American Atheist Home

27th National Convention, April 13 to 15, 2001

This is the home of the 27th National Convention of American Atheists.

The Convention started on April 13th at 9:00 AM Eastern Time.

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ELLEN JOHNSON, President, American Atheists

WILLIAM B. DAVIS, Actor (known from his role in "The X-Files" as the cigarette man and Founder of the William B. Davis Center for Acting. Mr. Davis will speak on "A Skeptic In An Alien World."

FRANK ZINDLER, Editor, American Atheist press and American Atheist Magazine. Mr. Zindler's talk is titled "The Jesus The Jews Never Knew." This will be a preview of his book of the same name which will be published early this summer. Careful examination of Jewish writings from the first several centuries CE turns up no evidence whatsoever implying that Jesus was an historical figure.

JORDAN RIAK, Executive Director, Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education Mr. Riak will discuss the connection between religion and the physical abuse of children. The title of his talk is "Good Clean Folks' Dirty Little Secret."

PHILIPPE BESSON, CHRISTIAN EYSCHEN or the La Libre Pensee, a leading French freethought group.

WHITNEY SMITH, editor of "The Flag Bulletin" and Flag Expert speaking on "Is the 'Stars And Stripes' Catholic, Protestant or Jewish?"

PHILIP STAHL Astrophysicist, member of the American Astronomical Society, speaking on "Modern Materialism -- Some Examples and Insights."

Mr. Stahl's book, The Atheist's Guide To Modern Materialism is available for purchase online.

GREG McDOWELL, Florida State Director of American Atheists will be welcoming guests to the Convention.

DAVE SILVERMAN, National Youth & Families Director of American Atheists, will update the convention on the organization's scholarship campaign and other developments.

RON BARRIER, Director of Media Communications, American Atheists debates RAY COMFORT. The topic is "Does God Exist?"

Ray Comfort is the author of more than 30 books, including, How to Make an Atheist Backslide (Bridge-Logos), and The Atheist Test (500,000 sold). He has spoken many times on the subject of atheism, including at prestigious learning institutions such as Yale University. He lives in Southern California, with his wife Sue, and their three grown children.

JIM STRAYER, Scientist and educator, Mr. Strayer will speak on "Creating a Creationist," an expose of how Christian schools use textbooks that not only teach creationism, but also claim that the "science" presented in the Bible is accurate.

JOHN MENDOZA and CARLOS LEON of "Blasphemy, the Movie." John Mendoza has a long background in Hollywood as a writer and director, and has worked for major studios including Walt Disney, Hollywood Pictures, Touchstone and Paramount.

Carlos Leon is a New York Native, who after a career as a professional cyclist, turned to acting. He has appeared on a number of hit programs including NASH BRIDGES, TYRONE, and THE BIG LEBOWSKI. He and Madonna Ciccone are the proud parents of a daughter, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon.

"Blasphemy" tells the comedic story of what happens when Martin Garcia (CARLOS LEON) reveals to his devoutly religious parents that he doesn't believe in God.

We are honored to present a "Late Night At The Movies" presentation of "Blasphemy" at the Convention following the Life Member's Dinner, with talks by Mr. Leon and Mr. Mendoza. Both will also be autographing posters and copies of the video version of "Blasphemy."

WILLIAM SMITH is Director of Policy for SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States), and will speak on "Federal Support of Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Education: Putting Religiosity and Hyper-Moralism Above Sound Public Health Policies."

MICHAEL PAGE is a standup comic out of New York who has written for a number of television programs, and appeared numerous times on the The Conan O'Brien Show. He now runs "Fade to Black Comedy Magazine," and will speak on "My God Can Beat Up Your God," a reflection of some of the best articles carried by his publication in the past five years. Many deal with the hypocrisies found in cults, religious fundamentalism and organized religion.

ARLO J. PIGNOTTI is an experimental musician and artist with a passion for studying religious kitsch. He presentation, "Holy Paraphernalia Mania!" is a 'show and tell' of religious relics from the past and present that vary from the silly to the extremely weird. Romp through the twilight land of religious devotion with "Biblical Action Figures," "Christian Foods & Beverages," do-it-yourself "Exorcism Kits" and more. Mr. Pignotti's talk shows the wild and wacky extremes people go to in the name of belief -- and the impulse to merchandise it.

