I’m Auctioning a Piece of My History at Sacramento’s Freethought Day Festival!

This October 12 (Saturday 2013) I’ll be at the ever-growing and amazing Sacramento Freethought Day at William Land Park. I will also be attending the donor’s reception the night before. And doing a panel. And the day of the festival they’ll be auctioning off a piece of unusual Richard Carrier memorabilia.

Here are the details…

Reception: Friday (11 October) from 7-9pm. Many of the next-day’s speakers will be there besides me, and other special guests (from Annie Laurie Gaylor and Heina Dadabhoy to the hilarious comedian Keith Lowell Jensen, who will perform during the reception, as will singer Shelley Segal). Must donate $75+ to attend. Details here. (Remember to scroll all the way to the bottom there for all the info; the pictures in the middle are from last year’s reception, which was also great).

Tabling: Saturday (12 October) from 11am to 6pm (except when I’ll be on stage) I’ll be at a table selling and signing my books. Stop by to say hi if you like. I’ll be sitting alongside other authors, too (like David Fitzgerald, whose new book on The Mormons is the best thing you’ll ever read on the subject). Whether I’ll be able to take credit card sales will depend on whether we get a reliable wifi set up, which is still up in the air, but I’m hopeful. I’ll have a few more titles on hand than on display, so if there is something you want and you don’t see it, feel free to ask if I’ve got one to sell. My entire catalogue is here.

Panel: That same day, from 4pm to near 5pm, I’ll be on stage on a panel of several authors and podcasters, taking questions from the audience on things fun or serious. Details here. There will be other things going on at the Festival, too. The schedule isn’t up yet, but it will be soon; for now, you can see who’s likely to be there among speakers and entertainers. There will be stuff for kids, too (thanks to Camp Quest West!).

Auction: Okay, now the weird thing. I’m giving up a piece of my past. To help pay for this year’s Freethought Festival, I’m offering up an item for auction (there will be a bid sheet at or near my table all day; I don’t know yet when bidding will close, but it should say on the bid sheet the day of the event). What item, pray?

Here’s the official description (which someone will likely read to the crowd during the day):

“This is a rare treat. In fact, it’s unique. We have here a book by Christian fundamentalist Benjamin Wiker, a book Richard Carrier has described as the Mein Kampf of the Christian Right. The title says it all: Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists. All meant pejoratively, of course. This scary fundamentalist treatise even has a foreword by none other than the Discovery Institute’s golden child, William Dembski, and it was also endorsed by several other major figures in Christian fundamentalism, establishing that this book is not on the fringes but a real mainstream fundamentalist view of atheists and Western history. It makes an entertaining, if scary read, because of it.

But that’s not the special thing. The special thing is that this specific volume, which the highest bidder will win today, was bought by Richard Carrier in 2003. He planned to write a comprehensive rebuttal, but never got around to finishing it. In pursuit of that project, he extensively annotated the margins of nearly every page. He has also now signed the book with an explanation of his penciled-in notes from ten years ago [back when Freethought Blogs didn’t even exist!], including an offer to anyone who wins this book today that they can also get his computer files of his uncompleted critique, which supplement his handwritten notes throughout the book.

This is a real piece of history. And Dr. Carrier is at last giving it up to posterity, to help support Freethought Day with whatever money it can raise.

I hope whoever wins it keeps it safe (since it is definitely a unique piece of minor history), or does something useful with it all (like finish my critique and publish it with my blessing?). It would even be cool if you later donated it for auction at another freethought event (like a national or local convention somewhere, or anything). Otherwise that little scribbled up book would just sit on my bookshelf serving no use.

And remember, whatever you pay for it, it’s for charity: it all goes to pay the expenses of the Freethought Festival. So it’s not just the item you’re winning.

[If you can’t attend but want to make an offer for this item to whoever wins it at auction, email me and I’ll put you in touch with the winner afterward (if they are interested; they might not be).]

So that’s all the stuff I’ll be involved in.

But there’s some other stuff, too…

Secular Lobby Day: Earlier that Friday (the 11th), if you want to lobby state and federal legislators (no, seriously, for real), you can. They’ll train you and take you there. I won’t be there for that, but if that sounds like something you’d be keen on, check it out. Details here.

Volunteers Dinner (and So Much More): Though I won’t arrive until Friday, the previous Thursday night (the 10th), at 7pm, is a special dinner for volunteers. They can always use volunteers at the event. If you might be interested in that, or donating money to help fund the day, or donating items to use or raffle or auction, or tabling or sponsoring as an advertiser, or even just spreading the word about this event, check out all the options here.

Registration for the Festival all Saturday is free, but donations of any amount at registration are appreciated, and registering online helps them plan better. Details here.


  1. Tony P. says

    I would kill my first born child with a blunt cheese grater just to look upon this awesome gift.

    Some things are but myths and legends, the stuff of dreams and fantasy, and (had you merely mentioned this book in passing) I would have judged this so. Yet here it is! An actual, tangible thing. To think that mortals, in my lifetime, may lay hands upon this artifact staggers me with it’s enormity.

    Thank you Dr. Carrier. Thank you so much for this opportunity to benefit mankind.

  2. says

    For posterity, the beloved singer Shelley Segal won the auction and returned to her native Australia with the prize book. And that despite a fierce bidding war. As a long-time fan and fellow artist, she wanted to see my creative process in action. And that book definitely shows that. As well as the associated files, which represent a review I would have revised for publication had I ever finished it, so it remains in its unrevised state, a snap-shot of what my writing looks like half-way to publication. I’m humbled and happy she made off with the loot. And supported Freethought Day in the process. Enjoy it, Shelley!