I recently had to drive through Villa Park to buy some gravel for…something, and I wondered anew the point of the municipality (and can you pick the lemons from the trees on the medians on Villa Park Road?). You'll have to read my ultimate takedown of Villa Park in next week's issue (and I don't even mention crazy councilwoman Deborah Pauley!), but in the meanwhile, something, ANYTHING is happening there tomorrow as local atheist group the Backyard Skeptics invite a famous atheist to spread the gospel of No Gospel in one of America's Christian hotbeds.
To the press release! And Villa Park: you and I have a date in the dead-tree edition of this infernal rag soon…
The Backyard Skeptics will be having their monthly meeting with a very special guest from Philadelphia –
Margaret Downey. She is a champion of atheist's rights and has been speaking for non-theists for many years at major conventions around the country.
WHO: Backyard Skeptics sponsors a lecture by Margaret Downey
WHERE: Villa Park City Hall, 17855 Santiago Boulevard, Villa Park, CA
WHEN: January 22, 2013 at 7pm
WHAT: A lecture entitled “Exploring the Freethought Trail.”
WHY: The non-theistic community does not have a church per se, but what it does have is lectures, meeting and pub get-togethers more than one (believer) might think. The largest group of atheists in the county is the Backyard Skeptics group headed by the admitted “High Priest” of atheism Bruce Gleason from Villa Park.
His Meetup group, Backyard Skeptics has more than 1000 members in six different chapters and sponsors 7-8 events per month for those not looking for spiritual enlightenment. Gleason promotes his group as one which enjoys learning more about the real, natural world (no supernatural powers needed here). “A group which promotes rationalism, skepticism and science-based medicine” is what Gleason says improves the world much greater than religious dogma can.
ABOUT Mrs. Downey: Margaret Downey founded the Freethought Society (FS) and the Anti- Discrimination Support Network (ADSN) in 1993. In 1994 Margaret founded the Thomas Paine Memorial
Committee. She has been published in two books, Parenting Beyond Belief and Voices of Disbelief. Margaret has represented the interest of the non-theist community (since 1995) at several United Nations conferences.
She is a past board member of the American Humanist Association, The Humanist Institute and the Thomas Paine National Historical Association. She is a current board member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Scouting For All and is a member of the Advisory Board Member of the Robert Green Ingersoll Museum. In the year 2002, Margaret became the first “Secular Humanist Celebrant” in Pennsylvania. Margaret created the Richard Dawkins Award in 2003. Margaret served as president of the Atheist Alliance International for two years. In 2007, Margaret designed the Tree of Knowledge. Media Training Worldwide has endorsed Margaret to conduct media training for the nontheist community.
Margaret has been a guest on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation and Radio Times. Television appearances include features on local news stations as well as ABC's Nightline, PBS and Fox News.
Downey's picture and more event information can be seen and copies freely at this website.
Contact: Bruce Gleason, 714 394-6153 (cell), in**@ba**************.com
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.