The Madison Freethought Festival is this weekend. It’s in Madison, WI (hence the name), it’s free, and it will be home to some of the most influential people in atheism like Dan Barker, Eugenie C. Scott, Hemant Mehta, Katherine Stewart, Greta Christina, Debbie Goddard, Darrel Ray, Dale McGowan, Amanda Knief, Andrew Seidel, and Chris Calvey. Also me.
I try to be good to the groups who want me to come speak. After all, I was a student organizer once myself. I keep my honorarium low, I volunteer to sleep on a couch rather than in a hotel, etc. However, it is set in stone that I will not take the stage after particular people like Greta Christina or Sam Singleton (ok, I’ve done it in the past, but that was a very noble cause). Anybody who performs immediately after those people is a sucker, because they own the stage and anything that follows them is going to be a disappointment by comparison.
So the Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at UW got clever: they put a parade and dinner between Greta Christina and me. Awesome that I don’t have to follow Greta directly, boo that I have to strive to be more likable than dinner.
Challenge accepted with much trepidation.
Anyway, if you’re anywhere close to Madison this weekend, you should go. The first Freethought Festival was last year and it was one of the year’s more impressive events. I suspect this year will be even better.