The Lovian Freethought Academy (abbreviated LFA) is a Lovian non-profit organization uniting atheists, agnostics and freethinkers. The LFA is a well-known debating place, and often publishes books and essays on freethought, and has recently gained fame through its charity work. It was founded January 1, 2001 by Arthur Jefferson, under the name Freethought Association. Its present name was adopted November 2009.
List of chairmen and secretaries Edit
The LFA chairman or chairwoman is elected every year in December. It is not allowed to be elected chairman in three consecutive years. The LFA Secretary takes care of finances and the academy's paperwork. He are she is also expected to replace the chairperson in case of absence. There are no restrictions to this office.
|2001||FA Chairman||Arthur Jefferson||Roxanna S.A. Jane|
|2002||FA Chairman||Willem Bartholomy||Roxanna S.A. Jane|
|2003||FA Chairwoman||Roxanna S.A. Jane||James Jefferson Randolph|
|2004||FA Chairman||Arthur Jefferson||Jeremy Major|
|2005||FA Chairwoman||Roxanna S.A. Jane||Joe Beck|
|2006||FA Chairman||Joe Beck||Sebastian Noble|
|2007||FA Chairman||Branislav Paška||Arthur Jefferson|
|2008||FA Chairwoman||Fatima Ilyas||Jeremy Major|
|2009||LFA Chairman||Arthur Jefferson||Jeremy Major|
|2010||LFA Chairman||Jeremy Major||Alyssa Montgomery|
|2011||LFA Chairman||Jeremy Major||Alyssa Montgomery|
|2012||LFA Chairwoman||Fatima Ilyas||Marcus Villanova|
|2013||LFA Chairwoman||Regina Oswald||Roxanna S.A. Jane|
Notable members Edit
- Andy McCandless, scholar and politician
- Archibald Fawk, historian and politician
- Arthur Jefferson, jurist and politician
- Dimitri I, King of Lovia
- Edward Hannis, entrepeneur and MOTC
- Fatima Ilyas, scholar
- Jeremy Major, scholar
- John Graham, novelist
- Lars Washington, MOTC
- Marcus Villanova, politician
- Martha Van Ghent, entrepeneur and politician
- Percival E. Galahad, writer and politician
- Peter Emanuel, linguist
- Roxanna S.A. Jane, jurist
- Sebastian, Prince of Lovia
- Yuri Medvedev, politician
Annual Great Debate Edit
Each year, the Lovian Freethought Academy (formerly: Freethought Association) holds a great interreligious debate at its headquarters, usually attended by 600 to 1,200 people. It's traditionally held in December and is moderated by an authority in the field: someone of the Freethought Academy, a university professor, a politician, or religious figure.
The debates are all held in the LFA's building in the Trading Quarter. The first two debates only pulled about 400 people. With word spreading and the content of the the 2003 debate, about 1,500 people showed up with some of them standing due lack of seating.The 2004, 2005 and 2006 deabtes drew about 1,300 people consistantly and started airing the debates on television in 2005. The 2007, 2009, and 2012 debates have had the lowest turnout since 2003, with about 600 members each. The 2013 topic was released in July and already 500 people have bought tickets as of late July.
|2001||"Separation of Church and State: God in the classroom"||Arthur Jefferson (FA)|
|2002||"For his own good: Circumcision?"||Pastor Robert Smith (Free Lutheran Association)|
|2003||"Historicity of the Bible"||Reginald Holmburg (Nobel University)|
|2004||"To be or not to be an Atheist: the name debate"||Brandon Culligan (Nobel University)|
|2005||"The meaning of life"||Roxanna S.A. Jane (FA)|
|2006||"The God Delusion: a review"||Mark Bucayne (LSV translator)|
|2007||"A prospect of religion in the developing Asian nations"||Brandon McDonald (Roman Catholic Church)|
|2008||"Does Science contradict Religion?"||Fatima Ilyas (FA)|
|2009||"Thomas Jefferson: early Atheist or fancy Christian?"||Arthur Jefferson (LFA)|
|2010||"Dangerous religions vs. the State"||Judy T. Pennington (BBU)|
|2011||"The Bible: Book by Book"||Marcus Villanova (LFA)|
|2012||"Religion and Lovian politics"||Arthur Jefferson (LFA)|
|2013||"The Philosphy of religion"||TBA|
Annual Darwin Debate Edit
Since 2007, the Freethought Association has held a "Annual Darwin Debate", in which atheists, agnostics, and biologists discuss a specific aspect of evolution or Darwin's life and writings. These debates are always held in August.
|2007||"The Life of Charles Darwin"||Branislav Paška (FA)|
|2008||"The Descent of Man: a review"||Fatima Ilyas (FA)|
|2009||"Social Darwinism and Eugenics: a cruel misconception of what Darwinism actually is?"||Arthur Jefferson (LFA)|
|2010||"What Darwin didn't know yet"||Jeremy Major (LFA)|
|2011||"Pyschology of Darwinism"||Yuri Medvedev (BBU)|
|2012||"The Origin of Evolution"||Fatima Ilyas (LFA)|
"Think freely" campaign (2010) Edit
In January 2010, the Lovian Freethought Academy launced a large-scale advertising campaign. The campaign was based upon the Atheist Bus Campaign and comparable initiatives around the globe. The campaign consists of a number of posters about life, freethought and religion that were spread throughout the nation on billboards. The first of these posters bears the slogan "Think freely". Similar examples are "Enjoy life" and "Speak up", all referring to the basic characteristics of an atheist.
In another advertisement, the LFA quotes the Bible ("And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light." Gn 1:3) and makes the following remark: "When did you stop believing fairy tales?"
A last poster quotes American president, writer and philosopher Thomas Jefferson, who offered the following advice in a 1787 letter to his nephew and ward, Peter Carr:
- "Fix Reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason than of blindfolded fear. ... Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it end in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise and in the love of others which it will procure for you."
Reactions to the 2010 LFA campaign were mostly positive. The Noble City Times, that dedicated an article to the "Think freely" campaign. The newspaper found the campaign a success:
- "The LFA campaign is already a success in its concept. The ads are minimalist, though very distinguishable. With the possible exception of the Bible quote, none of the ads is provocative or disturbing. Considering the goals Arthur Jefferson put forward, it’s a success. A publicly known Roman Catholic, Oos Wes Ilava said the campaign served its purpose very well."
LFA Haiti Fund (2010) Edit
- Main article: LFA Haiti Fund.
The LFA Haiti Fund was a short-term charity project organized by the Academy, to raise money for infrastructural works in Haiti after it was destroyed by the January 2010 earthquake. It raised about $1,250,000.
Other charities Edit
In March 2010, a minor fundraising campaign for Mäöres was set up after that country had suffered a major earthquake on March 13th. $105,000 was raised for food, water and medicine.
LFA World Charity FundEdit
In October 2012, Marcus Villanova, a former Lovian Prime Minister, joined fellow atheist Julia Gillard, current Prime Minister of Australia, to open the LFA World Charity Fund. Unlike the LFA Haiti Fund, this fund was a long-term charity project. The fund is non-profit and works with other charity organizations.
The first project was related to Hurricane Sandy. The organization started raising money on October 31st, and has since raised 400,000 dollars. The largest donation have come from Marcus and Julia Gillard, each donating 40,000 dollars. The final date for fundraising is November 30th.
The Humanist Society is a community organisation affiliated with the LFA which seeks to advocate for a secular Lovia, progressive thinking, and particularly to promote a sense of community through volunteering. It was founded by Marcus Villanova, in order to extend the activities of the LFA from promoting non-theism to carrying out practical action; as Villanova put it, 'good for goodness sake.' The group seeks to take a more 'new atheist' approach to debates on religion, and the concept and philosophy of god. The group was founded in June of 2013.
The group is known for its 'Sunday work', where the group volunteers in every large settlement by building houses, gardening in the community, picking up trash, cleaning rivers, working at a homeless shelter or animal shelter, and promoting equality for the LGBTQ community.
Members have no actual obligations or payments to the Humanist Society. All volenteer hours are done by members who want to, once a member serves 100 hours of voulenteer work for the community they recieve the "Bertrand Russell Award" and are able to give a speech on there works and expierences at the yearly Humanist conference. A suggestion of ten dollars a year is given to members.
The LFA never had official membership so no true records were kept to report how many atheists and humanists were apart of the group. They report about 2% of the entire nation is in the Humanist Society and not all atheists or agnostics are even in the group while they allow all non-theists to come to debates or voluenteering events without membership.