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California Freethought Day

Sunday, October 15, 2017

California State Capitol Building

Authors' and Podcasters' Panel

Our authors and podcasters will be assembled together at Freethought Day with their books and other goodies ready to sign and sell, so bring some cash (or credit cards) to buy their books!

You can pre-purchase authors' books when you register online.

Shortly after 1:00 PM, our authors and podcasters will take the stage for a lively Q&A session about topics fun and serious. What will you ask them?

Are you an Author?

Authors and podcast hosts from all over are encouraged to join us at Freethought Day. If you're an author or podcast host and want to join us, please let us know or register online for your table space. (It's free.)

Thomas Smith, Podcaster

Thomas SmithThomas is a podcaster, host of Serious Inquiries Only and co-host of Opening Arguments. He began his podcasting career by working his way through the entire bible in podcast form, criticizing and poking jokes along the way, in his creatively-named podcast Thomas and the Bible. Having somehow finished that six-year purgatory, he now focuses on politics, philosophy, science, and countering any bad arguments he can get his hands on.

Thomas is also our offical blogger, and will be interviewing our speakers and guests on his podcast Serious Inquiries Only. Check it out here.

Elbe Spurling, author of The Brick Bible

Elbe SpurlingElbe is an atheist and renowned Bible illustrator. She is the creator of The Brick Bible, where for a dozen years she has been working to illustrate the entire Bible using only LEGOŽ bricks. Her illustrations have been featured in Time, People, Rolling Stone, SPIN, and Entertainment Weekly, and on CBS News Sunday Morning, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  

Elbe's approach to illustrating the Bible has won her fans from across the spectrum of belief from atheists and freethinkers to creationists and clergy. Her presentation is notable not just for its artistry and meticulous attention to detail, but for its uniquely straightforward and frank approach to the Bible's content, paying as much attention to the 90% of the Bible not covered in church as to the 10% that is.

Elbe's work is beautifully showcased in a new two-book box set, The Brick Bible: The Complete Set. Spurling has also created a five-book series of Bible picture book stories for kids, and has most recently illustrated the Brick Book of Mormon.

Follow Elbe's work on Facebook and Twitter (@BrickTestament).

Candace Gorham, author of The Ebony Exodus Project

Candace GorhamCandace, a licensed professional mental health counselor and writer on religion, mental health, and the socio-political health of Black America.

Raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and confirmed in the United Methodist church, her early adult years included casting out demons, fasting, and faith healing. But after depression and suicide threatened her life, Candace exchanged faith for skepticism, guided by Humanist morality.

Candace explores the health of Black America in The Ebony Exodus Project, and illustrates those realities through in-depth interviews of Black women who have made the exodus from religion. Having spoken at conferences and universities across the country, including Women in Secularism and George Washington University, Virginia Tech, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Candace is also a board member of Atheist Alliance of America and the Black Humanists Alliance.

Rebecca Hensler, Grief Beyond Belief

Rebecca HenslerFollowing the death of her infant son, Rebecca Hensler discovered that most grief support groups are dominated by religion and spiritualism. Alienated by talk of angels, heaven and signs, she conceived an alternative free of mythology and mysticism.

In 2011, Rebecca founded Grief Beyond Belief, a community devoted to faith-free grief support. Since then, the project has grown to include a peer-to-peer online support group, a website, and secular grief-support workshops conducted at secular events and organizations nationwide.

Rebecca's ebook teaching community organizers how to provide grief support in their freethought communities will be published this Fall.

David Fitzgerald, Author

David FitzgeraldDavid is an award-winning historical researcher and an atheist activist who lectures internationally at universities and secular events. Among other things, he serves on the Speaker's Bureau of the Secular Student Alliance and the Center for Inquiry; was the Co-founder and Director of both the world's first Atheist Film Festival (2009 - 2013) and San Francisco's oldest Darwin Day celebration, Evolutionpalooza! and a founding member of San Francisco Writer's Coffeehouse.

As a historical researcher, he has been actively investigating the Historical Jesus question for over fifteen years. He is the author of The Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion series and NAILED: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All. His newest book, Jesus: Mything in Action, examines the secular arguments for the Historic Jesus.

He is co-author (with his wife, Dana Fredsti) of an upcoming science fiction trilogy Time Shards, coming out next spring from Titan Books (2018).

Evan Davids

Evan DavidsEvan is new to the scene. He just released his first book Christianity No Longer Makes Sense. Despite a fairly secular upbringing, Evan's preoccupation with life's biggest questions drew him to Christianity, which, in the United States at least, is widely believed to have the inside scoop on such matters. He needed to know if this was true. He began to investigate, eventually leaving a promising career behind to attend seminary. In the end, Evan never became a Christian, as he could not manage to piece together a coherent and credible theology. To be honest, he was a little shocked to find out just how glaring some of Christianity's problems are.

In addition to studying religion, Evan enjoys writing and recording music, soccer, guitars, Spain, warm weather, history, politics, UFC, his family, Mexican food, Renaissance art, and golden retrievers. His website is