Probably one of the best conventions in the past several years! Presentations and lectures were given by luminaries such as attorney Eddie Tabash, one of the few open atheists who has run for public office, Edwin Kagin, legal counsel for American Atheists, actress/comedienne Julia Sweeney who also signed copies of her CD, Letting Go of God, Frank Zindler, the managing editor of American Atheists Press and the author of books such as The Jesus the Jews Never Knew, Robert M. Price, author of books such as, Deconstructing Jesus, The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man and The Da Vinci Fraud, and evolutionary biologist Massimo Pigliucci, author of Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism and the Nature of Science who has been a guest on my public access cable TV show, "NYC Atheists Live! (On Tape)"--and will be again soon. The presentations were made in the main ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel in Seattle and the place was jammed! I hope this is indicative of the pendulum, if not swinging back in the other direction, at least slowing down in its move to the Religious Right (Reich).
Entertainment was provided by songwriter/guitarist Larry Gallagher (http://www.larrygallagher.com/) who autographed copies of his second CD, “Can I Go Now?” Also, Jesus H. Christ (http://www.comedyjesus.com) dropped in to tell us that we atheists were actually closer to his compassionate philosophy than most of those who claim to believe in him and held a brief Q & A. Afterwards, he posed for pictures with audience members.
I managed to tape two segments for my cable TV show. Julia Sweeney very kindly consented to sit for one segment. She is very nice--what you see is what you get. I think I may have embarrassed her at one point in the discussion when we noted that many of the qualities we detest in one another as human beings we worship, accept, if not expect in "God." I remarked that it's much more fun to be an asshole than to pray to one. In any case, she good-naturedly took it in stride. I invited her to appear on the show any time she is in New York, but I don't know if she'll be willing to risk being put on the spot again. ;-)
Another guest on my show from the convention was (among other things) a former monk, Matthew T. Taylor, Sr., author of the book Tent Revival for Agnostics, which can be purchased at sites such as Amazon and http://www.tentrevivalbooks.com.
Looking forward to next year's convention, although as of now I don't know where it will be. I hope any non-affiliated atheists and agnostics who are reading this will become involved. For more information, go to American Atheists and/or NYC Atheists.