Conversation with attorney Andrew Seidel on June 11 about the secular origins of the United States

If you’re in Chicago, mark your calendars for June 11. For on that evening I’ll be having a conversation in town with Andrew Seidel (sponsored by the Freedom from Religion Foundation [FFRF] and the End of the Line Humanists) about Andrew’s new book, The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American. To be released in four days, the book deals with the secular origins of America—neither the founders nor the founding “principles” were religious—and shows how those who promulgate that myth (mostly the Christian Nationalists) are dead wrong and ignorant of history. It’s a must-have book for secularists.

Andrew, with whom I’ve worked on a few cases as an evolution expert or “censorious person,” is a constitutional lawyer and the Director of Strategic Response at the FFRF. And the book is good: I’m nearly done with my first read.

The official announcement is below. The discussion is free, it’s at 7:30, and it’s held at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with the address given in the flyer (click on screenshot to enlarge). Andrew’s book will be available at the venue and he’ll be signing it. If you’re in Chicago, we’ll be delighted to see you there. There will be lots to discuss and lots of myths to dispel.


  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 10, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Wish I could be there for that discussion.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted May 10, 2019 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Me too!!!!!

      • mike
        Posted May 11, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        me also

  2. Mark R.
    Posted May 10, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the heads up. I won’t be able to make it to Chicago, but I’ll get the book. It really is a dangerous myth to teach that America is a “Christian Nation”. Whenever I hear people say that, I can’t help but cringe at their ignorance. Such is one of the many ways religion poisons: by putting up walls of denial to distort the past and influence the present.

    • Adam M.
      Posted May 10, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Well, I think we clearly were a Christian nation, in the sense that for most of our history including at and before our founding nearly everyone was Christian. But I don’t think that means we were founded on Christian principles or that we need to keep it that way…

  3. Greg Geisler
    Posted May 10, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Bravo! Two of my favorite atheists! I’m a big fan of Andrew’s work and just started his book. You two should do a tour! Come to Austin, TX!
    Will the event be recorded for later viewing online?


  4. Posted May 10, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    If anyone at FFRF is interested, I will point out to them the five fundamental layout & design mistakes made in that poster.

    I’ve mentioned this before: with the amount of money FFRF spends on print promotion, it seriously needs to up its creative services game.

    • garman
      Posted May 10, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. I am in charge of displaying their banners in my town during the holidays. I think they are cluttered and the message is unclear. Otherwise, they do terrific, and needed, work.

    • Posted May 10, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      That poster was made by the local humanist group, I think, not by the FFRF.

      • Posted May 10, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        Ugh. Maybe I’ve reached the ‘get off my lawn’ epoch, but I went to art school when they still taught the basic rules, not just app features.

  5. Posted May 10, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Sounds interesting. I hope a video will be made available after.

    Do you two expect to differ on any of this? Where’s the controversy?

    • Posted May 10, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      I’ll try to ask Andrew some hard questions. I don’t think we differ in the principles, but we do differ in some interpretations. But I’m mainly there to help him give a public explication of his book, not to argue with him.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 10, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Gonna be any video or audio you can post?

  7. Hilton
    Posted May 10, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Andrew looks a bit like a wise guy ( Mafia ) in the photograph . Don’t mess with me , Christians !

    I wish that I could attend the event . I’m really looking forward to reading the book .

  8. W.T. Effingham
    Posted May 10, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see the release date is soon. I requested this book back in February at one nearby library and see where two other local libraries will receive it soon.👷 I once requested a book about Christopher Hitchens, only to be told a year later it hadn’t been received..(censored?). That library is now low enough on my list that I only go there once for every six times I go to the others.👀

  9. Posted May 10, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Good post and good work
    Just ordered the book on kindle. Look forward to reading it.
    Thanks for the reference.
    Hope the discussion goes well.

    Ernest Harben

  10. GBJames
    Posted May 10, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like an interesting evening. Andrew is a very smart guy.

  11. Posted May 10, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Andrew will also be speaking in Atlanta on May 23 at 8 p.m., and there may well be other locations. I encourage you to attend and you can check the website. I think this will be highly informative.

    • Posted May 10, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Cut and pasted from

      “FFRF’s Director of Strategic Response Andrew L. Seidel will be going on a book tour to promote his first book, The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American. Andrew’s work of nonfiction illustrates that, not only are we not a Christian nation, but Judeo-Christian principles are fundamentally opposed to the values on which America was founded. Religion, law, and history collide in this provocative conversation. Hear Andrew speak about his book at one of these events:

      Sunday, May 19 in Tennessee – Hosted by FFRF East Tennessee / Rationalists of East Tennessee

      Monday, May 20 in North Carolina – Hosted by Triangle Freethought Society in Raleigh

      Tuesday, May 21 in South Carolina – Hosted by Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry in Charleston

      Wednesday, May 22 in South Carolina – Hosted by Piedmont Humanists in Greenville

      Thursday, May 23 in Georgia – Hosted by Freedom From Religion Foundation of Georgia

      More details to follow.

      Preorder The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American here.”

  12. harrync
    Posted May 10, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    There is only one specific god mentioned in the founding documents – “Nature’s God”. My god. I know she exists, because she came to earth once in a margarine commercial. [“It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”] We tried to fool her; that’s why we have global warming.

  13. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 10, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Can someone just set an audio recorder and share it on YouTube? Video is nice but if means are limited…

  14. Jim batterson
    Posted May 10, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Highly recommend “the faiths of the founding fathers” by william and mary emeritus prof david holmes…a concise and very readable volume.
    I hope that this discussion with jerry will be video recorded and made available by ffrf on you tube.

  15. Posted May 13, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    A good idea – solidarity across the professions, as it were.

    Any chance that one of the “yes, it was, really Christian” folks will show up and get, as they, say, 0wned?

  16. Posted June 4, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    See also Chris Rodda’s excellent work at


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