movie. Depending on the movie and the size of our group, admission for all for the same show might not be guaranteed. Expect to pay about $20-25 per adult when it’s all done (that includes tickets and a decent meal). They do serve BEER/WINE :-). No smoking.




Thursday (11/10) – Clark Moeller will deliver Satan's Critique of Church-State Separation. Our second speaking event will be presented as a talk in dramatic form exploring the deleterious effects of the Bush Administration’s faith-based funding on religious institutions and church-state separation. Clark was the first President of the Pennsylvania Alliance for Democracy (PAD). They still maintain a rich website called PADNET which has a bunch of links and material of interest to folks like us. Get in touch for time and location.


Friday (11/11) - Atheists in Foxholes is a rally and march planned for the Mall in Washington, DC on Veteran’s Day to acknowledge and honor Atheists in Foxholes. Mark your calendar and check for updates in upcoming months.


More on Ellery Schempp


“I consider that the First Amendment has served our Nation very well, and the more we respect it, the more strength it gives us.” – Ellery Schempp


Ellery Schempp was only 16 when, on November 26, 1956, he brought a copy of the Qur’an to class. In violation of Abington School District policy, he read from the Moslem holy book instead of the mandated 10 Bible passages and the Lord's Prayer. His actions that day landed Ellery in the principal’s office. Seven years later, in 1963, he landed in the U.S. Supreme Court and legal history when the justices ruled 8-1 in his favor. The landmark decision in Abington Township v. Schempp, (374 U.S. 203)** – which included the Madelyn Murray O’Hair case – brought an end to the practice of compulsory prayer and Bible reading in public schools in the United States. A simple act by a young high school student became a milestone in American law.


Ellery later earned a PhD. in Physics. Over the decades, his work has ranged from superconductors to wind power to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). His private endeavors include climbing the Himalayas and frequent speaking engagements on church-state issues.


“There is an important connection between  separation of church and state and other  civil rights and civil liberties.”


To learn more about Ellery Schempp visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellery_Schempp


When: Friday, October 14, 2005

Where: The Unitarian Church of Norfolk**

RSVP NOW to reserve your place.


Mr. Schempp will speak for 30-45 minutes on various aspects of Church-State separation. Afterwards he’ll take questions from the audience. Doors open 6:00pm, Ellery will speake from 7~7:45pm followed by Q&A. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided ... while they last. Contact Lauren at  HRSepCnS@cox.net or call me at 757.689.2758


Admission is free … but please consider a modest contribution to help defray costs for the speaker and the venue.

The Unitarian Church of Norfolk, 739 Yarmouth St., Norfolk, VA 23510

Parking: Use the Chrysler Museum lot just a block away.


The next item is a repeat from last time … but worth it. It may have been garbled last time.


“Today I was blessed to receive a divine revelation from our Almighty Flying Spaghetti Monster. I have the privilege of informing you that it is His will that I become His Bride, in order that the Savior of mankind (who is to be called Macaroni) may be born on this earth. The FSM has revealed to me that your body is to be the vehicle by which his holy seed shall be transmitted in earthly form.”


Huh you ask? Find out what FSM-ism is and what it has to do with Kansas, Evolution, Global Warming, and Pirates.


Meetups and Discussion Groups

Unless otherwise stated, these groups and countless others can be found at Yahoogroups.com. You can take part in discussions or read posts anonymously. It’s not chat! It’s email.


Click here for FAVA’s Yahoo group. It has grown a bit in members and activity over the past 6 months. You can expect 20+ posts a day ... sometimes more. Goals: Discussion and Activism.


Click here for the Hampton Roads Separation of Church and State group, which is an extension of a meetup group by the same name. This group has recently seen a burst of activity. You can expect 5-10 emails per day. Goals: Education, Discussion, and Activism.


Tidewater Atheists is dedicated to getting Freethinkers and Atheists out for social activities. You can expect less than 5 emails a day right now.  Goals: Organizing social activities.


The Norfolk/Virginia Beach. Separation of Church and State Meetup takes place on the 2nd Thursday of each month. The next one takes place on Thursday, September 8 at 7:00PM. The location remains at Shoney's Family Restaurants, 6667 E. Virginia Beach Blvd, Norfolk



Other News and Information


Portsmouth’s School Board voted to dispense with prayer at the beginning of its meetings. Read the Pilot story here. Read Kerry Dougherty’s ill-reasoned response here.


Virginia Beach is still searching for a new Superintendent of Schools. Our previous Sup, Dr. Timothy Jenney went to work for Pat Robertson over at Regent University. The top candidate for his vacated post, Joseph J. Redden just dropped out amidst financial allegations from his previous position in Cobb County, Georgia. You might remember a little Evolution Disclaimer controversy erupted down there a few years back. Guess who was school superintendent when the stickers appeared in their Biology books?


Regular Notices


Freethoughtradio continues to evolve. Get headlines from the Atheist News Service along with the usual commentary and satire. Whether you can donate or not, listening is free. Spread the word about this one of a kind internet radio station for freethinkers and atheists. Broadband listeners click here to listen now. Dial-up listeners click here.


Meetups for Norfolk Atheists, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists, Brights, and Others continues to enjoy great turnouts. This one takes place on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. The next Atheist Meetup will be on Tuesday, September 16th, 7pm at DC Chase’s, 20th St., Norfolk. This is hosted by Sean and Michelle over at Tidewater Atheists.


Science and Reason in Hampton Roads convenes on the second Thursday each month on the campus of Old Dominion University. The location is usually Room 130 in the Mills Godwin building. The time: 6:30 until 8pm or later. This is not a www.Meetup.com function. SRHR has been on hiatus for the summer. Meetings resume in September.


FAVA gatherings now take place on alternating months. Check www.fa-va.com or www.AtheistDominion.org for additional information.


If you live out past Newport News or in Suffolk or points west, please suggest a place to meet and some of us will try to get out there to meet you. DO YOU KNOW of any upcoming opportunities for freethinkers and atheists to join a rally, a coalition, or demonstration? Perhaps speak at a gathering or put up an information table. Perhaps march in a parade. Drop me a line.



Thanks for allowing me to get in touch.


Lauren Floyd

President, FAVA



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