December 20, 2017
On December 25, you can bear witness to a one-man War on Christmas, as Tom Flynn (aka “The Anti-Claus”) broadcasts a merry act of yuletide defiance, livestreaming his very ordinary work day, answering real-time questions, and doing some good for persecuted nonbelievers on the other side of the globe.
From 10am to 5pm ET on Christmas Day, Tom Flynn, editor of Free Inquiry magazine, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, and author of The Trouble with Christmas, will do as he always does: work his regular office
hours. (After all, it’s not the birthday of anyone he knows.) But this year, Tom will share his solitary workday with the world with a livestream from the headquarters of the Center for Inquiry (CFI) in Amherst, New York.
While he works, alone in an empty Center for Inquiry building, Tom will answer select questions from viewers and solicit donations to CFI’s Secular Rescue program, which helps bring to safety those secularist writers and activists in countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Iraq, whose lives are threatened by religious extremists.
To make it more fun, and a little more nerve-wracking for Tom, viewers can donate into one of two columns: Christmas Spirit or Lump of Coal. If enough donations come through the Christmas Spirit column, Tom promises to do something Christmassy like trim a tree. (“Oh, I cringe when I even think of that,” says Tom.”) And if sufficient donations come into the Lump of Coal column, Tom will blaspheme against the holiday, such as tossing said tree off a loading dock.
Plus, those who give to Secular Rescue during the livestream will be eligible for special prizes, such as a framed piece of embroidery bearing the words “Santa Can Suck It.” It’s all a chance for some light-hearted and snarky fun, all for a vital cause for free expression and the lives of persecuted dissidents around the world.
Tom Flynn the Anti-Claus will begin the livestream on December 25 at 10am ET, going until this very ordinary day’s close of business at 5pm ET. Viewers everywhere, whether they love Christmas or hate it, can tune in at centerforinquiry.net/christmas.
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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at https://centerforinquiry.org.