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“The Trouble With Christmas – a lecture by Tom Flynn

December 19, 2018
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Center for Inquiry
1310 Sweet Home Road
Amherst, NY 14228 US

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Organized by:
Center for Inquiry–Western New York Meetup Group


Tom 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 Christmas came out in 1993. His presentation is now fully illustrated in a lavish widescreen PowerPoint presentation containing more than 340 slides. (Fear not, as the angel never really said; some of those slides go by really, really fast.) Tom will make the most of the recent upgrades to CFI’s auditorium, including a bigger, more efficient screen, brighter projector, and an expansion to the stage.

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!

Tom Flynn Bio

Flynn is Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism, Editor of Free Inquiry magazine, and Director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum and the Freethought Trail. 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 unbelievers to make themselves more visible by sitting out the winter holidays. 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 original Biography segment on Santa, which aired hundreds of times. His other books include the science-fiction satire novels Messiah Games, Nothing Sacred, and Behold, He Said, and the reference work The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, which he edited. Most recently he served as executive producer and an on-screen presenter in the Council for Secular Humanism’s four-part video miniseries American Freethought.

Link for pre-registration (you can also buy your ticket at the door): https://secure.centerforinquiry.net/wny/events/the-trouble-with-christmas-2018