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Lake Hypatia

July 4

The Lake Hypatia Independence Day Celebration happens each year on Independence Day weekend. Lake Hypatia is a 66-acre campsite area outside of Birmingham, Alabama, operated year-round by the Alabama Freethought Association, and made available for the use of freethinkers and their families from around the country.

The campsite at Lake Hypatia opened on July 4, 1991, and the Independence Day Celebration, co-sponsored by the AFA and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, began shortly after as an annual event. Lake Hypatia is co-owned by Pat and Roger Cleveland-among others-who are leading members in the AFA.

Lake Hypatia is named after the last scientist who worked in the Library at Alexandria. Hypatia, born in 370 CE, was a mathematician, astronomer, physicist, and the head of the Neoplatonic school of philosophy. Considered an enemy of Christianity by Cyril, the Archbishop of Alexandria, because of her education (education in the early Church was often equated with paganism), she was attacked and killed by a mob of his followers in 415 CE who flayed the flesh from her bones with abalone shells. To read more about Hypatia, click here

Independence Day is an important holiday for freethinkers because it brings them together with others in our country in a sense of shared pride in the country of our birth and the accomplishments of the Founding Fathers. The Lake Hypatia Independence Day Celebration is a time for freethinkers to gather together at the campsite and celebrate the freedoms the founding fathers worked hard to ensure all Americans would have: the freedom to assemble and worship, of speech and expression, to have a fair trial, to have equal access and equal rights. The celebration includes freethought speakers from around the country and activities such as camping, hiking, canoeing, an annual softball game, and poetry reading.

For more information on the annual Lake Hypatia Independence Day Celebration, its events and activities, click here.