Herb Silverman on Margaret Downey

Margaret Downey, like she has done with so many others, changed my life. When Margaret saw a brief article about my running for Governor of South Carolina in 1990 to challenge the unconstitutional state provision that prohibited atheists there from holding public office, Margaret invited me to speak to her newly-forming group in Philadelphia. She then told me about some national freethought organizations, none of which I had ever heard about, and encouraged me to get involved. I did, and was somewhat discouraged by minor bickering between like-minded groups. We both saw the need for organizational cooperation on the many things we have in common. Conversations with Margaret inspired me to help form the Secular Coalition for America, consisting of eight national nontheistic organizations. All eight groups have much in common, including a deep and abiding love of Margaret.

 Herb Silverman

President Secular Coalition of America