Tom Flynn: “The Trouble with Christmas”

When: Thursday, November 10, 2011, at 6:30 PM
Where: Redmond Library (15990 N.E. 85th St, Redmond, WA)

Tom FlynnTom Flynn has been recounting the history of the year-end holidays – and offering his rollicking rationale for why secular humanists should just sit the merriment out – since his book The Trouble with Christmascame out in 1993. His presentation is now fully illustrated in a lavish PowerPoint presentation containing more than 200 slides. (Fear not, as the angel never really said; some of those slides go by really, really fast.)

In “The Trouble with Christmas” Flynn will examine where our most treasured holiday traditions came from – from the Christ Child to Santa Claus, from the wassail bowl to the tannenbaum – and ask whether there’s still time to send them back. It’s an information-filled, thought-provoking, yet wildly funny audio-visual extravaganza. Missing this presentation would be like getting a lump of coal in your stocking!

Flynn is Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism, Editor of Free Inquiry magazine, and Director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum. He co-founded and was for 13 years co-editor of the newsletter Secular Humanist Bulletin. In 1984, having recently given up his religious beliefs for atheism, Flynn stopped celebrating Christmas because “it was no longer the birthday of anyone I knew.” Flynn urges fellow unbe¬lievers to make themselves more visible by sitting out the winter holidays. He argues that Christmas is too narrowly Anglophile to continue much longer as the compulsory winter holiday of an increasingly diverse America. And he maintains: “Yes, Virginia, believing in the Santa Claus myth is harmful to young people’s mental development.”

After writing The Trouble with Christmas in 1993, Flynn made hundreds of radio and TV appearances in his role as the curmudgeonly “anti-Claus.” A leading authority on the Santa myth, he appeared in A&E Network’s Biography segment on Santa, which has aired hundreds of times. His other books include the science-fiction satire novels Galactic Rapture and Nothing Sacred and the reference work The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, which he edited.

Meeting Room #2.  Doors open at 6:30 pm; presentation will begin at 7:00 pm.

You can RSVP here, on the Seattle Atheists Meetup Group.

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