Party like it’s 1692

In October of 1692, William Phipps, governor of the colony of Massachusetts, declared that “spectral evidence” was no longer allowed in court proceedings. That meant supposed victims could no longer assert that some evil person had molested them in a dream or a vision—when all the evidence was that the accused was somewhere else at the time.

The gubernatorial decree put a damper on the Salem Witch Trials, and was an important moment in the evolution of bullshit detection.

In that spirit, local atheists, freethinkers and humanists are getting together Sunday, October 7, for the Sixth Annual Freethought Day at Waterfront Park, in Old Sacramento from noon to 5 p.m..

“As secularists, we’re always looking for something to celebrate,” said Beverly Church, chairperson of the Freethought Day organizing group. After all, humanists and atheists tend not to get the same thrill out of Passover and Eid and Good Friday as the religious folks do.

Along with speakers and reading materials, there will be bands, including the atheistic song-stylings of Pledge of Allegiance foe Michael Newdow, and more music by the James Israel Band. And it wouldn’t be a budget street fair without the obligatory bounce house for the wee scientists and skeptics in your family.

“It’s just a chance for us to show people we don’t have horns and tails,” Church explained.