Mr. Pignotti is a former Universal Life Church Minister, and is a frequent guest on the Atheist Community of Austin cable access program "The Atheist Experience."

CONRAD GOERINGER, editor, AANEWS speaking on Apocalypse Kitsch: Tim LaHaye's Left Behind Series and its Impact on American Politics and Culture."

7:30 p.m.O'Hair Family Memorial
FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2020
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Registration and Book & Product Room open
9-9:30 a.m. Convention Welcome by Greg McDowell, Florida State Director, American Atheists
9:30 - 10:30American Atheists President Ellen Johnson
10:30 - 10:45Break
10:45-11:45Whitney Smith, "Is the 'Stars And Stripes' Catholic, Protestant or Jewish?"
11:45 - 12:45Conrad Goeringer, "Apocalypse Kitsch: Tim La Haye's Left Behind Series And Its Impact On American Politics And Culture"
12:45 - 2:00Lunch (on your own)
2:00 - 3:00William B. Davis, "A Skeptic In An Alien World"
3:00 - 4:30Debate on the Existence of Gods between Atheist Ronald Barrier and theist Ray Comfort
4:30 - 4:45Break
4:45 - 5:45Michael Page, "Fade To Black" speaking on "My God Can Beat Up Your God."
5:45 - 6:15New Jersey State Director David Silverman
7:00 - 8:00Meet 'n Greet Cocktail Hour in the hotel lounge (on your own)
8:00 - Annual Member' Dinner and Awards Banquet
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Registration and Book & Product Room open
8:00 - 9:00Annual Meeting of Military Atheists And Freethinkers (MAAF)
9:00 - 10:00Jordan Riak, "Good Clean Folks' Dirty Little Secret"
10:00 - 11:00Roger LePeix, National Chairman, Christian Eyschert, Secretary General, and Claude Singer, of the National Committee of the French Freethough Organization "Le Libree Pensee"
11:00 - 11:15Break
11:15-12:15Philip Stahl speaking on "Modern Materialism"
12:15 - 1:30Lunch (on your own)
1:30 - 2:30William Smith, Director of Policy for SIECUS, (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) "Federal Support of Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Education: Putting Religiosity and Hyper-Moralism Above Sound Public Health Policies."
2:30 - 3:30Frank Zindler, "The Septher Tolduth Yesu"
3:30 - 3:45Break
3:45 - 4:45Arlo J. Pignotti, "Holy Paraphenalia Mania"
4:45 - 5:45Jim Strayer, "Creating A Creationist. How Christian schools use textbooks that not only teach creationism but also teach the 'science' presented in the Bible is accurate."
7:00 - 8:00Cocktail hour in the hotel cocktail lounge
8:00 - 9:30Life Member's Annual Dinner
9:30 - midnight Screening of movie "Blasphemy" with video autograph session following the movie with writer director, John Mendoza and star Carlos Leon.
SUNDAY, APRIL 15, 2020
9:30 - 10:00Members Business Meeting
10:00 - 11:00State Directors Meeting
11:00 - 1:00Poolsite Brunch (must purchase tickets in advance)
1:00 - 5:00Activists Workshop conducted by Jim Trammell of THE TRAMMELL GROUP, a national public affairs and government resource group. All welcome.

The hotel is The Orlando Airport Marriot

Orlando Airport Marriott
7499 Augusta National Drive
Orlando, FL 32822
Phone: 407-851-9000 or 1-800-766-6752
Fax: 407-859-0522

Hotel amenities include indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool, Fitness Center, sauna & steam room; Tennis, volleyball, basketball courts, jogging trails; business center; four dining options.


American Atheists held a memorial for the Murray O'Hair Family on April 12. It was attended by many members and friends. More than 20 offered their memories at the podium.

More on this touching tribute later. For now, here are a few photos.

Ellen Johnson

Frank Zindler


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