Freethinkers statewide will meet Saturday at the Cox Convention Center for FreeOK, their largest gathering. Freethought describes a philosophical position that asserts that beliefs and opinions ought to be based on reason, evidence and science, rather than faith, dogma or revelation.
While freethought tends to attract atheists, agnostics and skeptics, the organization is not limited to those people, nor is the convention. FreeOK executive director Aimee Breeze said the all-day event is open to anyone, including people of faith.
“All freethinkers aren’t atheists, and all atheists aren’t freethinkers,” she said.
This will be the third time freethinkers have gathered for a state conference, but their first in OKC. Breeze said she expects the 750-seat event to sell out.
FreeOK is billed as an educational event. In keeping with that ethos, keynote speaker, Lawrence Krauss, is a physics professor and director of Arizona State University’s Origins Project, and author of The Physics of Star Trek and A Universe from Nothing.
Among six other scheduled speakers is Washington, D.C.-based journalist Jamila Bey, host of the radio show The Sex, Politics and Religion Hour: SPAR with Jamila. A former producer and editor for some of National Public Radio’s most popular shows, she is considered an expert on family, sexuality and First Amendment issues.
Speakers will address topics as diverse as the First Amendment, reproductive policy, parenting without religion, creationism in public schools and other areas related to faith and public policy. Breeze said speakers have 45 minutes each to use their time as they see fit, including Q-and-A sessions.
She said she believes FreeOK will function as a community-building event.
“The point of the whole conference is to bring the freethinking community together and help build and educate that community,” she said.