In the late 1980s, a series of informal groups of secular San Antonio-ans laid the groundwork for the organization that would eventually become FACT. One of these discussion groups were started by Ms. Catherine Fahringer and the other by Ms. Beni T. Dean. Ms. Fahringer's discussion group and Mr. Dean's book club joined forces to form the nucleus that ultimately became FACT. Together, the groups adopted a set of Rules & Bylaws on September 17, 1990, marking the official beginning of the Secular Humanist Association of San Antonio (SHASA). Then, on January 1st, 1999, the membership elected to change the name to the Freethinkers Association of Central Texas (FACT) and amended the bylaws to reflect that decision.
When was FACT established?
The foundations for our organization were laid nearly thirty years ago in a discussion group formed by Catherine Faringer and Benni Dean. The group was later incorporated as “Freethinkers Association of Central Texas” in 1999.
What is a “freethinker”?
A person who forms opinions on the basis of reason independent of authority, dogma, or tradition is called a freethinker, especially a person whose religious beliefs differ from established belief.
Where does that name come from?
The term first came into use in Europe late in the 17th Century. FACT is proud to point to the legacy left by the German Freidenkers who settled in the Texas Hill Country.
How is FACT organized?
Under a formal set of by-laws, FACT members elect a set of officers as well as members-at-large to govern the organization. All officers are unpaid volunteers. We have a president, two vice-presidents, treasurer, secretary, and two members-at-large. We also have unofficial positions such as Newsletter editor and a librarian.
How is FACT funded?
Since all of our events are free and open to the public, we rely on membership dues and donations to pay for speaker travel, lodging and honoraria. (See the “Join Us” page to become a member).
What does FACT do?
We hold formal meetings on the third Saturday of most months. Those meetings often include nationally-known speakers on a wide range of secular topics. There is also a monthly Discussion Brunch on last Saturday of the month, and several luncheon meetings throughout the month. Our members have been involved in such community projects as building handicap access ramps at private homes, and volunteering at the San Antonio Food Bank. For more than 20 years FACT hosted a weekly program on Public Access TV. We occasionally hold family-friendly pot-lucks and we celebrate the Winter Solstice annually. See the “EVENTS” page for current schedule or join our Meetup group.
“We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn’t been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best minds at the stake.” Catherine Fahringer, 1922 – 2008
"Religion. It's given people hope in a world torn apart by religion." — Jon Stewart
Contact us:Freethinkers Association of Central Texas
PO BOX 160881
San Antonio TX 78280
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