So, we went to the Reason Rally Yesterday. We got there around 7:30 and got excellent space about 10 feet back from the VIP section with a clear view of the stage. We got to hear a lot of great speakers and great Music. My six year old daughter loved Tim's boob song. She and my wife tours a few of the museums during the speeches.
The tents were of course too crowded with peeps avoiding the rain, so unfortunately I couldn't get to the AN booth or any of the others. We also had to be back in town by 8, so we couldn't make the after party either. :(
We had a great time. To me, the rain just solidified the experience. People were there from all over the world, there was no way they were going to let a little precipitation keep them in hotel rooms.
Fred Phelps's merry band of ass-hats were there too of course. Which I am thankful for. I think most other religious organisations stayed away to avoid being confused for them. You would hardly know they existed if it weren't for their ignorant signs poking up from the horde of atheists that surrounded them to debate or otherwise drown out their stupidity. It was awesome to hear from his son Nate, who had an inside perspective of the cult. Ask him if religion is harmless.
When I got there, I checked in on facebook, without any filter. I decided that I would not betray the spirit of the "coming out event for atheist" by hiding in the closet at all. I'm a little too old to be hiding who I am from anyone. I've had the atheist tag in my profile for some time now, but I've never made any open declaration. So of course, this sparked a discussion with a theist friend that pointed to the rain as a sign of God's disapproval of the event. She was half-kidding and not at all judging me. But of course, other chimed in that they were disappointed and did not find this funny. The truth is, I only have one other openly atheist friend on facebook and she is my wife. However, I am certain there are more. The closet is very crowded after all, you'd just never know it in the dark.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I am very appreciative for AN for being there as a "facebook for atheists", but this should not be necessarily. FACEBOOK should be the facebook for atheists. Everyone you know that hates atheists is unaware that they love at least one. This was one message of the rally. We have to let them know this. So don't hide in the shadows anymore.
The Reason Rally was a good start, but we have to keep up the momentum. Help your friends on facebook and in other facets of your life that could be closeted atheists know that its OK to come out because they are not alone. Like one of the signs I saw at the Rally said, "we aren't the ones who are crazy".
Anyway, here are a few pics from the event. Sorry about the quality, I don't pretend to be a photographer:
You're welcome indeed. I'm glad to hear that it was a help to someone. :) "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately" - Ben Franklin
I decided to go to the Rally on an impulse and i`m glad I went! Best decision I ever made.
Me too. I really know now that I am not alone.
"This was a good start"
Let's not let it "stop" there...
I'm looking forward to attending Rock Beyond Belief tomorrow, many of the same speakers (Dawkins, Dan Barker, Hemant Mehta, etc) and a few that weren't on stage (but at other related events) in D.C.
This one is also "Kid Friendly", …Richard Dawkins is even going to hold a Q & A at the children's/teens tent.
If you missed (or not) the Rally in D.C. and you can make it out to Ft. Bragg, NC tomorrow, do it!
How Awesome! I hope there is another one and my family and I are able to go. What a wonderful experience!
This is the plan… Justin Griffith's plan is to have Rock Beyond Belief festivals at as many military bases as possible.
Thanks for your perspective on the Reason Rally, Jason.