Think for Yourself

Not to be confused with free will or freebasing or free-falling, Freethought is something you might want to look into if you’re a fan of Mr. Spock, Voltaire, Susan B. Anthony or Mark Twain, among others. Its driving force is a belief in logic and reason over dogma and authoritarianism, and in truth, you have to be pretty disciplined to do it properly. “From our perspective, nothing is unquestionable, and in that sense, we promote critical thinking, freedom of inquiry, and the idea that only humans can effect positive change,” says Freethinker Andrea Steele.

Apparently, that’s even true when you’re playing poker, a game of wits: When Freethinkers gather in Denver this week for Steele’s second annual International Freethought Film Festival, they’ll get the show rolling with Poker in the Church, aka the Freethought Celebrity Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament and Casino Night, a major fundraiser for the charitable nonprofit Foundation Beyond Belief, with players officially seated at 8 p.m. tonight at the Church, 1160 Lincoln Street.

Ticket prices range from $75 for a spectator pass to $350 for a VIP player pass with 500 gaming chips and 6,000 poker chips, as well as party privileges. And the celebrities? Most are rock stars from the Freethinking ranks, but Denver-based poker celebs include Barry Fey and Peter Boyles.

The film festival kicks off tomorrow with a screening of The Trouble With St. Mary’s, a documentary about an Australian Catholic priest exiled from his flock for questioning certain traditions, at 8:30 p.m. at the Mayan Theater, 110 Broadway. Ten more screenings follow, at the Studio Loft in the Denver Performing Arts Complex and the Denver FilmCenter, ending with a Freethought Shorts program on August 5; for a complete schedule and to buy tickets — $10 per film or $95 for a festival pass (pass-holders can also play poker tonight for only $75) — go to www.freethoughtfilmfest.org.
Wed., Aug. 1, 7 p.m., 2012

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd